#TBT, Bible, Blogging, Brooklyn, Career, Christian, Dating, emotional, faith, Family, Fear, Flatbush, Give Back, Growing Up, jesus, jesus christ, Love, Marriage, NYC, prayer, Wedding

You can’t always get what you want. And that’s not a bad thing.

Life is quite funny.

By God’s grace, D recently found a new career opportunity in NY. What this means is that after six years of what was supposed to be a year of living in New Jersey, I’m heading back to Brooklyn and taking this Jersey Boy with me. His friends think I’m elated. I’m happy, but it is bittersweet.

When I first moved here I was sad and upset at having to leave NYC, but took comfort in the fact that it would be for only a year. 365 days. When it became clear that year would extend to four, I was bitter and disappointed. Thankfully, two years into living here, I was led to my current church – a blessing God knew I needed but wouldn’t have gotten if He hadn’t moved me to the other side of the Hudson. I had been away from God for a long time before that and was slowly (think tortoise steps) finding my way back. God placed me where I could get the support of an uncompromising bible-teaching-believing-practicing pastor and fellow believers to grow in my walk with Him. Fellow believers who helped me move past the guilt of turning my back on God and accept the forgiveness He offered after I came back in broken repentance.

I am happy for this new challenge ahead of us and the opportunity to change, shape and make a real difference in the neighborhoods of my childhood, but I am sad as well. In addition to my church family, my in-laws have made Jersey a home for me. Where there was no true emotional connection to the state when I first arrived, I must say that it now holds a special place in my heart that is uniquely its own. One that even New York can’t ever touch. How can it? This is where D and I started our married life. Jersey is forever tied to those memories.

Some may not believe me, but I am very grateful for the way life turned out. I am thankful that God overruled my wants and led me to follow His will.

Would love to hear stories of how your life took a path contrary to what you wanted but that turned out to be exactly what you needed.

Proverbs 19 21

#TBT from 2011

Same old story, different couple. 20-something Brooklyn Girl enjoys the highlights and pitfalls of everyday single life without care or thought to settling down. Brooklyn Girl meets New Jersey Boy online and thinks New Jersey Boy is funny. She’ll go out with him. Time goes by and BK Girl realizes that Jersey Boy is awesome. She’ll keep going out with him. More time passes and both BK Girl and Jersey Boy realize they want to keep hanging out with each other.

Jersey Boy proposes to BK Girl after a series of comical errors. BK Girl screams “Holy Crap, We’re Engaged!” before saying yes to nervous Jersey Boy on bended knee awaiting an answer.

BK Girl makes it clear to Jersey Boy – “THERE’S NO WAY I’M MOVING TO NEW JERSEY!” Jersey Boy agrees, but secretly wonders if maybe BK Girl doesn’t understand the meaning of compromise.

Jersey Boy starts the search for NY job. And he searches…and searches…and searches. Jersey Boy realizes NY job market is a bust. Makes more sense to keep current NJ job.

Jersey Boy agonizes over how to tell BK Girl that the stress of the reverse commute would eventually cause him to drive his car off the Brooklyn Bridge. BK Girl and Jersey Boy separately contemplate living apart while married – both agree that’s probably not the best idea. Jersey Boy nervously brings up subject of moving to Jersey to BK Girl.

Seeing the writing on the wall, BK Girl makes Mandelaesque sacrifice and leaves the bright lights of NY for the humdrum life of Jersey — at least temporarily.

What was supposed to be a one year stay has now turned into three with one more to go before Jersey Boy can be settled in his field.

With humor, BK Girl tries to embrace her current refugee status while dreaming of the day she can return to her homeland.

Join her on this cross-state journey as she embraces her life in Jersey while still maintaining her New York roots.

bklynjersey

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Author, Blogging, Career, Coding, Confidence, Criticism, Doubt, Education, Empowerment, failure, faith, Fear, Feedback, Goals, Technology, Write, Writer, writing

If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you!

Learning to code is certainly challenging, but well worth the effort and time. I kicked-off 2015 not with a resolution, but with the goal of undertaking a project that would shove me out of my safe and comfortable bubble. And shove me HTML, CSS and JavaScript have done. And they’re just the basics. Let’s not forget that I still have the programming languages to learn. Hello PHP! Nice to meet you, Python! Oh, Ruby, you sparkling beast! Oy. Well, one task at a time.

So, what challenge will change you this year? What challenges have changed you in the past?

My Last Top 3 Growth-Encouraging Challenges

  1. Completing my very first novel. IT. WAS. HARD. REALLY. REALLY. HARD. But for the first time since I started keeping a diary at the age of nine, I had the confidence to call myself a writer.
  2. Sharing my writing. When I clicked submit and officially entered the 2013 So You Think You Can Write contest, my heart dropped to my stomach. There was no turning back at that point. I had opened the door for others to see my heart. I needed that experience to give me the courage to work towards becoming a published author. Something that hasn’t happened yet, but I refuse to give up on.
  3. Running my first (and only so far) half marathon. I was injured, cold, and felt like a truck had run me down. I remember praying with every painful step that the Lord would strengthen me to continue. He did. That experience was yet another confirmation of Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Happy New Year! I’m glad to be back.

P.S. I apologize in advance for the errors you might encounter in future posts as I practice HTML and CSS behind the scenes. 🙂 I’ll keep working with Skillcrush to improve my skills. I’ll be an expert yet.

challenge change

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america, American, Blogging, BlogHer, December, Give Back, Inspiration, It takes a village, jesus, jesus christ, Joy, Love, NaBloPoMo, share, Uncategorized

What Will You Give? #GIVINGTUESDAY

While you never need a day to give, it’s nice to harness the power of social media to encourage generosity. The focus of #GIVINGTUESDAY is on providing financial support to amazing organizations that focus on vital social issues such as poverty, education and hunger.

I encourage you to visit Charity Navigator, GuideStar and other vetting sites to learn about the important work organizations of all sizes across this country and abroad are doing. Organizations that you can support. I also encourage you to search for nonprofits in your own neighborhood that are striving to make your community better.

While giving a financial donation is important, don’t forget that as human beings we’re built to give so much more: give your time, give a hand, give a word of encouragement, give a smile, and give an ear (actively listening to someone who just needs to talk can make a world of difference). Learn from Christ and give of yourself. There’s a #joy attached to giving that can never be measured.

Today I give

…thanks to my heavenly Father and give Him the glory that only He deserves.

…a meal to someone who would otherwise go hungry by supporting Feeding America.

…spiritual nourishment to those who need Christ by supporting my local church to spread the gospel.

…my fellow Boy Meets World dorks a smile by sharing this Buzzfeed post about Cory and Shawn’s reunion. (Still have to watch this episode.)

What will you give on this #GIVINGTUESDAY?

From: http://www.givingtuesday.org/

WHAT IS #GIVINGTUESDAY?
We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. Now, we have #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. On Tuesday, December 2, 2014, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.

It’s a simple idea. Just find a way for your family, your community, your company or your organization to come together to give something more. Then tell everyone you can about how you are giving. Join us and be a part of a global celebration of a new tradition of generosity.

GiveTuesday_700x

cory and sean

december 2014

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Blogging, BlogHer, College, December, Friends, Friendship, Joy, NaBloPoMo

NaBloPoMo December: Day 1 (Call Me Al!)

Great way to kick-off this month’s #joy theme. This song always reminds me of my best friend K and I dancing around the local supermarket of our college town. Whenever I hear it, I just have to start moving and smiling. Do you have a song that does that for you?

december 2014

 

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Day 30: 30 NaBloPoMo Random Thoughts

1. I’m thankful to all who have taken time to read, like or comment on my posts. There’s plenty else that you could be reading or just doing, so thank you for the 10-15 minutes out of your day to engage with me.

2. Thank you to the other bloggers who participated this month. I had a chance to read a number of your blogs/posts (not as many as I would have liked) to learn about you and your take on the world. Even when your take on the world skewed left where mine skewed right, I could appreciate the courage it took to be vulnerable and share your thoughts.

3. Why did it take me so long to discover BlogHer? What a great way to connect others in the same sphere! Looking forward to the conference this summer.

4. Pictures can and do say a thousand words.

5. *This has always been true for me* It takes less emotional investment to share your thoughts/feelings with strangers than it does to share with your loved ones. D is the only one who knows I have a blog and it took a while before I gave him the link.

6. I’m very mindful about sharing the personal information of others because they did not choose to expose their thoughts to strangers – I did. As such, if you see ‘D’ (for my husband) or/and other acronyms and abbreviations, please know it’s only because I want to be respectful of their privacy.

7. I’m ALWAYS interested in learning more about my readers. I don’t just ask questions to fill empty space, so I encourage you to jump in and respond. I read all of your responses.

8. The default date and time stamp on WordPress is wrong. It’s always a day and hours ahead. I have to publish the post and then go back in to edit the date/time. Anyone knows how to change that?

9. I have to switch to posting early in the morning because waiting until the end of the day makes me less likely to do so. I’m on the computer all day, I don’t want to get back on after work.

10. With that said, it has been nice to use these posts to reflect on each day’s activities.

11. Sorry I’ve been so American-centric with my references. WordPress tells me that my visitors are from all over the world. I welcome all international readers and want you to feel a part of the Write it Out! community.

12. I am very random. My posts have and will continue to reflect the diversity of thoughts that zigzag through my head at any given point.

13. Even so, I do need to put together a calendar of topics each month to organize my blogging life. I can be random and organized, I think.

14. There has to be a less time consuming way to add a ‘Pin It’ button to each picture. Right now I use Widget Builder  – a helpful tip I picked up from blogger Venus Trapped in Mars, but it’s tedious when I have multiple photos. Is there a better tool?

15. Prissy didn’tknow nothin bout birthin babies!” and I don’t know nothin’ ’bout growing a blog! Thank God for the experts out there. I’ve curated a collection of tips on one of my Pinterest boards: The Business of Writing. Take a look.

16. It’s so helpful when bloggers set links to open in new windows or tabs. I find it annoying when I’m reading a post and click on a link and it opens in the same tab.

17. I’m a complete dork who gets silly excited when I receive a comment/like notification. Wonder if that’s the same for bloggers with better traffic.

18. What are some of your favorite blogs out there? I’ll be writing a post of my faves in December or January, God willing, and I’d like to start researching more.

19. Yes, I love technology. Always and forever. *But I will go crazy when it doesn’t work as fast as I think it should.*

20. Bookmark has been so helpful through this process. First I post here, then I have to copy and paste to BlogHer, and then have to add the link to the November 2014 NaBloPoMo page. When I’m posting with one minute to midnight, I don’t have the time to go in search of all these links.

21. Picmonkey is a great free tool to edit photos.

22. As you can tell by my photos, I’m not a skilled photographer. I hope you enjoy the slices of my life I share with you even if they’re not perfect.

23. How come when it’s time to write a post that’s when I remember the 12,000 other tasks I wanted to do that day? Distracted much?

24. The same topic can be covered by multiple bloggers yet each voice is unique and will present the story as such.

25. I ♥ fashion and home blogs. BlogHer has helped me find new, small and quirky ones to add to my list.

26. If I post steadily over the next year (God willing) and see a tremendous growth in readership, I will invest in my own personalized designed site.

27. I made a mistake taking on NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo in the same month. While it’s unfortunate that I did not successfully complete NaNoWriMo, I am encouraged by the success of this project. The work on my second novel focused on Eli‘s sister Laura will continue. It just won’t be completed this year as I had hoped.

28. I recently learned there is a NaBloPoMo for December. The theme is JOY; I’m excited and will be posting!

29. Real life or online life, I’m an introvert. And as an introvert I don’t always feel like sharing myself with the world. When I’ve been too social – as has been the case over the last month – I often need a little quiet corner to regroup, which is why I didn’t post yesterday. And that’s okay. 🙂

30. I am not perfect, but thankfully I’ve been blessed with a heart that seeks after God. My life is here to encourage others to see God’s mercy, grace, correction (God corrects those He loves), and love in order that He may receive the glory that He alone deserves. Whether I’m writing a blog post or writing a story, I am aware that what I share with the world can either encourage others to draw nearer to God or away from Him. I pray to always do the former.

My feet in the Aegean Sea in Athens

My feet in the Aegean Sea in Athens. Random enough?

 NaBloPoMo_November

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Blogging, BlogHer, Christian, Christmas, faith, NaBloPoMo, NaNoWriMo, NYC

Welcome Christmas!

Now that the opening act (Thanksgiving) has left the stage, it’s time for the headliner to be introduced: Welcome Christmas! ‪#‎BringOnTheLights‬ ‪#‎SpiritOfGiving‬ #GivingIsMoreThanMoney ‪#‎TeamJesus‬ ‪#‎TeamChristmas‬ ‪#‎IwaitedTHISLong‬ ‪#‎PoorD ‪#‎HeKnewBeforeHeMarriedMeTho‬ ‪#‎ITakeBackMyPoorD‬

Tiffanys framed

Tree framed

Tiffanys window framed

NaBloPoMo_November

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Sausage and Herb Stuffing: Thanksgiving Recap.

Anyone in a food coma? I was pretty good today only eating a single serving of each dish — well, dessert doesn’t count.

Had a lovely dinner (is it dinner when you eat at 3ish?) with my in-laws (♥ them!). Sis-in-law made her amazing mashed potatoes and mom-in-law made her smack-your-mama-tasty pumpkin pie. I made the laughable version of Barefoot Contessa’s sausage and herb stuffing. I was so careful to follow the recipe and it still didn’t come out like hers. In fact I had to add more chicken stock after it baked for 30 minutes because one cup was just not enough. I was very disappointed with the dish but everyone else seemed to enjoy it. It was great to see my father-in-law go for seconds.

Here’s a pictorial recap of my day. Would love to hear about yours, or just about your day if you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving. This is the WORLD Wide Web, after all, and not just the AMERICA Wide Web. 🙂

Night.

ingredients3a

Prep Ingredients

sautee

Final Dish1

Thanksgiving Table

pie a la mode

mom-in-law's pumpkin pie

oreo cake

NaBloPoMo_November

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