spain

Solo Vacations

It only took a day for me to find out, I don’t vacation well.

I make hasty decisions. When I think back to adult decisions I have made, I have never spent more than 5 minutes before I have said yes. I know I should be a better Christian and “pray about it”, but God gives me wisdom and a gut feeling. My move to Texas, my car, and currently this vacation were rall decisions I made in less than 30 minutes. Most times, it pans out. I have now been in Texas for 5 years. I love my car. Sometimes though it doesn’t. Chicago is a struggle.

I came to Chicago for a Christian conference. Yesterday, I made it through the first general session and workshop. I walked to find something to eat. I settled in at Gino’s East for my first deep dish experience. Before my first bite of doughy, cheesy, meaty goodness, exhaustion hit me. And months of feelings and fears began to surface. Fortunately, a friend called me. I cried. I tried not to, but my tears escaped me…little bandits.

This is not my first time vacationing alone. I have been to London, Spain, Colorado, Portland, and Seattle alone. I revel in those memories. Walking the streets of London in the middle of the night. Driving haphazardly to Seattle. Prayer walking with a faithful dog named Lazarus in Divide, Colorado. This is the first time, I have been lonely while vacationing. No one should eat deep dish pizza alone. I want to experience life with a person. After lunch, I resigned to my room. In the building across from mine, people were living and moving and dancing and jumping. I lay on my bed. I didn’t go back until the next general session. I did the same today.

The only difference between yesterday and today is this. Today, I acknowledge I have run, filling my life with work and school. God will find me in my quiet resignation. I am uncomfortable being here. I am scared being here. I don’t like my withdrawal, but I can’t muster the will to engage. Luckily, God has always found people in the most random places.

Find me in the cave

Find me at the well

Find me in the river

Find me in the jail

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Day 13: Ma Boyfreen or Nah (a.k.a. A Post about My Nonexistent Love Life)

Sept 13th: Your current relationship status. If dating/married, give us a glimpse of your story! If single, share about this special season.

If singleness is a spiritual gift, I count myself more blessed then 57% of my Facebook friends who are dating, engaged, or married. If singleness is a curse, then I am the most wicked of all women and men around the world. However, singleness is neither a blessing or a curse. It is one minuscule and perhaps temporary part of my lifetime. So, I do I spend hours a day obsessing over it. Why have I spent a decade obsessing over it? Depending on the day, my obsession with it either cracks me up or makes me feel like a moron. Lately, I have swayed on the moronic side of the fence.

I have been 24 for 13 days. In these 13 days, I have begun experiencing a quarter life crisis stemming solely from my sense of relational dissatisfaction. In fact, I am going to bless you with an exert of a blog that I did not publish, that was spurred by a single panic attack while dancing last week…don’t judge me.

I don’t know why, but lately I have struggled with being single. Actually, that is a lie, I am not concerned about being single. I am concerned about not being desirable; more specifically, I am concerned that my skin color is undesirable. There is a video on Buzzfeed about racial preferences in dating. Honestly, a lot of the information was new, but one fact simply confirmed my life. Go to 0:48 seconds and watch until 1:15. You know sometimes, I make jokes about race, but beneath all the giggles and chuckling, my race affects me.

I hear my other single friends of different races discuss not dating or being single. I feel for them, but I have more hope for them then myself. One because their amazing people, who will get married. Two, because they are not black women. I apologize to all the African-Americans or Black people reading this. I know you may not share the same sentiment, but I struggle with this. From childhood to adolescence, I remember boys of every race making fun of me and telling me I am not pretty. I remember watching so many of the girls have their fictive boyfriends, as I did not attract the gaze of anyone. Until, I was thirteen, but even then that wasn’t sincere. I developed earlier than everyone else. So my boobs made me interesting. Something, I have learned and am still learning, is that black girls (often) get picked last.

Pretty pitiful isn’t. Even in its pity, there is still some truth. It is hard to reiterate stuff like this to someone who is not the average black woman. But back to the real question. I am supposed to share about this special season. So here is the truth. When you are single it is not that special of a season. Especially when you have been single all your life. Sometimes, Christians tend to glamorize what is nothing more than life. Like singleness is not some miracle stage of life ramping up to marriage. Oh, when I master being single, God’s going to bless me by being married. No. I don’t think that’s how it works. I don’t think you ever master ever being single. Even if you do what are the stipulations for it. If, I can cook for myself, not complain about being single, and be financially secure I have mastered it. Singleness is not a beast to be master. Being single or married or divorced is about being content, and the only way you are content is by begin grateful for the fact you are where you are, for as long as you are for a very specific purpose.

The way I think of singleness and marriage fluctuates everyday. I love being single for the most part. The freedom to drop it all and run appeals to me. I still have dreams my mind hasn’t conjured. I have lands to venture. I have people to meet. Nevertheless, I would like to share in that with someone. Whether, I have a husband or not, will not stop me from doing what I need to do. Because for me, if the Lord blesses me with a husband, I want my story to have already started. I want to let him know, I have lived my life not in lazy anticipation of him, but in intentional labor to become whomever God is calling me to be. If I met my husband now here are some things I could tell him about myself:

  1. I have been to Spain 3 times
  2. I have traveled alone internationally
  3. I have been homeless, but survived
  4. I have mothered 33 children
  5. I have learned several dances
  6. I moved away from my family when I was 22
  7. I am working on a Masters
  8. I am working on speaking Spanish
  9. I am vivacious as they come
  10. I am only 24

So basically my singleness life rocks. Also, if you are my future husband and you are reading this, I can’t wait to talk about all the awesome stuff you have done and will continue to do.

Heaven Only Knows…

I believe to a great extent God has complete knowledge of all things. Often referred with the term omniscient, I pondered this concept briefly on my Saturday morning bike ride

Lake week Friday, while having dinner with a lovely new friend, I shared with her my heart of missions for Europe. I have been to England and Spain. If it be in His will, my heart is to one day move to Europe. The people, the wealth of culture, the depth of history, all of it compels me to pack my bags and go. On my mission trips to Spain, most people have adopted a post-Christian perspective. The majority of people there are apathetic to religion, not really caring for the soul. America is heading in that direction, but there are many on the forefront on the home base. Back to the point of omniscient God. 

In the past four months, I bike ride everywhere. It is not that the car is unavailable. I just ride our house bike a lot. I ride it to the store and often to the gym. I ride it to random coffee shops and to the park. In the past 7 days, I traveled a total of 32.4 miles on a bike. I love it. It is warm and free. The seat is surprisingly comfortable. Also, it is a pretty decent form of exercise.

However, it makes me wonder if God is going to take me to Europe, where traveling via bike is more common. I’m sure God knows I would be scared to ride there. So, maybe, He is using Houston as my training grounds? I mean almost two months ago, I go hit by a car while riding a bike. So, I don’t know what would compel me to hop back on as frequently as I do, except by the pure strengthening of God…hmmm…just a thought…

The Lord knows.

Happy Anniversary to Clarity

I don’t find numbers terribly significant. At least not in an obsessive superstitious way. December 12, 2012 was nothing more than a Wednesday. I am more prone to the importance of anniversaries. I think that a years time is ample enough to indicate where change has occurred.

Well, the joke is completely on me. A year ago (December 12, 2011), I wrote a post on my previous blog about graduate school. Guess which date is important now? December 12, 2012. I cannot believe a year ago, I first vocalized my discomfort with graduate school. How awesome is God though. On December 11, 2012, I visited Dallas Theological Seminary (Houston Campus) for a meeting with the admissions officer. Me and God have had an ongoing battle with me attending seminary for the past 2 years.

Returning home from Spain after a mission trip in May of 2011, I looked outside the window into the clouds and just pondered the amazing things God had done in the past week. I was overwhelmed with the depth of love I could have for a country and its people. I spoke to God, “I want to go back; I want to stay here forever”. But for what purpose? I sighed and thought to myself, “I can’t. What about graduate school?” God in His knowledge of my heart and well everything said to me, “What about seminary?” Because, I was on a plane, I did this in my heart I threw back my head and laughed at the idea. I guffawed in God’s face. Who in the world am I to go to seminary? I am the most indecent, loud, feministic, aggressive, androgynous person I know. Worse than that, I do not fit in with what the stereotypical Christian woman looks like. I am not making cucumber sandwiches for a potluck (don’t get me wrong though, I can cook). I am assertive. I am going to know the Bible for myself and not blindly follow doctrine by people who want to twist the Bible for personal gains. Then there was the social reasons I laughed about seminary. Seminary is a white man’s land. Those are the two very things I am not: white and man. I cannot help either.

Later that year, I found myself struggling to create the desire to go to graduate school. In that post, I only applied to one of those five schools. Even the one school I applied to, I didn’t want to attend. I already had a group of people assuming I would stay there forever. It was a blessing I didn’t get it. I needed to leave. I needed to become who I am here. I needed to let those people go.

It appears as if God is revealing His plan for me to me. I cannot believe I am actually pursuing seminary.

I guess God is the one laughing now.