Speak

"I'm convinced that the way we.jpg

This quote brings so much relevance to what I have come to believe over the last few months about life. Part of the reason I started this blog was because I want to bring life to the stories of others as well as my own. I want to promote transparency in our lives. Even though I struggle with finding people that I trust to truly pour my heart out, I know that there is still some healing in allowing people to know that I struggle too. That I am not strategically selecting the best pictures from my day for a social media spotlight. My life is not perfect. It’s good, but not perfect. I struggle, I cry, I get extremely insecure, I get angry and envious and I beat myself up over it. Despite all this, I’ve realized that I can find comfort in knowing that I am not the only one. That despite the mask that others may use, they, too, are facing the same battles. If only we would speak up about it. I wonder what it would do to satan’s pride if we were to rise up and admit that we are broken and in need of help. It’s in our secrecy that he get us. It’s in our secrecy where we allow our struggles to grow.

 

Love,

Whit

Beauty In The Blackout

screen-shot-2017-01-21-at-10-43-02-pm

It was breathtaking. The view that greeted my unexpecting eyes as I opened the door of my cabin was enough to cause my mouth to fall open and my heart to melt. The visual of rooftops freshly topped off with snow was striking, especially since there had been no visible evidence of snow when we arrived the night before. But the morning, the morning brought a winter wonderland. A view I had originally only seen in pictures or Hallmark movies. A view that a girl who lives and breathes in the south-central area of L.A. could only dream of touching. As I made my way down the mountain in awe, I inhaled the beauty of plants frozen in motion with icicles clinging to their stems. I playfully made childish stomps on the ground beneath me simply to hear the snow “crunch”.

And then, just when I thought the beauty of what was presently available was enough, soft and quiet snowflakes began to fall lightly on my uncovered hair. It was snowing. And I was in the midst of it. I was no longer daydreaming in my bedroom of what it would be like to feel real snow as it falls fresh from the sky. I was living it. Finally. And it was great. In my frosted hypnosis, I finally realized that my mother would disown me if I walked away from an experience like this without pictures. So I pulled out my camera and began to take shots of every irrelevant object I could find, simply because it was covered in snow. I laughed and explored with other visitors who were just as amazed as I was. Somehow, the ability to share the experience made it even sweeter.

But as the snow continued to fall hours into the day, I noticed a slight shift in my mindset as I shifted through the snow. I was over it.

Just. Like. That.

I specifically remember thinking, “Okay God, You can stop now.”

For the fact was, that by 11:00 am. I was tired of the threat of what a broken back would feel like if I slipped while walking down the icy downhill roads. I was tired of walking in the slushy muck of melted snow that seemed to happily collide with dirt. I was annoyed with having to put snow-wet gloves on my cold hands in order to survive a two-minute walk without frostbite. Yep. I was done. But apparently, the weather wasn’t. It continued to fall even harder as the day went on. And by 1:00 pm, the falling snow no longer carried a quiet and steady pace of politeness. It was mean now. Quick, and heavy. Sleet came along with it, and with the sleet came the pain of a bare face that was being repeatedly hit by its’ sharpness. And don’t forget the blackout. Yes, the moment the weather got so bad that it caused a power outage on our campsite. Darkness, hills and icy roads really do not belong together. I won’t even throw the threat of wildlife in there.

But beyond what was physically happening in front of me, came what was mentally happening inside of me.

The “What-ifs”

“What if we get snowed in here?”

“What if the weather gets worse?”

“What if the chains don’t work on our van as we leave here tomorrow?”

I was making myself miserable. And I soon grew tired of it. I only had 24 more hours of it and I did not want it to be ruined by fears of “What-ifs”. After all, who knew when I would be able to experience this again. In my heart, I knew God would keep us from harm, so I figured I might as well embrace it.

And that was it. Like a light bulb going off in my head, I felt the spirit guiding me to make a connection between how I viewed this snow storm and how I viewed specific areas in my life.

My singleness sometimes feels like a snow storm. Like I’m walking in murky, dirty snow and down icy mountains, with sleet hitting my face. It irritates me. At times I can find the beauty in it, but then there are times where I am saying, “Okay God, you can stop now”. In my distress, I go through a series of “What-ifs”.

“What if I get married waaaay later than what I would like?”

“What If I never have kids?”

“What if I never get married?”

I’m really good at making myself miserable.

But now, after that experience, I am being challenged. I can say with my whole heart that although I battle with the “What-ifs”, I do believe that God has someone for me. So, maybe that means I should just enjoy the time. Instead of fretting in my eagerness of wanting to know when the storm will end, I should embrace that a time will come and I will no longer be in this season. A time will come when I will no longer be single Whitney, with single responsibilities, but a woman with a multitude of worries and humans that I will have to attend to. In my racing to get to the next season, I am missing out on the grace in the solitude that is before me.

Instead of being upset that I am stuck in a snow storm, with a power outage and nothing to do, I should embrace that this is a moment of quietness that God is proving for me to run to Him. I just have to utilize it.

I decided while on that mountain that as long as I had left there, I was going to make the best of it. I went sledding with new friends who were graciously eager to share their equipment. I put on my coat and made snow angels on the ground (which are a lot harder to make than they look). I built snowmen, and joined snowball fights. I captured the beauty of the view with my Nikon and I comforted those who seemed to have a little more trouble handaling the storm than I did.

 

DSC_0049.JPG

Thus, the same should be said for my singleness. For I do not know when this season will end, but I also don’t know how much I will miss it once it is over. I want to embrace its’ benefits while I still can.

screen-shot-2017-01-21-at-10-48-50-pm

I know it will be a process to undo years of negative and doubtful thoughts due to my singleness, but my hope is that one day I will no longer be wishfully wanting the season to be over, but I will instead be thanking God for the beauty in the blackout.

Love,

Whit

Take A Seat

   

 The voice of God is powerful. Or at least the version that I’ve heard is. Although I have not been able to audibly hear his voice or see particular visions that He has placed in my mind, the ways in which He chooses to speak to me carry an impactful significance. 

He speaks into my struggle. He knows exactly what it is I battle and He pulls a chair out from the table. Inviting me to sit and talk to Him because He cares. I will admit, that sometimes I don’t feel worthy to maintain an intimate relationship with the Creator of the universe, so I often find myself making up excuses for the communications I receive directly from God.

“It was just a councidence” I tell myself. 

“That sermon didn’t exactly cover your struggle.” I will negotiate.

Or maybe, it’s not me that is doing the negotiating.

Maybe it’s the same serpent that caused Eve to second guess the direct words of God. The serpent who caused Eve to second guess her instructions so much that she, and her husband, would change the entire course of history. 

I don’t want the enemy to change the course of my future. I know it will not be easy, but I will have to learn to change every spiritual coincidence into a “God-cidence” and receive it. 

God wants me to know that He sees, He hears, and He cares about me.

I just have to take a seat.

Love,

Whit

Empty Rooms

  
Here I sit. Alone in the foyer of this slightly unfamiliar church. The space is nice, yet burdensome at the same time. Because just behind me, in the silence that now seems a little too loud, there are others who wait with me. I am alone. But not really. We all are quiet, seated in our perfered positions of comfort. The silence is deafening. Maybe I am not the only one who struggles as an awkward girl on the sidelines. Maybe this is more universal than I think. Maybe my flaw was not in feeling like the awkward girl, but in the belief that I was the only awkward girl. 

I am sure that this is how the enemy tricks us. He allows us to believe that we are the only ones in our struggle. That if people found out they would never understand. So we sit. In our silence. Allowing it to overtake and control us. 

It’s like we are sitting in empty rooms. If only we would turn around.
Love,

Whit

The Awkward Girl

This weekend I will be the awkward girl. You know, that introverted girl helplessly tossed into a den of extroverted familiars who can pick up on one another’s inside jokes with the wink of an eye. I will be that girl that stands helplessly on the outskirts of the gathering, wanting desperately to enter, but not having the courage to knock. They don’t know me. I don’t know them. They’ll probably just think I’m weird. They will probably just reject me. 

And there it is. My deepest fear. The one thing that keeps me from grabbing hold of potentially good friendships so that I won’t do this life alone. It is the fear of rejection.

Rejection is a tricky character. It will cause you to act in ways that will typically get people to reject you. It’s funny, and nauseating at the same time.

I’m going on a retreat this weekend. With a church and a group of people that I am only slightly familiar with. When I went two years ago, I came with the strategic mission to find a group of friends that I could grow closer with. I was determined. I asked around about the retreat, slightly weary of going off into the mountains with a group of people I didn’t know, and they all affirmed that this was the weeked where “connection” happens. I was sold.

I went. I worshipped. I came back the same. No special friends in tow.

The day before we left, I felt myself being overcome with disappointment. I had come here to make friends and I still had not conquered more than polite conversation. I was failing. But when the last night of worship came God began to speak to me. As the room dimmed and the music played, I worshipped, probably thinking of all the ways I had failed in making a friend, and how I really needed God to guide me. As I continued to cast my cares on to Him, the worship leader began to speak.

“Someone in here is worried about who their friends are and what they are wearing, but God just wants you to come to Him.”

Boom.

That was for me.

Just when I thought that was all the guidance I needed, the pastor of the retreat approached the stage to end the worship with a bible verse.

“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.”

-Psalm 34:8

Boom.

That was for me.

It may not seem to match the exact struggle of my situation at the surface. But it did. In fact, this verse hit the bulls eye. I had just recently ran into that verse weeks, maybe even months, before the retreat. I had been considering it as the name of a minature, makeshift coffee shop that I wanted to begin with the youth at my church, “Taste and See.” I thought I had hit gold when I found that verse because it so perfectly incorporated taste and God. I had even gone out and wrote the verse on a vintage chalk board that I had purchased. I knew that Psalm 34: 8 was the perfect verse to describe our CoCoa shop. I hadn’t planned on God using it against me to get me to turn back to Him, and only Him.

God really spoke to me on that trip. There are times when I try to talk myself out of obvious communications from God, but I can’t seem to shake that one.

So now, on this retreat, I just want Jesus. I still have the desire to make great friends, but that is second in my desire to really focus on my Lord and Savior. I have been trying my best since before the begining of the year to take on a position seated before Him. I no longer want to be the girl that admires the devout faith of other christians. I want it now, too.

I will have it.

So, this weekend, I will be the awkward girl.

And that is okay, for God is my refuge.

 

Love,

Whit

Through A Perspective of Peace

“I won’t sacrifice my peace for your comfort.”

-Anthony Evans, Jr.

The war that I have been battling in my mind for months has not been fun. Like irritated siblings at odds, my heart and mind rage war against each other on whether or not the decision to simply let go was correct.

Friendships.

They are great, life-giving, soul comforting, fruit bearing, but sometimes, if your aren’t careful, they are just plain draining. In my attempts to find my “one and only” true friend throughout the years, I stumbled into a friendship that left me wondering whether or not I should be there. Weary weeks in the start of this friendship turned to frustrated months, and those months turned to mentally drained years. I’ve now realized that my  weariness was a clear sign of my lack of inner peace. My questioning of  whether or not this friendship I established should remain was not my battle against what I originally thought was my christian duty, it was my battle against peace.

Was I being mean for wanting to walk away?

Do I have friendship commitment issues?

Am I being petty?

Will God be mad at me?

It was a war. A circle, that I continued to go round and round in at a 100 mph. The green exit sign too blurry to make out in my speed. But now that I am looking at things with a perspective of peace, I am seeing that those questions were a direct result of my confusion, my insecurity, and my unrest.

I am sure that my lack of reading and understanding the Bible is a primary reason I could not distinguish this as a friendship that I could lightly set down when it first began. It was my misunderstanding of the Word and the Grace of God that kept me in bondage to the thoughts of others who made sure to point out my apparent flaws as a “true” friend in this particular friendship. When in reality, I had long been done, I just didn’t want to go to hell.

So I stayed, and I played, and I continued to sacrifice my peace for the comfort of someone else. Because I didn’t know how fragile they were, because I understood the hardness of their background, because I know that sometimes I could be a tad bit negative, because I was to confused and insecure to give myself permission to be free.

It’s interesting how living with a partial understanding on the goodness and salvation of Jesus will completely destroy you. For if I had been striving to know Him fully I may have found my eyes upon the verses of scripture that speak on His desire to give me complete peace.

“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.” -2 Thessalonians 3:16

At all times. In every way.  My God seeks to give me peace.

 

I think I may try to memorize this scripture. Lest I forget to view every questionable situation and relationship through a perspective of peace.

 

Grace and Peace,

Whit

 

 

 

 

To Tell A Story

Rejection is my story. Insecurity is my struggle.

One day I would hope to write a book on how rejection and insecurity can be demolished in Jesus’ name. But first, I have to live it.

To tell a personal story one must have courage. I haven’t arrived there yet. My fears and anxieties have taken such a hold on me that even writing my hurts down on a blog that I know no one is reading seems way to vulnerable.

I know that I have a narrative within me but I am too afraid to bring it out. Because of this, I can’t make sense of it, I can’t process it and I definitely can’t share it. So it stays hidden. Deep in my soul where my pride and dignity take turns stomping it further into the pit of my gut. I  know that if I don’t allow my Savior to mend the pain of my broken, rejected and insecure heart, I will never be able to bloom in the way that God intends for me to.

I can’t stay here.

I want to say that I know the grass will be greener on the other side, but I was reminded of a statement that claims “the grass is greener where you water it”. Could this be true for me? Am I too sold out on what complete healing looks like that I have undervalued the beauty of the process to get there. The time for me to fall in love with Jesus and truly allow Him to be the redeemer of my soul. I’ve idolized the end result. After all, who has time to walk through an unexplored wilderness of self-doubt, deep rooted anxieties, and never ending fears? I want the testimony, the completed story, the signs of an unbreakable relationship with my Savior, and the healing. I want the book.

I love raising my hands in church. I tend to be a bit more sheepish in the small baptist church that I attend, but if you throw me in the right setting, with dimmed lights, loud music and complete strangers; this girl will worship.

Or at least try to.

Because the truth is, there is something keeping me from going all the way in with worship. When I want to just let go and focus on the King with a true heart of gratitude, amazement, love and awe, something blocks me.

“Are people looking at me?”

“I hope they think I’m holy”.

“Maybe they think I’m too holy”.

“I hope I don’t look radical”.

“What am I eating for lunch?”

The thoughts explode in my mind. I’m sure I am not the only one who struggles with this type of worship, but I also know that this distracted type of worship can only be the result of someone who has not fully given herself over to Christ.

To tell a story takes courage.

To give it to God takes steady patience and a whole lot of faith.

 

 

Much love,

Whit

 

 

 

 

Enough

After my digestive fiasco with McDonalds on Saturday, I knew I needed a change. So today, I decided to be intentional about my move towards a healthier lifestyle. I began the day with a carrot, apple and celery juice from a small, but popular,  little juice bar near my job. I brought three 8 oz bottles of water from my home and a couple of selections of fruit. Although I did have a slight setback with a leftover latte from Starbuck, I passed up the opportunity to receive a fresh refill and went straight to the juice joint.

These juice meals always scare me. Will I be starving 30 minutes into work? Will I pass out from fatigue and hunger? Will this juice be…enough?

Enough.

I think that was my main struggle. How can a 24 oz cup of juice and a couple of  8 oz bottles of water be enough to sustain me unto lunch?  When you are use to the salty warmth of a breakfast sandwich, or the fullness that a donut with the right amount of sweet can provide, how can something as simple as juice be enough?

I was hit with a tad bit more than just a juice cleanse today.

I began to have some interesting thoughts on the meaning of contentment. While my body was saying, “Yes, this juice is beyond enough”, my mind was telling me I was crazy.

“Don’t you want chips?”

“Don’t you want a Mexican pizza for lunch?”

“Are you sure you don’t want Subway?”

It was a battle.

I actually hadn’t made up my mind on what I was having for lunch until I pulled my car into the shopping center where the juice bar was located. I walked to the Stater Bros. near by and grabbed some tangerines, one avocado and chili pepper. I had decided that these would be the only solids that I consumed for my lunch break. I walked into the juice bar and happily ordered the carrot, parley and spinach combo juice. Don’t forget the water.

Once I got it. I felt inspired. I wanted to post it to Instagram but I wanted to ensure that I left a message that truly represented what I had learned about being content in just the first few hours of the day.

I’m not going to say that I have mastered the ins and outs of contentment based off of two liquid meals. But this did get me thinking. How does one stay satisfied with their physical “Enough” when their mind and the world around them is screaming for something more.

Its funny how God has lessons hidden behind other lessons.

 

Stay nourished,

Whit

Book Review-“The Purpose Room”

screen-shot-2017-01-15-at-11-26-57-pm

I just completed Heather Lindsey’s The Purpose Room. I bought it on a whim one day during my rest break at work. I guess you can say my job inspires me to find my true purpose.

I’m still hoping its something far, far away from my cubical.

Nevertheless, I purchased the book in hopes that it would allow me to understand my purpose and found that it offered a lot of great insight.

“You cannot Continue in your past, or current, sin and expect to see your purpose tomorrow.” -Heather Lindsey,  The Purpose Room

Boom.

That quote from the book really hit me. I feel as if I have been praying for God to reveal my purpose for at least a year, yet I still sit here weary. However, throughout that time of praying for it I was lazy in my work life, my spiritual life, and my social life. How can I expect God to reveal my purpose to me when I have just hit my 5th day in a row of watching non-stop television in my free time? How can I expect for Him to reveal His big picture for my purpose, when I am performing so poorly in the small picture He is providing for me right now?

That quote alone would take you to a whole knew world. Still, there were several others that would inspire the reader to find what is specifically in their lives that is keeping them from finding and living in their purpose.

Is it fear?

Disobedience?

Laziness?

or  have you been contaminated with the things of this world?

There is so much more I can say about this book, but it’s Sunday night, at 11:18pm, I’m kind of tired, and I don’t want to give myself an excuse not to post. I think I will take some notes, so that I can jot down some of the most significant points that she made and how I plan to incorporate it into my life this year.

Overall, it was a great and quick read. I would suggest it for any girl looking to be used by God through her purpose.

Live purposefully,

Whit

 

 

Nourishment To My Body 

I love a good meme. Sometimes at night, when I can’t sleep, I surf through google images for memes to get a good laugh at. I’ve noticed that they are always funnier when you can relate to them.

img_6168

This one got me. It is ringing true even more now while I sit with a bacon mcgriddle slowly digesting at the pit of my stomach. I knew I shouldn’t have done it, but I was too lazy to put something  healthier together at home. So now, I am paying the price of eating something that was unhealthy for my body and my soul. Instead of thinking how productive I can be today, I just want to lay on the floor with Tums and sparkling water. Even though I ate it for breakfast, I know I will spend the whole day digesting it.

Ugh!

I’ve tried for months to change my eating habits, I’ve thought about and tried becoming vegetarian and I’ve tried to incorporate vegan meals into my lifestyle. But because I have not taken the opportunity to figure out the best way to feed my body, I do things like this. I want to learn how to cook, but at the same time I don’t…I’m too lazy. So when I have moments where I noticed that my body has been deprived of something green, I tend to buy it on the fly. I’ll run to the grocery store near my job and buy a bag of kale, some type of fruit, and maybe, if I’m feeling fancy, some pistachios. I never have a plan. I just grab whatever seems right on my one hour lunch break.

I was convicted about my eating habits sometime ago when it comes to spiritual wellbeing.  It’s hard to serve God completely when I am tired from the foods that I have allowed to enter my body. I still think that I am slowly coming to terms with the fact that food can indeed impact my energy levels. I want to attack that this year. I have this fear that I will begin a new initiative to change my eating habits only to fail.

I fail a lot.

Or maybe I just quit.

It’s the detox that scares me and the cravings that tempt me.

I don’t want to sit here as a single christian girl believing that this is life, while knowing that God could have so much more for me if I just got my butt out of bed and began a healthier lifestyle.

I also don’t want to be that mother that only gives her husband and children junky, fast and greasy, fried meals.

I will have to continue this journey of healthier eating  on the blog. I won’t be able to conquer this in one post and thought. I think I will make this a series. A place to hold me accountable in this journey into a healthier life.

Happy eating,

Whit

Rewrite The Vision

My name is Whitney, and I have a problem.

Just before writing this post I decided that I needed to clean up some things in my life. By that, I mean I needed to delete a lot of blog sites. I mean a lot. I created these other sites with seemingly great ideas and intentions only to let my desire fade in the end. On this website alone, I created at least 10 different blog sites. I told you I have a problem.

My love for online writing goes way back into my high school  days. I remember blogging about classmates, changing the names of my friends…just in case. When I got to college, I created several blog sites where I posted my annoyances with co-workers, lessons I’ve learned and thoughts for the future. I even had an English Lit class where maintaining a blog was a part of my professor’s course curriculum. Enabler. Once I graduated, my obsession with establishing and creating a successful blog site worsened. I blogged about faith in one, and fashion in the other. I wanted to take on lifestyle blogging, while beginning a non-profit blog at the same time. And don’t forget the movie blog. I went from ministry blog, to fashion, to lifestyle all in a continuous loop. None of it stuck. Not only did I not put the time into them to potentially make them successful, I simply lost the passion to continue them. I wondered if any of it was relevant? Who were my post helping? Is God okay with me doing this? I struggled. I was restless. I knew I had the desire to begin something great in my own little corner of the world wide web I just couldn’t figure out what it was. Now, as I enter the ring again, slightly weary, I think I am beginning to understand why I failed with all of those blogging endeavors.

I could’t find my voice.

I was trying so hard to take on the persona of other bloggers that I had come across,  fashion, christian, films, ministry, business every blog I came across in these areas I became inspired.

“I can do something like that!” I would think to myself.

A unique idea or name would come to my mind and that would be it. The blog would be started. The first post would be up.

I didn’t know who I was in those post. I couldn’t successfully carryout a lifestyle blog because I  didn’t want to make my life seem more interesting than it is. The fashion blog was fun, but I would be lying if I told you that I thought about what I was wearing all the time. It just didn’t seem real. The ministry blogs were good, I just never pursued it. I never prayed on it, I never sought counsel for it, and I apparently was ready to invest money into it. The movie blog picked up a small amount of traction, I just could find the world wide relevance of it. I love movies, but it seems trivial to put hours into a blog about television and film when there are crucial things going on in the world. This would justify why I also wanted to begin a crime and news blog.

I’m ready to explore what is truly important to me: Pursuing an unbreakable bond with God, understanding and using my gifts, finding my God given purpose.

Simply documenting my journey and lessons learned as I pursue a God fulfilling life.

This is my life right now. These are my concerns. This is what I want an online representation of my life to reflect.

I enjoy fashion but it is not my ministry.

I enjoy reading lifestyle blogs but that is not my ministry.

I love movies, but that is not my ministry. *Maybe one day though*

It seems that my ministry, in this very moment in time, is my persistence in pursuing God. I need to truly grasp His majesty, power and goodness so that I can more effectively live in my purpose.

Simply put, I just want to be me. Or at least figure out who that is.

It’s time I find my voice.

 

Let the pursuit begin,

Whit

 

My God Wants Me

rest-in-jesus

Yesterday, I dragged myself out of my bed at the appointed time of 5:15am (ish). Actually, it was more like 5:33 am to be exact. It was a struggle, but I conquered. for the past 12 days (minus the weekends, and one setback Monday) I’ve made the decision to begin my day with at least 45 minutes with God. I wish I could say that I arise with uplifted and high spirits, but I don’t. Although I am a morning person, getting up before the sun is inhumane. Nevertheless, I made it to my prayer closet. Shut the door. Put on my sweatshirt. And sat down in my little corner. I pulled out my journal and began to do my writings and meditations. In that time I found a verse in Psalm that desperately hit the mark in my goal for this year. “Rest in the Lord, & wait patiently for Him” Psalm 35:7.

This is my mission. It also happens to be my struggle. There are things that I would like revealed to me for my future that I am struggling to reach clarity on. However, I have yet to truly grasp what it means to “rest in the Lord”. I am waiting. But I don’t know if its patiently. I am resting, but only in a binge-watching marathon of  Monk.

Maybe that’s why my heart seems so uneasy, unrested, discontent. My head understands what is happening but I haven’t taken my heart down the same path. Although I am trying to create a habit of prioritizing Him in my morning, I have yet to prioritize Him throughout my day. My work habits, my eating habits, and my leisure activities should all be surrendered to the King who gently ask for them.

I haven’t fully consumed the practice of resting in God in an effort to ease my pain in the waiting. I run to my old, useless, unfulfilling habits to keep me “sane”, but that will only last for so long.

It’s time I realized that my God wants me, and all my burdens.

He wants me to rest in Him.

 

Grace & Peace,

Whit