vote. please vote.

I’m having mixed emotions today. I’m filled both with shame and pride. You see today is election day, and the root of my sentimental conflict comes from this statement: 

This is my first time voting. 

I’ve been ‘of age’ for almost seven years now and I repeat, this is my first time voting. There is a freedom in this country of which I had not taken advantage, until today. Let me just say, as a first timer, it is one of the most empowering things I have ever done. 

It wasn’t the action of filling in bubbles next to my selections (I’d done that for 16 years) or even handing my sealed envelope to the smiling woman at the library around the corner that fueled my pride. Believe it or not, it was the sticker. 

Yes, just as my two-year-old grins with excessive cheese while placing a colorful adhesive on her chest, so did I with a red, white and blue oval. You guys know I can’t help but be deep, so allow me to explain my thought process. 

Just decades ago, people protested and fought, desperate to have their voices heard — to have laws changed, leaders elected because of what mattered to them. Black people, female people…my people. 

I’ve come up with every excuse in the last few years not to vote, and honestly, each one fails to the hope of possibly having my opinions represented. 

My generation is notorious for that ‘being heard’ concept. We’re also equally noted for our lack of participation on days like today. We snap, tweet, post and update our bold opinions daily on social media. It’s great, but ineffective if not complemented with casting a ballot. 

I cringe to think of the possibility that the state of our country is a result of my nonexistent say.

“They won’t listen unless you speak where you’re heard.”

That’s a pretty dope quote I just thought of myself. And with it, I’ll conclude by saying what they all say: Vote. Please vote.  

*****

Some of you know I started this blog to document the moments in my life that remind me of God’s promises. I call those moments rainbows, so here’s the rainbow.

Although imperfect, the nation I live in is free. It brings to mind a greater, complete freedom that I live in each day. 

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”

2 Cor. 3:17

our first date

“I’ll be a living…sanctuary..for..you.” 

I tried to control the heaviness of my breath as the lyrics ended, my lips kissing the bridge of Aliyah’s nose. She was asleep. Thank God. 

I crouched down to the floor, feeling for the skinny stretch maternity jeans and salmon one-shoulder top I envisioned wearing while completing my daughter’s bedtime routine. I threw on some deodorant and the body spray I found in the side pocket of our suitcase and ran out of the house.

It was 10:30 and the movie started in 10 minutes, but still he took the time to open my door. He forced his lips together in efforts to cover the cheesy smile on his face. I boasted my all-teeth smile unashamed to admit what we were both thinking: this was a big deal!

Check out our trip to Ohio!Our drive to the theater seemed to fly by, my heart rate admitting fault for speeding up the ETA assigned by Google maps. The movie, Jurassic World, was surprisingly good — although my review would have to take a backseat to another made by someone who wasn’t holding hands with the cutest guy in the room/state/nation/world! 

I’ll save you from reading all my wifey feels and get to the point: we went on a date!

No babies, no friends, no bibles…(you tend to make a date night out of anything when you’re parents). So what? You’re married, why is a date such a big deal? Well, as I sit here writing, reminiscing about that time I spent with my best friend, I realize it may very well have been our first date of 2018. 

****

I’m reminded so strongly of the advice we constantly received during our engagement. 

“Make sure you go on a date at least once a week.” 

There were several variations of that same sentiment with specific regulations for what constituted a “date”. I believe each of those comments/suggestions were made in genuine love and solid wisdom, but the reality is we haven’t followed that rule. At all. 

There’s no room for judgment here because I know the status of my marriage. I know how much our love for one another has increased this year, despite our failure to follow the formula set by friends and counselors. It’s almost as if we’ve chosen to walk in the bountiful grace made available to us in this season rather than acting as accusers, condemning our relationship because of a law that’s impossible to fulfill (at least right now). 

We’re busy parents of (almost) two kids, working on saving for our future. We spend hours out each week as a family and even more time Netflix and chilling at home when Aliyah is asleep. The investment in our relationship may not look like it did before but it’s there.   

****

Here’s the rainbow (a reminder of God’s promise) I caught on our date:  

“God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.” Ephesians 2:8

There are laws in Christianity, rules that are designed to keep us close to God. But it’s possible to spend more time focused on following the rules than following His heart. We can get caught up in thinking our own actions determine our salvation status when ultimately obeying the handbook to heaven is impossible for our flawed humanity.

I’m glad all God sees when He looks at me is not my lack but His amazing grace.

First Things Come First

Can my new year start like tomorrow?

I fell asleep on the couch with my teething child last night, I have a pile of unfinished work that was supposed to be done Thursday and I haven’t shaved my legs since like last year (please just laugh). I chose to do laundry over my first morning run, upgraded my Dr. Pepper to a large at Chick-Fil-A and I just placed the softest homemade snickerdoodle cookie* on my ever-protruding gut so I could type.

Today is the second day of the new year and I haven’t even written down one resolution. The fact that I’m writing this post a day late says it all.

This morning I wondered if I was the only one slacking this year. Why this year of all years, when I have the most responsibilities, have I not taken the time to get my life together before the start of 2017.

I looked up the definition of resolution (as in New Year’s Resolution) according to Google. It’s pretty obvious: a firm decision to do or not do something.

We climbed a mountain** today and I realized I do have a resolution. It’s the same resolution I had two days ago and it’ll be the same twenty years from now. My goal is to follow Christ. I made a firm decision years ago to do that and I’m doing it.

And although it may not feel like it at times, my life is together.

I’ll eventually get my body back (somewhat) and figure out how to eat right. I’ll learn how to work more efficiently and finally find time to start writing novels. But I’ve got to have my priorities straight.

This new year has come with a lot of changes. My family and I moved back to California. My husband and I are starting new jobs, which means I won’t be with my sweet baby 24/7 </3.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited for what’s ahead. But first things come first.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” ~ Matthew 6:33

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!

 

*My sister made the cookie. If I were to have made them, they would be crunchy and store bought.

**Mt Rubidoux in Riverside. It’s actually more like a hill with a paved walkway, but a girl has got to start somewhere, right?

 

Catching Rainbows

Hey there, welcome to my blog!

I’ve always wanted to blog, but could never find the time. With work and school and the husband, I noticed myself drifting from my true passion: telling people’s stories. But then graduation came (bye school) and then my baby came (bye work) and the blessing of journalism came knocking on my door.

So let’s get to it!

I’ve recently been inspired by the story of Noah’s Ark in the Bible. It’s a phenomenal record of a man whose uniqueness really paid off. However, it’s not the adventure on the boat that drove me to the keyboard. It was the symbol at the end – the rainbow. The colorful arch served as a promise from God, His first promise.

Life is full of God’s promises and as busy humans we tend to lose sight of them. The great thing is, if you’re one of His kids, you don’t even have to chase them. They chase you and all you have to do is catch. This blog is a compilation of the people, places and things that remind me of the promises of God.

Perhaps it’ll help us all live our lives Catching Rainbows.