Tag Archives: love

Heavy is:

Telling someone you love – someone the color of coffee, someone whose smile lights up a room – the Walter Scott verdict… and hearing the wind get knocked out of his sails. Watching tears well up in his eyes. Seeing him speechless for the first time since you’ve known him. Watching his shoulders sink and his head drop. Listening to his voice crack as he says he’s feeling sick…

This is why we proclaim that Black Lives Matter.

…Because when he asked what happened and I broke the news, it sent a stark message to him that his life is less important than mine… It was a reminder that people who look like him are so often deemed unworthy of justice.

This is a grown man who’s seen more than his fair share of struggle, who has beaten every odd stacked against him, who grew up poor in blue collar America only to become one of the most sought after people in his field… A man who literally slept on couches while he was pursuing his dream, eventually rising to the top of his craft… A man who went from unknown to world renowned… The embodiment of the American Dream facing the reality of an unfulfilled MLK Dream… A man who could just as easily be targeted by someone who does not recognize him and questions why a man who looks like him is driving such an expensive car… A man who laughs at me when I remind him to make sure his tail lights are always working.

This is a man who purposely steers clear of politically charged conversations. He has no social media. He avoids controversy in his interviews. His art is his activism. A grown man who’s seen it all, just got shook by what went down yesterday. I’ve never heard him so defeated. “We’re just asking for our lives to matter. We’re not saying we matter more. We’re not saying we’re better. We just want to matter.”

I broke the news of Walter Scott, and a grown man broke down and wept.

Valentine’s Day is Only Corny if You Are

Seven years ago, I started dating myself on Valentine’s Day…

In other words, seven years ago, I vowed to never be bitter toward love. Like so many women who were dateless every time February 14th rolled around, that day was always bittersweet. The idea of couples pouring affection on each other and people expressing love warmed my heart… And at the same time, the lack of that in my own life always left a bit of a sour taste in my mouth. All over the country there would be people expressing their love toward one another, and I would be home – alone, and loveless.

So starting in 2008, I made a choice NOT to be home, alone, and loveless. I reminded myself that I have a God who loves me beyond my wildest imagination – so much so that he paints the sky for me every morning and shines the moon for me every night. He wraps me in acceptance and showers me with grace. He loves me so much He died for me… and would do it again every day if He had to… just to let me know how much He loves me.

I began taking trips every February. I would fly somewhere new and date the city for the day. I’d wander the streets and explore the museums. I’d taste the food and breathe the air. I’d embrace every drop of goodness a city had to offer. I’ve always seen cities as people – each with their own distinct personalities… Each with their own quirks and flaws, but with so many things to love. It was a joy to watch happy couples walk hand-in-hand down Michigan Avenue as I basked in the beauty of snowflakes in Chicago. I partied with Miami and danced with Vegas. I had dinner with the Dominican Republic and dessert with Houston. I soaked up the sun with Hawaii and had the time of my life with Bali. I turned something that was a ping of pain into an abundance of joy.

I CHOSE to enjoy Valentine’s Day because I didn’t like the alternative. I CHOSE to date myself because in all my years of living and dating, I’d never had a Valentine’s date. I attribute this to 3 reasons:

Number one, I’ve only been in relationships on two February 14th’s… Both times with guys who used the “Valentine’s Day is corny” excuse to avoid having to celebrate it. “Yeah, totally corny. Pshhh!” I lied. (insert side eye emoji here).

Number two, I’ve dated some real class acts who picked fights riiiiiight around February 12th so that they could get out of Valentine’s Day duties. (In case you missed it, “class act” is code for the exact opposite of that.)

Number three, and worst of all, men tend to assume that women have experienced everything there is to experience with someone else already.

So let me speak on behalf of women around the world when I say, Gentlemen, please stop assuming. Expressing that you care about someone shouldn’t change just because you think everyone else is doing it on the same day. If anything, it should be even more reason to do it! Don’t assume that she’s had 100 Valentine dates, so one more with you won’t mean much. Stop letting your assumptions that she’s been sent flowers a thousand times keep you from sending her flowers. I don’t know a single woman on the face of the Earth who wouldn’t be tickled pink to have flowers delivered to her doorstep. (Yes I said “tickled pink”. I’ve been hanging out with Grandma a lot lately.)

The point is, even if she’s had 100 roses sent to her job a thousand times, and even if she’s been taken around the world by someone who came before you, doing something nice for her will never go out of style. Make her feel loved. Make her feel appreciated. You’d be surprised at how often she’s had a man do that for her… Most likely, it hasn’t been very often. There is nothing corny about love and appreciation. It’s a beautiful thing. At the end of the day, all anyone wants is to know that someone they care about cares about them… Even on Valentine’s Day.

A Letter to a Future Queen

Mi muñequita,

You are the smell of dew on a cool spring morning, the crispness of air when the first snow falls. You are as beautiful and intricate and one-of-a-kind as every snowflake on every mountain in every winter that has ever passed. You are great-grandma’s pancakes and sprinkles on cupcakes and warm honey drizzled in Moroccan mint tea.

Your hair is like onyx, your heart is like gold. You are worth more than all the riches in all the castles in every fairytale ever told.

Your laugh is like summer, your smile is the sun. Your giggle is the puzzle piece that completed my heart. You are sweet potato pie and candied yams, grandma’s fudge and banana pudding.

You prance around like dandelions, dancing in the wind. You are every song in every dream. You are every wish upon every star. You are the sea in my toes and the sun on my face.

You are hot cocoa with marshmallows on cold winter nights. You’re fireplaces and Christmas wreaths, and gingerbread men. You are the closest thing to home I’ve ever known. You are the closest thing to God that I’ve ever seen.

Your little fingers leave me in awe. Your hands were made to create… Beautiful watercolor paintings and culinary masterpieces. They were made to strum a guitar and stroke ivory keys. They were made to comfort the sick and give to the poor. They were made with grace and compassion and care. They will write best sellers and pen chart toppers. They will make a difference in this world beyond my limited imagination.

Your ten little fingers and ten little toes will one day grow to match the hands that now hold you. Your ten little piggies will one day grow to march across stages and stand in front of boardrooms. They will travel the world and step out on faith. Your perfect giggle will one day grow to be the voice that inspires a generation. Your precious little body will one day begin to curve like the most beautiful piece of pottery – smooth and soft and perfectly crafted.

That body is yours, my love – Yours to treasure and yours to keep. It is yours to love and yours to cherish, and yours to care for. It is yours to protect.

One day you will meet a man. Promise me that you will make him win your heart, your mind, your love, before he has the privilege of embracing your body. Let his actions prove his love for your soul. Always remember that a man who loves you is a man who protects and respects you. And the greatest virtue of a man is found in his humility.

There will be those who are entranced by your beauty and lost for words by your voice. Do not give them your heart simply because they ask for it. Do not fall for flowery language and empty declarations of love, my dear. For they will see you and their hearts will skip a beat. They will say they love you. Let them show you. Please remember that not everyone who desires you truly values you. You come from a long line of strong women. Do not make yourself smaller just to appease other people. Let your light shine. Work on becoming the best woman you can be. Find a man who looks at you the way Daddy looks at me.

Someday that body may house another just like you, the same way that I have housed you. One day you will look into big curious eyes, the way I look into yours. You’ll want to protect her and hold her, comfort her and be her shield. You’ll want to keep her from all the evils of the world. You will find the best day of your life is the day she comes into it; The worst is the day you have to let her fly free.

Your heart, my love, is the most precious part of you. It will love with a love so deep and so broad, even the stars in sky won’t compete with its power. Your little heart will love with a love so big, it’s a wonder it can even fit in your chest. Your heart was made to change this world. Do not let anyone or anything convince you that you are not enough. You are more than enough.

Please don’t lose your sense of wonder my love. Remember the dreams you have as a child. They are dreams God placed in your heart for a reason. With God all things are possible. Faith and hard work are the recipe for your life. Trust Him in all that you do. He knows far more than Daddy or I ever will.

My beautiful precious girl. Flesh of my flesh, bone of my bone. You are my greatest creation, my most perfect masterpiece, the most beautiful work of art, my most treasured accomplishment, my greatest blessing. You were born in my heart long before you were born to the world.

I will love you til the end of time. And when the clock has ticked its final tock, I will search for the end of the end. I will find it and I will stretch it out one more day, just to love you more.

My darling, my heart, my girl.

I love you more than love.

Te adoro mi amor,

Mama

Love Lessons – A Letter to a King

My King,

I prayed for you today; I do every day. I prayed for wisdom and strength and patience and peace. I prayed that you took time to eat well, take care of yourself, and find joy in today. I pray that you know how much I love you – that your dreams are my dreams and my heart is yours. I pray that you know I’m fighting for you just as much as you’re fighting for me. I pray that you find comfort and strength to withstand trials and temptations, knowing I’m waiting for you.

I know that you’re working on you so that you can be the man He’s called you to be for me.

I just want you to know I’m doing the same.

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There have been more than a few guys who’ve tried to take your place. There have been times, I have to admit, that I’ve found myself in the arms of one of these imposters – feeling a sense of emptiness – knowing he wasn’t you.

I’m so sorry my love.

There have been times when my impatience has led me to seek the affection of actors playing your role.

It took a long time to recognize the Queen in me. It took heartbreaks and heartaches, hurt, pain, shame, and disappointments to learn how to spot these imposters. It took assaults on my heart to learn my worth. It took building up walls and then taking them down, brick by brick. It took the love of a Father to repair what selfish men had broken.

But I’ve never been sorry for loving. I never will be. How can I regret experiences that taught me the immeasurable capacity of my heart? My battles have made me stronger. I’ve learned to embrace the beauty in my scars.

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I’ve learned to see right through everyone who isn’t you. Once I saw the Queen in me, it became easy to recognize their lack of royalty. None of them have the perfect combination of your character, ambition, strength and tenderness.

The reality is, no one can compare to the man you are.

You are bold yet forgiving, passionate yet patient. You are thoughtful and considerate and giving and kind. You’re fun and funny, spontaneous yet deliberate. Your greatest strength lies in your heart for service, your most beautiful quality – your heart for God. You are the most compassionate man I’ve never known.

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You have the faithful obedience of Abraham, the unquestioning faith of Noah, the unbelievable tenacity of Job, the wisdom of Solomon, the purpose-filled vision of Paul, the patience of Joshua, the humble leadership of Moses, the humility of Daniel, the strength of Gideon, the heart of David, and the selfless love of Christ.

I promise to do my best to love you the way my Father loves me; to show you agape love in the best way I can. Though my love won’t be perfect, I promise to give you a love without conditions, a love without strings, a love that strives to embody Corinthians 13: Patient and kind and keeping no record of wrongs; Forgiving, humble, bold, and selfless; Not jealous or prideful, but proud of you. I will protect you, trust you, hope for you, and persevere. I will find peace, strength, joy, and fulfillment in the love you have for me. I will never fail you.

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I can’t promise there will always be sunshine. There will be times when I push every button, days when we don’t see eye to eye. There will be moments when the world seems like it’s crashing in on you. There will be trials and temptations and disappointments. I can’t promise perfection.

What I can promise is support, communication, patience, and love. I can promise to do my best to think before I speak, to try to understand before seeking to be understood, to listen with the intent to hear you, rather than with the intent to reply. I can promise to do my best to make you feel important, respected, desired, heard, and needed.

I promise to embrace your vision and hold you accountable to your goals. Let me encourage your purpose and help you achieve your dreams as much as you help me fulfill mine. I promise to be your biggest supporter, #1 fan, greatest confidant, and best friend.

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I promise to trust you. I will not allow the pain of past deceit to cloud the truth in which you live. I will open my heart and entrust you with its wellbeing.

I know you’ll do the same.

I look forward to coming home to you on Friday evenings and waking up intertwined in you on Saturday mornings. I can’t wait to rub your shoulders and scratch your back; leave notes for you on the bathroom mirror and the scent of me on your skin. There will be few greater joys than the privilege of whispering in your ear how much you mean to me, to the people you work with, to the world. Let me cook your favorite meals for you – the ones that remind you of family and love and childhood joys. Let’s make breakfast together on Sunday mornings and walk hand-in-hand through the doors at church.

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I smile at the thought of you planning beautiful memories for us – amazing trips and sunny beach days, hikes in the rain and bubble baths at home, exploring museums, seeing concerts and shows, coming home to notes telling me to be ready by 8. I’ll lay out your clothes for the morning in the same way you lay out mine for the evening.

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Let’s play mini golf and race go karts and have water balloon fights and play tag. I want to swim in oceans with you and kiss under waterfalls. The songs I write for you will be the words of my heart.

I can’t wait to meet you in a place, a world, a realm beyond all understanding – pure euphoria, a greater high than any drug could provide, every time my soul meets yours when we make love. I’ll be the one to fulfill every wish, desire, fantasy & prayer.

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We’ll throw parties on Super Bowl Sunday and host game night dinners with friends. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and the Fourth of July will be annual events in our home. I want the love we have for God and the love we have for each other to inspire even strangers passing us on the street.

I love you the way the sun loves the moon, the way the moon loves the tides, the way the day loves the night. One does not thrive without the other. They are each other’s balancing act.

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I love the way you manage to find joy and peace in less than perfect circumstances, the way you laugh at my stupid jokes, make stupid jokes of your own, and the way your smile lights up a room. I love your laugh.

I love the way your humble strength makes people feel safe, warm, and welcome. And I love your grounded sense of perspective that keeps you from losing your cool. I love the way you speak so eloquently, holding me to a higher standard, calling me out when I need it, but always in love. I love the brilliance and unlimited potential of your mind. I love the way you effortlessly lead. I love your quiet confidence. I love the determination in your grind.

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I love the way your eyes shine when you look at me, telling me the depth of your love more eloquently than your beautiful words ever could. I love your artistry and creativity and your dedication to your craft. I love your passion. I love watching you work. I love the genuine heart you have for people and your desire to leave the world a better place. I love the way you listen, I love the way you care.

Most of all, I love your hands – those five-fingered cradles made to hold my heart, caress my skin, grab me by the waist, run through my hair, pull out my chair, smooth out my dress, rub my feet, cradle my face, massage my skin, smack my behind, open my doors, catch my tears, and hold our future children. Your hands – a perfect combination of tenderness and strength – they are my favorite part of you.

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I look forward to the day when the work I’ve done to become the woman you deserve lines up with the life you’ve prepared to be the man I need.

Until then, I’ll be praying for you and working on me.

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All of me loves all of you.

I love you,

Your Queen.