Starting Your Career Fresh Out of College ( 5 Things I learned)

Daily Adventures, Thoughts

So here I was at graduation, happy for the most part, ready to take on the world and mostly excited for what was to come. I had landed a full time offer before graduation and was looking forward to finally be working as an engineer.

As my starting day was approaching, I was feeling increasingly nervous because everyone tells you that college does not prepare you for the real world, that what you do in classes is not what working will look like, or that for the most part you don’t know anything. All of these were true to some extent. At least to me. Let me explain by telling you 5 things I learned about starting a new job out of college.

  1. You really DO not know anything

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that you learned nothing, just that you need to be prepared and be okay with not knowing everything. While what I do is actually very surprisingly similar to what I learned and did in classes, I did not know the ins and outs of things on my first day (obviously). Me being the perfectionist that I am, I totally stressed out about this for no reason. You will learn things by doing them little by little.

2. Be open and willing to learn 

Ask lots of questions. Be interested in learning as much as you can from your boss and your coworkers. The only way you are going to learn everything is by doing things and by asking questions. Don’t sit and wait for people to just teach you things. Be proactive and intentional in your work and your learning and use your resources.

3. Relax!

Your boss does not expect you to know everything. They realize that you just graduated and they have been where you are so they understand more than you know. My boss and my coworkers shared with me what their very first day looked like and it was very similar to what I was going through. So try to relax and enjoy the fact that you love what you do ( assuming you do.)

4. Give yourself time

Give yourself time to learn. It won’t happen in one day or even a week or a month. Give yourself time and if you make mistakes, learn from them and fix them. Like I said before, no one expects you to be perfect at doing your job the day you start. All of this comes with experience that you are in the process of getting. Little by little you will find yourself being more comfortable at doing your job.

5. Form relationships

Be friendly and socialize with your coworkers. You guys are part of a team and honestly, the learning will start with your peers because they have been there before you and know a lot. Ask them questions, befriend them, and create the perfect work atmosphere because it will make your life easier.

If you are currently starting a new career, don’t panick, give it time and remember to relax. You got hired for a reason!

Love,

Lori

 

 

 

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I am not here for The Celebration of Dysfunctional “love”

Daily Adventures

I don’t know what it is when it comes to relationships nowadays. I have realized that it’s kind of celebrated, expected or assumed that a Black woman is to be a “ride or die” and put up with countless of non sensical things from her significant other in order to be deemed a good girlfriend/ significant other.

It’s like we have to endure pain and put up with things as if that is supposed to be part of our love stories. As if  Black women are supposed to always be constantly waiting for someone else to get their life together to love them the right way. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that love is sometimes complex so are relationships and so is life and that relationships come with both good and bad, but there has to be a line.

I understand that people make their own decisions and can decide to partake in whatever situations they choose to, but what does not sit well with me is the celebration of Black women being victims in unhealthy toxic relationships as long as the end result is marriage.  As if the unhealthy and toxic magically disappears once vows are exchanged and a ring is put on someone’s finger.

What I am saying is you do not have to accept to participate in struggle love, in “less than” love, in “once in a while” love, and in dysfunctional love because it isn’t Love. No one has to.  Relationships are to be built with God at the center with genuine Mutual love and support. You absolutely do not have to continue the narrative. Abuse, constant pain and enduring does not have to be your love story just because Black women are strong and resilient.

Your story does not have to reside in you constantly breaking your own heart waiting for someone else to finally act right. There are people out there who will love you the right way.  You do not have to carry someone else’s brokenness and dysfunction on your back. Sometimes love is you walking away. It’s also you ackowledging how God values and loves you, and honoring that by loving and protecting yourself from being devalued by others. ( thank you to Angelo G. for reminding me of this)

Love,

Lori

 

 

“I am Waiting on God?”

Daily Adventures

“I am waiting on God” is something I hear people say all the time regarding relationships, careers, and life in general. Putting our complete faith in the Lord is something I admire and something I try on a daily basis to live up to. But, it may be problematic when we use “waiting on God” to justify other things like:

  1. Not Taking Action

Have you ever said yourself or heard people say:” God will close this door if it’s not meant to be?” or “God will give me a sign” etc. though these are not completely wrong all the time, how many times have we allowed these to keep us from acting? I remember hearing a story that went like this:”

“A fellow was stuck on his rooftop in a flood. He was praying to God for help.

Soon a man in a rowboat came by and the fellow shouted to the man on the roof, “Jump in, I can save you.”

The stranded fellow shouted back, “No, it’s OK, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me.”

So the rowboat went on.

Then a motorboat came by. “The fellow in the motorboat shouted, “Jump in, I can save you.”

To this the stranded man said, “No thanks, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me. I have faith.”

So the motorboat went on.

Then a helicopter came by and the pilot shouted down, “Grab this rope and I will lift you to safety.”

To this the stranded man again replied, “No thanks, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me. I have faith.”

So the helicopter reluctantly flew away.

Soon the water rose above the rooftop and the man drowned. He went to Heaven. He finally got his chance to discuss this whole situation with God, at which point he exclaimed, “I had faith in you but you didn’t save me, you let me drown. I don’t understand why!”

To this God replied, “I sent you a rowboat and a motorboat and a helicopter, what more did you expect?” (Source: Here)

Sometimes we are this man. We don’t take action as if we are waiting for God to live for us or to act for us. I know this has also been me. Like “God would have closed this door if it wasn’t meant to be”, or “God will give me a sign” while I am sitting there not using the free will that God gave me to make the decision that aligns with His will. God gave us free will so I doubt that He will live for us.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7 

Faith is also based on actions. If you are not asking, seeking, knocking like the verse says, you are blocking your own blessings by not claiming what God meant to do for you to begin with just like the man who was waiting to be saved, but never acted on it.

2. Not taking responsibility

Just like the man who drowned and ended up saying how God didn’t save him, sometimes we use this as an excuse to not take responsibility for us not acting or for not doing. God calls us to trust Him with everything, to give everything to Him, but He also calls us to act, to make decisions that will lead us to where He wants us to be. Faith is not passivity. Our relationship with God in my opinion should be a two-way street where we also act when we are called to do so instead of letting our fears or insecurities have us expect God to literally move us.

This got me thinking about any areas in my life where God is waiting for me to act on. Whether it be through my love life, career, academics etc. What about you? Any areas in your life you need to faithfully act on?

 

Love,

Lori

How to Create Beautiful Flat lays

PhotoStories, Thoughts

A flat lay is when you photograph items from directly above using objects (most of the time) to tell a story, display a brand, or both and more. Whether for Instagram or for your blog, good flat lays are very appealing. Here are 4 tips to creating beautiful ones:

  1. Choose a neutral background

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You can arrange your items on a white sheet of paper/cardboard/sheet etc. Or you can pick a background that is darker or in my case a wooden background. The above picture was taken using my patio’s wooden floors. You can also pick a background that has a neutral pattern like I have done below. I have used different sheets I bought from Michael’s for a couple of dimes and paired them together.

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2. Pay attention to the lighting/Orientation

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Natural light is better to take flat lays so take your picture close to a window maybe or in a well-lit room in your home. Walk around to find the best lighting for your flat lay. The one above was still taken on my patio since natural light filters in. Make sure that your phone or camera is parallel to the surface.  Stand on a chair if you have to. (which I did to take those). If you are taking the flat lay for Instagram, Make sure you use the square option on your phone camera. If it is on your camera, you can do like I do by taking the photo as wide as you can so you can crop later if necessary.

3.  Make it Pretty

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Use your items in a way that looks good. Pair different items together while styling them in a way that is appealing. Use the way your orient your items along with which ones you  choose to pair. Do you want the focus to be in the center? top or bottom? Arrange your items accordingly. You can also choose to add a pop of color

4. Make a Theme/Create a Story

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Flat Lays tell stories. The items that you choose to pair tell the person seeing it what is it you wanted to convey. Can you come up with themes for the above picture? Comment them below.

Love,

Lori

What Camera Should I Buy?

Thoughts

                       This is probably the question people ask me the most on social media besides what camera do you use. Truth is, it does not matter as much as you think. Spending time trying to figure out what camera to get is a complete waste, IF time is not spent to further your knowledge in the basics of photography/videography  etc. When I first started my photography business, I had a cheap camera. I had a basic camera. No fancy lenses or fancy equipments.  I still managed to shoot engagements/ graduation/landscapes etc. with happy customers. Yes,  a professional camera has saved me time in processing, but none of that would have mattered if I had not taken the time to learn and develop a technique for myself. It is a learning process and a work in progress. I am also glad I did not have a professional camera to start with because it helped me learn the basics of photography and helped me figure out a lot of things using DIY methods.

I took these photos a while back. When I first started to consider venturing into photography as a business, and not as a hobby as it started when I was a child.

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Disappearing glass. No edits. 2012

 

Factors

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 There are some factors to consider though. Finding a camera that suits you or that you feel comfortable with is also important. I have very small hands for example so I need a camera that gives me a good grip regardless of how big it is. So I think a camera that is comfortable to you should be a factor.

A second factor would be the price. Buy something you can afford. Especially if you are a beginner that intends to make a business out of it down the line. Buy something you can afford and learn on. Later on when your business starts developing, you can upgrade your gear. I know people who spent a lot of money on cameras that they never ended up using because they didn’t/couldn’t figure it out, or because they were not sure it was a passion of theirs to begin with. Don’t break your bank account for something you are not one hundred percent sure of.

What you are using the camera for is also an important factor. If you are using it manly for videography or manly for photography, there are cameras tailored to work best in each or in both. This Post gives good insight about cameras that are well suited for videos  in different price ranges.

Now my advice to you is buy what you can afford. If you can afford a professional camera right away, good! If you can’t, don’t worry about it too much for now. Buy a decent one (Canon and Nikon cameras are usually the go to although there are others out there just as good like Fujifilm and Olympus) that is tailored to your needs, and spend time learning the basics and developing your technique. Later on, you can always upgrade your gear. At the end of the day, that is what makes the difference between the shots you take versus the ones someone else takes: Not the camera or the equipments used, but you and how you see things!

Love,

Lori

 

When The Shoe Does Not Fit

Thoughts

                      I walked into a store a few years back and saw these beautiful wedges. If you know me, you know heels aren’t usually my thing although I DO love them, I just always pick comfort over wearing them. I can do with wedges though! you know they are comfortable not as much of a pain as regular heels. Anyway, I saw them and instantly thought I wanted them. I wear size 6 in sandals and 7 in regular shoes, but we all know how sizing can sometimes not be accurate. I looked at the size of the wedges and realized they were a 6. I thought: “I am a size 6!” (except this wasn’t a pair of sandals). I tried them on anyway and they were super tight. They looked good on my feet, but super extra tight.   To be honest, they didn’t fit. I thought well I will make them work. I will break them in in no time and took them home.  Believe or not I didn’t only do this with shoes back then.

This behavior was all over my relationships with friends or boyfriend. I had this thing where I would realize that someone wasn’t actually meant to stay in my life or just meant to be there and I would hold on to them thinking I would/could make it work. This went on in almost every relationship I had to the point where I would bend myself backwards to “make things work” with people not meant for me to begin with.

Not loving myself and not knowing my worth in God, made me settle to trying to shape myself to fit people into my life rather than allowing the right people who fit into my life to come to me and stay. I was so bound on making shoes that weren’t meant for me fit that I was loosing sight of the ones God had just for me.

How Has This Affected My Relationships?

I wasn’t being One hundred percent myself making it easier for me to be confused about who genuinely cares and who doesn’t. As a result, it was actually hard to have meaningful friendships not based on just hanging out and joking or doing stuffs together. At the end of the day, not one of my “friends” actually knew who I was aside from things I do or superficial characteristics like “Being a nice person” or a helpful person. I was a people pleaser. I couldn’t say no without feeling bad about it sometimes despite my own well being. There is a fine line between being selfless and being a people pleaser. Selflessness comes from a place of love and service while being a people pleaser tends to come from not owning who you are.

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How  Has This Changed?

I wasn’t liking where my life was headed with this and it took time for me to actually really love myself and to own who I am. Knowing who you are makes you realize that you are not for everyone and that everyone is not meant to be in your life. And that is totally okay. Knowing myself and owning it made me not willing to make anything that wasn’t for me fit anymore. I grasped my identity in Christ and in society which led to me knowing what I want, who I want to be, and who God created me to be. That led to me not settling for anything or anyone less than what/who was meant for me. 

As a result, I have made meaningful relationships with people I truly cared about and people who genuinely cared about me. I also was willing to let anyone or anything that was not good for me go and it was totally okay with me. I am okay with saying no because I only say yes if I am not at the same time saying no to myself. I was confident in God and true to myself, beliefs, and morals. I learned to truly be selfless how God intended me while being myself.

Honestly, I prayed about it a lot. I realized so many times how it breaks God’s heart knowing that He made me and that I was not willing to be who He created me to be. I was not willing to realize whose daughter I was. God sent me people, answers, and the realization of His love through His word to help me through this. I am forever grateful.

Even though I knew in theory about all those things that God says about me and how much He loves me, I had to relearn them and fully grasp what they meant. God has made us in His image. He has redeemed us. He loves us. We can either create a temporary identity for ourselves or we can claim the eternal identity that is found in Christ.  

I am sharing this because if this at some point was/is also you, know that you are enough just for being yourself because you are “fearfully and wonderfully made”.  Find strength in God and in His word. Bring Him your worries so he may show you the way to go. You are so beautiful and loved beyond what you can possibly imagine! So whether it comes to shoes, things, people, learn to accept what is yours and what fits you and let go of what doesn’t. The unnecessary pain you get from forcing things is not worth it.

Here are some verses that I found helpful:

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”- Psalm 139: 13-14

Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.”- Luke 12:7

“Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”- Genesis 1:26

Love,

Lori

 

 

I did ‘Something New’ Every Day for Three Weeks: Here’s What Happened

Daily Adventures

 

Routine has always made me feel stuck or just plain annoyed; so to spice things up a bit, I decided to do something new every day. One new thing each day for a couple of weeks. Little did I know that it would last three weeks and still going on today.  It went from simple things like eating a different dish to stepping out of my comfort zone and talking to strangers. This is definitely something I will keep on doing every time I seem to fall in a monotonous life. Here’s what happened:

  1. I found new places

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From taking a different way home or a different bus or just walking around, I found different  locations for photo shoots (I’ll even post about them, if you are living in Gainesville it could help you out). I couldn’t believe I had missed them before!  I also found a new Pizza place that I intend to try as soon as I am able to because pizza is life!

       2. I met new People

I got lost taking a new bus to work. It ended up working out because I saw some places I had never seen before and I met someone new on the way. This guy who was on the bus helped me find my way. I also had tea with this lady I met while having lunch and ended up learning about her going to medical school, switching her major three times and getting the job she wanted. It was a great conversation about pursuing what you love. Funny enough, during that time where I was looking to do something new, new experiences seemed to follow me around!

3. I discovered new things about myself

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From buying/ making a different dish for lunch/diner, I found out I actually like food I thought I would hate. I also found out that having a full on good conversation with a stranger is something I enjoy. It made me realize that very often we don’t give ourselves the benefit of the doubt because we are too afraid to try new things or we don’t want to get out of our comfort zone to actually give other things or people a chance. I am very mindful so I don’t end up putting my own self in a box.

4. I felt more confident

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Being able to fully choose to do things I had never done before gave me confidence in knowing that I chose to do this so I can only fully assume the consequences or the outcome. I volunteered myself to train another coworker on using a machine I have used before for testing and did well. It was a wonderful experience although I did get rejected a few times if I am keeping it real. I asked a stranger to photograph her and she said no for example. I am currently learning to not take rejection personally by willingly putting myself in situations where I know I will be rejected. I will let you guys know how it goes.

When was the last time you guys did something new and what was it? Let me know in the comments!

Love,

Lori

 

Haiti Changed Me

Thoughts, Travel, Uncategorized

Last week, a group of 63 people (me included) travelled to Cap Haitian, Haiti on a mission trip to partner with the Haitian people through sustainable development. Sustainable development promotes sharing knowledge and things that will last rather than giving them handouts. I participated in youth leadership development classes/presentations, and activities with everyone. Health education and Bible study were also offered.  I didn’t think that this experience would touch me as much as it did. Haiti changed me, and here’s 5 reasons why:

  1. They know what is best for them
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Photo captured by yours truly during Youth Leadership Presentation

In the past, I would often talk about people who come to Haiti and bring Haitians their worn out clothes or stuffs, and I would talk about how that is not helping. In my head though, I would think that the people take it because they do not know what is best for themselves. I was wrong. Hearing a 10-year-old tell me how handouts don’t really do much for the country because they are just temporary blew my mind. He proceeded to talk about the importance of education in Haiti and how he is willing to learn more so he can become a doctor down the road. Haitians do not want handouts. They want to be educated to be able to help themselves. I have heard these statements over and over from children and from adults all throughout the trip and it really changed my perspective of thinking that they don’t know best. They do.

2. They are not poor

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Photo captured by yours truly featuring Brittany, Matthew, Brandi and the kids

Our theme verse was Joshua 1:9 ” Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Haitians embody this verse so well. I have heard women tell me of their daily lives while always adding at the end that God is good. When I think of all the time I got discouraged by little things, I felt ashamed. Haitians have so much faith. So much Love for the Lord, and more importantly so much joy in His promises. They were always ready to learn, sing, to be happy, and to have a good time which kept me going no matter how tired I could have been. They live the Gospel out loud and showed me a representation of who God truly is every single day I spent with them. I have met 10-year-old children who knew so much about what the country needs and about life in general. They are so intelligent. So Strong. So resilient. So loving. So joyous. And So Faithful to God. I have learned way more from them than they probably learned from me and I am grateful.

3. I have gained a family 

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Photo Captured by Jordan Walker

 

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Photo captured by Rachel featuring me, Heather, Erica, Nara and her sister, Losandy and her friend.

Being able to share this experience with my Haitian people and with a team who is so fueled by an incredible love for God made all the difference. I have learned something from each and every one of my team member. I admire their passion for service and their love for the Haitian people. You would think that 63 people on a team would be total chaos, but not at all. I admire each and every single one of their hearts for the Lord and this would not have been the same without them.

4. My Country is Beautiful. 

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Photo Captured by Tour guide on iPhone

I had the chance to visit the “Citadelle” while I was there and was it an experience! A masterpiece of engineering built by ex-slaves still standing to this day. Can I reiterate how intelligent and strong Haitians are? It was so empowering walking up there. For all the time that I have felt that I wasn’t enough, that I wasn’t strong enough or smart enough or capable enough. I was reminded of where I come from, of whom my ancestors are and of what they were capable of. I was reminded that I am their great (x100) daughter and I am not doing this for myself.

5. God confirmed my Role in all of this

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Photo captured by yours truly featuring Kate Fletcher

We walked to a prayer mountain to pray. The view was beautiful and while I stared at it, I could not stop crying. All I could hear and see was God’s love for the Haitians and God’s love for this very place. While sitting up there, all I could say in my head was: thank you for showing me. Thank you for showing me. I saw that analogy of a group of people stuck somewhere, unable to free themselves or to move forward. Then God blesses one of them, then two, then three etc. so that they are able to go out in the world to come back and help their brothers and sisters, but most of them don’t come back. Yet God keeps trying over and over. I felt that I was one of these people who God blessed in order to do something positive for the country that birthed me. I don’t remember what I prayed for, must have been all the tears, but I did feel lighter and more hopeful when I walked down that mountain.

 

I hope this motivates you into visiting Haiti or partnering with the people of Haiti. For more information about sustainable development please visit projectsforhaiti.org

Love,

Lori

 

All photos are mine unless stated otherwise. 

 

Being a Wallflower

Thoughts

When I was in middle school and high school, I always admired people who weren’t afraid to speak to strangers; people who weren’t shy because I always figured that I could have been more of this and of that if I wasn’t so shy. I am an introverted person and I relied on that so much that I would tell myself that I didn’t say what I think because I am just reserved. I then realized that there is a fine line between being reserved and being afraid to speak.

There is nothing wrong with being an introvert, but using that as an excuse to give in to fear is where the wrong begins. Just like any other introvert, I do enjoy alone time and despise small talks for too long. I also do need time to recover from exhausting social activities and I do have a small group of people that aren’t exhausting to me. But the thing is, I was also afraid of putting myself out there by initiating conversations or by speaking in public or anything related to me getting out of my comfort zone and this to me was all kind of wrongs because fear is not of God. Fear is not something that I wanted to allow to paralyze me. 

I remember that I had no problem standing in front of an audience to give presentations but that’s because I had no choice. My grades depended on it. Regardless of stress, I would push myself so that I not only give the presentation as if I wasn’t stressed, but also that I do it very well because I cared enough about my grades to make myself uncomfortable so that I achieve what I wanted. So, I figured that having motivation enough would help me do what I wasn’t too comfortable doing. They say life happens outside of your comfort zone, gosh is this true!! I started to tell myself how my future depended on me talking to that professor or talking to that person or company etc. Little did I know that doing just that would help me find my voice. Although still a work in progress, I love how God is  leading me with this. 

 I decided to do positive things that I had never done because of fear and next thing you know, I was going places, climbing down caves, climbing mountains, talking to engineers who intimidated me, walking to a certain professor’s office to boldly talk about research and so on. I would repeat to myself constantly that if fear is the ONLY reason for me not to do something then I should definitely do it. I prayed about it too; telling God constantly to give me the courage necessary to go do this or that without necessarily owning or taking it upon myself to move towards what I was praying about. It’s like returning the free will that God gave me to Him telling Him to literally push me to do certain things when in reality, He had given me the courage I asked for since day 1, had I only decided to lift my feet.

Isn’t it funny how we sometimes try to give our free will back to God because we literally want Him to lift us up and make us do certain things or we want Him to place that person on our path? When in reality, He has already answered our prayers by touching the person’s heart so they can be ready to hear us; The problem is, we do not actually go and talk to that person because we often times want God to answer prayers our way instead of His way. So next time you feel afraid to speak or do certain things when you have already prayed about it, remember, sometimes, all it takes is one step forward! 

From one Introvert to another

Love,

Lori

Waking Up On November 9th

Thoughts

November 8th of this year was elections Day in the U.S. Though I did not watch it on TV, I kept a close eye on the live results while studying for an exam I had on the next morning. I stayed up late because of studying and found myself getting more and more nervous as the  results were being updated. I stayed up until the final results were announced, but I was too tired to think about it. But then November 9th came, and I woke up feeling uneasy.

It was very unusual. It felt like the air was a bit heavier and there was some silent tension in the atmosphere and for the first time, I felt unsafe. I went on Facebook a little bit after I woke up (because who doesn’t right?), and I can say that I regretted it. News of racism, riots, and people sharing their disbelief, anger, and disappointment altogether flooded my timeline.I tried to brush the feeling off and told myself I would stay off social media because it was feeding into the fear I was experiencing, but that did not happen.

Emails were sent by the school about either clubs doing get togethers to “stop Trump” or about how the school is doing its best to create a safe atmosphere for everyone and everyone is always welcomed no matter who you are or what you identify with. As I went on with my day,  I felt worried about the future, and how the decisions of the newly elected president would affect my life and the life of pretty much 90 percent of people I know. I also thought about how a vast percentage of people felt the same way and that another percentage of people chose not to understand that. The fact that violating certain principles of morals or simple basic human rights are not deal breakers for some will always be beyond me.  One of my friends shared with me how she felt unsafe now to walk around because of the color of her skin and all I could say was “same”.

Feeling like you don’t belong or feeling like you are not wanted somewhere just because of the body you are born into is not something I could ever get my mind around. One thing I realized though is that giving into fear is never a good thing. Fear is not of God. I know I also saw a lot of posts about not bringing God into this because He did not vote for people. Although this is true and I agree, I still found the day easier to bear once I was reminded of who is in control when it comes to my life and that I do indeed bring God into everything when it comes to me.

All I know is no one should ever have to wake up feeling unsafe in the community they live in regardless of anything. Maybe it was a combination of social media and what I was hearing and reading in the news exponentially escalating a situation, or maybe my feeling unsafe was completely legitimate given the racist misogynistic comments  that were heard all throughout the past months along with people’s reactions. Either way you choose to see it,  whether you are on either side of the spectrum I hope and pray that you know that you are not alone and there are people you can talk to about it, that God is always there (yes you can bring Him into anything), and that you choose love and tolerance over hatred always in everything you do, say, and portray so no one wakes up feeling uneasy because of your actions or “opinions” at any given day.

Love,

Lori

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