All posts by Super Nerdy Church Girl

About Super Nerdy Church Girl

I am an author of Christian Romance novels. My debut novel, "Ruth's Awakening: A Love Story is available on Amazon and Kindle. I love living, learning and laughing. I would rather have a great experience than a new purse or shoes. Let's grow in Christ together.

What About Your Friends

I heard Desmond Tutu state that we need other people to be fully human.

“None of us comes into the world fully formed. We would not know how to think, or walk, or speak, or behave as human beings unless we learned it from other human beings. We need other human beings in order to be human. I am because other people are. A person is entitled to a stable community life, and the first of these communities is the family.” Source

I extend that to friends. We need them. We need community. I’m sorry but Vicki Winans was wrong when she sand, “As long as I got King Jesus, I don’t need nobody else.”

On the surface, that may seem correct. A relationship with Jesus is the most important one you will ever have. However, is it the only one you need? Let’s delve a little further into the lyrics.

“I’ve been lied on, cheated, talked about, mistreated
I’ve been used, scorned, talked about sore as bone
I’ve been up, down, almost to the ground.”

Now this sounds like emotional trauma. That is a danger of becoming close to someone. They have the proximity to hurt you. The opposite is also true. Letting someone know the real you can be a mutual enjoyable relationship. Great conversation, a safe place to vent, someone to cheer you on when you doubt yourself. Friendship has its benefits.

The bible has many verses on the value of friendship.

A friend loves at all times,
and a brother is born for a time of adversity. Proverbs 17:17

One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. Eccl. 4:9-10

I never really noticed this part of the verse until writing this post. ” . . . because they have a good return for their labor.” We work so hard to accomplish things solo when we could achieve exponentially more working together. 

There are people who prefer solitude. There is scientific evidence that loners become overstimulated in social situations or in crowds. I postulate something different. Individuals thrive in authentic community. Past experiences with betrayal or disappointment can sour someone on the idea of friendship.  Solitude in this instance is a trauma response. I believe this is why social media is so popular. It allows people to connect while simultaneously maintaining distance.

” . . . there seems to be a cap on the number of friends a person’s brain can handle, and it takes actual social interaction (not virtual) to keep up these friendships. So feeling like you’re being social by being on Facebook doesn’t work. Since loneliness is linked to myriad health and mental health problems (including early death), getting real social support is important. Virtual friend time doesn’t have the therapeutic effect as time with real friends.” Source

Herein lies the rub. Friendship takes effort. You have to care about another’s well-being. You have to call them. Make plans for lunch or to workout together. Each friend serves a different role in your life and that is okay. Not every friend is someone you can call at 3:00 am when you are in a crisis, but maybe you have one that is. Not every friend is a spiritually-rooted, prayer warrior, but if you have one that is, you are blessed.

Make the effort. Say hello. Share a bit of yourself. Make a friend.

F Your Feelings

Excuse the title but I needed to grab your attention. Spin it on its axis and point it back toward your goals. You said you would work out 4 days a week but you do not feel like it, you are tired. You said would stop eating junk food but you are stressed and snacking helps you cope. You said you would not go back to your ex but you are lonely. You said, you promised, and you did not because – your feelings.

Feelings are conscious expressions of your emotional state. This emotional state can be conscious or unconscious. For example, you can ‘feel’ sad, annoyed, despondent. These feelings are the result of a ‘depressed’ emotion. You may or may not be aware of your depressed state. It may take the assistance of a therapist to point this out to you but you are conscious of your feelings of sadness, annoyance, and despondency.

Feelings are tricky. Other stimuli can trigger feelings unrelated to your true emotional state. Dehydration causes thirst that can be mistakenly felt as hunger. You can overreact to a stimulus because of your own emotional state. You may feel afraid of someone in an elevator due to you never feeling protected or safe alone.

This is why you can never trust your feelings. You need something else to gauge and aid in what you need to do.

For if our thoughts are erroneous, or based on false assumptions, the feelings tied to these thoughts are bound to be equally distorted—and hardly to be trusted. Source

Enters the word. Words are very powerful, especially, written down. Here’s a tip. For the month of March, make a schedule. Type it up and print it out. Stick to it, regardless of how you ‘feel’.

Drop a comment, like, and share this post to help someone who could use this information.
newyears.

Ari Lennox and Teyana Taylor Are Beautiful Women Not Rottweilers

I was happily scrolling through social media when I noticed Teyana as a trending topic. I am a fan of her music so I click the hashtag. To my dismay, she was not trending because a new song or dope video had dropped. Teyana Taylor and fellow singer Ari Lennox were trending topics due to the viral tweet below:

Image result for ari lennox teyana tweet king kwasii"

Colorism, Featurism, and the Black Woman

I never understood or really got colorism. I was never called light-skinned until college when I became very aware of an invisible line of demarcation, separation, and mistrust between black women based on skin shade. I have grown to learn more about colorism and featurism via novels by Zora Neale Hurston, Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, my own study minoring in African American Studies, articles, and YouTube testimonials based on lived experiences.

Merriam-Webster defines Colorism as:

prejudice or discrimination especially within a racial or ethnic group favoring people with lighter skin over those with darker skin. Source

For a quick cultural reference, see Spike Lee’s School Daze. There is a musical dance battle between the light-skinned ‘Wannabes” and dark-skinned ‘Jiggaboos’ that highlights the tension between black women who fall into those perceived categories. The idea is that women who are ‘light-skinned’ are seen as more desirable by men, specifically black men in this case, than darker skinned women.

There seems to a subcateogry of colorism called featurism. As noted by writer Nia Hernandez,

The official definition of featurism is “A form of architectural design based around certain accentuated features”. In other context, society accepting or preferring certain features over others (i.e. European features over African features). Source

In the case of Ari Lennox, she has previously responded to criticism of her nose or wide nostrils. Teyana Taylor has received similar critique of her facial features. If we are to keep it real, a lot of the ‘you so ugly’ jokes center around facial features that are more afrocentric or our misconception of what is afrocentric. (Africa is a huge continent of over a billion people in over 50 countries. African Americans are the decedents of enslaved Africans who mainly came from the African West Coast countries.) We typically associate wide noses, textured hair, and dark skin as African features and all of the negative ideas that have been linked to that. ‘Beautiful’ black women are those whose features align more with perceived eurocentric standards of beauty; slim noses, lighter skin, softer textured hair.

When a Joke is Not Just a Joke:

There is a  malignant  history of race-based pseudoscience associating black people to animals  which metastasized into racist eugenics ideology. The idea that black people are animalistic or subhuman affects their treatment by others in society  in many areas, such as, politics, education, healthcare, law enforcement.

I believe the ease at which other black people make these types of jokes is rooted in ignorance. Comparing a black woman to a rottweiler dog is not funny; it is also not benign. Clearly the young man making the comment and the many who cosigned his statement through likes and retweets have not heard of the Human Zoo built by King Leopold of Belgium to showcase the Congolese people to Europeans. This display only highlights the actual reign of terror and genocide inflicted by Belgium on the nation of Congo.

Funny yet? 

Comparing these two young talented women to a dog associated with being dangerous and aggressive is associating their aesthetic with danger and aggressiveness.  These are the same stereotypes surrounding unarmed black men who are shot and killed at  7 times the rate of unarmed non-black males. We cannot become complicit in our own dehumanization. There is a history of this behavior being acceptable and normalized.

In this new decade, we will denormalize it.

Let’s start 2020 out right by calling out disrespect and putting haters in their place –  the trash.

Too Light to Be Seen

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:5

SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder affects tens of millions of people. SAD is associated with the prolonged darkness of winter months. Some places experience winter up to seven months out of the year.

Can you imagine being SAD for over half the year?  Month after month looking to the sky only to find Cirrostratus clouds and gray shadows? Many people live a sad existence, when all they really need is the sun.

I dreamed once that I was in a home with a man and children. The place was dark but spotlight surrounded me wherever I walked. I was trying to get the man of the house to see that what was missing in this home was light. I tried a lamp but it was not working. I tried opening windows and pushing back drapery to no avail. In frustration, I left this home and the light followed me.

In Plato’s Symposium, the character Aristophanes introduces the concept of twin flames to describe love. The idea stems from man and woman originally existing as one being. They became arrogant and wanted to be Godlike, so the gods split them in two. Each half  craves the other half to experiences wholeness. Reveries illuminate unconscious desires. In that dream, I was desperately seeking light. I could not comprehend how someone could live in the absence of it. I tried to share my own but it was not enough.

I now understand that you cannot be the only light in a relationship; the only one planning for the future, the only one financially stable, etc. You need a companion flame. This companion love exists. It is too light to be seen, as one cannot look into the sun. You will not because its glow will surround you.

Sherri Shepherd and the Dangers of Loneliness

I saw an interview of Sherri Shepherd on the DL Hughley Radio Show discussing her ex husband to whom she is paying spousal support. DL jokes about him being a sorry **s man. Sherri said (paraphrasing) that she had to take ownership of her decision to marry him, a decision she said was made out of fear and loneliness. She also said that she was tired of being single and celibate. I was really surprised by her honesty.

Community is important. Friends are important. Family (blood or otherwise) is important. Loneliness is a powerful state of mind. Loneliness is not necessarily the absence of people but rather disconnectedness. You should not choose a mate in this unhealthy state. It is like shopping when you are hungry. You end up with a cart full of junk, completely ignoring your list.

So, what can you do if you find yourself in a state of loneliness?

  1. Reach out.
    • Someone wants to hear from you; an old friend, an older family member who may not get many visitors, an elderly neighbor. Someone needs to hear your voice and you need to hear theirs.
    • Build community. We are not intended to do life alone. Church, clubs, groups, are some ways to connect with others.
  2. Volunteer
    • Do something nice for someone who cannot repay you. Loneliness is rooted in being self-centered. Volunteering allows you to reorient your focus to someone else in need. You derive a sense of value in helping others.
  3. Practice daily gratitude
    • Write down five things you are grateful for and post them on your bathroom mirror. Glance at it everyday while you are brushing your teeth. It is a method to focus on the good things you have in your life and not the one thing you are missing.
  4. Journal
    • Write your feelings, goals, hopes, and dreams. It helps you visualize what is going on in your heart and head. There is power in the written word. I recently reviewed some of my journal entries and was blown away by my progress. This brought a sense of gratitude and happiness. This exercise helped reinforce that trouble don’t last always.

Identify your feelings of loneliness. Take steps to connect with others in a beneficial way. Don’t allow loneliness to lead you to detrimental habits or choices.

What say you?

 

Whole 30 – Egg Roll in a Bowl

And another one *DJ Khalid voice.

In April, I went vegan for 21 days. I lost about 13 pounds. I saw some pretty cool health benefits, such as,  no acid-reflux, better sleep, and the 13 pounds gone. The downside, I was consuming too many carbs, especially, for someone pre-diabetic. I needed a healthy eating solution but I this was not it. So, I set out to find another one.

I have been attending this boot camp that consists of HIIT weight training. The instructor/owner does this 30-day Challenge every month. I had been researching Whole 30 for nearly a year – no lie. It seemed easy to align the 30-day elimination diet, Whole 30, with the 30-day workout challenge.

I decided to spend my Sunday meal prepping as to make this journey a little easier. Below is my go at an Egg Roll in a Bowl recipe I found online and tweaked. What do you think?

1 head of cabbage

1/4 cup red onions

5-6 coves of garlic

6 green onions

2-3 tablespoons of coconut aminos

1 tablespoon of garlic chili sauce

1 tablespoon of rice wine vinegar

pepper to taste

Sauce:

1/4 cup mayo

1 tablespoon garlic chili sauce

salt to taste

How to Move Across Country

I have moved from the Midwest to Dallas, back to the Midwest, and black to Dallas again. Below I will detail how I did it including mistakes and things I have learned. If you are looking to make a big move, keep reading.

DECIDE:

A decision has to be made. The old saints used to say that to follow Jesus you need a made up mind. I will say to follow your dreams, you need a made up mind. Nothing happens when you waiver. The bible says,

“An indecisive man is unstable in all his ways.” James 1:8-9 HCSB

Decide where  and when to move – You need a location. Are you moving with your job or will you be looking for a new one? All of this will factor in with your schedule to move.  I decided to move to Dallas after visiting a friend. It was sunny and warm. Chicago experienced a crazy blizzard that year. I was sick of the cold. Just like that, I decided to move. I was able to transfer with my current job. I gave away my limited furniture, bought a plane ticket, and was out. This was in 2007.

When I moved to back to the Midwest is 2015, I also transferred with my then employer. This time I packed up my car and drove 18 hours. I moved in with a relative until I could find a place.

When I returned to Dallas this year, I started a new job. I had flown out previously to interview and find a place to live. Once I received the job offer, I had a moving window of approximately two weeks. I had started my research into moving options months prior so pulling the trigger on the move was less daunting.

START SAVING:

Create a budget to get concrete numbers on how much you make and what your expenses are. Trim non-essentials like gym memberships, cable, eating out. Place all of that money in an account. You can never save too much. Below I detail some of the costs to expect.

Also, plan your move, if possible, around financial windfalls, such as, bonuses, tax refunds, reimbursements.

HOW TO MOVE YOUR STUFF:

Material trapping can be just that, a trap, if you let them. My prior moves I really just gave much of my stuff away. This last move, I had acquired quality furniture that would cost too much to replace. I conducted a cost comparison of different moving options.

  1. Moving Companies. A moving company will pack, load, and drive your belongings from one location to your destination. The price is a factor of distance and size of home moved (how many rooms/how much furniture). The lowest quote I received for moving a two bedroom apartment was $5,000.
  2. UPS . UPS has a Pack and Ship service in which someone will come to your home, evaluate how much you have to move, and provide a quote. I was given an estimate of $3,000.
  3. PODS. PODS is a company that provides shipping containers. A driver comes to your home and drops off a container. You load it. PODS comes back at a scheduled time to pick up the container and take it to their facility. They transport the container to your destination. You unpack it. At a scheduled time, PODS picks up the empty container. The price depends on the size container and distance transported. A container 8x8x7 from Indiana to Dallas was around $1400.

Other Costs:

  1. Loaders/Movers: If you don’t have friends to help you move, you need to factor in the cost of packers/loaders. The PODS moving referrals were pretty pricey. I was able to find loaders for around $89 bucks and hour.
  2. Living Arrangements: If you are purchasing, you will have to pay for flights to visit homes. If you are renting, you will need a deposit amount and first month’s rent.
  3. Flights, Hotel, and Rental Car: I had to travel to Dallas to interview. I also stayed a few days to view places to live. I caught a deal on a flight,  used my points with the hotel for a free day. Also, had some points with the rental car company.
  4. Incidentals: Once you move in you will need to buy cleaning supplies, produce, etc.

REST:

You will need to rest. Take some vacation time. Packing, moving, and unpacking is TOUGH. You will need some time to recuperate.

Below is a video of my PODS experience.

Do You Believe In Fairy Tales?

*Repost* Original date April 22, 2018

A fairy tale is defined as a mythical tale featuring magical and fantastic creatures. There are heroic feats accomplished by ordinary humans who somehow found their inner strength after a long quest. Beautiful maidens are brought back to life by the kiss of a true love.  In short, it is a made up tale in a make believe world with invented characters and creatures. They are written for children. As children, we still possess that wide-eyed faith that good wins over evil. We believe in happy endings.

As we age, we stop believing. Kissed too many frogs and they stayed ugly and slimy. Dropped all of our money on a handful of beans and a dream to wake up still broke with no golden goose egg.  Disappointment and bad breaks lead to disillusionment.

I want you to believe again.

This is why I write. Have an eye-wide open faith in love, redemption and the happily ever after. It is hope that keeps us going. I write hope-filled love stories centered around Christian characters with real life issues. It is an un-sanitized look at imperfect people with a hope in a perfect God making mistakes, getting it wrong, and through the drama – finding redemption and a happy ending.  The happy ending may not look like a prince on a horse but something a little unexpected.

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I will keep writing and if, you will keep reading – we will get to our happy ending – together.

You can find a copy of Ruth’s Awakening: A Love Story on Amazon and Kindle.