2016 Was Not So Bad Regardless of What Facebook Says

2016 has been a trying year for all. There have been disappointments, deaths, and disasters. Not to mention the rise of the Donald. Social media posts show heartbreak over celebrity deaths. Someone has created a GoFundMe account to protect Betty White. Many people are eager to see 2016 go in hopes of a better 2017.

If you really think about it, there have also been joys, births, and good times. Isn’t every year a mix of triumphs and disappointments? It is called life. We as humans increment the vastness of time into yearly increments. Perhaps it gives us some sense of control over the uncontrollable. The truth is – bad stuff happens and so does good stuff. Your happiness cannot hinge on the nature of what is happening around you.

I have been cooking lately. Well, learning to cook. Yesterday, I decided to do it big. The meal planned – fried pork chops, mashed potatoes from scratch, and roasted garlic asparagus. I prepared by reading highly rated recipes. I watched how-to videos on Youtube. I was PREPARED. Armed with ingredients, knowledge, and determination – I was ready. I started cooking. Everything seemed to be going great. Food looked good, smelled even better. After much sweat, I was finally finished. I fixed my plate. It looked good enough for Instagram. I cut into the perfectly browned pork chop. It was too salty. I felt the wind escape from my sails. I was not only cooking for myself but for my boyfriend, too. I was near tears. My friend said that is was okay. He stated that the only way to learn is to try. I began to feel less terrible.

That is my 2016 in a nutshell. It started with great aspirations. I even had a plan, a vision board even. I tried my best and still some things failed – relationships, promotion attempts, finishing my second book, weight loss. It was like those Facebook videos you watch of someone taking off in a race and then some invisible leg extends in front of them and they trip and fall. It feels like the fall is so hard because the person running was moving ahead at full-speed expecting to finish first.

I had started writing a great story based on my childhood adventures – over 10,000 words. I had written some wonderful poetry almost 30 pages worth. I went to Texas for a work conference and lost my thumb drive. Talk about tripping over an invisible leg. Man, I was hurt. Thankfully, the 10,000 words had been backed-up on the cloud. The poetry only exists in my head and heart.

I am ready to start again.

If you have been graced with another day of life, you have another chance to get it right. Some failures require some hard work. Others require some downtime for healing. No matter how comfortable, resist the urge to stay here. This place is meant to be temporary. You have to get up and keep running.

2017 is what you make of it. Start again. Be enthusiastic again. If you should fall, get back up and continue.

The God of the Mountain Is the Same God of the Valley

My pastor uses that quote frequently in his sermons. I read a blog post about God granting a husband and wife a new house. I sat thinking about my life where I am at this moment – with so many dreams yet to be fulfilled – and this phrase came to mind.

I started this blog over six years ago when I first moved to Texas. I believed – and still do – that this was a journey that would take me to some unfamiliar and exciting territory. *insert Abraham reference Genesis 12* Like Abraham, moving took a lot of faith. I only knew a couple of people in town and I was essentially starting over in a new 'land'.

Like the story of Abraham and many stories in the Bible, God makes a promise and then there is a waiting period until its fulfillment. Let us call the waiting period 'the Valley'. Abraham, Sarah, David, Joseph – the list goes on and on – all waited on God's promises to be fulfulled in their lives. I particularly like the story of Joseph because, like me, he was a dreamer. They all had faith in God, they all obeyed and yet, they all waited. In some cases, decades passed.

 Why do we believers love God? Is it because we think if we love Him enough He will give us our hearts desires? Is it out of fear or obligation? When we don't get what we want, do we love Him less? Why is it so hard to wait?

The truth is waiting, hoping, wanting all hurts just a little. In doing so, you are acknowledging that something desired is lacking. Let us look at the story of Hannah who wanted a child so much that she wept bitterly and did not eat. (I Samuel 1-20). The wanting of the child that she was lacking caused her great pain.

It is the pain that is difficult to acknowledge and, therefore, face. Like, the previous post, "Has Marriage Become Dirty Word?", the original article seemed to deride the women who professed openly a desire to be married. Why? I knew someone with a long-term live in boyfriend who also discounted her desire to be married only to profess later her desire for it but her mate's derision for it. She had lied to me or herself because facing the fact that what she wanted did not align to what he wanted actually hurt. 

Proverbs 13:12 states, "Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life."

Ain't that the truth. 

Isn't that what we all want? Life, abundantly. It is okay to hope, to dream, to desire. When the pain becomes greater than the fear that has kept you stagnant, you wll make moves toward your goal. 

Hannah's pain caused her to pray silently while moving her lips in the house of God. The act caught the attention of Eli the prophet who accused her of being drunken. She answered how she was praying out of angush and grief, i.e., pain. The man of God told her to go in peace and may God grant her what she had requested of Him. Nine months or so later, Hannah gave birth to her son. 

May it be so with those of us who believe and hope in God. 


I Am Still Hoping . . .

. . that Lauryn Hill makes a comeback. That I'll lose enough weight to fit into my cute clothes I bought too small on purpose. I still hope that Girlfriends makes a comeback with all of the original cast.

Hope springs eternal.

I hope I can finish my novel. I need an ending. I am waiting on life to provide one for me. Every ending I write seems inauthentic. Should I just commit? IDK.


I am still hoping that I get hired on where I currently work. If that is not God's will, that he will allow me to get the job I am currently interviewing for.

Faith without works is dead.

I hope I get the wish I want that I am keeping to myself for now.

Keep hope alive!

Catching Up – My Audition

I did not get the part but. . .


. . .I got some great feedback and some rays of hope.

Basically, both producers loved my monologue but it was my scene with the other actors that did not go as well.

I was told that I need more confidence with my body. I rocked a bit during my scene and it distracted from my words.

That's funny because that is the same weakness I identified coming into the audition.

I was not sure where to stand. I basically studied assuming we would be on a stage during the audition. We were actually in a casting room. There was really no space to "walk in." You kind of had to just had to start speaking.

It was quite the experience. I think I would like to start a few classes this summer.

Next time I will be ready.