Don’t Settle

When you’ve been working towards a goal for so long and still have yet to enjoy the results, it can be very frustrating. I get it, I’ve been there and sometimes still there depending on the situation. Speaking up was never one of my favorites. If the crowd believed in one thing I would disagree ..silently and move on with my day . This habit of mine was cool until I got older and am now seeing it from a different angle.

When I was younger , having a relationship with someone was very important to me. I didn’t know how I felt was really a void that I needed filled. I couldn’t imagine myself being married to the guys I liked during that time however, I was able to settle for the moment because I felt special.

I remembered going on a job interview and I felt pretty good about the direction it was going in.  During the interview, they told me what they were willing to pay and that was final. I felt confident about the details of the job but felt kind of shaky in their pay offer. I thought about the location of the job ,the lack of equipment they had in the lab , and figured they didn’t have the money so I started to settle.

For the past couple of months, my husband and I been looking into apartments. As time passed we made a decision and started to move into our unit. Like most apartments , the apartment model will not look exactly like you imagine, so this was old news. However, our apartment looked COMPLETELY different and because I wanted to be humble.. I started to settle.

 

In relationships, I learned overtime not to settle. I started learning about God’s love and the fact he already had someone for me .

In the job offer, I had a few days to research how to negotiate my salary. I didn’t settle in their final offer, I recognized their need in the company and how I could help satisfy those areas. They gave me exactly what I asked.

With the apartment, my husband and I prayed for favor , and didn’t settle with what they initially gave us. We were able to change into another apartment and pay the same rent quote from the first unit they offered us.

So in everything, recognize your worth and don’t settle for less. You’re a king’s kid ūüôā

Adjusting to higher altitudes 

I don’t have a fear of heights, its just adjusting to higher altitudes. Being on airplanes are fun until my ears start popping and  hearing shifts temporarily . It’s worth being uncomfortable in those few minutes because I’m usually excited for the destination.

IMG_1284 I wonder where does the fear of heights come from? Is it the fear of falling ? Or maybe being on a higher level compared to staying on ground , where it’s comfortable?  A few weeks ago I went on a ropes course at WonderWorks. I thought it wasn’t high, I mean I’m a roller coaster girl! However , once I walked up the steps and made my way at the top I was afraid! It seemed like everyone was breezing through the course except me . I had a harness for support but when I would look down and see people looking /walking pass, my fear started to form into the question “what if I fall on them?” Also, in every direction the ropes had a different design meaning I couldn’t go through each obstacle the same way.  It took a lot for me to get through the ropes course but I managed to get through lol.

Faith is the same way. God is like “I got you” just like the harness  had me . Instead of walking through what looks impossible we get distracted and what God was trying to teach for a moment ends up being a journey instead.

Another activity I did was indoor skydiving! It was fun but of course knowing me there was a process smh. I had braids (lots of them) which made it uncomfortable to wear their helmets. Eventually, they gave me a different style helmet to fit some of my braids , awkward. The cool thing about this activity was we received brief instructions and then the moment to ‘just do it’. No time to second guess and question, just do it.

My first leap into the air tunnel was a mess. I couldn’t think of the correct form my body needed to stay in so it felt like I was flying all over lol . The instructor kept telling me to relax and I thought I was but I guess he saw differently. I leaped again into the air but this time it was different. I remembered what the instructor taught me and then I begin to relax by clearing my head, going with the flow.  My husband even said there were a few times the instructor let me go to fly by myself!

How long did you have an idea and the Lord said “Just do it!” ? Maybe he gave clear instructions and you felt you needed time to process what he was saying. I had an idea on something and it seemed like I was taking forever just “researching “. I finally started putting my plans into action and let me tell you the first time was a mess. However, I’m learning God is with me and all I need to do is relax and go with the flow. Now it’s your turn..

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Getting the last scoop

Growing up in my mom’s home it was required to eat all of my food. It was necessary if I was hungry and in order to get to dessert , my plate had to be clean. Hmm, I’ll come back to this in a moment..icecreamSo a few weeks ago I received an awesome word in bible study that addressed the history of my past self esteem issues. It was a relief to know there was a foundation in what I believed about myself and¬†feeling rejected¬†went further back than the first guy I liked. Yes, that felt good because in all of those moments God was really with me and he cared. I just didn’t understand why would he bring this up now? I wasn’t in that place anymore or so I thought..

th6K57ZNKYThe next day or so I kept wondering why would God bring up those things , I’m in a better place , I forgave and moved on , so why ? That’s when the illustration of an ice cream box came to me.

There was an ice cream box that appeared to be empty until the ice cream scooper scooped the last bit of ice cream out its corners. Wow. (2 Timothy 2:21)¬† “If you keep yourself pure, you will be a utensil God can use for his purpose. Your life will be clean and you’ll be ready for the master to use you for every good work.”

It was important to get those small bits out of me , the bits I didn’t pay much attention to as an adult but contributed in my life. This takes me back to the beginning of my blog post where it was necessary to eat all of mother’s cooking so I wouldn’t starve and move on to the best part, Desserts!

Our heavenly father wants us to ‘clean our plate’ of unresolved issues. Maybe you’re like me where you didn’t think ‘Timmy’ leaving you at the playground by yourself would grow into you needing an entourage to¬†feel important (or something like that lol). The best part is God is always listening and you don’t have to clean your plate by yourself, he’s willing to help if you ask. Everyday we need him , in our decisions, his blessings, just his presence alone is necessary or we’ll starve, spiritually. So if you’re ready to move on to the best of the best in your life , your dessert, allow him to take that last scoop!

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Be Our Guest

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Wedding season is here! Well, actually weddings are happening all the time so is there really a season? Anyhoo, my husband and I are approaching our 1st year of marriage (WhoooHOOO!!) and I thought it would be great to reflect on our growth from the wedding planning to becoming the Mrs. Randomly the first thing that popped in my mind was the guest list.

I thought this was going to be a piece of cake and for most brides I guess it is; however , being a ‘nice’ person this was hard. Our families lived in separate states so we chose our wedding in the state we live in, which is where my husband family lives. Then there was the list.  A lot of people wanted to come when they first heard about our wedding and I started feeling overwhelmed.

I wanted to invite everyone but the money was limited so what was I supposed to do? I went online and searched for a smart way to tackle the list. I drew 4 columns for an A-list, B-list, C-list, D-list. The A-list included immediate family, people we couldn’t imagine getting married without. The B-list included our aunts & uncles , cousins , best friends. The C-list included co-workers and the D-list were people we didn’t talk to in a while, etc. We already had a number set that we could invite so after creating the list it became easier to mark out names. We sent out invitations mostly to the ones that were likely to attend and sent an invitation to church to make an announcement so people could send gifts. I kept track of who was/wasn’t attending using TheKnot guests template. The beginning was stressful but after having a plan the process became easier.

So if you’re in the middle of planning for your big day and the guest list has you overwhelmed , simply create lists of those close to ones you don’t talk to and narrow it down one step at a time.

 

Hearing His Voice

You ever been around people that just brag about their adventure and you just want to experience it for yourself? Well, this was me and the year 2015 was definitely an experience to remember. For a couple of years (at least it felt that way) I was desiring to have another type of experience with God. I read about him, sung about him , prayed to him , and felt I needed more. I wanted to hear his voice . I knew God had different ways of getting my attention but I wanted to hear him for myself.
I prayed and prayed ..nothing happened. I turned off all of my distractions..nothing happened. I even went on a complete fast ..and NOTHING HAPPENED! That season was very frustrating ! It’s like calling a restaurant to make an order and no one is picking up the phone so you’re questioning if you even have the right number, lol. I talked with my aunt and her response was to keep waiting . So one fun fact about me is that I’m an introvert ( I wouldn’t say I’m quiet 100% )but my mind stays busy like NYC traffic, which I guess made it hard to hear God.
One day in January 2015, the weather was at its coldest and living in the south with snow was the motivation I needed to stay in from work. I had my t.v off , just finished a meal , and started washing dishes. As I washed the dishes in complete silence it was at that moment I heard his voice. I always imagined I would hear a loud , thunder, manly voice and I’m glad that didn’t happen because I probably would of ran out of my apartment,lol.
The best way I could describe how he sounded to me is similar to my thoughts. A confident, strong sounding thought if that make any sense. If you could imagine hearing your parents speak to you but in your voice , that’s what it was . I knew it was him because I know how I think and talk. He said ” hello daughter , it’s great to hear from you .” My eyes stretched and I felt overwhelmed with joy. The experience I waited so long for finally came and the anticipation was worth every minute. 

The Perfect Potluck

If I don’t remember anything else¬†from my first job after college , it is potluck dinners! We had potlucks for birthday’s, people leaving, holidays, you name it and there was a list of what everyone was bringing.

Usually people would bring a different dish to the table and it complimented the other dishes. For instance , if someone brought chicken another person had vegetables and together the food fulfilled its purpose. Since everyone would bring something different there was no room for comparison but the goal to serve each other.

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Imagine the food¬†brought to the potluck as God-given gifts instead. Everyone’s gifts are prepared to serve others not just themselves. Could you imagine everyone bringing the same type of food to a potluck? How boring would that be?! I guess God thought the same thing and made certain that we each have unique gifts. One thing I’ve noticed at potlucks , sometimes two people would bring the same dish but the tastes were different based on how they were prepared. I’m learning it’s similar to answering your call in life. Your calling can look exactly like someone else’s , which makes it easy to compare because you already know what the result should look like. However, God prepares us differently and it ends up being hard to compare yourself.

In the perfect potluck , God has blessed you with gifts that compliment another’s gift. You’re being prepared in a different way compared to your Facebook friend so you can’t compare¬†the process. In the perfect potluck, you’re there to serve and fulfill his purpose.

 

Glossophobia

What is glossophobia? It’s the fear of public speaking and¬†something I hate the most.¬† No matter how hard I¬†avoid speaking , the environment creates a platform that requires everyone to talk . In school, I was the student that would not make eye contact with the teacher. I figured if we¬†made eye contact¬†there was¬†a higher chance of them calling my name. I never liked introducing myself¬† or presenting to a crowd of people.¬†I’m not sure how I¬†dread¬†speaking in front of groups¬†of people, but I was a cheerleader and jazz/tap dancer, go figure.. Maybe it was the fact I felt comfortable performing as a group rather than by myself. Either way, as I continue to grow I notice there is no escape for public speaking. So instead of hiding it’s time to face the music,awkward stares, and everything else public speaking may bring.

Practice, practice, practice. I remembered practicing my capstone presentation with my teacher after her office hours and it was worth every minute! I was scared because I was not only presenting to my colleagues but to teachers and I had no idea what they were going to ask. My teacher helped me as far as my posture, making eye contact, and not being wordy in my power point. The time spent in practicing  those minor details helped me in a major way the next day when I presented my research.
Engage with the audience. Remember when I said I felt comfortable performing as a group rather than by myself? Speaking in front of people is like a big performance so it’s important to get everyone involved to avoid feeling awkward. I like asking questions to not only take the spotlight off myself but¬†it’s¬†a way get everyone engaged.
Picture everyone_____. Ok I’m not sure about this one lol. People would say if I pictured everyone in the room in underwear or something I would feel at ease. Actually I think it would make me look silly laughing in front of everyone like I’m on medication, no thanks. I heard this works but honestly I just like to get through the speaking so I can hurry and sit down.
Don’t look at everyone in the face. I look for that one person I’m comfortable with and pretend¬†they¬†are the only ones in the room. Focusing on one person vs the entire room help me¬†control how fast to talk and keep my nerves in check. When I was a little girl I had to recite my Christmas speech and I would not look at anyone in the face! Instead I randomly stared at the big church hats, people teeth, and the big clock that hung in the back of the church LOL.
I thought my fear of public speaking would have¬†disappeared as I got older, instead¬†it got smaller which is progress!¬†If you’re like me I’m here to say you’re doing great!¬†¬†Always remember there’s a platform waiting to hear your voice to gain insight, stay encouraged,¬†and be inspired.
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For The Selective Palate

 

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I’m not sure what brought me to this path of being a picky eater. I could say money was a factor or the fact my mom worked long hours. Truth was, the last thing on her mind was to come home to cook a Lebanese Thanksgiving meal. Even if she did cook like that, I already made my mind up that if it’s not the texture then it’s the presentation of food that will make me cringe. Also, the fact I had people that supported my picky outlook on food rather than push me to try new things.  Why change when you already know what’s best for you, right? Well this all started to change once I got married. For my husband’s birthdays he likes to try new dishes and for some reason I started having the same craving to try new things as well. Rocky start but eventually I became open to new possibilities.

This continued in the workplace as well. My business trip to New York interrupted my comfort level greatly especially with food. We went to restaurants I would probably pass by in order to get some pizza and was served beverages that reminded me I was not in the south.  I did have a chance to visit a French restaurant and for the first time I tried macaroons!  Who would have guessed this picky person would one day open up to opportunities and try something better than the ‘norm’?

The way I am with food is sometimes translated in my relationship with God. I’m very persistent (okay, stubborn at times) and I like to have things done a certain way because that’s what I’m used to. However, I’m also learning that with God his way is better and part of understanding his way requires faith. It’s not easy. It’s like having a plate of some of the nastiest vegetables and your parents saying ,”Eat it, it’s good for you”.  Eventually , your taste changes and you become sensitive to what you eat and open to new dishes. Once you ( including me ) realize God’s hand in your life , you’ll become sensitive and willing to submit to his path.  So for the selective palate, I dare you to go out and explore not only food but God’s will for your life ūüôāimage1 (2)

emBrace Your journey 

Have you ever imagined accomplishing a goal but because of your age you were ‘too late’? It’s so easy to place an expiration date on something that shows no sign of being ruined soon.

I’m in my late 20’s and I just got braces.. for the second time! Looking back from my first experience, there was a lot of challenges I faced and one was the result of my mom not being able to finish my treatment plan. Little did I know, the setbacks I experienced inspired my appreciation for dentistry. If I didn’t see my mom struggle financially I wonder if my desire to serve in dentistry would be the same? Or If I didn’t have a peg lateral could I relate to others when it comes to self esteem?

It’s like what you’re going through is not just for you but it’s to help others. So it’s very important to embrace your journey by completing it. I knew in order to get the results I wanted from my smile I needed to finish what I started , which was getting braces. So maybe it’s not braces or academics, maybe it’s a business idea and you’ve been hesitating for a while. I’m here to encourage us both by saying keep pushing! Don’t single yourself out because of small circumstances. Someone is waiting be inspired from your story all you have to do is embrace your journey ūüôā

 

Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

I just came back from NYC on a business trip and I must admit I enjoyed myself! My coworkers and I attended an event called Supplier’s Day, which included vendors from all over sharing their newest trends in the cosmetic industry. During the free times, I had the opportunity to explore the area.IMG_1294

Now rewind << to my airport experience, very interesting. The last time I rode on an airplane was during 5th grade and I had marshalls so I had no clue of what to expect years later. I printed my boarding pass and the only thing on my mind was the destination. I didn’t have much time to check my bag in so I decided to carry on. As I walked through security, the sensor goes off because of my sequin top and my braids.The lady had to check me thoroughly (including hair). Security recognized liquids in my suitcase and had to throw away my perfume, lotion, etc.  By this point, I was annoyed because I wasn’t at my destination but the process of getting there took a lot of work.  Once I finally got settled on the plane my attitude started to shift.  The transition from the airport to the plane shifted my attitude. I sat by an awesome doctor which was heaven-sent because we had so much in common and the fact she was inspiring. Once we arrived in NY everything started to flow.

I wonder if God shared that day in detail with me would I still go through the process or avoid it altogether?I’m learning to somehow be comfortable being uncomfortable. My heavenly father constantly molding me into my purpose and though I’m not sure of the details I have to be comfortable with that.  I think we all have a ‘destination’ we’re trying to arrive to but we’re still going through a process that’s going to make it worth the wait. Stay encouraged knowing you’re at the right place and trust the process ūüôā

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