Saturday, January 29, 2011

Trip Out!

      I had this random thought today, which should probably be a Facebook status update rather than a blog post. But, oh well.

     I literally was sitting, minding my own business writing notes, and I had the thought, "I had to be taught to read and write." I mean, I woudn't know how to write my ABC's unless someone taught me. Wow. My brain is amazing. It didn't know something. And now it does. And I use that skill of writing and reading all the time. Trip out!

     I guess you had to be my mind. To realize how big this news was to me.

Wisdom's Knocking:

"All we know, is not all there is."

The Ways of Ice

     In Photo: Ice Skater, Debi Thomas

     Once again, I've somehow been sucked into watching the U.S. Championships, Ladies Free Skate on NBC. Not by any peer pressure, but by the pure seduction of looking at people almost floating on air.

     This has been happening to me, since I was about 8 years old. The music. The commentary. Those moments of suspense, a.k.a. the jumps. Yes, mostly the exhilaration, nervousness, and anticipation of watching a skater do a jump like a Triple Salchow.

     This sport is so beautiful, and yet sometimes painful to watch. A mix of grace and brute. The ice skater is floating ever so gently, until his or her butt hits that hard ice, because of a jump that was miscalculated.

     And the moment that I always dread while watching figure skating on TV, happened tonight... repeatedly.

     I can't remember the name of the girl, I just watched, but I just learned a new fact today, via our ice skating commentator: If you're 5'7", you're considered tall as a female ice skater and will have a much more difficult time landing jumps.

     Which might explain why I watched this particular (5'7") young lady fall at least 3 times in her program. Agh! It broke my heart. But in true ice skating fashion, she quickly got back up and finished her program with a smile on her face. You could feel the anguish, but she wasn't going to quit. That wasn't an option.

     More than anything, not everyone is out to see you fail. I'm reminded of that when I watch ice skating. There's a collective sigh of sympathy in the crowd when an ice skater falls. Which tells me, the crowd was anticipating and hoping for the success of the skater throughout their entire performance.

     And although the peanut gallery may laugh at you when you fall, they will not have the last word, when you get back up again.

Wisdom's Knocking:

Though you fall, get back up again.

Friday, January 28, 2011

"This Is School, Fool!"

Photo Credit: Lindsay Coleman

       Almost everyday, my mom has crazy stories to tell about the high school that she works at. She may be in "Lock Down" one day, or dealing with loud-mouthed mamas coming to the school, in their house shoes and doo- rags, trying to compete with the fashions of their daughters (i.e. Daisy Duke cut-offs). Or the school psychiatrist may be threatening to kill herself, because of her broken down love life.

     Other days, my mom has to politely explain to a young man, why he can't simply come to school to visit and hang out with his cousin. "This is school, fool. And I don't know what you're packing."

     You might laugh. But the rage of this generation is often times disarming. And especially at a school where students consistently harm one another, steal, and threaten each other's lives, there's little room for vision and hope amidst these particular students. Their battle is intense and ongoing.

     In the midst of the storm, my mom is an anchor of peace. Her strength and hope has always been and is God. Ask any of the women and men that work beside her, that trust in her counsel, they'll speak with love and fondness. Ask the young students that she confronts in love, they become her children for life.

     But today, was a particularly rough day for my mother.

     She told me of how a 16 year old girl was assaulted and almost raped in the girl's bathroom by a young man that the young girl knew. Rather, this young girl had previously brushed aside the advances of this particular boy. He had tried to flirt, but she made it known that she wasn't interested. While his pride was hurt, his anger raged also. This young boy camped out in the girl's bathroom, until his timely opportunity arrived.

     The young girl fought him off, but the emotional trauma many times far exceeds the physical harm.

     My mom felt the weight of such an injustice. A place of safety, not just a physical place, had been defiled.

     As my mom told me this story, I felt her heart ache. But at the same time, I felt her anchor of Peace. It was other worldly and so beautiful to see in action.

     The story will not finish with injustice and defilement. It's hard to see that now. But this isn't the first time my mother has seen battle. More importantly, she knows and has seen the faithfulness of God's kindness in her own life and countless others.

     A place of safety and refuge is always ours, in the hands of God.


6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.  
7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 

2 Corinthians 4:6-10

Wisdom's Knocking:

While the battle may be rocky, the victory will be stable.

Techie Toe to Toe

     Why is it, that when you have internet problems with your service provider, upon calling them for assistance and help, they promptly mention you should visit their online customer service page.

     Um, if I could log on to your customer service page, why would I be calling you?


Wisdom's Knocking:

Everyone doesn't see things the same way you do.

Night Lights

 Photo Credit: Lindsay Coleman

     I hate those days, when I wake up more tired than I was before I went to sleep. I mean, what's up with that?

     Actually, as I type that last sentence, I know exactly what was up with that. Last night, just happened to be one of those nights where I decided to process my whole life's journey up until Wednesday, January, 26, 2011. Needless to say, it wore me out.

     Speaking of which, hasn't the month of January seemed to drag on a bit more than usual? I mean, I feel like I'm somehow in the movie, Groundhog's Day.

     Time is truly relative.

     Anyhow, my life's recap last night wasn't as heavy as it has been in the past. In fact, I'm quite hopeful for the many changes that 2011 will bring, even if this year has had a weird and sluggish start.

     2011... Don't do us dirty. We're counting on you.

Wisdom's Knocking:

Before going to bed, count your blessings.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My Music Village

Photo Credit: Daniella Hovsepian

     Some of you feel the same way that I do.

     What would our lives be without music?

     As I write this, I'm listening to Zane Carney's beautiful Sketch of Amazing Grace, which he did for me years ago. The way that kid interprets music still gives me chills.

     And what is it about music that seems so magical? I love the idea of immersing myself in music, trying to find out.

     I've been blessed with a beautiful community of friends that love and play music. And not just any ol' kind of music, but they make goooood music-- in all different genres.

     To all the amazing musicians that I am privileged to call friends: You have made my life so incredibly rich.

Wisdom's Knocking:

Spend some time listening to old records. There's magic and mystery to be discovered.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Eat. Laugh.


 Photo Credit: Dana Tanamachi

     I tend to cover my mouth a lot when I eat. And, I'm also hesitant to laugh out loud with my family. I have this theory of Unveiled Vulnerability.

     To me, watching someone eat can either be incredible grotesque or extremely vulnerable. I was honestly brought to tears, a couple years back, when I watched people at a food bank eat their food on the side of the road.

     And as with eating, knowing what a person laughs at, if you pay attention, will tell you something intimate about a person.

     If I've laughed out loud around you, it usually means I feel free. And no, I don't mean, if I've laughed at you falling down. I mean, if we can honestly share a laugh. There's something so intimate about laughing. I can't exactly pin-point what it is, but your guard is down in a way that it's normally not.

     But when I laugh,  I feel that rush of excitement and freedom. At the same time, I have the slight fear of being judged for the particular thing I'm laughing at, but by that point, the laughter has already come out of me.

     What we laugh at gives away some of our secrets. And frankly, I don't know if I'm ready to give away all my secrets just yet.

     So with that said, I'll continue to occasionally cover my mouth while I eat, and pay attention to what I laugh at. I may learn something new about myself.

Wisdom's Knocking:

Who have you laughed with lately? You share more in common with them than you think.


Photo: Alicia Graf Mack

     Today, I felt this odd pressure to be profound in my daily post. But I find, that when I'm trying to be profound, I fail horribly.

     I had to remember why I'm writing this blog. I'm writing these posts, mostly for my pleasure. It's for the nourishment of my soul. If it nourishes yours in any way, that's simply the icing for me.

     And perhaps, through my random anecdotes and stories, you'll take away something encouraging or at least a laugh. But you'll most definitely get an intimate peek into my heart and character.

     In my search to be profound today, I also realized that any lasting life-changing wisdom that I've given to someone, usually happens on accident. And although I have a hard time planning my profound moments. I found that my humorous slant on life comes in handy. Many times, there's truth wrapped up in a good piece of humor. So a word, to you, my dear readers. If my sense of humor has gone over your head. I apologize. I'm probably too profound for you.

Wisdom's Knocking:

Humility helps you see things more clearly.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Boogie Down

 Photo: Leroy Hutson-- Album: Paradise -- Song: "Classy Lady"
     Am I the only one who sees the most dignified people in traffic digging in their noses? And I don't mean with a tissue. I feel ashamed when we both lock eyes right after they've been searching for the green treasure. We both give each other that look that says, "I don't know? It just happened. Just this one time. You understand. Good. Goodbye."

     I don't know when it officially became socially unacceptable to pick your nose (among other things) in public. It probably phased out with loud belching and farting in public. Of which I'm glad there's a new sense of discretion with those things. I'm just fascinated with the idea of intimacy, privacy, and identity connected to what we would describe as etiquette, or manners.

     Speaking of manners, if one unknowingly has a hanging boogie, the usual friend code is to hand them a tissue and tell them they have a "hanger/boogie". If it's a stranger, hand them a tissue, and just give them the eye. Which eye? It doesn't matter, as long as it's not creepy. Scratch that. It's already creepy that you're handing a stranger a tissue. Therefore, I'll get back to you on that one.

     But more importantly, I simply wanted to say, if I see you picking your nose in public, I will most likely lock eyes with you and try to pull you off that ledge. It just looks bad and unsophisticated. I know, I know, I should be way past such superficial trivialities, but we may have to shake hands later. And I'd rather not boogie down with your cold virus that is now attached to your hand. Plus, we're not in the first grade anymore, well some of you may be...emotionally. But that's a whole other blog. 

Wisdom's Knocking:

Sometimes the issues that we are hiding, are far more visible than we'd like to believe.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


  Photo Credit: Bonjour Tristesse 

      I was talking to a young friend of mine last night, who being in their early twenties, was facing an array of choices to be made.

     As I listened and tried to encourage this person by telling them that they had all the wisdom they needed to make a good decision. They quickly brought up the fear of making the wrong choice, the wrong decision.

     Good point.

     But I told this person, you can't put off making these difficult decisions, especially if the outcome is important to your heart. By ignoring the issues, or hoping someone else will make the choice for you, takes the beautiful experience and responsibility of living, out of your hands and into the hands of a forfeited choice, of which breeds it owns beast of resentment in the end. We were meant to walk out our journey distinctly. With tough choices included.

     When one thinks of the word responsibility, there are many heavy handed connotations that come to mind. And yes, responsibility is a sobering act, but it is so much more than that. It is your "response". It is your outward actions speaking up and out in regards to how you feel about a particular subject, moment, person, event, place, etc.

     Your actions--your responses, are telling us where you place these elements of living in order of importance.  Just as a parent has a responsibility to care for their child, it is a condition of the heart manifested in outward actions with provision, tenderness, and discipline. The response is love and the responsibility backs this up.  To know that you can count on someone, because they are responsible (not perfect) and free to make choices in life backed up by love, brings such security and freedom to our hearts.

"Feeling liberated... and pressed to be responsible because of it." --Theodore Ndawillie II

     This morning, when I woke up, I recalled the conversation I had with that person last night, and realized how similar it was to my own 5 month old dialogue with God. I'm in the midst of trying to avoid making a hard decision as well, and I'm fearful of making the wrong decision.  But you can't escape the process of living if you choose to live.

     The act of choosing can be so stressful, but once a choice is made a sense of freedom arises, and
you can begin to asses from that place. What was good, bad? What was learned? Do we need to recalculate? But if you had never made that choice (good or awful), you'd be consistently in a state of limbo, afraid to commit, have faith, and trust yourself to state a decision.

     And what if you do make the wrong choice? Will you not realize it half way through and perhaps find your way to the good choice? Faith is always a risk. And I love how the Bible states that Love never fails and that All things work for good, to those that love God and are called according to His purpose.

     It seems like I forget that truth ever so quickly,  especially in the midst of my current choice dilemma.

     Love will always find a way to you. Put away fear, and just be humble enough to see love finding its way to you in every corner of your life's journey.

Wisdom's Knocking:

By not making a decision, you've made a decision: You don't care. Or you are too afraid to care.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

And I Loved You On Purpose

      Okay, I'm a little late to this particular revelation, but nevertheless I have arrived at it's piercing epiphany. "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf", the story/collection of poems, is absolutely, most definitely, one of my all time favorites. For many different reasons.

     I saw the movie tonight, by it's shortened title: "For Colored Girls". But instead of merely being satisfied with a cinematic portrayal, I long to see the experimental stage play in all its 1975 glory. I'm thinking of picking up the book this weekend. Eboni, I would love to hear your comments and thoughts in regards to the movie and the book.

     And I will gladly have you know, that because of this story, I will not afford myself the activity of casual dating. For those that know the story and all it's intricacies, and for those that don't, I won't explain.

     How is that God painted my skin Black and with such richness and with so many stories to tell? And just when I think I've reached my own awe and splendor, I look to the right and to the left and see the stories of my sisters and our mothers. Gleaming.

Wisdom's Knocking:

If you gain the trust of a woman, you will inherit an embrace of treasures.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


     So today, I took the liberty of changing my blog URL (Fancy talk for "website address" or "website link") for what I hope will be the final time. Some of you remember when my URL was tracksuitsandgoldchains. Yeah. I was in a mood. What kind? Still trying to figure that one out.

     But now with so many more you taking the time to read my crazy rantings and observations, I figured it's time to make the point of reference to this site even easier. So now, my official blog site address is:

     Why didn't I think of that before? I mean, it was SO obvious.

     I even legitimately paid for my first comic strip today (Featured in my post: Constipated). This is a big step. We're official now.

     For those of you that have decided to follow me on your RSS feed or on Blogger: THANK YOU!

     I also love hearing feedback, so feel free to write me comments.

     And if you have a blog, feel free to share it with me. I love reading other blogs. And who knows, I may blog about you and your fancy blog.

Wisdom's Knocking:

It's so powerful when your actions and your words match one another.

Beauty Smarts Dumb

I heard this on a TV show last week, and it cracked me up:

Daughter: “So dumb guys go for dumb girls? AND Smart guys go for dumb girls? What do the smart girls get?”

Father: “Cats mostly.”


Yes, I’m still laughing.

I know, I know. Many of you foxy ladies out there are cat lovers. So before you throw a tomato at me, please feel free to laugh with me.

The truth of the matter is…

Wisdom’s Knocking: 
Sometimes true beauty is not recognized and appreciated upon first glance.

Monday, January 17, 2011


Photo Credit: Hannah Cruz

     I feel like many folks out there are a bit emotionally constipated. It comes in degrees. 1--Being emotionally free with a heart fully open, 5--Feeling off emotionally and not able to fully express why, 10--Being "Let's bust out some hardcore emotional Metamucil, you might die of implosion...of the heart."

     For the artist, one tries to tap into the realm of mystery, poetry, painting, photography, songs, or hundreds of other outlets that might  help explain and express what our heart has a hard time articulating to our minds.

     But most of the time it's not a sentiment of love or joy that keeps us emotionally unavailable and emotionally constipated, it's our inability to let go. We have a hard time of letting go of control, of past hurts or offensives. We may smile when we see the person that stabbed us emotionally in the heart, but deep down inseide we've created a cage, with walls, and shackles, so that no one can come into that sacred place of love and trust to hurt us again.

    But this will not only keep us emotional detached from reality but also from the amazing and good things that come to us. We may be so wrapped up in our self-preservation and emotionally constipated fortress that we completey miss the blessing right in front of our eyes.

     If you feel emotionally constipated today, ask yourself why? It most likely has to do with an issue that is unresolved or out of your control. My advice, for the protection and vitality of your heart and emotions: Let it go. It will be resolved. And it will be taken care of. Last I checked, you didn't have the pressure of causing the sun to rise and set. And yet it does.

Wisdom's Knocking:

A key to becoming free from emotional constipation: Let crap go.

How I Had the Best Day Cleaning My Car

     I've had some amazing adventures in my "Shaquifa", my sporty-spice mini-SUV. Today, I decided to take the time to vacuum her and get rid of all the unnecessary clutter.

     A job that should have taken me 20 minutes, turned into 3 hours. I got caught up in Memory Lane. I would take long pauses as I sat to remember where I had been when I played a particular CD last, or staring at an old dinner receipt and trying to remember who I had shared that meal with. And let's not even talk about all the hidden treasure (a.k.a. Junk and Clutter) in my trunk. I replayed so many of my little adventures and memories as I took the time to clear everything out.

     Our lives have far more intricacies and beautiful detail than we'd like to believe. Sometimes, if we take the time to pay attention to those memories calling out to us, we may appreciate the journey a little bit more. It's been said, "You won't know where you're going until you know where you've been."

Wisdom's Knocking:

If you want to assess your life and your priorities, clean your house and/or car, and see what you'll find.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Yogurt Trickery


     Is anyone else bothered by the fact that they can make non-frozen yogurt taste like Oreo Cookies, Key Lime Pie, or Red Velvet Cake?

     Um, what? Last time I checked, there wasn't an actual piece of cake in my yogurt. They've lied to us. That is clearly not Red Velvet Cake that I'm eating. And I'm afraid to ask how they made it taste like Red Velvet and with 0 calories. This is sounding very suspect.

Wisdom's Knocking:

Often, things are not what they appear to be.

Friday, January 14, 2011

What the Nissan Z Sports Car Means to Me


     A bit like the mad scientist, when my dad gets around his beloved Nissan Z, he's like a kid in a candy store. Today, I helped him fix something--something to do with the clutch. I had no idea what I was doing, but by the end of it,  he made me feel so accomplished. It feels good to have a papa.

      Being a father is not merely making a child, but it's truly a posture of the heart. It's not about being a disciplinarian or provider first, it's about being willing to open your heart to loving someone more than yourself.

     I'm painfully aware that many of you reading this have either no connection to your father or you have an emotionally distant relationship with your father. But that doesn't have to be the end of the story.

     I pray that God brings true spiritual fathers to those of you that have felt fatherless over the years. And for those that have amazing fathers, take the time to cherish them. Time goes by so quickly, on this side of heaven.

 Wisdom's Knocking:

The heart of a loving father, is one of life's greatest blessings.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

My Muse

Photo Credit: Anthony Chidi Njoku

     Today, I had the pleasure of sitting with one of the most beautiful human beings on the planet. We spoke of things past, how we've grown, and how we haven't.

     We basked in the glory of friendship and memory. My heart is now full.

Wisdom's Knocking:

Take the time to remember a beautiful memory, and make sure you share it with someone.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Cupid Fail

     Cupid rhymes with Stupid. Just an observation I made while getting ready to write this blog.

     One year, I was feeling particularly confident in my matchmaking abilities and decided to play the role of cupid with two friends of mine. I went all out, I was truly invested in this love story. I felt like they would be a perfect match. I was already preparing my cupid speech for their wedding reception--with appropriate laughs and pauses included.

     The week prior to their blind date, I kept everything a mystery for both of them. I only revealed clues about the other's personality and their favorites (Song, movie, etc.). On top of that, I never told them each other's name. They loved the suspense. And I was enjoying every minute of it.

     These two individuals had never met before and were now going on a blind date per my trusted recommendation.

     Their date was set to take place in a public place and since they had no clue of what the other looked like, or even a name--they would recognize one another by the objects they would be holding (of which I told them ahead of time).

     The night had finally arrived. I had crazy butterflies in my stomach all day.  I wasn't going to intrude on their date, so I had to wait until their date was finished to find out how it went.

     The time had come.

     Late that night, I received 2 text messages almost simultaneously. My two friends had hit it off miraculously! Like crazy good.  Their date had just finished (It had gone on for a few hours) and they had bid each other good night. They both texted me immediately after and almost at the same time. They couldn't wait to see each other again.

     I felt like an angel. I'm pretty sure I heard a choir singing. I did have the thought: "Will my mansion in heaven be bigger than yours, now that I've helped people find true love?" A month later, my two friends were already talking about long term life plans together.

    Fast forward to a few months later, and the relationship crashes and burns. Great pain and heartache were the lasting fruit of their relationship. I felt horrible.

     As badly as I wanted to see love and romance thrive, I couldn't manipulate it to happen. People are wonderfully unique and often messy. We are free to make our choices, and free to constantly change the course of our journey. While love is an open invitation, we cannot be forced to attend. We will always have the luxury of choosing.

     So for now, I have laid down my cupid sceptor (Yes, sceptor. I had considered myself high-ranking at the time). You'll be glad to know, I've also gained a bit more humility when it comes to thinking I know everything about love and romance. And yet, I somehow still hear a choir singing...maybe love is not too far off for either of us now.

      As always, the invitation still stands.  And Love will most likely ask you to RSVP when you least expect it.

Wisdom's Knocking:

You can't plan when you're to fall in love. Just stay prepared with an open heart.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Humor Me

"(January 3rd, 2011) Humour research now suggests that people with a greater “sense of humour” have distinctly longer lives to chuckle over than their more sober neighbours (at least in Norway)."
Credit: Lab Times

     The affects of laughter and a sense of humor on the human life have long been researched. Not only does it enhance quality of life, but possibly even its longevity.

Wisdom's Knocking:

Try and find the humor in every situation, you might just live long enough to laugh about it later.

Spicy Sweet


     You've heard me say this on more than one occasion, but I really, really, really hope my future husband likes to fix cars, cook and maybe even bake. And if dreams do come true, he'll be baking my new favorite dessert: Chocolate Chipotle Brownie Coffee & Tea Cakes. Ya heard!

Wisdom's Knocking:

While passion may bring a couple together, it's patience that will keep them together.

Take the Time...Listen...Then Repeat


     Today, since I had a long drive ahead of me, I decided to experiment with my radio. I hadn't listened to the poor thing in about a month. As I switched the stations, there was one song that continued to stand out. And when I say stand out, I mean, it was played at least 4 times every 15 minutes on multiple stations.

     Without further delay, let me share with you the some of the lyrics to this week's favorite jam:
"Want you to make me feel like I'm the only girl in the world

Like I'm the only one that you'll ever love
Like I'm the only one who knows your heart
Only girl in the world...
Like I'm the only one that's in command
Cuz I'm the only one who understands, like I'm the only one who knows your heart, only one..."

     I am almost positive I heard this song played 10 times in the span of about an hour. But as I was being hypnotized by that house-like beat (Yes, I was dancing in my car), I realized that the lyrics truly touched on something key for us ladies.

     Men: In a romantic relationship, if you make us feel like the only girl in your life, we will be your ride-or-die chick until the end. It's really that simple. Yes, we may be mysterious creatures, but let me give you some quick yet life-changing insights about us ladies:

  • If you give us intentional and non-distracted eye contact when you talk to us, we're hooked. 
  • If you share your fears, hopes, and dreams with us, we're hooked. 
  • If you encourage us to pursue our own dreams without you feeling jealous, we're hooked.
  • If you take the time to listen to our boring, and sometimes hard to follow stories, we're hooked. 
  • If you take the time to introduce us to the important people in your life (especially in public scenarios), we're hooked. 
  • If we share an inside joke only the two of us know...Yes, you guessed it, we're hooked.

     Simply put, we want to feel like the beautiful exception in your life not the status quo.


     Now be careful, Men. Use your powers for good and not evil. If you use my tested techniques on your unsuspecting lady friends, they may fall in love with you, of which in that case, you may have more drama than you bargained for.

     Men, if you've already implemented my techniques on your unsuspecting lady friends, make sure the air is clear and that your lady friends know where you stand in terms of your emotions. I cannot tell you how many times I've consoled my lady friends (and myself) in regards to receiving mixed signals from a Guy Best Friend of whom they were in love with, but who didn't love them back. It's a truly heartbreaking scenario that could have simply been avoided with honesty up front expressed by the guy. But I digress. Perhaps to be blogged about in the future.

     So yes, we as women like to talk a lot, but if you take the time to listen with intention, I promise will be worth it in the end.

Wisdom's Knocking:

Make someone feel special today, take the time to listen.

Monday, January 10, 2011


Photo Credit: Judy Howieson

     For my writing pleasure, and perhaps for your reading enjoyment. I'll be writing a new blog post almost everyday.  Yes, an exciting and daunting adventure for both of us, sho' nuff. And on the days that I miss, I'll do my best to make up for it, by writing multiple posts in one day.  Say what! Yes. And that's no jive.

Wisdom's Knocking:

In the journey, every little step counts.

Say What You Mean

     It's been brought to my attention on more than one occasion that people rarely ever say what they truly mean.

     And when people do decide to tell the truth, it's wrapped in a weight of anger, because they've waited so long to express the true intentions of their heart. Saying what you mean, doesn't mean at the expense of hurting people, but at the expense of truly being understood. Motive.

     I'm a bit tired of the passive-aggressive bull. It distorts meaning and true connection with people. And yes, I'm definitely guilty of being passive-aggressive on more than one occasion. But it's not something I subscribe to frequently. At least, I'd like to believe so.

     I was raised in a house hold with two amazing parents, one of whom has the honesty of a true New Yorker, because she is one. That reality has penetrated my conversation style, that upbringing has given me the ability to speak freely when it comes to matters of the heart and to ask with honesty, difficult questions.

     For those that are used to hearing the phrase "Passive-Aggressive", but only hear it as white noise in the background. Let me refresh the definition for you:

1. Hiding hostility by seeming to be nice to someone you dislike and being unable to express honesty with that person.

2. Telling people what they want to hear, even if you don't believe in what you're saying.

3. You are angry, but afraid to show your anger, so you quietly take revenge by doing the opposite.

4. Out of touch with your inner feelings; and the only way to know how you feel about something is to observe your behavior, not to trust your words.

5. You avoid conflict at all cost by giving in to others, then procrastinate and never do what you agreed to do.

Definition Credit:

     Simply put, being passive-aggressive basically means you're a classy liar.

     We may not always know the true motives of why an individual chooses to talk to us, to spend time with us, to listen to us, but we can be responsible and brave in regards to our own actions.

Wisdom's Knocking:

Remember to check the motives of your heart before you courageously say what you mean.

Saturday, January 08, 2011



     Do you ever feel over-loved in the places that are already saturated, and unwatered in the places of your heart that are dry?

     Sometimes, I feel as though people give me encouragement and love in the area that is already saturated with attention and affection, but they completely neglect the area that I am hoping encounters love, restoration and saturation.

Words of Wisdom:

Don't forget to water the dry places.



     Many of you know that I am privileged to be a youth pastor/youth director at a small church in Studio City, California.

     It has been one of the scariest and most rewarding adventures of my life. And as with most life altering experiences, it was unplanned. Never in a million years would I have thought of being a youth pastor. And definitely not a unmarried youth pastor.  *Insert painful laugh here*

     Four years ago, I gave God all my reasons why I shouldn't be a youth pastor. The main reasons being, I couldn't fit into a mold, and I wouldn't know what the heck I'd be doing. I'm pretty sure I heard God say, "Perfect" and chuckle.

     My first day, I was uber awkward, and there was about 2 teenagers. But after that first youth "meeting", I felt amazing. I was hooked. Yes, I didn't know what I was doing, and I clearly didn't fit into a mold, but I felt something that I hadn't felt in a long time. Faith.

     I could no longer rely on my own intellect, logic, or charismatic ability to determine and fix all of the possible scenarios. I truly had to excercise faith. Every Sunday.

     I spent nights crying in fear that I would permanently damage or confuse the young minds and hearts of tomorrow through the midst of my learning to be a leader.

     And that is when God's grace would meet me in unexpected ways. And I began to receive God's love for myself for the first time in a long time. God wanted to give of Himself uniquely to me through this adventure. And for me, this has become the sole reason and motivation for me being a youth pastor.  I experience an intense closeness with God, like no other, by being a vulnerable youth pastor.

     I've learned more about patience, selflessness, love, faith, and identity by spending time with some of the most amazing teenagers on the planet. They are incredibley intelligent, extremely expressive, witty, and hopeful for the future that they will inherit. I have been so blessed to know that there are people on this planet like them.

     What started out as 2 teenagers on an awkward Sunday, has now blossomed into 20 teenagers  (Ranging from Jr. High to High School) that have captured my heart, my time, and my attention. And not just on Sundays. 

     The one harsh reality about walking through life with teenagers is their constant mood swings. One week they feel as though they can conquer the world and love you to pieces. And the next week they are angry at the world and want to give up.

     If I'm not careful, I find myself swinging back and forth with their uncertainties and mood swings, which in turn brings about fear, the true enemy of love.

     Before becoming a person surrounded by teenagers, I had forgotten what it was like to constantly search for identity and purpose with such intensity.  I had also forgotten the constant battle of trust that teenagers go through, especially if they've been let down their whole lives. It becomes extremely difficult for them to not only trust me, but the reality and notion that they are Loved.

     Because when you know that you are loved, your actions are governed by something so much more beautiful and life-giving than fear could ever do. 

     Most of what I teach is birthed out of that simple truth:  You are already loved. You were loved by God before the foundations of the earth. You were loved before you had a plan for your life. You were loved before you got your act together. You were loved before you decided in your mind that you were ugly. You were and are loved.

     The message of Love is not only difficult to teach to teenagers, but even more difficult to live out with integrity. I know I have failed many times, and at times, in front of those very teenagers.

     But if it wasn't for the amazing family of leaders around me (Rick, Pam, Dina, Jess, David, Toby, Eric, Michelle, Kim L., Sarah, Sandy, and Pat) I would have dropped out of sight and off course a long time ago. These folks deserve a blog all unto themselves. Which will happen later this year.

     I have no idea how long I will be a youth pastor, heck, I had no idea I'd be one in the first place. But what I do know, is that my life has been changed for the better, because I simply said in my heart first, "Yes, if no one else will do it...I'll do it."

     It was faith that hooked me into this crazy adventure with God, but it in the end, it will be Love that sustains me.

Words of Wisdom:

Though the wind my blow and arrows may fly, remember to stay the course.

Johnny Depp & I


     First off, I'd like to personally thank everyone who responded to my last blog titled "Magnet".  It was great to hear feedback from you via Facebook or in person. It's also fascinating to me how many people can relate to this mystery of chemistry.

     But alongside this notion of chemistry, you'll find the list of our hopes and desires. Many times you'll hear of the lists that women create for their Ideal Husband. And even though, women may seem a bit psychotic when it comes to the "List", men have their set of hopes and desires as well. They may not write it down on 4 pages of stationary paper, but they are very much of aware of what it is they like when it comes to a lady.

     So can I tell you something? I have the biggest crush on Johnny Depp. Not the Johnny Depp of 2011, but the Johnny Depp of  the classic television show, "21 Jump Street", circa 1988. More accurately, I loved Officer Tom Hanson, the character Johnny played on the show. And just in case you were wondering...Yes, I own 3 seasons of 21 Jump Street on DVD. I'm about to purchase Seasons 4 & 5 this month.

     I'm constantly trying to understand and know what it is that I truly want when it comes to romance. With excitement, friends and family have been asking me for years, what it is that I like and desire in a man. And in the past I have given such detailed answers that it has left people wide-eyed, leading them directly to prayer. Mostly because they felt that it could only occur by a miracle of God.

     My answer these days is much more simple, but my standards are just as high:
     I desire the person made for me.

     I don't simply want to fulfill my own romantic whims and desires anymore. I want to share my life in a new way. I want to share the love that has been birthed in me to a new generation. I want to adventure with the Great loves of my life (God, Family, and Friends). All in all, I hope to make someone very happy.


     And yes, this past week, Johnny Depp actually walked past me in my workplace hallway. No lie. My heart was stirred with curiosity and excitement, but not necessarily with love.

     Nevertheless, there will always be a special place in my heart for Officer Tom Hanson.

Words of Widsom:
Sometimes what you want, is not necessarily what you need.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011


     I'm always curious about chemistry.

     Like, what causes us to be attracted to the people in our lives? Whether it's a friend or a crush, chemistry is almost tangible. You know it and recognize it when you're in the midst of it. But the true beauty and mystery of that chemistry may take a whole lifetime to explore.

     It's even more interesting to me that I cannot seem to muster up chemistry artificially. It's either there, or it isn't. When it is, there's a grace and ease. When it's not, it feels like pushing against a tide.

     In the last several years, I've met a handful of people by what I consider, divine appointment. It's as if Something had been drawing us together through space and time. And when we met, it was like coming home. A sweet sense of rest.

     On the flipside, chemistry scares me a bit. We've all had that instance, where we've met someone and we feel like we've known them our whole lives. And the idea of vulnerability gets put on the table very quickly--the stakes are high. It's in those moments, that I realize this person has the ability to break my heart or cause me to fly.

     And it looks as if chemistry has a choice...What will be chosen? That is where time teaches us these lessons. Truth be told, I'm in the middle of that lesson right now. I'll let you know how it goes in the next few months.

     Until then...

Wisdom's Knocking:

Chemistry is not to be ignored, but tenderly discovered.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Death Defying

Picture of Annie Taylor: She made the first barrel trip over Niagara Falls in 1901 and lived.

     It always hurts a little when you know someone out there is holding a grudge against you, unless you are incredibly callous or aloof.

     I, on the other hand, love to feel-- which in turn has it's amazing crescendos and subsequently, some very dark days.

     We always think that we are right in our own eyes, but it's incredibly humbling to learn that, not only are we imperfect, but we have the capacity to hurt individuals unintentionally. The art of communication is truly one to be respected. It is to be nurtured like any other art form, or one will become inept to the subtle meanings and cries of our friends and lovers.

     My pride has blinded me at times, but my heart is to truly surrender to love and kindness always. One of my favorite quotes: 

     "Love is something more stern and splendid than mere kindness." C.S. Lewis

     I want to live the expression of that, daily. My spirit is willing, but the flesh is so weak.

     I'm stirred to defend myself when those that have been hurt by my words and actions, react out of their pain (By ignoring me, talking negatively about my character, wishing me ill will, etc.). But what do I expect? They have been legitimately hurt. Is their pain not real? No, their pain is just as real as mine.

     My spirit is willing. 

    And I decide again to walk in love the best way that I know how: Forgiveness. Daily. Every minute if necessary.

    And yes, it feels like a death has occurred within me. But if I've learned anything about death, it's simply the seed for resurrection.

Wisdom's Knocking:

The story is not over until it's over.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Different Kinds of Beauty

Photo Credit: Chris Molitor

     Today, I looked in the mirror and recognized my beauty. I find it necessary to do this intently at least once a month. Preferably everyday.

     But you know how life gets in the way of many things. Endurance is far more tricky than I ever thought it would be.

     And yet, in the many ways in which I find reason for comparison. God breathes and sings over me my true identity, my true uniqueness. Fingerprints, my dear child. Fingerprints. There is none like you.

     In the last few weeks, I've once again been more aware of my heart, my passions, and my beauty. Consequently, I am also more sensitive to and aware of the beauty and journey of others.

     Now let me get really transparent. Today, I just canceled my free subscription to eHarmony (for the second time). I lasted about a week. I got a ton of "matches". But I just couldn't follow through. I didn't cancel my subscription because I'm an eHarmony hater. Quite the contrary.

     I, who adores the notion of romance and courtship, loves how technology has been used to bring people from different parts of the world together. But alas, this is not how I desire my love story to be told.

     From a logical standpoint, online courtship would be one of the best ways for me to find my soul mate (Especially considering how busy I am, and my pseudo life as a hermit), but then again, so would my workplace, my place of worship, etc.

     Do you ever ask, "What have I been doing wrong?". If not, your lucky. I'm not one of those. I occasionally scrutinize my many shortcomings in hopes of finding the culprit holding me back from true love and marriage. Because why haven't I been chosen? Or why must I sacrifice the person I love? Or why does he prefer her?

     But if I truly believe that Love Never Fails, then there is purpose in this journey of waiting.

     Today a friend told me this: "Truly you are amazing. The reason that you haven't been married yet is solely God's timing. Your heart and soul is beautiful along with you as a person."

Wisdom's Knocking:

Sometimes love is just around the corner.