Tuesday, July 26, 2011


I realized during my last big trip, where I was given more training and space to be an InterVarsity Intern, how HUGE this transition is.

I'm officially moving from Los Angeles to Fresno, CA.
From college into 'real' life.
From a 9-5 corporate job to a more flexible schedule.
From just wanting to live my dreams to actually going for it.

From my college and church communities in Los Angeles to a new community that will (likely) rock me as they teach me about Jesus, Fresno and what it means to love unconditionally.

That being the case, I decided to start a new blog. 'Cause I want to turn a new page in every way that I can, and writing is sure to be one of those ways.

So, I'll see you at the new bloggy.
If you'd like to keep reading my journey and reflections, you can go to here.

(no, there isn't anything there yet, but there will be! soon, very soon.)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Grateful for my bed. Books. Water. Mint and chip scones. Ice cream. A/C. Kisses from a 2 yo. News. Bird shows. Great dads. Showers. Singing. Big comfy shirts.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Note to self: remember the new mexico trip to safeway.

Friday, July 8, 2011


i remember when you picked me up and twirled me around in the fiercest hug our friendship has felt.
it reminded me that i wouldn't be alone in this.
i wouldn't be found running and jumping without being caught.

as i sit in this new place, i realize that's what i feel.
the absence of those closest to me, vulnerable to not being caught.
running in the opposite direction of those that are near as i wait for those that have known me longer, those that know me the best.

(I wish this were easier!)

it's time to reach out and be vulnerable.
i can't sit and wait for things to happen without asking, without taking risks.


Saturday, July 2, 2011

Grateful for a trip to portland, oregon with my twin and her dad. Grateful for seeing jesus in various places here. Seattle, washington tomorrow! Can't wait. :)

Monday, June 27, 2011


"You are perfection!"

My heart about melted when I overheard a papa say this to his 3 year old curly haired daughter at the grocery store. :)

Study Bible.

it actually makes me want to read the Bible.

go figure.


I am grateful to Jesus for a household.

Because today has been the first full day of missing my friends, my family, yet still making plans for travel (lots of travel).
Where I've wanted to run back to my room and cry, lay in the fetal position and cry some more. Yet, God provided me with a house full of people to walk alongside me, share meals, let me know they were able to pet a llama at the zoo today and ask me to go swimming later.


Hope when I need it in the really small things to get me through the day, so thank you Jesus, for doing that. Providing for me a family that reminds me that life gets hard, but it goes on (and as it does, you provide joy and hope and steadfastness).

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Church (somewhat) early tomorrow. 0930. I pray i'll be blessed as i begin the search for my church family in Fresno.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Sometimes all I can say is, "I love you." i don't know if it helps, but is at least a reminder.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

love, love.

it's true.
realizing my heart is ready to invest in a romantic relationship.
realizing that i'm no longer terrified at the prospect and knowing that i'm ready for the work and blessing at entering into a relationship that possibly could last forever.

because my heart is now steadfast when it comes to the love of the Father, I've learned to trust those around me with the most vulnerable parts of my heart.

so jesus, would you make my heart patient and ready.
would you allow me to hear your Voice of guidance.
would you prepare Him for what will become us, and would you put people in his life to reach his God-given potential.

Honor Song

My family and I love Native American gatherings, powwows. We love the energy, the dancing, the chance to experience something that is so similar to our culture. We love watching the dancing, learning more about jewelry and animal significance (the Spirit Bear has a soft spot for me, representing wisdom, courage and strength).

The food is also amazing! Frybread is AWESOME and an Indian taco always hits the spot. Yum. :)

While watching the dancing, there are certain people that are honored during each powwow. People who are honored by the community with their own song. As the song plays, this person walks around the arena, and those that would like to honor them, shake their hand and walk behind them for the duration of the song.

I was particularly moved during the honoring of Miss UCLA Powwow 2011, who was honored with a song, began with the other candidates and was later joined by others as the song continued.

I began to wonder, if this were my honoring song, who would be beside me and behind me as the song played? Who would be those that would shake my hand and walk the rest of the arena with me? It was an interesting position to think of, my own honoring song and the people that would join me during it.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Things I am grateful for: Women's ministry events, nights watching epic movies like Gladiator, delivering packages, and Sunday mornings. Thank you, Jesus.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


i had forgotten how restful it is for me to write.
thank you jesus, for space to write and space to know that this is indeed restful.

i'll be writing letters this week.
particularly to three friends i've never met.
two to men overseas, who i hope are reveling in the news that Osama Bin Laden's lifeless body is in possession of the United States. i pray that they are resting after celebrating tonight.

the third letter is to a friend i've never met but have read her words, and been able to encourage her. i forget that jesus is larger and more intentional than limiting relationships to face-to-face interactions.

if you'd like a letter, let me know. i'd love to write you one. :)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Will:"You know you won't have any clean clothes, unless you actually...clean your clothes."
Spike:"Vicious circle."
i have to do laundry too. Haha.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Saturday

Easter. Yep, it's the time of year when those who believe in Jesus Christ remember and celebrate Jesus Christ's death and resurrection.
Similar to Christmastime this past year, I've intentionally entered a time of engaging with Easter and what this means.

Good Friday. I attended my first Good Friday service Friday night. It was dramatic reading with worship, and time to reflect on what happened that night when Jesus was arrested, crucified, tortured and buried. I walked away with more questions than anything else.
What must have the time between the burial and resurrection been like?
I couldn't help but think of what this time felt like, what everyone's interactions were.

Grief. Wailing, despair, unnatural quiet among those that knew him. Crying among the women, deep silence among the men. What would these people have said to each other? Would they have spoken at all? What verbal or physical comfort was there to offer?

Was the resurrection a true hope for those that believed in these moments? I know my heart, and had I seen Jesus tortured and crucified, I'd really be wavering between disbelief in anything Jesus said about coming back to life and the hope of Jesus returning.

What about those that were yelling in the crowd to crucify Jesus? What were they feeling now? Were they satisfied at knowing Jesus' body was lying in a cold grave? Were they already remorseful of what had happened?

What about the religious leaders? Did they understand what the tearing of the curtain of the temple meant? Did they now understand who Jesus was? Was there any sense of wanting to know more of him?

I walked away with more questions. Wanting to know of a deeper understanding of what transpired in these hours, to know how those that believed coped with Jesus' death knowing he'd be alive again... yet also wondering what happened with those that didn't.

So many names are mentioned in the passages of the Bible, and we don't know what stories followed the lives of those names. What happened to the Centurion who acknowledged Jesus was the Son of God after he died? What about Barabbas, did he ever think back about Jesus taking his place?

So many questions.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My heart sings:

unto the Lord be the glory
great things He has done
unto the Lord be the glory
great things He has done

great things He has done
greater things He will do
unto the Lord be the glory
great things He has done


Thursday, April 14, 2011


I'm slowly deciding that I need to make myself available.
I kind of smirk as I type this, wondering how many of you are wondering that I might mean 'available' regarding romantic relationships.
(Also true, but not the point of this post.)

As I've sat in what feels like No Man's Land, transitioning into adulthood, I've realized that I want need to be more available. I've allowed myself to be somewhat available in the past, but I have also let my own need for security get in the way of larger leaps that Jesus has called me to.

I've chosen the word "follow" as my focus for this year, to allow Jesus to lead.
And it's been in these instances when I've allowed myself to listen, actually listen to my heart and how Jesus is leading, I've realized that I need to become more available.

Available to let my heart be shaped and transformed by Jesus. To allow the work that is being done in me continue.

Ways I want to do that or begin the process of stepping into that:
  • Go on a trip to Latin America. I realize that this love that Jesus has given me for my people isn't just because, and I want to drink that in by immersing myself in an extended amount of time learning in a Latino nation.
  • Be myself. I hold back a lot of myself. I don't do the really random stuff that makes me me (y'know, like, sing really loudly when a great song comes on, dance in the supermarket or shove an entire cookie in my mouth just 'cause it might make you laugh). I want to do the silly stuff that let's you know who I am, and in the process share all the really deep stuff too.
  • Love by taking risks. I'm entering into a place where I want to insert myself into relationships that are risky. I want to love people I wouldn't necessarily choose with a guarded heart, I want to be open (this is where I am talking about romantic relationships as well as friendships).
There's definitely more here. I haven't formulated everything, but this is what's been rolling in my head for a little while. Trust, there will be elaboration.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Oh, Boy.

I find that I can't really focus, here's to hoping this'll help.

It's true, I haven't felt this way about a boy, ever.
One that truly inspires and challenges the way I look at Jesus and causes me to strive to see more of Him day by day.
He speaks, and my heart listens, wants to be lead. Being more than relieved that I am being lead, instead of leading.

And yet, as I sat across a new and dear friend after church on one Sunday, finally learning that 'boy' is not interested in me the way I am in him.
My heart breathed a deep sigh of relief.

Relief that I wouldn't have to worry about when, how, what this would look like if it (finally) worked out.
And suddenly, after having some time with my Papa...it all went away.
The feelings, the worry, the wondering, the wandering of my heart for 'boy'.

And as I started looking at mine and 'boy's friendship, I realized that our hearts aren't really compatible. At least not right now. My deep loves aren't meshed into his life, his plans for the future. My love of Latino people, my love of the city, my deep deep commitment to those that have walked life with me.
And I am grateful to Jesus, that he has walked beside me these past few years to know what I am needing more and more in the man I will eventually call Husband.

I need someone who 'gets me'...one who understands...
my commitment to those I have lead, served, served with...
my deep love of the city... I have fallen in love with both Fresno, CA and St.Louis, MO. I need someone who shares that with me.
my love of Latino community... I love my people, and I need someone who is willing to make a fool out of themselves as they eat spicy food, go salsa dancing and put up with my crazy (yet lovable) familia.

Yes, I'm grateful for this latest disappointment in a potential romantic relationship. Grateful because it's showing me more of who I am, more of what I need...and causing me to remember more of my friend L's words, "if it's not him, it'll be someone better!"

Thanks, Papa, for not letting me settle. :)

Thursday, March 10, 2011


since last wednesday, i've sat in frustration, pain, apathy and grief.
i've been short with people, lacked animation, laughter, joy.
all i can say is, i'm sorry.

sorry for shutting you out, sorry for not having the words to let you in.
i can barely explain it to myself.
i am grateful that Jesus knows all my thoughts, so i don't have to explain it to him.
i can't.

[but here's a part i can find words for]
i think back to the boy who stopped me in the hallways of my high school every day to our second class of the day.
just to hug me and say he'd see me at lunch with that brilliant smile of his.
the boy who learned that i smiled easily, especially as he made faces across the room in our world history class.
the boy who found me during prom just to make sure i got some of the cheesy bread (his excuse to make sure i was having a good time)
the boy who knew what it meant to live a life of service: both to his God and his country.

this week i grieve this boy, caleb 'bubba' manning. it seems to cut deeper with every year that passes, but bubba, i'll honor your life by living the way you did: with joy, zeal, passion and a deep love for God.

i love you, buddy.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

my soul.

i've been trying to listen.
listen to my soul.
i've noticed a dip in my mood, a tightening of my heart, a frustration, a longing, a mourning...
it's been a crazy few days.

i haven't really been able to put my finger on it.
it's in days like this that i stop and actually say, "i need a quiet place." i think of jesus in the gospel of mark, where he goes and prays in a lonely place. when he needed space to spend with the Father and just be.

however, i spent some time with jesus today and a few themes came up: fear, purpose and romantic relationships.
fear (see previous post): i'm finding myself seeing similar symptoms come up from the rest of my life. i fear giving myself completely to relationships, especially now in a new community that is still learning how to build itself. i still fear the uncertainty of relationships that may not remain when we're not living in the same city.

purpose: at this very particular moment in life i don't feel like i'm doing much. i feel like it's just a routine: work, church, home. don't get me wrong; work is great, church community is awesome, and the roomies are great. however, i don't feel like i'm giving myself to anything. i need to give myself to something that i'm passionate about, something that is linked with jesus that allows me to feel a great sense of joy.

romantic relationships: this is the one that frustrates/confuses me the most. having had my fair share of experiences with amazing men who i have developed feelings for, i wonder at what it is i am seeing and thinking. we talked in my church Bible study, about relationships and how our church and our interest in our significant other should be that they challenge us and point us to Jesus. i was amazed to notice that Shoreline is so different than my home church, and sufficiently different than InterVarsity that I have grown a lot in the last few months. and i see that in him as well. his life is awe-inspiring, one that points directly to Jesus as he shares his current struggles, his past and the role that Jesus has had in his life. i still have a lot of questions, especially since this seems to be a cycle in my life and emotions, so i wonder how this is different.

there's so much more packed into this, so much more that i have yet to wrestle out with Jesus.
a lot more that i don't want to confront or ask 'cause i'm afraid things won't work out the way i want.

jesus, would i learn to trust you in this season. with my questions and with what you're doing in my life.

Monday, March 7, 2011


i hate to say that i've lived most of my life in fear. miedo.

as a little girl, fear of monsters under my bed.
fear of when daddy came home, not knowing whether he'd be happy or angry in the next minute.
fear of waking up to a crying mama.
fear at not knowing how to console her.

in school, fear of not being wanted and accepted.
fear at failing at something once i had impressed someone.
fear that dad would come back and break the rhythm our household of women had created.

in high school and college, fear of boys.
fear of being loved, fear of being known and judged.
fear of having to share everything. todo.

now, some of the fears have remained. others have gone away, and new ones have surfaced.
today, i fear wanting to be known.
the want that is so insatiable. i crave for it, yet i fear risking my heart again.

i want to have deep, solid relationships.
for my hands to be held, for long abrazos from friends who feel like family.
to share laughter and culture over a meal.

i fear my values and passions being different and not understood.
questions not be asked, the depth of who i am not be sought.

tengo miedo.
i'm scared.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Bird's Song

 I've had this song stuck in my head for two weeks, so good.

A Bird's Song- Ingrid Michaelson

Monday, February 7, 2011


"Life is all about catching each other in the spaces when we're free."
After those words came out of my mouth, I was a little surprised. I said it in response to the remorse he felt at being tired. "Joey, it's okay." I really do understand. I understand ministry, the being tired, yet wanting to just inhabit the same space, even though nothing tangibly eventful is happening.
I'm growing. The Sol that selfishly wanted space with friends; mealtimes, sing-alongs, space to talk until 3am... she's moved on. Don't get me wrong, I still want to hang out, but I understand they're life is the dorms. I simply get the privilege of watching them grow, lead, find their voice in the Kingdom.

It's been a privilege, BCF. You've taught me much, you've taught me well.
And as I watch the once-freshmen (two years ago!) I can't help but try to swallow the knot that develops in my throat at how amazingly beautiful this is. And I can't believe it.
I can't believe that two years ago I met them at the same conference they're now leading, telling them to find the "cool kid" during breakfast and make friends (that's where it all began), and to do his very best.

I was able to affirm "My Favorite" on his birthday. Sharing how PROUD I am of him, of the man he's becoming, of a leader among leaders, how he's taken this responsibility so heavily... I love him for it.

I told him he was a part of my legacy. He is. He's a huge part of how God has blessed me as a female leader, a risk taker in cross gender relationships, a testament that God indeed does know what he's doing. I cannot fathom how many lives will be changed because of My Favorite, but it sure is incredible to try.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

so much.

there's a lot i want to say, write, express but feel like i don't have enough time or energy.

jesus, help.

[here's to hoping for an afternoon of rest and writing.]

Monday, January 24, 2011


The beach has always been my refuge with sand that greets my feet with warmth, with water that is incredibly blue, and with gusts of wind that I can lose myself while I'm thinking, and while my feet walk parallel to the waves crashing onto the shore.
I love the beach, it's been where I go on days when I feel like singing so no one will hear, where I went when I got some soul stirring news...where I go to spend some time with my Papa.
It's where I rest.

It's appropriate that the church I find myself in is called, Shoreline. And just like my thoughts on the beach, Shoreline has become a haven. A haven in the middle of Westwood, amidst all the young college students who are figuring out life. I've found a haven.
Yes, it's completely and utterly different than what I pictured my church would look like after InterVarsity. It's not as diverse as I pictured, not as showy in it's love... but it's become the place where I rest.
Interesting, isn't it?
It's become the place where I anchor myself and ready myself for the week. It's where new, deep and real friendships have emerged from and where I grow with every new Sunday, every new teaching.
It's where I sing so that no one will hear, but that everyone might. It's where I am shyly learning to speak my voice and change the church with my gifting and insight.
I come here to spend time with my Papa, but also with my brothers and sisters.


Monday, January 17, 2011

Burnt Tortillas

I made tacos for lunch today. :)
If you know me at all, you know that tacos take the cake when it comes to any food. They're delicious, and simple to make.

It was nice to have a quiet apartment, be able to wake up late, lay in bed for a while and hear the sounds of the day. It was even better to walk into the kitchen and begin making lunch. Begin heating meat, cutting chiles to make my Mama's salsa borracha (translates to "drunk salsa").
I added onions, tomatoes, cut up some chiles, accidentally rubbed my eye and then cried a little bit, and finally added lemon and salt. It was pretty yummy.
After making sure everything was ready, I heated tortillas. This is probably my favorite part. I love watching the texture of tortillas change, them bubble as they heat up, and begin to brown a bit as they begin to cook.
Yes, sometimes I burn tortillas.
And yes, sometimes it's on purpose.

Burnt, crispy tortillas remind me of my Grandpa.
It takes me back to a time before sixth grade when he passed away, a time when we'd have barbecues what felt like once a month, and I'd help him stoke the grill.
He taught me that to have flames come up from the charcoal, you had to fan it and add a little bit of lighter fluid (don't worry, I wasn't allowed to help with that).
So as I watched mi abuelito, I would ask if I could have a turn fanning the fire with his Stetson as I had watched him week after week.
I remember that smile as he'd admit that he was tired and watch me fan the flames.

The fire would eventually be where it needed to be, weenies, onions, chicken, beef... they got cooked on the grill. Frijoles, corn, and some tortillas would come from inside. Don't forget the salsa! :)

However, my very favorite part of our barbecues was the very end. When everybody would exclaim that they were full, and begin clearing the table. We'd put stuff away, put what needed to go in the fridge where it needed to, our madrina (godmother) would pack us food to take home (the famous "To-Go Plate")... and while all that was happening, somebody would be heating tortillas.
Heating tortillas because even though we were all super full, we couldn't let the last of the fire go to waste. We'd heat tortillas and pass them around, making everyone eat at least one. And more often than not, the tortillas were on the crispy side; burnt a little, just the way I like 'em.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

'Cause I need more stuff?

During this season of looking for a job, applying for a job, interviewing for a job, and ultimately getting and starting a job, I've had to borrow a lot of money from folks.
I've also been convicted of how I spend my money.

I don't spend money on expensive shoes or dresses, but I am really irresponsible with money.
I eat out more than I should, I get excited having money, so I just spend it.
'Cause I can.

We never had much while I was growing up. We always wore hand-me-downs, shopped at thift stores, didn't go to the movies...so I guess I see having money as my own way to fulfill what I wanted as a kid. Getting everything I have my eye on, or just buying it 'cause there's money in my bank account.
'Cause I can.

However difficult this season has been, it has allowed me to observe and analyze my priorities.
The question was and still is, What will I do when I finally get paid?
Will my spending habits be the same?

Borrowing money from friends and family has caused me to begin to internalize the Truth,
this is not my money.
This is God's money that he has given me so that I might use it wisely to bless those around me.
Paying my rent on time so that I serve my roommate who fronts it every month,
paying utilities so that we can all take hot showers and host those we have over when they need to crash for a night,
having extra money in case someone (like me the past 4 months) can borrow if they need
you get the idea.

So, ask me about money. Ask me what I'm doing to discipline myself. I'll probably get uncomfortable, but remind me that the past 4.5 years have been unsuccessful in being responsible with the monetary resources I've been given.

'Cause, no, I don't need more stuff.

Monday, January 3, 2011

One Word

A friend, Alece, asked me to consider having one word for 2011.
One word to focus in my year, one word that would allow me to see more of Jesus and what he has for me.

It came abruptly, but confidently.

Follow because I tend to think my actions only affect me.
I tend to make decisions on my own and then have to do a lot of apologizing for the same reason.
I get hurt because I do not listen for what He has for me, where He wants me to go.

Follow because there will be a lot of big decisions that I'll need to make this year.
Decisions affecting my future, community, relationships.

Follow because that implies actually following Jesus. Going where he goes, listening for his direction, leaning into him when I'm tired, letting him hold me when I feel scared or lost, and being disciplined in doing these faithfully.

I will follow.