Category Archives: Devotions

Taking Advice And Giving Up

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Hey blog readers,

Sorry I haven’t made time to blog, I really wanted to but other things got in the way like trying to figure out how to maneuver around guys in online dating. So last night after posting one of my latest exchanges with a guy on Tinder, a friend kindly suggested that I needed to just stop and that I was a fool. Well, I woke up to that message this morning and I had to agree. Maybe I have a tendency to get stuck on stupid and the only thing that I can change in the equation is me, so I deleted my online profiles(I know this is like deletion #879654).

We all know how tough it is to meet people now a days(especially if you are too *you fill in the blank* as I am). If I am not getting the results that I would like, no matter how obvious or easy it would be to put the blame on these guys who don’t know me at all, I have to put the blame on myself. So, since I do like to take responsibility for myself, why not remove myself from the situation.

I know that my friends are tired of hearing me rant about it so I’m done. Ecclesiastes states that there is nothing new under the sun. So for anyone who knows me, they know that this is not a new event in my life. I don’t even know why I still manage to get surprised. Also, I didn’t go in with huge expectations, I just don’t think its healthy for me to be in situations that aren’t healthy for me.

Today I managed to go for a run. I was in a good mood until I got my peer review feedback. My paper was shredded. It really hurt. One of the reviewers offered supportive, constructive feedback and the other reviewer offered personal attacks even saying that my paper evidenced no scholarship whatsoever. So, I talked to my professor to figure out if I needed to completely redo my analysis. He was really caught off guard and asked what prompted this idea. I told him what had happened and it was so ironic because I had just read an article(which I reblogged about writing). Basically I have to only apply those comments to my paper and not take them personal. So I think what I will do is add some different models to my discussion and compared them. Thank goodness I have a few days to work on it.

So rant over.

Shalom

Namaste

Dear God, Forgive Me, Oh Wait You Already Know

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So earlier this morning, while reading and working on my paper, I also managed to have time to blog a mopey blog post and mope about on Facebook as a result of a really mopey conversation. As I got ready for work(because my body said no, I was not working out or even getting out of bed for that matter), I took a breathe and realized, I have a lot to be grateful for and thankful for.

So, why do I still have segments of my life that are filled with gaping pain, regret, guilt, and just not pretty stuff? I think my friends were trying to say that everyone has stuff that we don’t like about our lives. I get that. But I am also the type of person who can easily show you why everyone doesn’t quite have it as bad as I do. Now mind you, that is all relative because there are millions of people in the world who have it much worse and don’t even take time to focus on how bad they have it. So in that vein, I have to suck it up.

In other news, I found so much research related to assimilation that my paper should actually be done today(not including the tidying up). Tonight I have to start my code, no ifs, ands, or friends who are also wide awake on facebook. One of my friends said that they envied me and I told them not to. I am not a person to envy. I have went through more fire in one lifetime than I could ever wish on a score of enemies.

Like, I still have time in my day to think about all of the ways that I don’t fit in and then my friends will tell me that fitting in is not important(but it is to me). So I spend a lot of time battling myself because I am yet again not getting it right. I know I am not supposed to get it right all of the time but I would like to try some of the time.

Some people would say that as Christians we aren’t supposed to complain, and there are so many things that I actually don’t complain about but I digress. It is so hard to try and be a good Christian or a better Christian because I am so much of a human. So I struggle and struggle and just can’t seem to get it right.

So I am here again, humbling searching for your truth about me and trying to get a glimpse of where you see my future. I am sure it will be bright because you are light. I continue to pray and seek your face over my desires. Thank you for keeping me from what just isn’t quite right for me and thank you for leading me on.

Shalom

Namaste

When Things Start To Look Up

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Hey blog peeps,

This week has been a busy one. My empirical analysis final draft is due on Monday(I have thirteen pages that I just have to tweak to grow to fifteen) and I have a new methods assignment due on Tuesday. I finally feel like things are happening and I am on the upside of the semester.

I had been really drained in social media because a lot of people want to dip their pinky toes into the discussion of race and I just got to this point where I can’t give anymore educations on race. I am not a teacher(at this moment in time). I treat people the way that I want to be treated and I hurt with those who hurt. That’s pretty much all that I can do.

This is one of the reasons why self-care is so important. If we are not recharging our energies in some way, we can’t help ourselves or others. One nice thing that has happened this week is that a lot of people have given me food. Not that I asked for it, they just offered and I accepted it.

I only have four weeks of this semester left and then my first year of doctoral work will be complete. I cannot believe it. I remember when being a doctoral student was just this pie in the sky idea that I had, now it is happening. So to everyone who is starting this journey or thinking about starting this journey, keep going and no matter what enjoy the journey.

I have a lot of older friends(who are near retirement age) and they always tell me to enjoy the journey. It is only when I take a moment to stop and smell the flowers do I actually put those words in action. So since I am trying to be kinder to myself, I am extending that kindness to others). Last night a good friend took me out to meet some band friends and then we did a little pub crawl(we drank ginger ale and fancy root beer). It was a blast! I haven’t had that much fun in a long time and I got to hear some great new music. A lot of people complimented me on my perfume(it was one I don’t really wear often but since I have a ton of perfume, I am trying to get into this habit of rotating them) anyway, the point is I said thank you and accepted the compliment.

This week has been employee appreciation at work and our bosses got us lunch for a few days(which is great for an always hungry veggie lover like myself). It is really nice to have people notice the work that you do. I haven’t been feeling that good so I have just been walking and I started back up my home weight circuit routine.

Well, the same way I just almost wrote five hundred words for this post, I have to go add five hundred to my paper 🙂

Shalom

Namaste

When Days Blend Into Each Other

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Hello blog viewers, readers, and people who just stumbled upon my little slice of the internet. Sorry that I haven’t posted but I have been swamped with homework and lack of sleep. Not the best combination in the world. I am turning in atleast one project today(thank goodness).

I just wanted to say thank you to all who have taken the time to check out my blog or just landed on it by accident. I am so humbled by the fact that people actually check out all of my ramblings. It is so cool to see that people from all over the world have checked it out at least once. I remember when I had just started and I had maybe three views. Now look! I am so grateful for all of you who have taken the time to offer comments, advice, and support through this journey.

The lack of sleep really got to me because I had deadlines and I was trying to do a million things at once instead of sleep which is not a good thing. So I have started to actually reach a stopping point and take some melatonin. That makes a huge difference, plus it also helps that I am just knocked out and I can’t do anything else lol. I have managed to exercise and run along the way which helps me get through the day. I get such a boost of energy from working out.

I was having a pity party last night when I took a break from projections and realized how lonely I am. My best friend doesn’t like it when I don’t speak about positive things(in fact most people in my life don’t) but with as much stuff that I actually stuff down(I am a stuffer of all problems and issues until tiny specks bubble to the surface), I have to let a little out sometimes.

I mean I get it, who really wants to hear about someone’s problems. Right,  I know and I do understand but what would life be like if we only presented our best side? Or is that what life is supposed to be like? Maybe that’s what I get wrong. So everyone knows that I am super single(that means single with no prospects in sight) and that can have some rough moments when you are in your thirties(yes even though my face may not tell you that, I am in fact in my thirties). Also, my nerd factor has gotten exponentially larger and that too doesn’t help because it just doesn’t lol.

So while you keep me in your prayers, keep all of the singles of the world in your prayers. We need it. It’s hard when you don’t have one person to pour life into and you overcompensate in all of your friendships in order to make a semblance of a comfort/happiness quotient. It’s like this error that I kept getting in my Principal Component Analysis about not being able divide by zero. When your singleness is a constant, you will eventually get tired of trying to divide by zero.

So what happens, you try and recalibrate and focus on everything else that you actually have in front of you and keep putting one foot in front of the other because at the end of the day, that is all that you can do. Also, listening to great music helps a lot. Thankfully I do have some movies to look forward to(the plan is to watch them this weekend).

For those of you in love or just testing the waters of love, embrace that person flaws and all, bask in the glow of the wonder that is joy in relationship and live life fully. Don’t take people for granted who are curious about your being. See them in the best light that they also see you in. Hold on tight because you never know when that light will be gone. It is best to enjoy the light versus a picture of the light.

I may be lonely but I know what happiness and real relationship are supposed to look like because I have seen it(sure through other people but still, it is real and true). Until I do get the opportunity to offer love and light back, I have to embrace my studies and find joy in every population pyramid(I still don’t feel like I have mastered them) but I don’t stop, I just keep going.

Shalom

Namaste

Tales From 24 Miles, An Abundance Of Gifts

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Hello blog buddies,

Over the weekend I ran a long run of 24 miles per my 50k training plan. It was wonderful because I was prepared. I am the proud owner of a pink camelbak(aka one I have wanted for years). It is amazing and a true gift for people who need to go the distance. It was cold and damp but I started out not over dressed. Then the temps went down and it started raining so I took a pit stop and got bundled up.

Well around mile 15, I saw the guy who stole my gloves and glasses a few weeks ago(I think I mentioned it). I asked him how he was enjoying my gloves and glasses. He was stunned and said that he still had them. He asked me if I would be running the  next day. I told him not to worry about it, to take my glasses to the vision center(so they could maybe be re purposed) and to give my gloves to someone who needed them. I also told him God bless. That my friends is called running karma. It is this magic state where the universe collides and you don’t care about things that once turned you into a crying, cursing raging fit, you just run and are thankful that you can run and you keep going.

Later that evening I met up with friends in recovery and we shared a great time at McDonald’s. That McDonald’s holds so many memories for my friends and I. It was nice to be able to treat people who treated me(you know how it is with friends, one gets for the other when they are low, and vice versa). Well, if you don’t know anything about that you need new friends lol. I have some of the greatest friends in the world because they never let me starve. When I am doing well(or when I have money on my food stamps), I always treat others. Because you never know. Also, because I know what it is like to go without(one time before I went to Alaska, I only ate crackers and water because I was that broke between times friends would treat me).

See, that’s why food insecurity will always have a place in my heart(and why I am so glad that I can write my dissertation about it) because I know what it is like to be food insecure because I am. Now mind you, I am thankful that I know how to budget and my brain is already trained to eat the same stuff over and over(thanks clean eating), so I make due. But my goodness it will be nice when I can just buy whatever I want from the store and not have to worry about what I am not buying or what I can’t buy at the moment.

Now this leads me to the 1,000 gifts. I just found out that I did the gifts wrong(there is a monthly schedule lol). So since it is a new month, I hope to follow this new schedule. For the almost two hundred gifts that I already wrote about, I plan to just add a little notion referring back to the Jan list). Yep, I’m weird like that.

Yesterday after church I was able to get some much needed rollers for my muscles(I didn’t realize how expensive foam rollers were), so I got a small one and a foot one with nubs on it. Well, they are working just fine. I got those for basically the price of one small foam roller.

I’m trying to be more mindful about my food(I know I talk about this all of the time) but I have a serious issue with sugar and white carbs. I’m just taking it a moment at a time. This morning I had a smoothie(homemade) and a cliff bar and they have lasted me a few hours). I have to run some errands so I am not sure what I am going to have for lunch. I was listening to a running podcast this morning on my walk and this guy mentioned how he had changed things up in his diet and how he had saw some positive changes. I also started a push up challenge(I hate pushups). I think the reason why I hate pushups is the fact that I have little to no upper body strength. It is a true challenge.

My best friend @amemoryleak asked about my assignment for class(I figure she is the only person who would want to hear about it lol) so here is the update. I looked at Non-Hispanic Black women and American Indian or Alaskan Native women causes of death for 2010. I had to create a multiple decrement life table for both groups. Basically, I found out that American Indian women and Non-Hispanic Black women have similar rates of death(per the leading causes). There were some points where American Indian women had higher rates of death. Non-Hispanic Black women have HIV as a leading cause of death while American Indian women’s cause of death at that same rate was due to pregnancy(ie died during childbirth). So I discussed the need for education and preventative measures for both groups in order to not only improve mortality outcomes but to also improve outcomes for the men of those populations as well.

I also found out that my dna kit finally made it to the lab so hopefully in a few weeks, I will get some much needed results. I hit the article mother load today regarding migration and food literature so I am pretty excited about that. For the month of January I ran/walked 239 miles. My goal is 2015 for the year. I know it probably doesn’t make a bunch of sense, but when you are obsessed with running, it makes total sense.

What are some gifts in your life today?

Shalom

Namaste

100 Gifts/Counting Gratitude

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Last  night I took the time to actually count my blessings and I came up with one hundred. I was so thankful to even have the opportunity to do it. What a great gift, to offer gratitude and thankfulness for what we have been given. Today I woke up in a great mood. I went for a walk(I was able to run a little). It was awesome to see the sun out against the backdrop of the morning. Tomorrow I have a long run(24 miles) which I will probably be breaking up.

Today I am taking it easy. Just putting the finishing touches on my life tables(they look great). Then I will start my fertility assignment(we get to use the same populations). I am looking at African American women and American Indian/Alaskan Native women. It has definitely been interesting and I can’t wait to see what else I learn.

I have been thinking about going gluten free(because I probably need to) so I am going to try and wean myself off of what I already have at home(aka eat everything in my fridge). Well shall see how it goes. This morning I finished the last of my cereal. Its so funny how I can give up somethings so easily and others things it is such a challenge. I think I will go grocery shopping later(to stock up on fresh fruit and veggies).

In other news, I found out that another student dropped out of our program(I was shocked but I guess that would explain our last interaction). So last night in class, someone decided to put bets on who would leave next. I told the person that if they transferred, they could just keep their money. Graduate school is stressful, doctoral programs are stressful. That’s just the nature of the beast. Who knows why people decide to make the decisions that they do, but I am not going to put someone down because of it. I just get sad because I will miss those people. I think that my cohort is a tad competitive but just like in running, I am only in competition with myself. Each day, I want to be better than I was the day before.

Where are you looking for gratitude?

Shalom

Namaste

Getting Still and Doing The Hard Stuff

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Yesterday I excitedly received in the mail two great reads. One was Heather Lindsey’s “Dusty Crowns” which I devoured and had only one quibble with(she told women not to go natural for the sake of their marriages) and the other was Ann Voskamp’s 1,000 Gifts devotional(which is epic). I got to see some family that I haven’t seen in a really long time and that was a blast. But before all of that happened, a few other things happened. Sorry if this is jumbled.

I don’t know what happened but I decided that I was going to talk to someone about possibly getting an assistantship (since I don’t currently have that opportunity). I was asked how I was liking the program and I mentioned that I liked it but I would like it more if I had funding. Well, I was so proud of myself for asking about it. I then submitted the materials that I needed. Then I got an email about a summer internship in Washington,DC(basically my dream job). Then I got scared. On the one hand I am super excited and on the other hand I am nervous and I feel like why me. But the real question is why not me? So I am updating my resume and submitting the required documentation to find out what happens next. That way, I can always say that I tried. I talked to a few friends about it and they were very encouraging. I think that is probably a friend requirement.

Then I went home and couldn’t sleep. So I ironed clothes and watched a few movies. Well, apparently it was a good thing I ironed because this morning I got more than a few compliments on how put together I look. Well, I am wearing heels too. I usually just wear boots of all varieties(because I get cold easily and boots solve most problems in Texas).

Then I cracked open Ann’s book and it is all about gratitude and looking at all the ways that we are blessed. Its like a gratitude cornucopia. So I am going to take the time to pray and think about all the ways that I am blessed. I actually started last night before I went to bed(at some odd hour of the morning) which I think helped a lot.

Then I woke up and went for a run/walk and met up with some good friends. That is always nice. I ate some dark chocolate for breakfast(I’m blaming the doughnuts I ate yesterday). I hope to do better at lunch. Now to catch up on some reading. Thank you for taking the time to wade through my ramblings. I hope you have a great day.

What would you do, if you knew that the answer would be yes?

Shalom!
Namaste

Focusing on Prayer

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Yesterday The Single Woman(TSW) posted a prayer on Twitter. It was as follows: God, please protect my heart, show me anything I need to see, and remove anyone from my life who doesn’t belong there. Amen. Short and simple and to the point. In the new year I always try to refocus on what God may be trying to tell me or trying to do in my life(because sometimes I am not as aware or tuned in). One way to be able to focus is to have as minimal distraction as possible especially from energy drainers or people who just aren’t moving forward with me.

Over the holidays my family gifted me with some much needed prayer journals. I also ordered a couple of devotionals(I really like devotionals to help keep me on track when I just can’t think of what I need to focus on for quiet time). I know that I have a few devotionals in my storage but I will have to get to them when I can.

Anyway, yesterday’s devotional reading discussed God’s pursuit of us(like what were the moments in your life where you knew that God was pursuing you). I feel like God has been pursuing me since my conception. No matter how far I think I have gotten away from the Lord, He is always there waiting for me and loving me just as much as before. Because His love never fails(*cue the worship song* “Your love never fails, it never gives up, it never runs out on me”). That is such an awesome concept and how so do we need to extend this love to ourselves and others. Sometimes I spend so much energy beating myself up or putting myself down that it seems as if I am beyond loveable but in reality God’s love is more powerful than any noise I can imagine.

So I am taking simple steps to breathe and connect with the source of my strength. That is what helps guide me through the wonderful, interesting journey called life. When I think about the moments and breathe in and out, things seem to work out just the way they are supposed to.

Today’s devotional discussed the things that we put up that block us in essence from the sunlight of the spirit. Those times when we tell God that we know more than He does and we can do it all on our own. That was huge for me. Given the right moment, I can use anything and everything to keep me from hearing what God is actually saying. Its pride and ego plain and simple. Those moments when I think anything and everything else is more important than stopping, praying and reading the Word in order to find out what my next step should be or how I should actually handle a situation. I also use those handy moments of perfectionism and judgement that make me think that I am all powerful and that I am the best thing ever when in reality, I am only who and where I am because of God’s generous grace and mercy. These reminders help to reduce my ego and reframe my thoughts to God and His will. Do I have all of the answers for how and why God works in our lives and in the world around us, no but thank goodness I don’t have to either. Prayer is a huge reducer of ego, it is a time in space where we say “I don’t run anything, I am nothing without you”. This also extends to the grace that we have to show others.

Am I bitter and sad at my stumbling attempts at having a relationship sure. But I have no reason to be bitter towards those guys who didn’t want to have a relationship with me because it just wasn’t meant to be. I have to extend grace to them by praying for them and just quietly disappearing from the situations that I have found myself in so that I can regroup and move on. It is so much easier to move on when I don’t have a ton of emotions and heart invested due to unrealistic expectations. I am still a work in progress but atleast I am working the kinks out through prayer 🙂

So here’s to new growth in the new year!

Shalom

Namaste

Living Big

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     Hey beautiful blog readers. I hope you had a wonderful MLK day. I’ve been thinking a lot about life and legacy and honoring those who have gone before.
     I took it easy today. I tried to soak in each moment that I was given. I tried to be kind to the world.
     The online dating world is still an adventure. I was supposed to go on a date but it was politely postponed for later on in the week. Yes, I’m excited on the inside. Yes, I’m trying to play it cool on the outside. So you know what that means,  more prayer. Also, I’m not going to let myself settle. I will probably give more details as life unfolds. Here’s something nice: “Your laugh makes me smile”. See isn’t that nice.
     I finished reading Zach Sobiech’s story. What a wonderful example of life lived to the fullest. So I want to be more purposeful in all that I do. Also requires more prayer.
     My first 25k is this weekend. I’m excited and a little nervous. I hope it goes well. Life is more fun when lived fully.
   Shalom!
    Namaste

Letter To A First Year

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Congratulations! You have just been accepted to the wildest ride of your life. Make sure your seatbelt is tight, you are in for something you have never experienced before. Here are somethings to keep in mind.
1. No one wants to hear your opinion.  Even when you are asked what you think, no one wants to really know or hear what you think.
2. Keep your head up anyway.
The powers that be who selected you to be in this program did so for a reason. Maybe you will find out when you graduate.
3. Focus on your work.
Use all of your planners and calendars. They will be a good reference point when your days run together. They will also be helpful to keep track of assignments.
4. Get your work done early.
If you have the opportunity,  stay on top of your assignments and turn them in early.
5. Ask for help.
Even if you think a person will not help you, ask anyway. They may have just wanted you to ask first.
6. Try not to take things personally.
Yes, there are people who do not want you to succeed,  do it anyway. If it doesn’t move you forward,  don’t engage.
7. Your life has changed.
You can’t take things for granted. You are in a steep learning curve,  so you have to be prepared for it.
8. Read
Yes,  you have a lot to read. Read it as long as it takes to understand it, then read it again.
9. Write
Yes, you have to write in a new style. Keep writing until you get the hang of it and write some more.
10. Share with your support system.
No they won’t understand you all of the time but they can help you stay strong while you are going through it.
11. Laugh
You have to laugh to stay sane.
12. Cry
Crying is healing.  Let it out(not in class) but in a safe place. Even if its just a bathroom. You are going to cry a lot and for different reasons. That’s okay. If anyone else was in your position,  they would cry too.
13. Stay strong
God has the ultimate plan and purpose for your life. This is just a new step in the journey.
14. Be grateful
This is an opportunity. Things could and have been much worse. This too shall pass. Think about the good and the future.

Just some notes for myself and anyone going through it.
Shalom
Namaste