Tuesday, January 20, 2009

This is a day for the history books!

I grew up in a prodominately white area. In elementary school, I spent the first three years being the only black girl for the entire grade. So my foundation for making friends has never been based on skin color. Growing up in this type of environment has caused for plenty of people to ask me questions about race... If I even see skin color, how do I identify with people, do I feel like I fit in... Things like that. I can remember having conversations with my dad and being totally shocked that he couldn't understand my "color-blindness". My dad was not a racist man, he just grew up with a little more awareness of skin..

For example, my dad would tell me stories about how as a child, he couldn't walk all the way down his street because there were chains separating the black side from the white. He would tell me stories about not being able to have the same freedoms as other kids because of his skin color.

Today is a day that I wish my dad was still alive for. History has been made and that means so much for me and this country. I really don't care about politics or even who you voted for. Please celebrate the fact that history has been made and people who once were cleared off of busy public streets with fire hoses are now able to be elected into the leadership of our great country.

Barack Obama is not my savior. Only Christ has that role. I do not believe he has the power to fix the world's issues. I also don't agree with every policy that he stands for. I do believe he has provided a sense of hope for those who have always been told they won't make it... No matter who or what they are. I do think its good to have a change in office. I am praying for our new leader and that no matter what, God would be glorified.

It feels good to be a part of history.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Palm Trees

The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the Lord; they flourish in the courts of our God. They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green, to declare that the Lord is upright; He is my rock and there is no unrighteousness in Him. ~ Psalm 92:12-15

I first came across this verse in the beginning of the school year... about a week before classes started. I love the picture that it paints of these majestic and tall palm trees. When I lived in Ohio, palm trees always reminded me of vacation. Typically because I only saw these types of trees when I went down to Florida for spring break or some other get-a-way. They always struck me because they were so different from the trees I was so used to exotic and unique. Once I moved out west I saw them everywhere and it was kind of exciting.

I began to pray Psalm 92:12-15 for our students at Cal State Long Beach. I desire for them to flourish like these majestic trees I see strewn about Southern California. I ask that they would continue to stand tall in their faith when they face adversity on campus. I hope that they would remain rooted and continue to bear fruit even in old age. I pray that their walk tells of how the Lord is their rock and that He upholds them.

I'm claiming this verse for the students of Cal State Long Beach... would you claim it with me?

Thanks for reading and thanks for praying. Please continue to pray as a new semester is starting up on campus.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Homesick? Maybe...

I laughed at myself as I drove onto the 71-N entrance ramp from Rookwood... I thought about how I planned to move from Clifton to Oakley, get a cute 1-bedroom apt and work for a non-profit organization somewhere. I had everything planned and was somewhat excited about it. Little did I know that God would take me somewhere drastically different. The thought of actually leaving Cincinnati NEVER crossed my mind. During all of this thought process, I have had to fight the temptation to believe I had it so much better when living in Cincinnati. I look at the example of the children of Israel who always claimed that had it better way back when... especially when they were facing large tests of faith.

I picture myself standing at the water's edge. The water is rushing by and I don't know how to swim. I know I have to make it across, but honestly, there's no way to get over there. I keep hearing a voice telling me to trust because He can get me to where I need to be, but in true human fashion, I'm hesitant. Will I trust the Lord to stop the flow so that I can cross safely? Am I willing to even take the necessary steps? Or do I want to just sit on the bank and look back through clouded lenses attempting to convince myself that life was much better way back when...

At this moment, I don't want to leave to go back to Long Beach. Nothing against it... I do enjoy living out west... I think I'm just extremely sad to leave what I have here. I've been able to spend time with my best friends from college, re-live TONS of memories and do all the things I miss doing now that I'm with different people on the west coast. I'm going to desperately miss my family... my precious nephews Amir and Michael and my sister Dalena... This was probably the best time I've ever had at home and it flew by way to quickly.

Highlights from Cincinnati:
-I will never ever grow sick of eating Skyline Chili
-Watching my nephew Michael work his tiny fist mostly into his mouth and listening to him babble away at himself as he slowing rocks to sleep in his swing.

-Witnessing my six year old sports star of a nephew sink the ball at his Finneytown Little Cats basketball game
-Sitting at Mac's re-living the past and having a fabulous time in the present
-Photobooth pics in Lexington with Bizcuit :)
-Visiting my Grandaddy who will never cease to amaze me
-Kate, Emily, Linds, Jeff, Rich, Matt, Nick, Adam, CJ, Betsey, Dan, Doug, Katie... everyone.. its always fabulous to get time with these people
-Actually being present while one of my friends gets engaged... Congrats Emily and Doug!!!

Things I'm hopeful for in '09:
-emotional healing from deep deep past hurts
-close friendships outside of my Navs network
-to be known like (or somewhat like) I am when I'm in Cincinnati
-a church to call home
-new friendships on CSULB's campus
-more bible readings in the dorms
-more conversations about Christ and how He impacts life
-watching some pretty key girls that I'm really stoked about grow and become more excited in their walk with Christ

I'm sure there's more and I'll be sure to blog about it in a couple of months...

Anyway, thanks for reading. You stay classy, Cincinnati ;)