Category Archives: Faith

2016 Gratitude


    Hey y’all! I just wanted to post some good stuff. With all that is going on in the world, I don’t think positive vibes hurt anything.
In line with the year of yes, I accepted a super cool job. My family is proud of me. My friends want me around. I am doing well in my classes.
     I know that doesn’t sound much but it means a lot to me.     No I haven’t met the great love of my life yet but I still manage to smile at the world. I’m trying to be the change that I want to see in the world and on most days, I think I’m on the right track.
    It seems like everyday I have an epiphany about something and I’m humbled. I know that my journey is only through the help and strength of a ton of angels on Earth.
    I got to hear my sponsor’s experience, strength, and hope tonight and I know that God blessed me with her awesome example of living life on life’s terms. I have had the opportunity to hear so much wisdom from my professors and I’m blessed to learn from them.
    So I’m just a bundle of gratitude because when we talk about the promises, I know that I didn’t envision anything that even remotely looks like my life today.
   I’m grateful for you taking the time to read my roller coaster of a blog.
Thank you!

2016When God Says No


Hey blog readers. Hope you are doing well. I am actually doing pretty well(that’s an understatement) but I want to discuss a few things that are on my mind. Let’s just say that 98% of life is going well for me right now. It’s the other 2% that I am still processing.

So, I know that I talk a lot about mi vida loca particularly when it comes to guys and relationships. What I am about to say, just pile it on top of the loca hot mess pile called Gemma’s love life(aka no life). Let me tell you a story. It’s true. Names are being protected to spare the guilty. Okay, so here it goes. A long time ago(over a year ago), I met someone. Let’s call that someone Mr. Fire. Just go with it. Mr. Fire is nice, charming, handsome, and would potentially fit the list of good on paper. Mr. Fire asks me for my number, which I give to him. Mr. Fire calls me. Mr. Fire texts me. Mr. Fire emails me. Mr. Fire always checks for me. Mr. Fire takes me out to a bookstore where we have interesting conversation because that’s what you do with Mr. Fire. Let’s fast foward to a more recent time. A friend mentions, Oh, Mr. Fire is married. I’m like Oh, okay. That’s interesting because Mr. Fire has never 1)worn a wedding ring 2)spoke of a wife 3)mentioned being married and this is why Mr. Fire is Mr. Fire.

Let’s just say this is where God steps in. Because in recovery we talk about God doing for us what we cannot do for ourselves. Well, God showed up and out. It was finally revealed that yes indeed Mr. Fire is married(with kids) and that’s how you know God speaks through people. So, what did I do? I deleted Mr. Fire out of my phone and tried not to explode when everyone that I mentioned it to, put the onus on me and what I did or didn’t do. Because apparently, men can do no wrong, even when they are dead wrong and everything will always be my fault. For the record, I never did anything tawdry with Mr. Fire.

In another weird turn of events, an old acquaintance(like someone I know of) saw me and asked me about my ex(because people who remember us together only know how to ask me about him for some reason). Well, he said that my ex is back and closer than before. So I have been trying not to freak out(I’ve been praying about it) because my head is like “Yep, he wants to kill me”. People close to me have told me that maybe he has changed(which is possible). But I just don’t even want to see him.

I got Mandy Hale’s new book and she talks about not dating for a year(which is something that I keep telling God about or rather He keeps telling me that that is basically the situation). I’m not sad about it, I just wish that I could just be completely turned off(if that makes sense). Like, no crushes, no nothing.

Thanks for reading


2016 The Year Of Being Open To Life


Hey blog readers and viewers. I hope you are having a great new year so far. I know I am. I told God and the universe that I wanted to be open and a lot of good things have come my way.
     I had two interesting job interviews this week. I hope to hear a good word soon. Classes started back in my doctoral program. I don’t think I have been more excited about a semester. Anxiety aside, things are looking up. People are showing interest in my research. I’m getting amazing feedback and that’s great fuel to keep writing.
     I renewed my gym membership so now I have to go. I’m going swimming tomorrow. I have been getting in some good workouts.
     I met someone. I know it’s early but it is so interesting. We are getting to know each other. We spend time talking. He seems to be into me. Which is surprising. I already laid down the law. He knows where I stand. So even though things feel great, I’m still waiting for the other shoe to drop. I think he is intrigued because I’m not looking to hookup. I’m also very honest.
     We are using SAS this semester and I had to get another laptop and amazingly found one for just my price and all I need. I’m calling it an early birthday/dissertation gift.
     I feel like I’m in a really good place at the moment and that’s great. One funny thing is that now that I found someone to be interested in, all of these other people that I was interested in before have all made a point to reach out to me. One day I was thinking about how many guys may still have my number in their phones. I know that’s an odd thought.
     But whatever happens, it’s nice to have someone to think fondly of and know that someone is thinking about me too.
Well I better try and get some sleep.
May your tomorrow bring even more joy than today 🙂

2016 Defending The Reality Of Poverty


So for those who may or may not know, I quit my job a few weeks ago. It wasn’t because I was like oh hey I don’t need a job anymore. There were some changes going on at my job and due to a lack of communication(which was continually documented) and having to rely on the bus as my mode of transportation, I had to quit my job. Everyone knew this, no one was left the dark, they just chose to act surprised when it happened.

So I applied for unemployment(as we all have a right to do). When you apply for unemployment benefits, you have to have an interview which requires you to answer questions related to your case. Well, the interviewer asked me questions related to my commute and related to my mode of transportation. First I had to break down my actual commute by time and miles. Second, I had to reiterate that these proposed times were never concrete. Then, the interviewer  asked me how long I had been without a car.

For the record, I have not had a car since 2010. Not because I don’t want one. Not because I can’t drive. Not because I don’t have a license, but because I cannot afford a car. So my main mode of transportation is the bus. Which works pretty well during the day but some sort of switch flips at night and it is only good in certain parts of town. Our city is shaped like  a wagon wheel and most of the buses only cater to four sections of the wheel.

At the end of the interview, the interviewer mentioned that not having a reliable mode of transportation would hinder my unemployment benefits. Which made me think that many, many poor people are unable to access their unemployment benefits because of the fact that they are too poor to afford a car.

It also brought up the usual of people who have never been in poverty not being able to understand the reality of what it means to be in poverty. Yesterday a friend had to drive to my place to leave a note for me about this interview because there was no way to reach me without my phone. All of these things add up and don’t help those who are already down on their luck.

Here’s to new jobs in the New Year 🙂


2016 That Birthday Year


As I was thinking about 2016, it came to my attention that this is the year I turn 35. I know, I will probably tell people that I am turning 25 again but this is it. I have been worried about turning 35 since I was probably 25. Throughout my life, the world has told us so many things about 35. What is supposed to happen, what life is supposed to look like, and where you are supposed to be.

Well, surprise, surprise, I am not any of those things. I am not married to some awesome guy who is the love of my life. I don’t have those wonderful kids that I dreamed of. I’m not working in the awesome job of my dreams either. I said all of that to say that life is hard and tricky when you have a plan for how you think it should go and reality tells you otherwise.

The other day a friend told me that guys do not like girls who are doing more than they are(such as having big goals and trying to chase after them). We have all been told that guys who want to have children don’t want to have them with women who are 35. Also, we know the fertility stats for women once they hit 35.

So, this is quite the recipe for bitterness, depression, and wondering why I even have to be 35 at all. But you know what, I will choose to focus on the good things in my life. Yes, I do have big goals but what would a great life be without achieving our goals? No, I am not a spring chicken but I still know how to do the chicken dance. Also, no matter how depressing my life may seem, I have to have bigger hope that I will have good things in my future.

As I move into this new year, I hope to have more growth than fear and more joy than envy. I have to keep praying and know that I don’t have all of the answers for where my life will take me, I only have to be ready for the ride. I know that I have great friends along on this journey with me and if it leads to meeting Mr. Wonderful, fantastic, but if it doesn’t, I can’t dwell on it.

Here’s to birthday cake 😀

2016 Potential and Possibilities


Hey blog readers and viewers, looks like we made it to 2016. You may be wondering how 2016 will be different than 2015. You may be wondering if 2016 will be better than 2015. The answer to these questions is: As of this moment, I don’t know. I hope that things will be different. I hope that things will be better. But I know that this can only happen when I focus on changes that I need to make in order to have better outcomes.

I am doing my best to keep a positive outlook on things and that includes minimizing negative energy(I may not be able to eliminate it but I can definitely minimize how much of it I allow myself to be consumed by). Negative energy is draining and I want to be a source of positive energy so I believe that you get back what you put into the world so I am attempting to put more positivity in the atmosphere.

I haven’t made any resolutions for the New Year but I do have goals. Last year I had a huge list of goals and when I looked back over them, I had accomplished half of them. I was quite surprised if I do say so myself. So the plan is to continue working on the other goals in order to accomplish them. I know it sounds simple, but it requires work and dedication. Also, I believe that we have to have not only faith in ourselves, but faith in our goals(that they are achievable).

One part to achieving a goal is making a plan. I made a workout plan(for most of 2016, a meal plan, and of course a training plan for my running). These are things that I have done before but seeing them written down really did something to me, it made me excited. So before the new year hit, I had racked a few days under my belt of consistency.

I always make plans to read through the Bible in a year but I really don’t like reading the book of Genesis( I know that sounds horrible but hear me out), I think the first couple chapters of Genesis are quite dry, they are pretty much in my brain and I just struggle with getting through them consistently. Well, I am praying that I get through it. I will keep you posted.

Last semester I had the awesome experience of writing the first and second drafts of my dissertation proposal. I know right!? I couldn’t believe it either, until I did it and did it again. Well, now I am working on the first draft of my dissertation seeing it in full draft form is a wonder in itself. I am so excited about it. I am just glad to be on the right track.

Next week classes begin for the second semester of my second year of doctoral work. I feel like I am ready for it and I look forward to what the new semester brings. I have worked very hard to brush up on my coding for my stats and I am really excited about it.

Well, here’s to a great year!



Where is your home?


In a few of my classes we have discussions about place, neighborhoods, and communities and their effects on the lives of those who live there. It made me think about where I live, where I have lived, and what I consider to be home. Well, for those who know me, anytime I roll up in a friend’s house, I consider it home. Your family becomes my family, you become part of my family. It is good stuff all around. So here we go.

I was born in Harrisburg, PA. My Aunt tells me that it was during a storm of some sort. I will take her word for it.

I moved to Roanoke,VA and went to HeadStart for a bit(I have a memory of HeadStart). I started Kindergarten at Fairview Elementary School with Ms. White who literally looked like Snow White. I also went to first grade there. My first grade teacher was Ms. Leah who was tall and very smart.

I moved to Taylor,Michigan before second grade started. I went to Eurekadale Elementary School. I lived here until I was sixteen years old. So pretty much most of my life was spent here. I was always an outsider and I never really fit in. My parents forced me to socialize with people and that’s how I made friends. Some of my dearest friends from Taylor are still my friends today and I love them dearly. I still love and miss my old best friend but what can I say about that. During the Spring of my junior year was the first time I attempted suicide. I had gotten into an argument with my dad about sports and I had decided that I would just kill myself. So my dad being the person that he was, handed me a knife. He didn’t say anything as I attempted to end the emotional pain that I was in. Don’t worry, I didn’t cut deep enough.

In the end of my junior year I moved to Frederick,MD where I attended Frederick High School. I made a small group of friends here who I didn’t have a chance to keep up with but I know they are all doing amazing things in the world because they started AP classes years before I did.

On the way to Texas I lived in Virginia.

Once I made it to Texas I came to San Antonio. I completed my senior year in San Antonio. I attended James Madison High School where I only had friends who were Freshman. The students in my honors and AP classes hated me and everything that I stood for because I was new. I did make friends my age at church. These friends did the best they could because I was super awkward. They may have felt it was their Christian duty to be my friend, I am not sure.

After I graduated high school, I had plans to go into the Army but I decided I would go to college. I went to Faith Baptist Bible College in Ankeny, IA where I didn’t fit in either. I made a wonderful group of friends who tried their best to love me and prayed for me a ton. During the fall, I decided to go to the Army as originally intended. I landed at Ft. Jackson and the Army decided that Army life was not for me. I went back to Bible College. That spring was the second time I attempted suicide. Again in a moment of fear and just frustration, I decided that I wasn’t serving a purpose in the world and thought that I could poison myself and get it over with. Well, God and the universe thought different and I survived.

At the end of my freshman year of college I went back to Texas. I stayed in Texas for eight years. I attempted to grow up during this time in my life. It didn’t really work.

After ended a job, I moved to South Korea for work. I learned a lot. I made some great friends.

I went back to Texas for a bit.

I took a job in Alaska that I really enjoyed. It was temp so I found another job in Alaska. I could not wait to get back to Texas because I thought things would be different. They weren’t. I have currently been in Texas for five years but I tell people that I have lived here for fifteen.

So I always struggle when people ask me where I’m from. When they look at me, they know that I am not from Texas but they don’t quite know where that place is. The funny thing is I don’t know either.

I usually just call Taylor home because that is where I lived the longest. But I sleep the best at my sister’s house(wherever that happens to be at the moment thanks to Army life).

Where do you call home?