Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Not Sure

I'm not really sure what to do anymore. I kind of wonder, years ago, if I took a different route what my life would look like right now. Even a year ago, if I didn't make that stupid decision of staying in California, would I be happier now? Would I have been as in tune with what my heart desires? I'm not even sure what my heart desires now except to be smarter in every adult realm of my life. I mean, where would I have been if I stayed in the DMV? I cannot fathom the type of woman I would have been but I can't say for sure if I would have been happy. I wouldn't have experienced a new array of people I know now. I am fortunate for these experiences, but I cannot deny the fact that my decision was mostly based on a possibility. Possibilities << Uncertainties.

I am still figuring this life thing out...I think the only element that can help me is really...the element: Jesus. I just need a refreshment in my soul.

Monday, August 19, 2013

If God is for you, who can be against you?

Tomorrow is my exam. I realize that this is an opportunity for me to not only get over a trial but to go from glory to glory. Ever since I was a little girl, I would, approach an exam with such intense fear. Normally anything dealing with math would freeze me up (ironic...I do math and science for a living but just the idea).

And, I recall the type of negative thoughts my pastor, Suky, would address herself (and in turn Jesus just started asking her questions) when faced with the dilemma (the dilemma: that not a lot of people would be at church to listen to her preach):

Jesus: You want to bring this to me? Do you want to walk out your talk?
Suky: Sure.
J: So, here's how you feel. What's really true?
S: I feel like you want me to speak and *pouts* nobody is going to be there and it won't be powerful!
J: Ok so what's true?
S: It doesn't matter who's there. The reason I'm speaking is because of you. If I have a message, who needs to hear it will hear it. Jesus you are the reason I live and I am your mouthpiece and I'm not responsible of what's received and how its received.  Its not my job.
J: So which do you choose to believe, but now you know the truth so what do you CHOOSE to believe?

The next step is ACTION. Repentance is just STOP doing it...its not just saying I'm just sorry. But don't even think about those negative thoughts. Don't let that sadness marinate and get big again. Sometimes we SHARE with people what upsets us but then you get all upset all over again.

Lets not do that. And honestly this brings me back to a place to surrender the big and mall things to Christ. When I'm worried or frustrated I just have to fall and tell Jesus everything. Pouring out my heart and being honest about those things and choosing to leave them there. CHOOSING to let God come into that space that I need Him to come to.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Figuring Out Purpose

I've been battling with my inner self for years. My sister called me this morning at 6:30AM. To talk about my fears of the future. GREAT way to start the morning? Really, she called to apologize because she forgot what it was like to be a twenty something year old woman trying to pay her bills, live on her own, go to school, and ultimately being unsure of the future. I got off the phone laughing at how ridiculous I was being because I did lack some faith. God took me this far. I was able to obtain my physics degree when I thought I wouldn't. I was able to get into a graduate program when I thought I also wouldn't. And now, this being my second year, I am at a place where I could continue or discover what really makes my heart tick. I have been looking in Nike Engineering, Under Armor, and Speedo as places to work at. I've look at their job descriptions in hopes of discovering what I might like to do.

I love being athletic, fashion savvy, and technical. I want to utilize these skills all together. What caught my attention during my phone conversation with my sister was her comment: "God gave you all those skills, passions, and the tools to pursue what you are designed to do. So do it." And I feel like its been a sin to NOT do what I KNOW what is RIGHT to do (James 4:17  "The man who has knowledge of how to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.") I am not saying I have the knowledge to do these things but I think I know how to go about it. I've been researching and really trying to connect with some of these people to see if this is the career for me. Something not overly creative but still technical. Something that would require some athletic skills in the mix. Health conscious and yet fun. I wouldn't say I would thoroughly enjoy it because it is the unknown and the unknown is scary. But once I start walking in the steps that God has ordered for me, I believe that I will be at ease.

This morning after my morning talk with my older sis, I decided to read into Exodus 5-8. Moses was intimate with the Father and was able to receive insight and direction on how to face Pharaoh. Perhaps in my life, Pharaoh is my own negative mind. I have to tell my mind to shut up and believe the WORD of God. To let me get ahold of my dreams and to let me free.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Lean in and take a seat at the table

Sheryl Sandberg's book, Lean In, has challenged me the past couple of weeks in June when my older sister handed me the book to read in a Marriot Hotel parking lot in Minneapolis, Minnesota. We were there to attend my little brother's high school graduation, that not only sprung up debate on where he would attend college and what he would major in. I relished in my memories of my Howard University days, where I would gravitate towards the Yard on a spring afternoon with my Calculus book propped up on my lap trying to do that nights homework assignment. There that memory stayed where I realized I missed that college experience. The Howard University bubble was where I could be this creative cookie whom majored in a hard science but loved to work on my minor in the Fine Arts department. Oh-Howard, how you challenged me to dare to be different!

However, as I kept reading into Sandberg's book in my sister's front seat of her car in that hotel parking lot, I stumbled on this quaint question: What would you do if you weren't afraid? WHOA. Did that scare me more than ever! I mean, here I thought I was actually doing something that I was afraid of: studying physics! Until I realized that, no, physics is hard BUT it ISN'T the thing I would do if I wasn't afraid. It's more like my fallback. If I wasn't afraid I would take my Nike design idea seriously. I would search for a masters program in Industrial or Material Design or Engineering than the obvious Masters in Physics. [Really, who does a masters in physics anyway?]

I returned the book reluctantly to my sister before we parted ways the end of the week. She told me to rent the book out from the local library.

TWO HUNDRED AND FOURTY SIX HOLDS LATER, I get a hold of the Lean In book from the public library. Dude - is everybody trying to read this book? Of course! It was a two month wait for the book but it is worth it. I feel like Sheryl is reading into my soul...scary. I had so many questions about, "What if I hate my job?", "Do I have to be the God-send for women in STEM?" and the infamous, "I feel so inadequate because my male peers make it seem they are better than me because social norms have made it seem like this forever!" I mean, Sandberg addressed all these issues and more! I cannot say she is the Jesus of the career industry. Of course not! But she is one to address the problems that some women didn't even know existed within themselves.

Women in any industry cut themselves short because of their OWN fears. I cannot speak for everyone but I can speak for myself. I believe God has given me a sound mind, body, and soul to achieve whatever mission He has for me. And I have to admit, that this is a relief that I am not the only woman who thinks of all these questions! I'm glad someone faced them and is continuing to face them! Additionally, I love how transparency can be someone else's breakthrough.

Go Sandberg go!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Dear Daddy

Dear Daddy,

Perhaps, I need some rest. It's already past my bedtime and I'm here overthinking my test. Yes, that test...you know, the test with five questions with various subtopics that should have analyzed whether or not I learned the material or not. But to be honest Father, I am so upset. I'm upset that there were things that I could have done better. There was something I could have done to show my competency. But I doubted myself. How come I don't believe in my abilities. I admit, I believe in your abilities more than mine. I believe that you can push for me, but me - I don't even try...to even let that happen. Professor L said, "You need to believe more in yourself...just trust yourself. I'm giving you a second chance." Father, I can't mess this up. And this whole time, I doubted myself. I doubted myself so much that I would sit and put tiny writing in my paper. I would overanalyze instead of thinking for myself. How could I? And here I thought I was doing what was right. I'm wrong - yes I know it. Father, forgive me. I need you. I'm lost without you. I'm so sad without you. I need you so much more than I can ever understand. My heart and soul cannot be involved with THIS place anymore. No longer should I be rooted in my performance. I just need you. I'm tired of this life that says, "Do this do that. Obtain this degree obtain that degree." Daddy, release me from people pleasing. Release me from wanting to outperform anyone or anything. Just grant me peace. I know I'm dead wrong...I'm just in need of a savior. Because trust me, I need some saving.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Battle Against Depression

The Lord has been so gracious and good to me. That I will note, first and foremost. However, I will go back to the beginning of the semester and express and reveal my own battle with depression.

Earlier this semester, I started the semester out really strong. I had begun working out, cooking healthy meals, sleeping earlier, and praying/reading my Word. As the semester kept going, I realized that one of my courses just blew me away. I was lost in the material, however, I kept pushing it back. I believed that I would eventually get it together. Well, I went to a family members wedding in February and after that, depression kicked its ugly tail after March. I spoke to my professor and he was worried about my performance. Now at this point, I had a study group that I may not have been 100% keen on but I made it my business to meet with them twice a week. Then one of my group member's family member died and the other group member was in his own world. So I felt alone. I felt that I had to tackle this whole thing on my own.

Well, that was the mistake. I did NOT seek immediate help from the Lord. I kind of shoved everything off on the side day by day. I stopped working out, stopped eating right, stopped sleeping early, and fell into a DEEP depression. I mean, REALLY deep. I considered hurting myself numerous occasions due to the amount of stress I was going through. There were no words to explain the hurt and pain I felt each morning I woke up. It felt as though this huge burden was over my heart, mind, and throat. I felt like I was suffocating daily. Eventually, after several incidents of miscommunication with friends from my church to my department, I shut everyone out. I decided that it was me, myself, and I. I was hesitate to talk to the Lord, because I was so angry at Him. However, I continued to read Francis Chen's book, "Crazy Love". I wanted to feel convicted. I wanted to feel Jesus in my heart again.

But the thing is...I hardened my heart. I stopped desiring the things of God as much. I didn't want relationship (and trust me, God is ALL about relationship) with people. I put up a huge wall that was so high up that even my close friends were wondering what happened to me.

What I needed to do was OPEN my heart again. I needed to seek help. It was either be desperate for God so much that I want to live or give up.  Yet, I was desperate to leave this empty place in my life. I felt that many things were going wrong and that God Himself didn't want to intervene (Proverbs 28:13-14 "Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy. Blessed is the one who fears the Lord always, but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity.") Well, the thing is, is that He does want to intervene. 

He intervened so much on my behalf. I prayed for some decent Christian friends. God provided on my behalf of such a request...it makes no senese how He is so merciful towards me. And He forever relentlessly pursues me (Psalms 147:3 "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.") and YOU too.

The thing is, is that, sometimes, I believe God lets us go through things to mature us. I couldn't understand why my relationships were going sour, or why my heart has hardened over the past couple of months. But the root was unforgiveness and I needed God to first REPLACE that hardened heart of mine with a flesh one (Ez. 36:26 "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.")

I'm glad to say that God is forever loving on me. Its not a feeling - but I just know. Without Christ, we wouldn't be here on this Earth. He especially made us for relationship. So I encourage you to read John 1:1-5...it just makes me think that even when things go wrong, that Christ can really mend broken hearts and situations. 

Thank you Jesus.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Dreams

I had a dream the other night. It wasn't like my normal dreams because of the intense imagery and feelings associated with it.

Scene 1: I'm walking by the water and stand in awe of it.  At first, I'm on pavement near my street in SF. Then I see this huge tidal wave coming towards me. At first, I'm thinking, "Oh its cool" but next thing I know, its building up in speed and momentum. It gets bigger and bigger. Then all of a sudden it collapses, but not on me. It collapses behind this window that I'm behind. I literally am in awe because everything outside is devoured by this tidal wave but I'm protected by this glass divider.
Scene 2: After the water incident I'm in this beautiful field. It's night time at this point and everything is glittery and pretty. I'm walking through the grass and look up and see the most beautiful sky. The stars and the shading of the sky was all these purples and blues. It was beautiful. I felt at ease.

I'm not sure what this dream means, but thats all I can remember from two days ago. I thought I would dream of it again since it was so deep but I guess not.

Friday, February 1, 2013

But I will watch and pray

"He did not need man's testimony about man, for he knew what was in a man." - John 2:25

I don't ever want to generalize the male species in anyway. But I want to extrapolate scripture. God has made it clear that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34, Luke 6:45) I think as people of God, people who are led by the Spirit should have discernment in the area of people of the world. You can see what people long for in their lives. You can see what they strive after. You can sense what they are feeling. If you choose to be aware of these things. Be slow to speak, slow to anger, and quick to listen (James 1:19). When you do these things, you can see what is in man. Man will make it CLEAR to you what is in their hearts. 

"He who answers before listening - that is his folly and his shame." Proverbs 18:13, its clear that people who actually don't take the time to listen, who are quick to speak over you, are honestly foolish. Foolish because they aren't giving the other person a chance to voice their concerns. The foolish man doesn't care what you have to say essentially. Their opinion supersedes anyone else. You can just sit and watch people to see what kind of people they are. God has given us so much scripture and highlights things in people's character.

This just encourages me to shut up a ton and listen more.  I want to be wise, and to be wise is to shush up most of the time. And then think before saying anything!

Friday, January 18, 2013

When I NEED to Speak LIFE

When I Need to Speak Life

Lord, help me to not bring condemnation into my life by the words I speak. I don't want to bring judgment upon myself by foolish or careless things I say. Instead, help me to speak words that bring salvation, love, and gladness to others. Teach me to speak positive words about myself and my own life as well. Help me to never speak words that are not glorifying to You or that grieve Your Spirit. Put a guard over my heart and mouth so that my words bring life to me and to others who hear me.

By your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.


Matthew 12:37

From Stormie Omartian website. This spoke VOLUMES to me.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The AFTER college routine

#heyfranhey workout for january
It is SO easy to gain weight once college is done. However, I refuse to get overweight, or fat for that matter. To me, God gave us this body to complete a purpose.

The purpose isn't to mistreat it with terrible foods or drugs/drinks. It is to cultivate what we have so that we feel to our optimum best to complete the major task at hand: spreading the Gospel to those who are lost. If that means, I have to keep my body in tip top shape, eat right, and have the energy to do so, then so be it!

For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. 1 Timothy 4:8


But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7



She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong. Proverbs 37:17


However, GODLINESS is much more important because we take that into this world and to the next stage of our being.
Let us remember how important it is to remain spiritually and physically strong. 



mixed oatmeal with flaxseeds & almond milk

vegetable goodness


hearty breakfast: flaxseed bread w/fig spread & peanut butter, eggs w/tomato, almonds, and turkey slices

flaxseed bread w/ sweet potato and fig spread

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Girl, you got your guard up!

Lord,

Dear Lord,

I bless your mighty magnificent name! You are the king of kings and lord of lords. You deserve the glory and honor! Father you are SO amazing. The way you knock down the scales in my eyes this evening, means so much to me. Lord, I pray that you continue to show yourself true through every situation. Father, you ALWAYS lead a path through the mighty waters. Thank you for revelation and insight. You are so merciful Lord. Thank you Lord.

I just want to thank you for showing me tonight that you can open discernment in my heart in regard to love. That people will try in their power to ignore you but Lord you will be praised at the end of the day. Father you make it clear in your word that people cannot serve money and other idols. You are the creator of all things so how dare we not pay your homage!

Father, I'm grateful that you have ripped off the bondage of my used to be sins that I can see right through the accuser. That Father, I know who I AM in YOU! I KNOW that I am a daughter of the MOST HIGH GOD!

Lord, I pray that NEXT TIME that I will not spend my time on fools who do not know you but to get engulfed in your Word. That YOU are the only thing I desire. You are the only one I want to plead forever and ever.

Lord, I'm confident in your power.

In Jesus name,

Amen.


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Teach Me Your Way O Lord and Lead Me in a Smooth Path

Back to reality. My confidence and self-assurance cannot come from my job, peers, or media.

It comes from God. I am asking the Lord today to teach me His way and to lead me to smooth pathways so that I may grow confident in His Word and Promises. I cannot be straw on the ground being lifted by ever single windy effort along my way. I must stand firm by His promises and not be moved by anything that conflicts with His Word.

Many times in this society, it is stressed that our confidence is by what we do for a living, how much money we make, and who we know. But how wrong are we to base our lives on such trivial things? Isn't our confidence supposed to be in the Word of God, who He says we ARE, and who He is?

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path

This pathway at Stanford is gorgeous...
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path...
I chose the image above because I thought this pathway was absolutely breathe taking. The red and gray tile pathway to the ornate pillars, alongside the white lamps are beautiful. To me, this seemed like the perfect shot to reflect on the narrow and straight path that only a few are able to walk through. Kind of reminded me that only the great individuals of God can ever see such a pathway and actually walk through it. Thank God for mercy because who is great?

Meditating on today's scripture was a bit of a challenge because the instructions in the "A Path Through Mighty Waters" was to not repeat the scripture over and over (which I actually did, because I wasn't sure what else to do...I mean, I switched it up a bit by saying, "Father", or "Daddy" in my prayer) but know the God behind the verse. I'm still trying to understand what that actually means. To me, it seems as though I have to ingrain new pathways through my mind in this meditation process. I'm trying to force my thoughts to obey Christ.

Its difficult because, in this day and age we are so distracted by technology: iphones, facebook, twitter, movies, television, etc. It's as though there is no time for God. I believe the only time people place God to the priority list is when they need something. Somehow, I have come to this conclusion that what if we are given everything we want and need? There would still be a longing, an unfulfillment in our hearts that needs to be filled up.  But what would it be though if you have absolutely everything? Obviously its Christ that is yanking your heart, asking you to come on and have dinner with Him.

Right now in my walk, I'm just trying to push day by day. There is no fulfillment in my degree, my relationships, or even myself. The heart is fickle and changes constantly. The only thing that remains constant is Christ and His Word. His promises of love, security, acceptance, grace, and mercy. There is nothing like the Father of lights where there is no shifting of variation. HE is Alpha and THE Omega. The beginning and the end!


All Things Work Together For My Good

God is good. I'm getting these revelations left and right. It's sometimes startling at times because my flesh wants to overcome the truth. For instance, this afternoon during my tour around Stanford, I came to the conclusion that I'm okay with how things turned out. Graduate school in California has been extremely difficult. Despite this fact, it doesn't matter how I got here. I'm here. It's interesting because I'm okay with how my relationships are with certain people. I'm comfortable with me. I'm content with being here alone and growing. 


I was so caught up in my own little world, assuming that I can be the boss of everything. I cannot control where I will be at. I cannot be the dictator of my own life. I thought I knew exactly what I wanted or that I knew what was good for me. Yet, Jesus said it so eloquently, "For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost" and I believe my whole belief system was lost. Even today, I came to a conclusion that my mind was really in a whirlwind and I just have to give it to God. To just submit and He will restore me completely.
On solid rock...ground...lol.
I also have to admit, that I need to spend more time with God. Facebook is such a time killer but I think I've replaced television, movies, and ridiculous internet surfing with Facebook surfing on my fast this month. I need to recommit and stick to it. Terrible...I know. I will get better though.

Lord...give me strength.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

So simple

Beautiful day in VA

San Juan, PR

Palm trees in San Juan, PR
The older I get, the more I realize how stressed out I can get. I place all these unrealistic expectations on my shoulders to please people or myself. I wonder, if God in heaven is up there thinking, "Young girl, if you only knew how little this means right now..." yet, I stress over how people think of me or how they feel about me. I want to be loosed from such thoughts!

The place where I have the most tranquility is before God's feet, sandy white sand, clear blue waters, and huge puffy clouds in a beautiful sunny day...its been a while since I've experienced a beautiful beach.  But the Lord's feet...nothing more peaceful. It's funny how I talk about how peaceful it is to be before His feet, yet, I know once I get before Him, He'll shed light on the ugliness of my heart. Reading His Word is a huge mirror.

I guess I'm afraid of reading His Word and receiving a HUGE disappointment from Him. I know I've let many people down this past week but I'd rather ignore them until I'm ready to clean the wound and bandage it up. But I refuse to. I guess I'm hoping for it to heal immediately.

Only if relationships were so simple.