How to teach Thankfulness to your Children

Thankfulness is a beautiful fruit to bear. For most of us, we all know what it means to be thankful but have you ever considered how the concept was introduced to you? Low and behold parenting to introduce another lesson imperative to our baby’s spirits—the lesson of thankfulness. Don’t you love the lessons parenting bestows on us!

In our home, we started teaching thankfulness as soon as our babies were born. From encouraging them to thank us for common occurrences like meals or gifts to encouraging them to thank each other for sharing, we really wanted our children to know that no one is entitled to anything. And we should be thankful for everything, even the things we assume we’re entitled to.

Despite my husband and I never allowing our children to go without the bare necessities, we make them thank us for basic things to teach them that everyone isn’t in their position. In fact, we explain to them that in our city there’s a child wishing they had what our kids have and for that, we explain to them why they should never take anything for granted.

Because most children learn from example, we grant our babies opportunities to display their gratefulness and thankfulness by sharing some of their blessings with others.

Here are few ways you can mold a grateful heart in your babies.

Prayer

We pray with our children daily and I make it a point to welcome them into intimate parts of my conversations with God. This means they see mama cry and cry out to Jesus! Including them in prayer has really enhanced their perspectives!

Paying it forward

More recently, my four year old has been more observant about recognizing people in need. In addition to explaining that everyone isn’t as fortunate as others, we encourage him to share his blessing. This means allowing him to bless the homeless with money, food, and when we don’t have physically things, prayer and smiles. This means blessing neighbors with some of his old toys. Doing these things on a regular basis has positioned Liam’s heart to always be ready to give!

Respecting their things, selves, and others

Respect coincides with thankfulness more than you think. We teach the kids that respecting themselves, others, and their things not only shows God a grateful heart but it shows Him that if they can cherish what they have now, they’re ready to be promoted to something bigger and better.

Holiday season can be a dark time for many living without, especially this year. Remember to be thankful for everything and everyone you have in your life. And to those in fortunate positions, share some extra kindness this year!

Happy holidays!

Xoxo,

Christian

Things I Wish I Knew Before Buying My First House

Buying my first home was much deeper than just owning property. For me, it was breaking a generational curse. My parents never owned homes, neither did my husband’s parents. It felt like a childhood dream that felt tangible yet unreachable. So, when I married my husband and we started to expand our family, we prioritized not only finding the perfect home for our family, but also ending the cycle of renting within our family.

Unlike what’s seen on television, purchasing a home is a stressful and tedious process! However, on the day you sign what feels like a trillion papers, and you’re officially handed the keys to your new home, the stress you were once anxious to neglect, becomes a faded minuscule moment.

Because this was our first time buying a house, we experienced a few stressful moments that we could’ve avoided if we were more knowledgeable about the home-buying process. Now that all our boxes are unpacked, and we’re comfortably settled in, let’s go over some essential nuggets I wish I new before buying our home!

1. Find the perfect lender!

What’s a lender? Your lender is the financial institution that finances your home with the expectation that you’ll pay them back. After a credit check and an extensive loan application, your lender tells you what you’re qualified to borrow. Researching what lender is best for you is pertinent. Different lenders have different interest rates and some lenders even offer incentives. Don’t get caught up in JUST being qualified for a loan, search around and make sure you’re using a lender with the best benefits for you!

My family chose to use veterans united for our lender. Using them guaranteed us not only one of the lowest interest rates, but they also supplied us with a realtor. A perk of using their realtor was an additional credit for an even lower interest rate.

Veteran’s United also sent us cute housewarming gifts like this cute cup!

2. Find the best realtor for YOU!

Find a realtor that is willing to fight for what you want! Don’t feel pressured to use any realtor. Use someone who understands your wants and is willing to go above and beyond to find them for you! The realtor we originally started the process with turned out not to be the realtor we stuck with. While searching around for the best realtor, remember to be honest about what you want and your wariness about not wanting to commit to one person upfront. For example, before fully committing to the realtor we closed with, we worked with someone else. Thankfully, we didn’t sign any paperwork binding us to our first realtor, because of that, when we decided they weren’t the best fit for us, we were able to use another person.

3. Understand the housing market!

Is it a buyers market or sellers market? This determines how much power you hold as a buyer. When we purchased our house, it was a seller’s market. This meant that the seller had the upper hand. Houses were selling fast and because of this, we had to not only act fast in putting in an offer, but be willing to compromise on certain upgrades.

4.Just say NO!

Be willing to walk away from bad deals. Remember, buying a house is a serious commitment. Stay within your budget, and be willing to walk away if the price and home aren’t up to par. Separate your emotions from your reality. Take a step back and consider life after your emotions have settled. Is the house worth the cost? Can you see yourself in this home forever?

5.What’s Earnest money and why do you have to pay it?

Earnest money is the money you put down when you make an offer. The amount can be as little as $500. The amount you put down shows the seller how serious you are about purchasing. In the end, your earnest money is used towards your closing cost!

6. Find the perfect inspector!

When making a serious purchase like purchasing a home, getting an inspection is important. You want to ensure that the home you’re purchasing is quality! The worst thing that could happen is finding out your dream home is more than you bargained for after already closing. Finding a good inspector is easy! My realtor provided me with a list of prospect inspectors. I selected the inspector that provided the best price. I urge you to find an inspector that bundles the first inspection and re-inspection in one price. This tidbit can save you a few $100. At this point, you’ve probably already shelled out a lot of money not to mention the money you’ll have to pay at closing. Cut all frivolous cost!

5. Check every corner of your house at the final walk through!

So far, you’ve had an inspection performed by a professional inspector and an appraisal (another inspection to dictate the home’s worth.) You’re probably tired of hearing about inspections but take heed of the final walk through! This is your FINAL opportunity to have anything rectified before you officially own the home!

Everyone doesn’t have the liesure to take a homebuyers class, I get it. Or maybe you didn’t expect to be buying a house so soon; so, you didn’t have the proper time to educate yourself on the process. Look, buying your house doesn’t have to be stressful, utilize these tips to your advantage! I hope you find your dream house!

Xoxo,

Christian

Educational YouTube Channels that Will Make Homeschooling Fun

Returning back to school for our kiddos isn’t its usual thrill. Many parents were forced to decide whether to continue with distant learning or send their children to physical school. These decisions weren’t as easy to make as some might assume. Choosing whether to keep your child home or send them to school turned out to be a question of privilege; because the truth is, most parents don’t have the leisure of keeping their kids home. I mean, who would work if everyone stayed home, better yet, how would parents work while exclusively homeschooling their children?

Nevertheless no matter what decision parents chose, every parent shared these feelings; homeschooling is HARD! For me, when quarantine was first set in place, I looked at staying home with my kids as a blessing. Quarantine allowed me to put a pause on my busy and fast paced life. Being home more often—permanently felt like a prayer finally answered. Though I’d never trade bonding with my family for anything, what I didn’t anticipate was how quarantine would lessen the time I’d have for me—mommy time. A few months into quarantine sent me into a deep depression and suddenly I found myself missing adult human interaction and car rides alone. On top of that, I now had the responsibility of teaching my children a strict curriculum. Yes, I teach them daily, but we can’t deny that we heavily rely on schools and daycares to fill in the gaps.

In fact, many people were forced to acknowledge just how influential schools are to our communities when they closed. We all learned that schools are far more than buildings with teachers. They’re shelters and food kitchens, amongst many other things. So while being forced to transform your home into a school is intimidating, I assure you that, YOU HAVE THIS!

While on my own journey of mastering homeschooling, I found some YouTube channels that made the task less difficult. And since our kids are all generation z(ers) YouTube is something they’re all born and programmed loving. School commences soon and I don’t want any parent left behind. Below, I’ll share some of my favorite educational YouTube channels!

Happy teaching!

Cosmic Kid’s Yoga

There’s no doubt that little ones have short attention spans. To keep them entertained or to tire them out before nap, try Cosmic Yoga. This YouTube page has fun yoga exercises your babies can follow! Mom and dad can do them too!

Link to page: https://youtu.be/QM8NjfCfOg0

Songs for Littles

What kid doesn’t love a sing along? This YouTube channel features a chipper teacher, Ms. Rachel! She’s usually dressed in overalls and prepared to sing about just about anything! My children are mesmerized by her voice and smile! Sometimes I find myself singing her days of the week song in the shower!

Link to page: https://youtu.be/2vYqjQnm3WY

Rock’ n Learn

For months, my husband and I were searching for bilingual instructors to teach our children another language. Our search stopped when we stumbled across this YouTube page. Rock’ N Learn teaches children languages like spanish, mandarin and many more!

Link to page: https://youtu.be/aVNf1B0nNf4

Akili and Me

School and daycare are so pertinent to a child’s growth and development because children tend to learn better with and from their peers. Akili is a 4 year old girl who goes on adventures. On this YouTube page your child gets to follow along with her school and life lessons. Your child gets to learn alongside of Akili and ultimately become virtual friends!

Link to page: https://youtu.be/YMyzEloWGWs

Jack Hartmann Kid’s Music Channel

This channel is hands down my kid’s favorite channel! On this YouTube channel, Jack teaches about the alphabet, days of the week, months of the year, and he even teaches sign language! His videos are so fun and easy to follow along with!

Link to page: https://youtu.be/WP1blVh1ZQM

Homeschooling won’t be easy. I’m still learning what works for us, but I’m faithful that we can and will get through these unprecedented times! Things will get better! I know it.

Xoxo,

Christian

There’s Power in Patience.

As a freelancer, you get accustomed to the word no. Even if it’s not said directly, you can take the hint when a piece you’ve written gets rejected from a publication. It can be discouraging, but I’ve learned that for every no, there’s a yes. When you consider the millions of publications around the world, one measly rejection email from one out of a million other publications seems minuscule.

In all transparency, I didn’t always possess this optimism. As a matter of fact, I was apprehensive to share my work for a long time. For a while, I didn’t. Consequently, when my last writing gig fell through, I felt like that experience reflected my talent as a writer. I questioned my talent and abilities.

So, imagine my astonishment when a friend reached out to me about a writing job. This friend is an established writer with a pretty impressive resume. Her considering me for ANY job in my eyes was/is an honor. (For the past months, she’s been a driving force of encouragement and light.) I’ll be forever grateful for her kindness.

She asked me to write an article covering Black hiker’s week on Instagram. I did. I conducted interviews with the curators of the movement and managed to write and submit the piece before the deadline. (All while mothering my two little ones) Immediately after receiving my article, I received the green light for layout. A few days later, I was submitting my invoice and W9!

Screenshot of my article, visit my publication tab to read the full piece

While I sat on the same bed I once shed tears on now writing for a bigger publication than my last; I had an epiphany. Last month I was distraught about my last writing gig disrespecting both me and my writing. Of course I knew that experience wouldn’t permanently hinder my writing career, but that didn’t make the trial any less hard. To be sitting in the same spot I once bawled my eyes out, now ok’ing article edits in a real deal publication felt like the biggest HAHA to the ones who doubted me—to the ones who hurt me.

Right then and there I heard God’s voice loud and clear. “Be still and know that I am God!” (Psalms 46:10) I’m unsure of why I hadn’t heard Him before. I’m sure this wasn’t His first time telling me to trust Him

While I had been questioning the reason, “why,” at my last job, God was orchestrating a plan—a major one! He needed me STILL and PATIENT so that I could prepare for my next task. The irony of it all was that just last month, my “Pro-black article” was too Black to be published in my old publication. Yet, my that article that was just published in Outdoor Retailer was Black as hell and in company with other beautiful Black stories.

To whoever’s reading this, remember to be still and patient, because although you’re weary and even a little anxious, your current set back is apart of a major comeback!

Seeing my name in Outdoor Retailer’s latest weekly issue was a reminder that things are always working for my good (Yours too) by the grace of God! Let today serve as a reminder for you to be as still as an anxious Amazon Prime shopper anxiously waiting by their door for the postman to deliver their package. Stay where you are and let God deliver (to) you!

Xoxo,

Christian

Affordable and Unique Father’s Day Gift Ideas

There aren’t enough words to describe how important dads are. I mean for starters, they play an important role in creating you, then they spend the rest of their lives loving you outside the womb. Despite society knowing how vital dads are, for some reason, dads always seem to get the short end of the stick when it comes to Father’s Day. In comparison to Mother’s Day, it seems that dads don’t get as much appreciation. I mean, most restaurants don’t even offer dads FREE meals on Father’s Day. It sucks, because dads deserve love too!

Someone who once shared my same notion was, Sonora Smart Dodd. Dodd founded Father’s Day in 1910 at the YMCA to celebrate fathers like hers. Her dad was a single father rearing 6 children. She wanted to dedicate a day of appreciation to him and others that shared his same plight.

Sonora Smart Dodd

Unfortunately, Covid-19 has us all forgetting what day of the week is. This means special holidays like Father’s Day feel as if their date is approaching out of nowhere! Don’t let this pandemic make you forget about Father’s Day!

So why not buy the gifts for all the special fathers in your life now? Let’s knock this thing out the park! Let me help you!

Dads might not be as straightforward about the gifts they want compared to moms, but it’s safe to assume that most dad’s don’t want another tie! Being in the midst of a pandemic has affected many American’s pockets, but what if I told you that you don’t have to break the bank to find dad the perfect gift? Frankly, I’m confident in my abilities in assisting you find the special man in your life the best and most affordable gift. Why, because I’ve already purchased all my Father’s Day gifts!

First things first consider what the dad your buying for likes. There’s no such thing as a one gift fits all.

My husband and children

Due to Covid-19, many stores are still closed. This makes ordering all your Father’s Day gifts online a no brainer! Thanks to quarantine my online shopping skills have enhanced immensely meaning; I’ve learned how to really navigate and shop purposefully online. I told you, I’m the perfect person to help you with Father’s Day shopping!

Below I’ll list some of my favorite gift ideas! I also enlisted some things we bought for my husband!

1. Running Shoes

You can never go wrong with running shoes and because we’ve all recently been enjoying outdoor exercise, it’s no better time than now to indulge in new running shoes. I visited the site bestproducts.com to find the perfect running shoes for my husband. The site details what sneakers are best suited for certain fitness activities. You’ll be sure to find the perfect shoes for dad!

Image taken from bestproduct.com

2. Jewelry

You might not be able afford the most expensive dad bling, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t still purchase jewelry dad likes. Search for personalized jewelry. In the past, I got my husband a wooden watch with an engraved message on the back from the kids. He wears it everyday!

Image taken from Amazon.com

3. Clothes

I know when you think of purchasing clothes as gifts, you probably think you have to purchase expensive namebrand clothes. You don’t. In fact, my husband tends to cherish personalized tees the best. You can get a special message plastered on a shirt and gift it to dad. I promise he’ll cherish it forever!

Image taken from Amazon.com

4. Books

Buy your dad a book about fatherhood, honoring fatherhood, or a book that has a personalized story about him! There are books that give you the option to add names and personalize your stories! Gift a gift dad can keep forever.

Taken from Amazon.com

5. Art

If you have children, chances are, the kids have already made dad some type of art, and although dad will appreciate that art forever, consider making dad something more long lasting than a drawing. Visit an art center and make dad a plate or mug! You can customize your gift and guarantee that it’ll be safe for dad to use!

No matter what you decide, the best gifts should be heartfelt. I try to gift my loved ones gifts that are meaningful to them. This means that my gifts aren’t always the most expensive. Sometimes they’re not even store bought. Remember to buy gifts based off what you know the recipient would appreciate. Happy early Father’s Day and Happy shopping!

Xoxo,

Christian

The Journey to Becoming the Mother I Never Had

Coming of age memoir

The first vivid memory that I have of my mother is when she sent me to stay with my grandmother after my brother was born. The memory serves as small flashbacks; suddenly, my mother was rushed to the hospital to give birth to my baby brother, at one point I was asleep on a visitor’s chair in the hospital lobby. Next, I was handed a box of orange juice by a nurse, and the last thing sketched in my memory is my aunt’s car pulling out my grandmother’s driveway, and me, a newly promoted sister, 5 years old, watching as the car sped away. No one really explained what was happening. I was left to assume that mommy had gotten a new baby and no longer needed her old one.

Before my baby brother, my mom treated me somewhat like a burden. She took me places, and she bought me things, but often times, it felt like a tired routine that she was over performing.

I remember walking into my grandmother’s house the day my mom welcomed my new brother. The blinds were open to let in sunlight, but the eerie of truly believing that my mother was getting rid of me tented my vision with the darkest gray. Grandma’s house was dark both literally, and figuratively. My mom and my grandmother were never close. My mom had made it clear that she didn’t approve of my grandmother’s parenting. Knowing this while standing with my luggage in my hand at my grandmother’s front door solidified the feeling that my mother didn’t care about me.

Feelings of abandonment, and uncertainty consumed 5-year-old me, and even after my mom retuned to pick me up from grandma’s house (after what felt like a few years later,) the feeling of rejection never subsided.

I spent the latter part of my childhood desperately trying to gain attention from my mother. Any attention was welcomed, no matter how it was rendered. I gave my mom a hard time in elementary school, talking out in class, and constantly finding myself in disappointing situations. Although I didn’t always know why I behaved the way did, I remember just wanting to be seen, heard, and loved.

Old age and spankings quickly taught me that good behavior offered the best attention given to me by my mom. So, I took heed, and became an angel child. My favorite pastime was being around my mom on those “good behavior days” in front of company.  An audience fed my mom’s desire to appear as a doting mother, and with every ounce of praise she received, my mom performed harder.  These performances never mattered to me. I was always overly eager to indulge in any affection offered to me by her. This temporary acknowledgement that came with these shows was always worth it. People would eat up her act, and that made her perform even better. Our relationship was never organic, but situational. I knew this, but I didn’t dare accept it.

When I became a pregnant with my first child, I remember feeling lost—mostly unsure. I knew failed parental relationships dwelled deep within my family. I understood that the only way that I’d know if I had inherited this cancerous trait was after I too became a parent, vulnerable and new. It was only logical that I address my childhood traumas with my own mother before I could ever be someone else’s mom.

After my son was born, I fell into the deepest love with him. He was perfect in every way; I awaited the moment that I would fail to make him feel loved in the same way that my mother did to me. Late feedings would end with me mesmerized by a face belonging to a being that I loved more than myself. Acknowledging this admiration for my child, conjured unanswered questions as to why my own mother didn’t feel this way about me. The ache of not knowing the answer to my question began to haunt me. I was never alone in my thoughts, because every moment I was granted time to think; the ghost of, “why” persisted a fixation. The question “why” took the form of my child. Despite my baby being alive, they question, “why” haunted my child’s very existence. My son became a ghostly reminder of the love I always wanted but would never get.

Liam and Zora

 I didn’t know what to do, so I continued to do what I had been doing for the past couple of months; I nurtured him, I fed him, I talked to him, and most importantly I loved him—so much. My haunted baby might have become the Casper I never wanted to encounter, but still, I couldn’t fathom even a ghost feeling alone. So, I became a ghost whisperer and as soon as I started to accept my new norm, something happened. One day, I looked down at my son’s face, he once Casper, no longer looked ghostly. In fact, he looked new. It was as if I was meeting my son and he was meeting his mother, for the first time.

In this realization, I felt as if chains had fallen at my feet–invisible shackles broken. The ghost that once consumed my child was gone. Before I could fully wrap my head around what just happened, I had an epiphany. In that moment of cradling my baby boy in my arms, I realized what that ghost symbolized. It was a ghost from my past, a generational curse. When it realized that it had no place in my home—my life, it concluded that it had no ability, no power! By giving my son the selfless and pure love that I never had, I was discontinuing a long viciously and unhealthy family cycle. Selfless love had broken my family’s generational curse. I was free of burden! We all were. The ghost of my past no longer had a place to fester or feed. So, when the ghost and I realized that, I was immediately emancipated.

On that day, that’s how I became the mother I never had.

Liam & Zora’s Christening And Why We Waited So Long To Dedicate Liam

Romans 12:21

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

This is the Bible verse I chose to dedicate the children to. I chose this scripture because, one day, the kids won’t live under my roof and when they no longer do, I want them to understand that although they’ll come in contact with evil, their GOOD—God’s GOOD will always conquer that evil. I want them to stand firm in this truth.

With Liam, everything was trial and error. As years passed of his life, I felt like we had forgot to do something major. It all became clear when we welcomed his sister, Zora.

Haha, my husband and I had forgotten to dedicate Liam to Jesus. No worries. Rest assured. We were told that it wasn’t too late, and that we weren’t the only parents that dedicated older children.

We learned that the most common misconception is that baby dedications are just about the child and have to be done when the child is an infant. Dedications are more so about the parents and their willingness and commitment to surrender their children to the Lord and His perfect ways. Any child too young for baptism with eager parents wanting to dedicate them is eligible for dedication. Don’t be intimated to bring forth your toddlers! It’s not too late! During the ceremony, the parents confess publicly that they are dedicating their children to Christ. It’s such a special moment.

So, with this new knowledge, I didn’t feel too bad about forgetting to dedicate Liam sooner. Frankly, dedicating both kids at once made the moment even more beautiful.

Both kids were dedicated March 1st and we are elated!

Both outfits are from Amazon and eligible for Amazon prime!

The scariest part of parenting is knowing that one day, you have to send your babies out into this evil world. Cover them! Cover them with Christ! Don’t no blanket cover you like the blanket of Jesus!

Xoxo,

Christian

How A Nikki Giovanni Quote Gave Me The Confidence I’d Been Longing For

Putting your art out for the world to critique is hard. It’s one of the most vulnerable things I’ve done in life. I always knew that I wanted to explore and nurture my artistic side, but I allowed my low self esteem to dictate my vision.

Time and time, I would map out these life plans and dreams just to find every excuse in the book not to follow through. I became a first class quitter. I mastered quitting and I had grown comfortable in defeat. This was all until I learned the definition of defeat. Defeat means to overthrow. All along I had been allowing negative thoughts to OVERTHROW my purpose.

Taken from lifechrome.com

On one of purposeless days , I came across an old video of Nikki Giovanni interviewing James Baldwin. The video had resurfaced online.

I’d always been a Nikki Giovani fan, but I’d never watched or listened to her interviews. In the video clip I watched, she was beautiful and confident. There she was interviewing a legend, she a legend too, and she conducted herself with so much boldness. Seeing this made me fall in love with her even more. Giovanni dominated that interview, but not in a negative way. She asked questions and received the answers, but she never gave the impression of demure.

Sometimes, when in the presence of a powerful man, we women feel the need to stifle ourselves or hold back out of reference. It’s been ingrained in us since birth to always let the man lead. This is ok sometimes, but never ok ALL the time. In the interview, Giovanni didn’t do that. She conducted herself like she knew she deserved to be there, and she did! Nikki didn’t let James Baldwin or his status intimidate her and that…

That’s what I wanted for myself.

Afterward, filled with newfound excited, I searched for a Nikki Giovanni quote to post on my daily agenda. I’m really into beautifying quotes thanks to my favorite fictional journalist, Mary Jane Paul from the series, Being Mary Jane. In the series, every episode starts off with a profound quote.

One of the first quotes I found of Nikki Giovanni was, “I am so hip even my errors are correct.” The quote is so simple, but to me, it represents everything Nikki Giovanni is to me and taught me to be—unapologetically fierce! She taught me with that one sentence to embrace my flaws—failures, because owning them makes me who I am.

There’s no better time than now to pursue your dreams! Write! Love! Do whatever it is that you’ve been putting off!

You’ll never live the life you want if you dwell in defeat.

Xoxo,

Christian

My Husband Wasn’t My Type. Well, I Thought He Wasn’t

As a young girl, I spent countless hours dreaming of my wedding, future family, and spouse. I still have some of my dream wedding gown sketches from 6th grade. I was young and my thoughts about marriage were pretty shallow. It didn’t help that my parents were divorced and couldn’t stand to be in the same room with each other. I didn’t have the best examples of what a healthy marriage looked like, so I dreamt of what I wanted my my ideal marriage to look like—be like.

When I met my husband for the first time, it was a weird encounter. He wasn’t my type. He was socially awkward, and we had nothing in common. (I thought we had nothing in common.) It’s safe to say that we both shared relief when the date finally ended.

It wasn’t until I needed a roommate that I reached out to him. He had room and he was never home. Perfect, I thought. We tried our hardest to dislike each other and remain at a distance, but the intimacy of living together forced us to learn a lot about each other. We saw each other’s dates, saw each other sad, angry, smelled each other’s poops, and saw each other drool in our sleep. Living together made having our guards up impossible to do.

One day out of the blue, my husband told me that he was deploying to Afghanistan. He was really causal about it, but he wanted me to prepare to find a new roommate. I don’t know what shifted, but in that moment, we both felt the need to protect each other. It was apparent that we both really cared about what happened to each other next. I had been saving for a car and hadn’t reached my goal. “I’ll add $1000 to your car fund,” he offered. “Where are you going to go,” he asked. “I’ll write you everyday,” I promised him.

Before he left for Afghanistan, I visited him in Virginia. Did you know that Virginia is called the love state?

We spent a weekend together, holding hands and gazing into each other’s eyes. It felt right. We’d never behaved like this before, but for some reason we fell into this flow.

On the way back home, my friends and family checked in. “Did you tell him?” “Tell him what?” “That you love him…”

It took a deployment for us to realize that we were in love and had been for a very long time. I prayed for a safe deployment, but God had other plans. My husband ended up not deploying.

He came back to me and the rest is history.

You don’t make love. You grow it.

Xoxo,

Christian

My Son’s Thirst For Christ Lead Us To A New Church Home

I’ve only been a member of 2 churches as an adult. Similar to finding you’re forever spouse, searching for a church home is just as a special process. I was a member of my last church home for about 7 years, and after marrying my husband, he joined my church too. Our young love grew, so did our family, and our love for Christ grew deeper, but something changed.

Last year, my son began to ask a lot of questions about Christ. His thirst to know and understand Him brought forth my own feelings of harsh realities. I hadn’t been honest with myself. Deep down inside I knew that I had outgrown my current church home, but feelings of disloyalty filled my heart. This church had been apart of my life for so long and I felt guilty for waning to venture out. My son’s newfound interest in Christ held me accountable for how I introduced Him to my child. When your enter that sacred spiritual space with God, you have to make sure to neglect all outside distractions to ensure that you really open your heart to Him.

You see, I had been battling with many conflicted feelings at my old church. I wanted a media accessible church. Living a busy life with my phone always in hand, I wanted to be able to feel connected to my church at all times, even when I was out of town. My old church didn’t have those amenities. I also dealt with feelings of alienation. My husband and I were one of a handful of young married couples. Sometimes, well a lot of times, I felt out of place. Although no one intentionally set out to make us feel “too young or out of the loop,” we did feel that way. Lastly, a scholarly children’s church and nursery was important to me. My old church didn’t have a nursery, and sometimes mommying my little ones took away from mommy’s praise and worship.

Although I love my old church and everyone in it, with the new seasons of my life, my spirit became weary. It needed to be fed a different way and my son saw this–he felt this. I knew that his first intimate introduction to Christ was a monumental moment. I didn’t want my son to think that he had to stay in one place of worship if it wasn’t where he wanted to be–where he needed to be.

So, like a mother duck leading her little ducklings, I decided to ventured out for a new church home. The decision wasn’t easy. In fact, I went back and forth. I felt guilty for leaving the church that reared and shaped me, but I couldn’t dwell in my unhappiness.

Pharisees get back, I had conversation with my old pastor. I expressed my reasoning for leaving his church and like the wonderful man of God he is, he smiled and gave me his blessing. (I love you PG & First Lady!)

So, back to my little spiritual child Liam. We got lucky and found our new church home on the first visit! What solidified my choice was Liam’s excitement to go! He yearned for his new teachers, friends, and Bible lessons! The kid came home reciting Bible verses and wanting to reenact Bible stories. This made my heart so happy!

Another plus was that my little Zora had her own friends and class too! Our new church also has an app, YouTube page, and a plethora of ministries to get involved in. The other exciting part is, I know a lot of my church members from school, which means, I don’t feel so socially awkward! (Yay millennials!)

Our new church fulfilled everything I wanted–needed. My husband and I were finally able to really focus on getting fed the word! After a couple of Sundays, I noticed a change within my house. We were all so full–full of Christ!

There’s a church for everyone! If you don’t have a church home, visit some of your local churches and find your home!

Xoxo,

Christian