Life Update

Life Update

I’ve been M.I.A. from the blog. I’m back and I want to make something clear. My favorite part about having a blog is it is as real as it gets. What I mean by that is as much as I love having a Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, and YouTube channel, WordPress has provided a space for me to be vulnerable in a way that I find it difficult to do through all of those social media sites. Over here on WordPress, I can type up as many words as I’d like. That is what I need to reach others, room to say everything that I have to say. But can’t I do that through my YouTube channel? The answer is of course, but I prefer typing out my thoughts better. There’s no extra time spent editing, waiting for an upload, and looking somewhat presentable to be in front of a camera. 

Within the past few months, I’ve received questions asking when or what my next blog post will be. Whenever people asked me those questions, I would feel pressured to do one soon. I am very thankful for those who follow my blog and I am very thankful that God gave me a platform here on WordPress to connect with others through my life experiences. Although I love blogging, it isn’t my priority. I never promised that I would be consistent when it comes to posting on the blog. Everything will be in my timing because what I want to give to you all is quality over quantity. I really do put a lot of time and effort into my posts. Instead of posting out of the feeling of being rushed, I would rather give you all my best when I feel like posting.

Today I felt like posting a life update:

I completed my first semester of my senior year on the second of this month! I am satisfied with my grades. The class that I was most proud of was my EDLS 496 Educ & Prof Ethics Senior Seminar course! I got an A on my senior thesis defense presentation and almost twenty pages paper! I loved the course overall because it did excellently in highlighting vocation. There was a good mix of majors in the classroom and it was interesting to learn about different majors, and a privilege to share about my major. 

I have six more classes to fulfill before I graduate from Azusa Pacific University this December! I’ll be taking a geography online course through Mount San Antonio College this summer, which will start in the middle of next month. I’ll be taking the rest of my required classes in the fall semester. Four of them will be on APU’s campus and the fifth one will be through APU too, but online instead of on campus. 

I’ve had the pleasure of working for Chick-Fil-A since November. I completed six months of working at Chick-Fil-A when I left on the fifth of this month. I left for two reasons of which were that I didn’t need the job during the summertime and I moved back to my hometown which means that I don’t live across the street from Chick-Fil-A anymore. I don’t want to commute that far from my hometown to cfa, and if I really needed to work at cfa then it would be a smart choice to work at the closest cfa to my house instead of the one near the apartment I used to live in. My manager was so kind to allow me to enjoy my summer break from APU without having to work and he also made it available for me to be able to return to work when I want to! With that said, I am certainly returning to work as a team member at cfa once fall semester at APU starts!

So far I’ve been spending my summer break hanging out with some of my family and friends. I’ve also been helping a momma cat take care of her kitten, which has brought such joy and a bunch of laughter into my life. As for plans, I have a Utah trip coming up very soon! It’ll be my third vacation to UT so far! I’ll mainly be there for one of my cousins high school graduation! We’ll be staying for a few days for his graduation and to explore more of UT. I’ll be switching things up by vlogging some of my time there instead of blogging about it! The vlogs will be uploaded on my YouTube channel, so you all can look forward to those! As mentioned earlier in this post, I’ll be working on a geography online course starting sometime in the middle of June. On the fifteenth of July I’ll be celebrating my dad’s birthday! As for the days in-between and the rest of the summer, I don’t know what they hold so most of the summer will come as a surprise to me. 

Some blog posts from me for you all to look forward to in the future are posts about baristas, my major, my testimony, chapel, celebrating you (loving yourself), and possibly posts on the VoxBoxes I’ve received from Influenster! Thank you all so much for your patience.

X O ,

T I N A  R E B E C C A

 

 

 

 

 

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Unwanted Attention

Unwanted Attention

I am twenty-two years old and I have never had a boyfriend before. As I look back on my life, all the boys I was attracted to when I was younger and all the men I have had a crush on as a grown woman had never approached me to ask me out on a date. You may be thinking, “So why don’t you be the one to take action to get their attention?” The answer is that I have tried that before but ended up not getting the response I wanted. Instead, I have had boys and men of whom I was not interested in, step out in boldness in efforts to grab my attention. This prompts the question in my mind: “Why are the only guys who have approached me, the ones who I took no interest in or/and the ones I knew for sure that they were not the ones God had for me in His plan?”

From youth up to now, out of all of the boys and men I liked, none of them have pursued me. Especially as a single woman today, with most of my friends being in a romantic relationship, there are some days when I see them in their relationships and it can be difficult for me because I really want to know when my time to be in a romantic relationship will come. To be honest, it is a hard thing to wait upon the Lord and even harder when only those of whom I am not interested in, flirt or put themselves out there to let me know that they like me.

The following are going to be some true recent stories that I want to share of the wrong men who tried to have a spot in my life. Of course I will not call them out by name and I will not mention the name of the places these men worked at:

THE RECEPTIONIST AT A RESTAURANT

One night, last year, dad and my sister Jasmine picked me up from university. We usually go out to eat after they pick me up from school. That night we decided to dine at a restaurant closer to our house. We entered the restaurant and from the time the receptionist seated us to the time we left the building to head back home, I noticed the receptionist was attracted to me. I didn’t want to mention anything to dad and Jasmine because I didn’t want to bring attention to what I was noticing. A few minutes into dinner, Jasmine brought it up that the receptionist kept on looking at me whenever he would pass by, seating guests at tables near the one I was sitting at. Little did I know that Jasmine was noticing similar things to what I was noticing! When we went up to the front counter to pay for our meal, I saw from the corner of my eye that he was looking at the back of me. He then took out a piece of paper, wrote something down on it, gave the piece of paper to Jasmine, and told her give the piece of paper to me. He watched me as I left out the doors and said, “Have a good one, guys!” On our way to our car, Jasmine handed the piece of paper to me. When I unfolded it, written down was the receptionist’s name, “text me” with a smiley face next to the words, and his phone number. I threw his note away and did not end up texting him.

THE MANAGER AT A GROCERY STORE

This Sunday, I went grocery shopping with my family. I thought I was alone in the isle I was in but apparently I was not. I was focused on reading the description on one of the chocolates wrappers until I heard someone compliment me from behind. I turned around and the person who complimented me was a man who worked at the market, holding several food items. He gave me two compliments saying that he liked the key chain on my purse and my adidas superstar shoes. I said, “Thank you,” thinking he was going to walk away and leave me alone to shop after that but I was wrong. He stayed to ask me how I was doing, introduced himself (that was how I came to know his name and that he was the manager of the market), shook my hand, and told me to come to him if I needed anything or had a question.

I thought he was just being friendly and nice, but it turned out that he saw me in another way. I departed from him and met my family at the register. Mom purchased a peach tree but there was no bar code on it and when the cashier typed in the item number, the item did not go through or appear on the screen. Since the cashier was having difficulties, they called the manager to come over. He came, solved the problem, and ended up selling the tree to mom for a cheaper price.

Mom is a talkative person and sometimes she says a little too much. She told the manager that we shop at their market a lot because it is the one closest to my school. The manager replied to mom by asking, “Which one of your daughters goes to school near here?” while he was looking at me and my sisters, but looking at me the longest. Mom pointed to me and said, “She does.” He reacted with a smile, turned to mom, and said, “She’s pretty.” I pretended like I didn’t hear what he said and tried to keep myself busy by organizing the things in our cart from not so far away and saying random things to my sisters. The manager attempted to get my email when he told mom that she should get me to sign up for the market’s email list so that I can receive coupons. My mom goes, “Oh yeah, you should ask her.” I ended up not giving him my email because I told him that I was already on their email list ha

THE NEIGHBOR, THE GUEST, AND THE HIGH SCHOOL ALUMNUS

These three used social media to get a hold of me.

My neighbor from last year was graduating from university soon. We’ve never had a conversation in person but he followed me on instagram, added me on snapchat, and added me on facebook where he was contacting me through facebook messenger. He often asked me to hang out with him but I wasn’t interested. Based on what I saw on his snapchat stories and open curtains, he would spend a lot of time playing video games. Also, my roommate and I were sometimes scared by outbursts and yelling curse words coming out of the mouth of our neighbor because of an unwanted outcome while playing his video game. It happened a lot of times throughout both semesters when we were his neighbors. I’m pretty sure I even remember him saying the Lord’s name in vain… I could be wrong but I’m pretty sure I remember. When I think of a godly man, I don’t think of one who curses (Ephesians 4:29, Colossians 3:8, Proverbs 13:3, Exodus 20:7).

One day on winter break, there was a guest who I met at the place that I work at. One night I received a message that he sent to me through facebook messenger, asking me if he could see me after I was done working. He gave me the location in which he lived and wanted me to meet him at his apartment. He also gave me his number and told me to text him. First of all, him wanting me to go to his apartment at night where he could get me alone did not sound right; it sounded sketchy. Plus, we barely even knew each other! I didn’t know for sure what his intentions were. Red flag. I stopped responding to his messages.

The next man is someone who went to the same high school as me, and is someone who graduated high school at the same time as me. Just like the neighbor and the guest, he sent me messages through facebook messenger, except he was really charming by the way he was talking to me and he asked me if he could take me out on a date.

It got creepy when he invited me to meet him at his beach house which he had all to himself for the day. Just like my situation with the guest, high school alumnus and I barely knew each other and trying to get me alone at his living space? Ummm NO. I talked to one of my sister’s about him and she said that he’s been talking to one of her friends too and it was around the same time he was talking to me! High school alumnus was someone who I’ve seen in person on our high school’s campus but I don’t remember ever speaking to him in person before. He was one of the popular students or who were considered the “cool kids” at school, and I was not. Based on what I saw on his facebook, he was a baseball player and model.

Not only do I have him on facebook, but I also have him on snapchat and it’s come to the point where I don’t watch his stories anymore because they have been the strangest I’ve seen so far. He smokes, cusses, takes weird pictures and records himself doing and saying strange things. If you were to watch his stories, they might not seem strange to you, but they are to me. He’s been trying to chat with me on snapchat but so far I’ve been ignoring them. It’s sad because he had a lot going on for him with university and being a baseball athlete especially. He has a job now which is a good thing but to see the way he talks and acts based on his snapchat stories and other posts; I wish he were a better man.

IN CONCLUSION

With only the wrong men for me so far, trying to get me to be with them, I must continue to hold on to the truth that I am worthy and deserving of God’s best. I won’t die down my expectations. It’s just a blurry view when there has been no godly man who I’m attracted to, pursuing me. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that that time will actually come where God will bring the man I’ve been praying for, into my life. My future man will reach out to me someday; it’s just not now apparently. God is saying to me, “Not now, dear.” Until then, I pray for patience and I will continue praying for my future boyfriend. All of the situations I’ve been in with the wrong men chasing after me, have made me uncomfortable. They gave me the attention I did not want mainly because I knew they weren’t from God. With that said, I also pray for protection. As of now, I’m working on being the godly woman who a single godly man out there is praying for.

X O ,

T I N A

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Are You?

How Are You?

“How are you?” I believe this is a question that has lost its intimacy. As I have grown over the years, I have grasped the value of having meaningful relationships with others, and how communication and having empathy are essential. The deep conversations may be scary at first, but I found a picture of a quote on google images that reassured me that deep conversations are rewarding and helpful by showing (if you know who said it, please let me know because I obviously do not know and would love to give him or her credit), “Heart to heart conversations are the best to me. Everyone’s vulnerable. Vulnerability attracts honesty, honesty attracts soul connections.”

How can we really be honest with each other if I have observed throughout my days that questions such as, “How are you?” or “How was your day?” are being thrown around as a fast-paced greeting or something that is casual instead of personal? Using university as an example, let us say I am walking back to my apartment and I see one of my friends who is walking the opposite direction to campus. When I first see my friend, I do not know if he or she is on his or her way to class or if he or she is just going on campus to grab something to eat. Picture this scenario in your mind: my friend and I are walking in opposite directions as I had mentioned previously. I say hi to my friend, and he or she acknowledges me, saying hi in return, but then he or she follows up by asking me, “How are you?” right at the moment where our shoulders meet and instead of walking towards each other in opposite directions, we are now walking away from each other in opposite directions as I say my response. Descriptive, right? But that is what I mean by a “fast-paced greeting.” I understand his or her “How are you?” was meant to be polite, but I am not fond of how it had lost its deeper meaning. How has it lost its deeper meaning? We did not stop. As much as I wanted it to happen, we did not slow down and take time to know how each of us are really doing- we just kept on walking, I guess it was mainly because I assumed he or she was going to class or meeting up with someone and I did not want to make my friend late by stopping him or her to explain to him or her about how I honestly am, and he or she probably thought likewise towards me, but decided to ask me “How are you” anyways? I am not sure. 

Another example I am going to provide is actually something from what happened this morning. After chapel, I went to grab lunch at Mexicali. I was the first one there but since it was straight after chapel ended, there was a line already starting to form behind me. I had a friend who was working at the first station. I said hi to her, and she said hi back but then proceeded to ask me the question, “How are you?” I quickly responded with, “Good” because if I told her how I really felt, along with an explanation, I would have held up the line. 

You see, when a friend, an acquaintance, or a stranger asks me the question, “How are you?” in a way that passes by, no matter how much I believe that person truly cares, it is difficult because at the same time, I have in the back in my mind a hard time in telling if the person who asked it really wholeheartedly cares about how I am doing, simply because his or her “How are you?” was asked at a time where I felt everything was fast paced, including my feeling that our words had to be fast paced, so my initial response would always be, “Good” said happily with a smile on my face. Do not get me wrong. Yes, there are times when I truly am doing good, but of course there are times when I am not good, and even if I am good, are they even interested in knowing more? 

Throughout this blog post, I have provided reasons why I do not ask, “How are you?” to anyone unless we are stopped on purpose or sitting down together for a meet up / date. I want so much for our how are you’s to be intentional. If we would just save the question for a time where we do not feel rushed… a time where we do not have to feel like we have to say, “Good” even though we are not good. I encourage you all to save the question for the moment where it is meant to be brought up, the moment when you can give a person your undivided attention and listen well to how his or her day went or what is going on in his or her life, and where that person can do the same for you in return when you truthfully share with him or her about how you are doing. If we do not change the way and time we ask the question, “How are you?” to one another, how are we supposed to know how to pray for one another? How are we supposed to know how to support one another? How are we supposed to know how to help one another? How are we supposed to grieve with the other person when he or she is grieving? How are we supposed to rejoice with the other person when he or she is rejoicing?

How are you?

I want to know.

I care.

You are worthy of being seen and heard.

You matter. 

X O ,

T I N A

 

My Haircut

My Haircut

It’s been a month and a week ever since my stylist cut off eight inches of my hair, and I still get questions about it, so I thought why not do a blog post all about my haircut…

and here we are.

One of my sisters usually trims my hair for me because for the life of me, I cannot trim or cut my hair myself. She’s been so occupied with school that trimming my hair became a task she pushed aside. I was frustrated my hair was growing longer than I wanted it to and I knew no one other than my sister who could trim my hair for me right away. My only option was Supercuts near university. I talked to my other sister, Ashley, who goes to the same university as I go to, and found out she wanted to cut her hair, so I was like let’s go to Supercuts together! During the weekend before we decided to go, trimming my long hair turned into a desire to cut my long hair! I mean, I absolutely loved having my hair long, but something inside of me encouraged a change when it came to my hair. I played it safe and not too risky, already planning what length I wanted it cut which was for it not to be short short, knowing for sure that I didn’t want it to be shoulder length short. The fact that summer was coming up played no role in my wanting to cut my hair short *just a note*

In the afternoon of April 5, it happened. I walked in to Supercuts confident in my choice to let my long hair go. I told my stylist what length I wanted my hair to be and she was totally supportive of my decision. She said she was excited for me! Then she goes, “You know… Your hair is beautiful. You can donate it if you’d like.” Hesitant, I asked how many inches she would have to take off if I agreed to have it donated. She said at least ten inches, but at the time I was scared to cut that much off even though it was just going to be two inches more. If you would like to know details about donating your hair to financially disadvantaged children under the age of twenty-one suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis, feel free to ask me about it in person, comment below, or shoot me a message. I’ve donated my hair two times before. Anyways, my long hair was like a security blanket to me, so like I said before, I didn’t want my hair to be cut in what I pictured to be “too short.” But then a few weeks passed and I started to watch Netflix’s hit show “13 Reasons Why.” The episode where Hannah gets a haircut really got me thinking that I should’ve donated my hair. Hannah looked absolutely beautiful with short hair. I was pretty disappointed in myself after watching that episode because I thought maybe, just maybe I could’ve rocked that length of hair as well, and on the 5th of April, I turned down the opportunity to have my hair donated. I ended up getting over my disappointment in myself by accepting that the past is the past and I can’t go back and change it. There will be another chance for me to do it in the future. I told myself it’s okay that I chose not to donate my hair at the time.

While working on my hair, there was a time when my stylist asked me what I wanted her to do when it came to bangs. I told her I didn’t want bangs, just something to frame my face. She also asked me if I wanted her to shampoo and condition my hair, which I ended up not having her do.

When my stylist finished doing my hair, she turned my chair around for me to look at the myself. Wow. I instantly fell in love with the change. Eight inches of my hair- GONE. She took her time on my hair, which I really appreciate, and she did a brilliant job. Cheers!

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It was weird when I walked out of Supercuts because I kept on touching my hair but of course it was not the same as running my fingers through my long hair, so it was pretty much feeling less hair and grasping more air haha if you know what I mean. This situation leads me to start talking about the pros and cons I’ve found in having short hair.

PROS 

  1.  It takes less time to straighten
  2.  It takes less time to air-dry after shampooing and conditioning 
  3. It doesn’t get tangled as much
  4. It’s easier to comb, especially combing it with my Wet Brush after a shower
  5. A ponytail is better-looking on me with my short hair rather than my long hair

CONS

  1. It takes getting used to when curling it. I use a wand to curl my hair and after I got a haircut I found it difficult to work with shorter chunks of hair. I remember the first time I curled my hair with it being short, it felt like it took forever to curl everything. With longer hair, it took me approximately 8-10 minutes to curl everything. I still have problems sometimes but not as much
  2. It isn’t as fun tying my hair into a bun as it was when I had long hair
  3. Looking back at old pictures kinda made me miss my long hair at first 

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As far as questions go, I only got two questions on social media and way more questions asked of me in person. Each and every compliment I received filled me with joy. The only person who gave me a hard time when it came to my haircut was mom haha. When I had long hair, she loved it, but was also envious. Mom got her hair cut a long time ago and her hair literally NEVER GREW after that, so that is why she was like why would you cut your hair, Tina. I mean, she isn’t angry with me. She thinks my short hair is k i n d a cute haha kinda, but she thinks I look way better with long hair. 

One night I was eating dinner at The Den *a dining place at my school* when I ran into one of my friends who saw me with my short hair for the first time in person. She asked me how I liked it, told me how a lot of people are saying she should get her hair cut because they think she’d look super cute with short hair, and wanted to know what I thought because she was very unsure of whether or not to do it. I pretty much told her to definitely go for it. 

I haven’t said this out loud yet, and I can’t believe I’m putting this on the blog, but…

I LIKE THE LENGTH OF HAIR I HAVE NOW BETTER THAN THE LONG HAIR I HAD BEFORE!

My hair grows pretty fast. I’m excited to keep track of how many years it takes for my hair to grow in to the same length it was before I got it cut. 

I would end this post here but I had a last-minute thought of adding in what my favorite hairstyle is when having short hair, which is the half up half down hairdo! Whenever I do it, my hair has to be curled. I won’t do it when my hair is straight because it looks way better on me with curly hair

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I hope this post answered all of your questions considering my haircut. If my post inspired you to get your hair cut, please please please let me know!

X O ,

T I N A

Calling All Matcha Lovers

Calling All Matcha Lovers

On Sunday, I went to my favorite mall- the Westfield Santa Anita Mall. Their new EAT court was up and running! The only thing I tried from there was Matcha Matcha, and boy was that place special

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Taken from my snapchat story. Add me on snapchat! My user name is TinaRKo

Matcha Matcha’s address: 

Westfield Santa Anita, 400 S Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA 91007

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I apologize for the blurry menu picture. Basically, everything they sell is matcha flavored. They have soft serve + toppings, drinks, cookies, rice krispies, and “donuts.” The hardest part to make out in the menu picture I took is the topping section, so I will tell you some of the toppings they have: matcha crumble, white mochi, sweet red beans, fresh strawberries, condensed milk, granola, rice krispies, corn flakes, cocoa pebbles, and more. 

I did have to wait in a pretty long line, but it only took a while mainly because customers do not know what additional flavors there are (other than matcha) until they reach the cash register, and then that is when the cashier lets them know what the flavors are for that certain day. 

As you’re waiting for your treats to arrive, there’s a vibrant wall next to Matcha Matcha that makes a rad background for pictures

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Once my order was ready, I took it and sat at one of the tables in front of Monkey Bar (a lovely looking place next to Matcha Matcha and is a part of the EAT court as well) to eat and take pictures

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I got the soft serve *matcha and Thai tea swirl* with kinako

One of my sisters got their matcha horchata and one of their strawberry matcha “donuts.” I put quotation marks around donuts because it looks like a donut, but I don’t think it really is. I tried some and it tastes like matcha cake with strawberry glaze on top, but looks like a donut. It was tasty and definitely something different for me. 

My cousin got a matcha hokkaido milk tea. What’s awesome about it is she could adjust its sweetness level! I tried her drink. The aftertaste was interesting. 

I don’t think Matcha Matcha has something I do not like. I definitely recommend it!

X O ,

T I N A

My Outfit

  • Forever 21 dress
  • Liz Authentic denim jacket
  • Payless Lower East Side oxfords 

Waiting upon the Lord

Waiting upon the Lord

Since Valentine’s Day is today, I thought this will the perfect day to share with you what it has been like for me, as a twenty-one-year-old who is single and as a person who never had a boyfriend before. If you don’t have a Valentine, it’s okay. You and I are already a part of the greatest love story ever.

Elementary school came with a lot of “passing notes days.” In third grade, I had a best friend called Lauren. Lauren and I had a crush on the same boy who was in our class. We each wrote our separate notes, gave it to him, and ran away at the same time. From a distance, I kept on looking over at him in anticipation. Was he reading my note first? What does he think of it? Does he like me, too? After he read quickly through our notes, I watched as he walked over to the trash can to throw one of them away. He then walks over to Lauren, says or whispers something to her (I don’t remember what), but it sure did leave a smile on L’s face. I felt the sting of rejection. My note was the one that was thrown away. My crush chose my best friend over me. Looking back at it now, I’m glad that God closed that door because for one out of some of the reasons I have in my head, third grade is way too young to be having a boyfriend haha.

It seemed as if most boys at my junior high school were immature and I came across some boys who were jerks. I didn’t have an interest in dating. Period.

There were some boys that I liked at high school during my time there. None of those boys were interested in me, though. I was never asked to go out on a date and I was never asked to go to a school dance by any of them. As a matter of fact, I went to prom with a bunch of my girl friends (nothing wrong with that… I had SO much fun) but I did wish that I had a guy date. Note that in the summer going into my junior year of high school was when I became a Christian, so what I was looking for in a guy had changed. 

Come university and this is when singleness hits me the hardest. When I transferred to APU, I came in thinking that I was going to finally find a good Christian boyfriend by the end of my first year there. My roommate told me that it was going to be “my year”, but it wasn’t. I’m currently in my fourth semester at APU and God hasn’t brought me “the one” yet. I see that most of my friends are in a relationship and two of my girl friends actually started dating this spring semester. Heck, I even scrolled through my Instagram feed today and almost every picture was of couples. I am genuinely joyous for them and I think the stuff that they post with their significant other are so cute, but I can’t help but ask God, “Why do they have their significant other and you still have me waiting?”

A single godly man has never asked me to be his girlfriend before. Because of that, I sometimes go to a dark place where I wonder if there’s something wrong with me, both on the inside and outside. I would look in the mirror and pinpoint things that could possibly be the problem. I would tear myself apart by saying (in my mind) stuff I don’t like about myself such as my nose is big, my top gums show most of the time when I smile, I’m not that talented, I can be awkward at times, I won’t be a fun person to be around with, etc. Or I think if I was more like so and so or if I was pretty like so and so, then my crush will like me. Basically, I’m not good enough for anyone.

One of the nights, a few weeks ago, I was by myself and I felt lonely, but lonely as in “I wish I had a boyfriend” kind of lonely. I cried out to God about my feelings and I prayed for my future husband. It was a battling night for me until I let everything out and gave them to Jesus. I took time to examine myself and realized that my longing to be in a romantic relationship was taking over my personal relationship with my first love… Jesus. This is a perfect intro to what I’m about to share with you next about having a major crush on someone. 

All the times I’ve had a crush on a guy in my lifetime, he’s pretty much always on my mind. I kid you not, I would look into all of his social media accounts on most days, investing so much time in doing just that. If I see him on campus or anywhere, really, I would freak out inside. Keep in mind that most of my crushes were on guys that I have not met in person yet or probably will never meet, which is kinda sad if I say so myself. Anyways, I would idolize this person to the point where it is a part of what affects me not putting God first, me skipping reading the Bible and my devotionals, and me pushing aside quiet alone time with God. I confess that I am still working on being disciplined.

I believe that it is okay for me to have a crush on someone, but it becomes a problem when me wanting to have a relationship with that person dominates what I have with Christ. I think God hasn’t revealed “the one” to me because He knows that I am not ready for a boyfriend yet and He wants me to draw closer to Him. Also, He’s still shaping me into the woman He wants me to be for my future significant other.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 says there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. 

One of my favorite quotes from C.S. Lewis is from his book Mere Christianity,“I do not know why there is this difference, but I am sure that God keeps no one waiting unless He sees that it is good for him to wait. When you do enter your room, you will find that the long wait has done you some kind of good which you would not have had otherwise. But you must regard it as waiting, not as camping. You must keep on praying for light: and of course, even in the hall, you must begin trying to obey the rules which are common to the whole house. And above all you must be asking which door is the true one; not which pleases you best by its paint and paneling.” When you’re waiting upon the Lord for your future boyfriend or girlfriend, you don’t just sit around and do pretty much nothing, because he or she isn’t going to all of a sudden appear at your front door. Waiting upon the Lord is taking action spiritually by going to God for guidance, and physically by stepping outside to socialize with others.

My prayer for someone that I like or in other words, someone who I think is the one God has for me, is that if he is indeed the man God has for me, then praise the Lord! If the person that I like all of a sudden gets a girlfriend or I find out in another way that he isn’t who God has for me, I know for sure that I’ll be sad and confused. I’m scared that I will stray from God for a while and not praise Him if things don’t go how I wanted them to. I’m scared that I will have to force myself to be happy for the man of my dreams. When I pray for God to give me a sign as to if my crush is “the one” for me or not, I get impatient whenever He doesn’t show me a sign right away. But then it is also when I can decide to go back to the truth that His timing is perfect. It’s not my will, but His will to be done. Matthew 7:7 says, “Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” The thing is we must be walking with the Lord.

Yes, I’ve had moments when I think nobody I like (if I were to tell the person or hint to him that I like him) will ever be interested in dating me. Basically, a fear of a future rejection. In those same moments, I lose all hope and think that God will never give me a husband and kids. This morning in psychology class, some of my classmates did an eye-opening presentation on the topic of fear. One of them concluded by talking about Valentine’s Day and how if you really like someone, you should ask him or her out. Pretty much to not be afraid  to make that move and just go for it. He made it sound simple, and I would say that even though it isn’t, yes, take the risk. Like Coldplay said in their song “Fix You,” if you never try, you’ll never know. But I can’t deny that there will be a fear of rejection in most, if not all of us; and questions such as, “How will we recover?” Don’t go in with high hopes, but rather think positively and have a good amount of confidence. If he or she doesn’t respond in the way you wanted him or her to, then probably God is protecting you and saving you for someone better. I know this may be difficult to grasp.

I know there’s a gift of singleness, and yes I typed that correctly- a GIFT of singleness, but I don’t think that I have that because if I did, I don’t think that I’d have this desire to be in a romantic relationship. People have asked me questions such as, “Tina, how are you still single?” or “Why don’t you have a boyfriend?” or “Why haven’t you dated anyone before?” I always replied with, “I don’t know” because I never felt comfortable talking about it.

I take having a boyfriend very seriously. Like, I wouldn’t date somebody that I don’t see myself marrying and overall having a future with. I’ve seen loved ones who didn’t wait upon the Lord, so they settled. They settled for less than what they deserved because for two out of many reasons, they were tired of being single or/and they felt as if they weren’t themselves unless they had a significant other. How did they end up? Some of them were left torn, divorced, fighting with their boyfriend or girlfriend, cheated on, etc. It’s so tragic and that is why it is so important to pray without ceasing and wait upon the Lord because who and what He has for you is always going to be way better than all you ever had in mind for yourself. You may have to wait upon the Lord for a significant other in what seems like forever, like I have been doing, but trust me, dear- it will be SO worth it. 

Last year, a celebrity’s brother sent me a direct message on Instagram. Some of the things he said to me were that there’s not many Christian girls on Instagram, he thinks I look down at myself too much, he told me that I seem pretty cool, and he asked me if I would meet up with him unless I am seeing someone. I thought solely the fact that he was talking to me was too good to be true; furthermore, leading me to think there was a hacker on his account. I found out later on that it was really him, not a hacker. I guess he didn’t like the fact that I messaged his brother (the celebrity) about it on Twitter, so ever since then it doesn’t seem like he’s into me anymore, based on where our conversation last picked up. I didn’t really care, but I confess that I do miss talking to him now. One reason why I shared this story is because the first thing he sent to me was, “You seem like a nice girl. That girl and I aren’t anything (he’s talking about a picture of him and a girl that he posted and I liked on Instagram). It’s so hard to find Christian girls.” I then proceeded to tell him that in 1 John, it says that no one has ever seen God, but they can see Him through the way we love… that is why it’s important for me to try my best to be kind to people. What I am most glad about is how he could tell that I was a Christian. He saw that I was because he could see God’s love through me! That meant everything to me.

 A few years ago, there was a football player who thought I was cute so he asked one of my friends what my name was. That night, he sent me a friend request on Facebook and I accepted. The next day in class, he told my friend that he’s not interested in me anymore because I was “too Christian.” Forget him. I don’t want to be in a relationship that will draw me away from Jesus. When I’m in a relationship, Jesus has to be at the center of it all. Ecclesiastes 4:12 says, “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” My motto for when I have a significant other will always be, “I am His before I am yours.” I have to make sure that that is my significant other’s promise as well and that he wants Christ to be the head of our relationship. It is not until then that we will be able to live our lives together in a way that is pleasing to the Lord. If we both are obedient to His commandments and heed His direction, there is no doubt that our relationship will be blessed, and when storms come our way, we’ll be able to get through them together. Basically, my main goal is to have a relationship that glorifies the Lord. The first thing I look for in a man is someone who loves the Lord more than he loves me. I know my future significant other won’t be perfect… I’m not expecting perfection. I, myself, am striving to be the woman God calls me to be for a man. 

Lastly, I want to cover how basing your happiness on if you have a boyfriend or girlfriend, or not, will destroy you. The straight out truth is that having a boyfriend or girlfriend isn’t going to be the be-all-end-all. A relationship with Jesus is the only relationship where you will always be satisfied. Always. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. That is amazing, friends! He offers us so much more than what a significant other can. In the song, “Holy Spirit” by Kari Jobe, there’s a part that says, “I’ve tasted and seen of the sweetest of loves where my heart becomes free and my shame is undone. Your presence, Lord.” I don’t know any sweeter love than the love Jesus has for me and you. God sent His one and only Son into this dark world to show us what light is and how to be that light. His Son died for us! We’re filthy sinners and yet He suffered and died for us so that we could be with Him in paradise! When we mess up and come to Him asking for forgiveness, He covers us with grace. We don’t deserve it, but He gives us grace upon grace. There’s nothing we can do that will make Him stop loving us. Longing to have a boyfriend shouldn’t be what’s most important to me. If God is all I have, God is all I need. This changes everything to my viewpoint on being single. The joy of the Lord is my strength. One day He’s going to come for His bride! It blows my mind that I get to be with my Savior in heaven. It blows my mind that the Creator chooses me. He delights in me. He is in the waiting. In every season, He is with me. I am never alone.

Often times we lose sight of who God is and forget He knows exactly what He is doing. He is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine! Remember that God gives His best to those who leave the choice with Him. As children of God, He will not withhold His best from us. He gives us a hope and a future. God’s best is yet to come! 

,

A

P.S: Who else watches wedding videos from time to time? I can watch a lot in one sitting haha. I don’t know why I do it to myself.

 

 

 

 

 

Sweet Potato, Broccoli, Chicken Bake

Sweet Potato, Broccoli, Chicken Bake

At my school, in the first chapel of 2017, our president was speaking about hospitality. After chapel, I went back to my apartment and cooked a meal that I originally planned to make for only me and my roommate to eat. But then I thought why not invite my sister over to have a meal with me too. It was so delicious that she asked me if she could come back for seconds and as much as I wanted the leftovers all to myself, I decided not to be selfish and to open up my apartment for her to come back. It felt great to give, to serve… to take care of people and to expect nothing back in return. 

Also in chapel, we sang “Build My Life” by Housefires and the part in the lyrics that stood out to me the most was

“Show me who You are and fill me with Your heart and lead me in Your love to those around me.” 

Jesus’ life is a perfect example of what it is to be hospitable

I want to share the sweet potato, broccoli, chicken bake recipe with you all. I found it on Lauren Kay Sims’s  blog. She got the recipe from therealfoodrds.com.

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I purchased all of the ingredients from Trader Joe’s, except for the Italian seasoning- I bought it from Sprouts. 

> SWEET POTATO, BROCCOLI, CHICKEN BAKE <<

Servings: 4-5

What you will need:

  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs, cubed
  • 3 cups packed broccoli stems and florets, chopped
  • 1 large sweet potato or yam, ¼ inch small cubes–small cutes are key (~1½ cups cubed)
  • ½ cup red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp.raisins
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped walnuts or nuts of choice (I used candied pecans from Trader Joe’s!)
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 1 ½ tsp. Italian seasoning, dried
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • ¼ cup soft goat or feta cheese, crumbles (optional. i used feta cheese!)

Instructions:

– Preheat oven to 375 °F.
– Grease a large casserole dish with olive oil.
– Place cubed chicken on the bottom of casserole dish. Lightly season with salt and pepper.
– In a bowl combine broccoli, sweet potatoes, red onion, garlic, raisins, chopped walnuts, olive oil and herbs. Toss to coat.
– Top chicken with herb and vegetable mixture.
– Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and sweet potatoes are soft.
– Top with optional cheese just before serving.

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Let me know what you think after you have tried this dish! Enjoy!

X O , 

T I N A