Adventures in Boston Qualifying: My Journey Continues With Part 4

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Hey all I’m back again and I hope you all have had a wonderful week! Mine has been trying to say the least, however I’m learning to be grateful for the little things. I’ve really been trying to work on my attitude most of all. To be honest, it hasn’t been the greatest. I was hit in many areas… my body has been hurting and I went to see Dr. Runco. He had to adjust my hips, neck, lumbar, thoracic and other regions of my spine and legs. Facing each day has been a challenge. Between the pain and not having a vehicle and ether being stuck in my apartment all day or having to stay out with my mom all and/ or take the bus in order to get things done… my mind and body just feel worn and beaten. Don’t get me wrong, I love ❤️ taking the bus but the hill up to my house from the stop tears my body up. On top of it, it’s been a struggle to make ends meet at times. At the same time, I feel this gives me the perfect opportunity to really, truly trust God! In these moments, I’ve been able to make lists of things I’m grateful for, and lists of people and things to pray for. In these moments, I’m free to study the word and get to know God so much better than I EVER have before. So… I’m choosing to cherish them.

No, when I left off in last weeks post, I had fallen asleep and was getting ready to wake up to run my first marathon in Oakland, Ca in March 2011. Now, my journey continues…

My Journey Part 4

Marathon… for those of you who don’t know what exactly this is… let me clear up a little bit of confusion for you! A marathon is not a 5K, 10K, 1 mile, 10 mile or even 13 mile foot race. A marathon is the name given to a race with the precise distance of 26.2 miles. Anything outside of that range is given an alternate name such as 5K (3.107 Miles) 10k (6.214 miles), ultra marathon is anything greater than 26.2 miles. The list goes on… so, Marathon is not a name given to any other distance other than the 26.2. For more history and information on this event, please take a look at this article: History of the Marathon.

So, why was the marathon distance such a big deal for me? Well, it is estimated that approximately only 1% of the worlds population has actually run a full marathon. I thrived on distance, I loved distance! I wanted to challenge myself to really go the distance as a way of celebrating freedom from drug addiction! The training with long runs (which I increased in a very different way than most people do) followed by gluten free pancakes and eggs… hours of open road, clearing my head, praying, worshipping… such an incredible time of connection with God, nature, and my body unlike any other! Mix that with runner’s high and a sense of accomplishment that comes from achieving a new goal… mannnn! I was definitely doing what I love to do! Also, while in training for this event, the possibility of running in the Olympics at some point was brought up to me. I will talk more about this later.

Marathon morning, I woke up expecting to just see my mom in car. I was really hoping for just a peaceful event. My heart sank, selfishly, as I saw my troubled loved one sitting in the passenger seat. I quickly adjusted my attitude, chose to remain mostly silent on the way out to the start line, and just prepared myself mentally for the event that was to come. I remember nervously chewing an entire pack of gum on the way out there, fidgeting with my packets of gu to make sure I had enough, checking and double checking my shorts, stretchy pants that I wore underneath, and my purse to make sure that I had my ID and everything I needed at the finish line.

Upon arrival in Oakland, my heart began to race! This was it! I was really going to do this! The moment of truth, do or die, all the training, all the hard work, all for this moment! My mom dropped me off with everything I needed and I headed towards the restroom line to get prepped for the event. While there, I ran into a woman who is part of the “marathon maniacs” crew! She mentioned that she was only going to run the race slowly and stated that she ran marathons and ultramarathons regularly. Ultramarathons? I had heard about these events before. My pastor at the time had previously told me about Dean Karnazes ( lithe amazing ultramarathon man) and I had actually wanted to run one. I just never met anyone that actually ran them… FREQUENTLY! I felt two mixed emotions. 1. I was semi-prideful, wondering why she wouldn’t want to run fast. All I knew was fast running! I loved running at a competitive pace! No feeling like it! 2. I was in awe that a female ran these insane distances! I shook it off, completed my pre-race preparation, and headed off to the starting line.

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or those of you competitive athletes who are reading this, you will probably laugh because in all honesty, I had no idea how big of a deal the Boston marathon was let alone that there was a qualifying time for it. I seriously went into this race to simply run and finish it. I had no intention of placing or achieving one of the most coveted qualifications in the running world, a chance of possibly running Boston.

That being said… I walked up to the start line. Beyond nervous… While there, I saw people holding signs. Each had a different set of numbers on it. One of them said “3:00” another “3:30”… yeah, I did not do my homework! I had no idea what these were! I had no CLUE where to stand either! So, I walked confidently up to the 3:30 pacer, hoping I wasn’t standing in some designated spot. There I stood, nervously waiting for the start!

As I waited, I talked to a few people that were standing there. One person was talking about injuries, so I diverted my attention to something less stressful for my mind. I then talked to someone else who asked if it was my first marathon. I told him that was, so he told me to pace myself, stick with him, start at a slow speed, gradually increase the pace, then finish with a bang! As it just so happens, this was a man partnered with the pacer for the 3:30 mark. I then turned inward, and began to pray asking God to help me make it through the event. I just wanted to finish!

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y heart started racing as the countdown began! I could feel the energy from the crowd of people watching the event from the sidelines… ba dum.. ba dum.. ba dum…. then, race signaled to start, and we all headed on our way through the city of Oakland California! What an incredible journey it was! Around every corner, was a new portion of the city! I was able to view the beauty of the greatest cultural mesh pot cities in the country by foot!!!

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rowds were so encouraging as they watched from the sidelines! The energy from the people in the city was just so amazing! I even met someone who was running the marathon as his long run for an ultra marathon! He gave me some tips on prepping for ultramarathons, and we chatted a little bit. He then encouraged me to push past him and said to just keep going because I “was guaranteed qualify for Boston!“ Again, that Boston thing! Looking back, I feel so ashamed of not knowing anything about that incredible marathon!

The best part of this event is that I was asked by a couple people why I was running the marathon. I got to share my testimony with people as I ran! I got to tell them how God delivered me from crystal meth addiction and made me a runner for Christ! I told each one of them that my purpose for crossing the finish line was to meet my troubled loved one who was there waiting for me. I wanted to prove to her that her life could change too!

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ot closer and closer to the final 10K of the event, something that Kara Goucher mentioned in a Runner’s World magazine I had received in the mail a few weeks prior kept running over and over in my mind. She said that the last 10k of a marathon is like a whole new race! That’s when you have to take everything that’s left in you, and give it all you’ve got! That’s exactly what I did! The final 10k approached, my endorphins kicked in, the exhaustion I felt from the previous 20 miles seemed to dissipate, I popped a packet of gu and began to run as though I just heard the gunshot go off at the beginning of a 10K race!

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ush towards the finish line, I was again given me opportunity share my story! A woman in the crowd yelled out, “El Sobrante Runner!!!” “What?” I said. “ you run all the time by my house!“ this is a name I had been called before, and I was always humbled that someone would recognize me and give me a label. I was even stopped at times in the grocery store and asked why I ran. Each time, I used as an opportunity to share what God had done in my life. This time though, on the race field? I was totally humbled and in awe of opportunity God was giving me share his glory with yet another person! I slowed my pace for just a moment to give glory to God for all that he did and to encourage her to keep pressing on! She then told me to push my butt towards the finish line and cheered me as I went on ahead of her! WHAT A BLESSING!

The last 3 miles felt like the longest 3 I’d ever run! Suddenly, a young guy looked like he was going to give in. His legs were aching and cramping. I encouraged him to keep pressing on. I ran next to him and kept letting him know we were almost at the finish line, to keep his chin up, and that I was rooting for him! Shortly after that, began to get dehydrated and needed some fuel. I encouraged him to sip on some water, just enough to make sure he didn’t get stomach cramps and to take another packet of gu.

Soon, I started to grow weary. A woman who was like an angel came right next to me, cheering ME on, handed me gu, kept telling me to keep going and let me know as each mile passed. After the last mile, she ran on ahead of me and I pushed into finish at the incredible time of 3:32:06!!!

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a few seconds after I cross the finish, I heard, “Hey Romans!” I looked back, remembering that I had “Romans 10:14-15” on the back of my race shirt! “ I can’t thank you enough for encouraging me,“he said! “I never would have finished, if you didn’t help push me along! My legs were so tore up! I didn’t make my goal time though!“” but you finished right? That’s what matters! And it was only by the grace of God that I was able to help you! I’m so glad you finished, “ I said. He have me a big hug and we both went on to get our finisher medals and foil blankets so we could recover.

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st immediately, I saw my troubled loved one. Meanwhile my mom was trying to track her down because she had taken off with her cell phone! So, the family drama had already begun! I went on to take my pictures and decided not to let my home life destroy what was probably the greatest moment of my life! After I got my photos taken and grabbed a few snacks, we headed off to have Pho at one of the local restaurants. Thankfully, it was such a nice time enjoying hot meal with my family talking about my journey! When we headed home… it was time to face reality again. Just prior to the marathon, I begun to transition into a new job at a restaurant in Orinda. I headed home, hopeful about the new opportunity yet dreading having to sleep in a cold mobile home alone and worried about what might be ahead of us now that my troubled loved one had returned.

Again, I had to shake off the worry and focus on recovery! Soon, I was informed by Big Al that I had qualified for Boston! Still… I had no clue help major this was! Not only that, but I also found out that I was Second in my age group and had won a pair of skecher running shoes that I gove to my mom as a thank you for all she had done for me! So many great happenings mixed with so many uncertainties…. so the recovery process began.

Now, I’m afraid of gotten carried away with this post! As you can see, this race holds a very special place my heart! Once again, I’ll have to continue with the rest my journey in a later post. Thank you all for joining me and reading about the events that made me who I am today. As for my current situation, each day I’m thankful for each step that I take. My body aches, yet my spirit begs to be set free to run! I can only hope that God‘s hand will move miraculously to release me to do so! Yet, one thing that I learned especially from running the Oakland marathon… in life, you have to continue cheer people on. Even when you feel like your legs and your body can’t take it, you have to press on, finish your race, and help others do the same! No matter what the outcome of my life is. Whether or not I ever run or walk normally again, I have to choose on a daily basis be grateful for life and ask God for the grace to keep pressing on until my dying day! Until next time, have a great week!

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My story Part 3

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Hello all! I’m back again and it’s been quite a week! Still battling some physical pain which has caused me to take it easy minus a few short workouts to just keep my body moving and going. I’m learning I have to really just feel my body out and be kind to myself right now. Instead of going out while my mom goes to work, I’ve opted to stay home and clean my room which was really hard to do during the semester between school work, work, and physical pain. I’ve also spent a lot more time reading the word of God. I found that in times like this, the word of God is my ONLY source of strength. God is my only true source of comfort and companionship. Honestly, this has become yet another season incredible loneliness and pain. At times, it feels like my life has become a prison. Thankfully, it’s nothing like some seasons I’ll review over the next few coming posts as I continue on with my journey. In order to keep my mind off of the negativity, I’ve arranged time to meet with friends as their schedules provide, tried to be at work a little bit more as my body and my health allows, and most of all, I’ve have kept my head and spirit in the word and in worship. Now, I left off last week with my troubled loved one returning home after being forced into sex trafficking on the streets of San Francisco, and that’s exactly where I’ll pick up!

My Journey Part 3

I don’t know if any of you reading have experienced this, however I found throughout my life that various songs, smells, or sounds bring back emotions or memories that can stir up incredible feelings of joy and/or pain. One particular sound that brought a mixture of feelings of relief and trauma at the same time was the sound of the Dora the explorer theme song! That along with pretty much anything that has to do with Dora the Explorer almost brings me back emotionally to time when I would wake up in the morning and be terrified yet relieved all at the same time to hear the song playing on our television.

You see, when my troubled loved one returned, she tried to stay away from her predators. The problem is… the process of brainwashing is a very intense and psychological process that pimps put their victims through. She had been severely brainwashed and traumatized. So, as many victims of this form of slavery do, she kept returning to the very people who striped her of what was left of her virtue.

For days on end, she would be missing. My heart sank as I would see the worn and stressed look on my mom‘s face as she and I both worried about what was going on while she was gone, yet were terrified of her returning home due to the fits of out rage that she would go through and the havoc she would wreak on the property as a result of her ties to the drug and sex trade world. Every morning I would either wake up to silence or to the sound of Dorothy explore playing on our television. If there was silence, she wouldn’t be there. If the music was playing, she was normally sleeping on the living room chair or couch and I would be terrified to wake her not knowing what kind of mood she would be in. I remember one time waking up and just crying not knowing what to do. I hated what was happening to her, what was happening to our family. Some nights, we would get frantic phone calls from her saying she needed to be picked up somewhere or had been beaten by her pimp in a liquor store.

One night, I saw her come out of one of the rooms in our house dressed to perfection. She looked like an innocent, pure, young lady… almost like a porcelain doll! She had a beautiful yellow sundress on. Her makeup was done so perfectly: eyelashes long and beautiful, cheeks just the right shade of rose with a hint of burgundy, white frosted eyeshadow around her eyes with just enough eyeliner to accent them… Her hair was done to perfection as well. Part of me envied her. The other part of me, just wanted to throw up knowing that men were using her like high priced toilet paper for their dirty deeds! On the streets of San Francisco, these men just saw her as a high-priced toy. When she came home, I saw her as someone I wanted to hold and hug and tell the little girl inside of her that it’s OK to watch Dora the Explorer, it’s OK just be a kid, and that she didn’t have to be a toy for those monsters anymore!

Within just a few short months, she went from being a high priced prostitute in San Francisco to being sold for just a few dollars on the streets much closer home. She went from looking like something you would see on the cover of a magazine to looking like someone who had really been drug through the mud. Finally after several months of dealing with the constant tug-of-war, police calls, emotional breakdowns from her as well as the rest of us in the house, dear friends of ours helped us get her on a plane and sent her back to New Mexico in hopes that this would help put an end to this phase of life. I felt so guilty, thinking I hadn’t been there enough for her, that there was something I could’ve done. At the same time I was so angry at her for all that she put us through! So much love yet so much bitterness all at the same time towards the same person. I was even more bitter at the people who did that to her, and all the childhood trauma we both had been through that lead us to that point, again bringing me back to sense of guilt… wishing I could have done something to save her…. in hindsight, I know now that there really was nothing I could do. I couldn’t save her from childhood abuse, I couldn’t save her from those men. What I COULD do, was try my best to stay straight and set an example that hopefully one day she would follow.

When she got on the plane, my family and I tried to go about living her life normally again. It was just really hard to shake it all off. My mom went about working her butt off day in and day out, my brother did his best to just be a normal kid, and I continued working at hometown and housesitting, racing, started attending CCC for performing arts, and worked in various areas of ministry including the worship ministry at Rock Harbor and youth ministry for an organization called younglife and wildlife. Meanwhile, public speaking opportunities begain to open up for me.

(Me speeding at a church called the Journey for their Celebrate Recovery meeting)

A youth group leader that saw me at one of the races recognized me from running on the street of El Sobrante and asked me to speak at the El Sobrante Christian academy. It was such a blessing and an honor to share my passion for running and the story of what God brought me through to so many beautiful, young faces! On top of it, I was reunited with my dad’s parents and siblings after over 20 years of separation! Finally… it felt like life was coming together!

In January 2010, I ended up in my first relationship since my move to the bay area. From the beginning, I felt a stirring in my gut that it just wasn’t right. Yes, we were both believers. The problem is, we were both very broken believers. After dealing with a few uncool situations where I could sense that he was trying to control and manipulate me, I finally exploded at him over the phone and hung up. He quickly broke up with me, and I later found out that he was following me after our separation. Though it doesn’t sound like much, being in the situation was horrifying. Shortly after that relationship ended my grandfather (on my mom’s side) passed away after dealing with severe battle COPD. I did my best to focus on classes, work, bought my first used car and just kept pressing on… meanwhile, I began to try to find control with food. Slowly, I started eliminating different foods in order to be “healthier.” This would later become a much larger issue.

Around August 2010, I received a notice in the mail announcing the Oakland marathon! It was to be held in March 2011. I thought that this would be the perfect way to celebrate 4 years of being drug free. Thankfully, that semester I had decided to step back from classes and focus on ministry and work. While on staff at hometown, one of my customers was interested in my story and why ran. We later exchanged information, and she offered to sponsor me for the event! Meanwhile, after being asked to speak for the youth group at hilltop community Church, I joined the youth leadership team there and a dear friend who was also a leader joined with me and helped me kick off was to be known as the “Race to Break the Chains,” which was a event 5k/ 10k running event that we were going to head up the following June to help raise money for Teen Challenge to help them build a home in San Jose for women trying to escape human trafficking. This was obviously a cause that hit very dear to my heart… then the major attacks came!

While out training for the marathon, I was knocked off my feet at a dog park by two dogs that had rushed out of the water. I shook it off and told the owners that I was going to be OK. Little did I know, that injury would lead to bigger issues down the road.

Soon, my mother and I received news that my troubled loved one was trying to return. Race day began to come nearer and nearer, and threats of her return did the same… finally, just two days before the event, they were no longer threats. I quickly had to pack all of my belongings, and by the grace of God, our landlord allowed me to stay in a mobile home on the property. Day before the race, I headed out for my last 3 mile run with my godmother who talked and prayed with me, a sense of dread overcame me. When we finished, and parted ways, I returned home and saw my mother and her sitting in the window at the counter in our home discussing life. I went in, tried to be as cordial as possible, and went about my day, preparing for the following day’s event. Right away, arguments and fighting began. I quickly left, went to the mobile home, and ate my dinner. As I went to bed, I started to cry. I hated arguing, I hated the chaos, and I just wanted a normal family life! I felt shoved out of my home and unsafe… so much chaos and commotion right before was to become one of the biggest days of my life! I don’t mean to sound selfish, but this had been something I had wanted to do for years. All I really wanted to do was to enjoy the race, and have an amazing recovery meal with my happy family… That feeling that I feel after I had split for my exfiancé in San Diego started to flare up! I felt so empty…. yet there with me in the loneliness was Jesus.

Now, this is where I’ll have to leave off. I do want you all to know that I love my troubled loved one with all my heart! It was never my intention for there to ever be any anger or bitterness between us. If you have someone in your family that you’re able to have contact with and you have differences between the two of you. Let them go! If you have someone in your household that you take for granted and you don’t hug on a daily basis… HUG them and hold them close! Don’t take them for granted! Don’t go one day without letting the people that you hold deer know that you love them!Honestly, I have let mine go… though circumstances that will be discussed (within reason) later have kept me separated from my troubled loved one… when I HAVE seen her, I’ve done my UTMOST to make sure she knows how much I love her.! This is why I stated time and time again, live, love, and give with your whole heart! Until my next post, God bless and give love!

A little sweetness in bitter times

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Happy Sunday y’all! I hope things of been going well for you since my last post. My world things have been a bit challenging to say the least, however in the midst of my trials I’m finding strength in Christ, along with a whole lot of food inspiration! Best of all, I’m learning the true value of human life and seeing what really matters in life is not whether or not we achieve some earthly goal or possession. What matters is how much we love.
Now, since my last post I’ve continued to press on in school despite a lot of the giants I’ve been facing. For anyone who knows what it’s like to deal with PTSD while going to school you know my pain. For those of you don’t, it’s incredibly trying. For someone with PTSD things that are stressful to normal person are 2 to 3 times more stressful for that person. When stress hits it’s almost like chaos completely overwhelms your mind and you can’t think straight. Sometimes I flashback to a Trumatic experience in childhood or life in the middle of the day while I’m doing something and it can cause a panic attack. I’ve had to learn to focus inward and find peace in Christ in order to maintain my sanity. While I’m in the process of healing from it… when it rears its ugly head it’s not fun.

Along with PTSD I also have been battling the same issues with my back and legs. I stand in class, then I take moments of brief sit down time. This is all in order to make sure that I don’t get a back flareup.
Continuously standing in one place for too long has put a lot of pressure on the muscles in my legs, which later has an effect when I try to go for a walk to relieve stress. The stress from classes, life and the sitting that I still have to do from time to time has caused my psoas and iliacus muscles to be overly tight. The help that I need isn’t covered by my insurance, so I do what I can to get by on a day to day basis.

 

Finally, the stress of classes, health, finances, worries about my troubled loved one (and not getting to see her this week for her birthday)… chaos at home and trying to study through it finally just took it’s toll. Last Thursday I was rushed to the ER after I collapsed due to heart pain and chest pressure.
Now, I know that has a believer I’m supposed to trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding. I know that I need to find my peace in God. These things I try to do. Believe me, I do what I can to find my peace rest in him. What people need to realize is that sometimes no matter how strong someone is founded in Christ, life can become overwhelming. The enemy attacks whome he fears and he has definitely attacked my family and me. The thing is I refused to back down! I’m choosing to believe that God is working as always! Meanwhile, I’m off to another round of testing to find out if there’s a deeper issue. Since this is the second time within a year’s time that I’ve been admitted to the ER with heart problems, it’s time to take a closer look. And all honesty, my guess is that a lot of it has to do with my struggles with eating disorders over the years. Stress can do so much to you, but when you’re under weight it can kill you. While I’m currently just a few pounds from my weight goal given to me by my doctor… years of miss treating my body have taken it’s toll.

My point in saying all of this is to let you know that while people these days seem to focus on the damage that obesity can do to somebody, we also need to take a look at what being too thin can do to somebody. Eating disorders of any kind or not beautiful they. are. ugly., and this is the darkside of it. This doesn’t mean to go hackling at everybody who is super thin because some people are just naturally that way. However if you or someone that you know is struggling with malnourishment, any eating disorder of any kind whether it’s over or under eating… help them or get help for yourself ASAP! I can’t stress that enough! There are so many resources out there so many people who are ready and willing to help. For me, I found a lot of help through my support system which includes my mom and my God mom, my counselor, The ED community that communicates via social media, my church, my friends and so much more. There’s nothing to be ashamed of when you decide to step out and show love to yourself by taking care of you.
Thank In closing I just want to let you all know this whole thing has really help me see how precious and fragile life is. Every moment that I get to snuggle with my cat who seems to know when something’s wrong, that I get to hold my little nephew, hug my mom, go to church, see my friends, go to school, go to work… every breath I breathe is a blessing and it’s an opportunity to love. Whoever you are that’s reading this whether you are battling with an eating disorder or battling with bitterness, unforgiveness, or just need encouragement to press on… take a deep breath right now and thank God for that breath. Look in the mirror and tell yourself how incredibly awesome you are as a creation of God. Get out there and forgive, forget the drama, quit hating on each other and fighting over stupid junk and just love on each other. Embrace your mom, your dad, your friends, your loved ones who surround you. Just love!
As always I tried to leave you guys with a delicious recipe to enjoy until my next post…. so…

Sweet potato À la mode

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*Ingredients*
-1 medium sweet potato
-1 pint of maple vanilla arctic zero ice cream
-1/4 cup slivered dry roasted almonds
*Directions*
Preheat the oven to 350° and bake your sweet potato for 45 minutes to a half hour or until you can poke a knife easily through to the center. Pull it out of the oven, cut down the middle, let the potato cool just a little bit, and scoop some arctic zero right into the center. Top it off with your slivered almonds and enjoy! I had a little bit of the pint left over after putting some in the middle of my potato, however I enjoyed the rest of it just because it’s too good not to indulge!

 

* Disclaimer (thank you Emily for reminding me of this): I am not a health professional, I’m training to be one. I do not have my license, so any advice I gave is merely on experience. In other words your health care provider is the best person to consult for any nutritional advice.

Love and my thoughts on the matter! Plus … chocolate swirl mug cake recipe!!!

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Back again and here it is the beginning of a new semester! I’ll be honest, I went into it feeling absolutely fried! Between physical pain, a serious battle with the cold flu thing that just does not seem to want to go away, financial struggles, family stuff, starting a new business, promotion at work, and the start of a whole new round of classes… It took me just about everything in me to take my first few steps on campus!

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(Photo from favim.com)

It’s almost like that senioritis that everybody talks about hit! Especially being that this is my final semester at the community college level. However, I asked the Lord to help me push through and here I am feeling hopeful yet a little skeptical at as to how to approach my studies… at any rate I thought I would talk about a subject that I haven’t really spent too much time on in this blog. Since Valentine’s Day is right around the corner it seems suitable to me to talk a little bit about love.

Now, if anybody knows my story you know that my life has been full of a lot of heartbreak and I always seem to chase Mr. wrong instead of letting God bring Mr. right, and it seems that people I’m not interested in (not that I’m better than anyone, just not interested) are the ones to show an interest. I’ve also somehow attractive these weird stocker creepy guys or the ones that make the claim that they need someone to take care of them.

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(Photo credit Disney pictures)

Nothing personal gentleman but that’s not a way to view a lady I’m not here to take care of you. Relationships are a partnership. You take care of each other. Then there’s the good guys (cough caugh… a guy I crossed paths with recently 😍😍😍/ not sure if he’s a believer) that I would be interested in, who are faithful, God-fearing, and not to mention good looking that I come across and for one reason or another I’m terrified to even look at the wrong way!
Whhaaatttt????
Now, for a long time I’ve had the sense that I enjoy being alone. The fact of the matter is I really enjoy having my space and not having to worry about if someone’s going to be angry or upset if I don’t call them at a certain time or pick up my phone at a certain time or meet with them on a certain day. For me right now I have a lot of responsibilities as it is with church, school, work, Family, etc… that when I do get a moment alone I like to just isolate myself in my room and either listen to some music or just get some peace and quiet. Any guy that would get involved in my life would have to be believer in Christ, goal oriented and driven, understanding of the life that I lead and the physical pain that I battle off and on, open and willing to share with me his weaknesses and allow me to help if and when is I can, and understand that I’m not here to wipe his butt I’m here to be a partner in life. In other words, I’m not into having a relationship unless there’s a potential for marriage. Put it this way single, saved and celibate.
My message to anyone really bummed about spending Valentine’s Day alone, focus on the people and the things that you do have! I’ve literally spent the past 12 years without a valentine. I honestly only dated one guy in the past 10 years and that relationship only lasted a little over a month. I’ve been celibate for 10 years and I intend to keep it that way until married. For me, Valentine’s Day has been a day to focus on Jesus and what he’s done for me and all the people that I do have in my life: Mom, nephew, God mamma and her new hubby, close friends and church family. Truly that’s were true love does exist. I’m currently working on loving myself and letting my love for God and myself shine through to other people. I’m honestly a work in progress. As for love right now as in having a relationship with a man kind of love? Well, that’s entirely up to the Lord. It’s not that I’m not open it’s simply that I’m not open to anyone that God would not have for me. God is not going to talk me into: 1.) someone who does not love God. 2.) someone who will ask me to abandon the dreams and goals of God is placed in my heart. 3.) someone who is manipulative, or stalking 4.) someone who expects me to take care of them without being willing to do the same for me. 5.) someone that I’m not physically and emotionally attracted to (sorry but both components do you come into play) 6.) someone who expect me to make his life my soul priority. 7.) last but not least, someone who is going to take me away from my family. My family means the world to me and this includes my God family. Plain and simple.
In a nutshell, God doesn’t want me in another bad relationship. He wants me in a relationship that will shine forth in a way that will show a testimony of His redeeming love, goodness and grace
So now you know my stance on love. I hope this helps any of you out there who are dealing with loneliness. Remember that above all the best companion you can have is God and if you can’t stand to spend time with yourself, you really don’t have a good relationship with yourself therefore you are going to have a healthy relationship with others.

Nowwww onto a new recipe that I came up with! I have been a really hooked on mug cakes lately, and the following is a chocolate brownie swirl mug cake that either you can eat alone with some coffee on Valentine’s Day, or you can make two or three and enjoy it with your loved ones or over a candlelight dinner with that special someone! Happy Valentine’s Day!

Valentines Day Chocolate Swirl Mug Cake!!!

*Ingredients*

-2/3 cup mashed baked sweet potato or canned pumpkin
-2 egg whites
-1 tbs vanilla yogurt
– 3 tbs oat flour ( oats ground in a blender)
-1/8 tsp baking soda
– cinnamon to taste
-1 tbs coco powder
-5-6 packets stevia
– 1-2 tbs almond butter

*Directions*
Set almond butter aside to use as icing, then mix dry and wet ingredients separately, leaving The Coco out for last. Then mix the two sets of ingredients together once it’s there early mixed split it into two parts adding the Coco to one part. Greece and nicesize coffee mug with olive oil or cooking spray place one of the sets of ingredients into the cup and swirl the other set in so you’ll get that chocolate and orange swirl place it in the microwave for 3 to 5 minutes until it’s completely turn the cup upside down onto a plate and drizzle the almond butter on top. You can also sprinkle a packet of stevia over the top for added sweetness (hmmmmm)!

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Peanut Butter Revelations and Kettle Corn Treats!

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“Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so”… I remember singing this song as a kid, however… I never really knew what God’s love is until more recent years. This week, as I was making my lunch, I got a revelation as to why. You see, I was making an almond butter sandwich to take with me when a childhood memory came to the forefront of my mind. I remembered when there was this peanut butter commercial on tv and the mom would put a heart on the peanut butter, close the sandwich, and when the kid got to school… He’d open the sanwich and there it was! I begged my mom to do the same for me. The thing is… Throughout the day, my lunch bag would get tossed around so much that by the time lunch came around, I’d open my sandwich and find a bunch of peanut butter and jelly mush! I asked my mom why she didn’t make the heart, and she swore up and down that she did… It just got messed up by all the tossing around of the days events. Isn’t that what it’s like with God’s love? He places the imprint of His heart on our lives, but the trials and messes of life’s circumstances seem to blot out any sign of it.! For a better idea of where I’m coming from see the following links:

My Story Begins

Into the Wilderness

My Journey Continues

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Since those past blogs, so much more has happened… Things that have brought me to my knees time and time again, questioning how a God that loved me so much could allow these things to happen. In the midst of the chaos that filled my mind… I heard His still, small voice speaking to me saying… “I love you my child!”  So, while making my sandwich, I decided to put a heart in the almond butter and, in going to eat it, I didn’t check to see if the heart was still there. I simply enjoyed every bite and thanked God for His amazing love towards me! This week… I’ve decided that… Despite the pain I’m dealing with and the uncertanties I face… I refuse to doubt the Love of God for me. So much at stake… My health, School, work, finances… There are days when walking is painful and I’ve honestly feared I might not walk properly again (fear is NOT from God) and days when I feel like any moment I could run another marathon… The mental trauma that the lingering health and family issues have caused… Wow… All I can say it that it’s truly by the grace of God that I’ve made it this far! As classes continue, I just finished my first solo in church choir, Harvest carnival coming up along with practices for the singing Christmas tree… Each step… I’ll continue to take in faith knowing that no matter what tomorrow holds… God holds every moment! So, today… I just want to assure you that no matter what you are facing… No matter what life has brought you through… Know that there is an amazing God who loves you! These trials are temporary… Life in Him is eternal! If you are temoted to doubt God’s love for you… Just ask Him to show you! When I do this… I find his heart shaped fingerprints all over my life through the love of family, friends, brothers and sisters in the Lird and in little things in the scenery around me! He never fails to show His love!
Now, as anyone who has followed my posts for any ammount of time probably knows… I love me some sweet treats! Sssooooo… I leave you all with a recipe for healthy kettle corn!

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Healthy “Kettle Corn”
-Ingredients-
1/3 cup trader joe’s popping corn
Olive oil cooking spray
Trader joe’s sea salt
2-3 stevia packets (or sweetener of your choice)

-Directions-
Place popping corn in air popper and let kernals pop. Place popped corn into a sealable container, pray lightly with cooking spray, close the container and shake. Spray again with cooking spray and close the container and shake it up again. Add sea salt to tase and 2-3 pakets of stevia. Close the lid, shake it up and enjoy! I hope ya’ll have an amazing week!

Better Late Than Never

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Love is patient; love is kind. Love is not jealous; is not proud; is not conceited; does not act foolishly; is not selfish; is not easily provoked to anger; keeps no record of wrongs; takes no pleasure in unrighteousness, but rejoices in the truth; love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. ~I Corinthians 13:4-7

 

Yesterday was Mother’s Day and… well here’s an ode to the woman who planted the Jesus seed deep within me at an early age, who has seen me through every up and down, who has suffered as her children have gone astray at various times, who intercedes more often than not for my siblings and me, who has shown an incredible sacrificial love unlike any other I have ever witnessed, and who had been at the finishing for me if not… just a phone call away to tell her I finished safely… here is to my incredible, irreplaceable mom who’s love for my siblings and me surpasses that mentioned in I Corinthians 13:4-7!

 

*Mother’s Day Berries and Cream French Toast And Turkey Bacon w/ A Side of Citrus Green Tea.

 

GREEN TEA

-two jasmine green tea bags

-1 6oz cup water

-4oz oj

-juice from 1/4 lemon

-1to 2 tbs honey

DIRECTIONS

Bring water to a boil, and let cool for two min (green tea burns in boiling water, letting it cool will keep the tea true to flavor). Steep bags for 3-4 min. Pull bags out (do not squeeze out water this will make it bitter. Over steeping will do the same). Mix in honey and place in fridge for one hour then add orange and lemon juice. Serve over ice with lemon and orange twists to garnish! Serve with toast and bacon!

 

STRAWBERRY TOPPING

-1/4 small, rectangle package of low-fat cream cheese

-3 tbs non fat milk

-1/2 tsp vanilla

-3 tbs clover honey

-1/3 cup strawberries diced

-1/3 cup blueberries

(You may also use another very selection of your choice)

DIRECTIONS

Let cream cheese sit out until room temp. Mix cram cheese, milk, vanilla, and honey until creamy and set in fridge to thicken. Leave berries in a separate bowl.

 

FRENCH TOAST

-1 free range egg

-1/4 cup milk (1% works best)

-splash of vanilla

-cinnamon to taste

-2 pieces of sprouted grain bread

Directions

Heat up skillet and spray w butter flavored cooking spray.Mix eggs, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon together. Dip each piece of bread into Bayer, making sure each side is properly coated. Place on skillet and cook on med heat until golden on each side. Set on a plate w cream cheese typing and berries placed in little side dishes so mom can choose how much to use 🙂

 

BACON

-3 strips of turkey bacon

DIRECTIONS

Cook in skillet until desired consistency and serve with toast!