In a nation, take that back, in a world saturated with writers, authors, bloggers, why would I even try to work on my writing? Who cares that I was editor of so many magazines, back in the day, when uttering the words magazine was still lucrative and fancy? Who cares of the many famous faces I interviewed then, versus now? My colleagues were the famed Wordy Girl, Vogue’s Latinoamérica editor, and pretty much every fashion house in New York knew me by first name, of course, it helps to have a very unique-o first name, thanks to Mami and Papi. But, today? Today, right now, it’s 6:27 am, it’s cold, versus the Miami warmth my body temps were used to, from back in the day. The room is pitch dark as my vibrant, energizing, five-year-old continues to sleep on club bed. [No, he doesn’t always sleep on Mami and Daddy’s bed; it just so happens that hubs is in a week-long conference, so Rio is my roomy, for the week.] Back to the setting… no wait, back to the character: Who am I today?
The woman I am today rarely looks at the hundreds of magazines she produced, which are stuffed in basement boxes. Rarely do I look at the multiple photos of me with the celebrities I interviewed or worked with. Nope, they weren’t the pioneers of selfies, although some of them could have been. Wait, yes, the one with Jon Secada was a selfie… whoo hoo, I was part of the pioneer club, and I didn’t even know it. Ha!
Today, I am the wife who wakes up at 6 am to text my husband a funny emoji saying buenos dias, before he gets going at his conference. Today, I have the husband who sends me photos and videos of what his conference looks like—this way I can digitally see, feel, and yes, even taste the delicacies they are feeding him. He knows I used to review hotels and the luxe life, back in the day, so he “gets” that I can value and taste the flavors via his snap shots and videos.
Aside from my role as being wife and mom, I spend my days working on my client’s creative marketing plans, plus fulfill the role of editor for two magazines. I read, and I read some more. But, I don’t force myself to sit down and write. Currently, each week, I meet one-on-one with three high school students, on some occasions four girls. No, I am not a counselor on the side, I didn’t have the extra time to get another bachelors or move toward a masters. These girls call me their mentor. We talk. We study Scriptures. We study sound-doctrine. We laugh. We cry. We pray. We smile.
To add to my complete transparency, I have no clue what these girls think of me… with my heart fully exposed, I admit, I don’t want to know. I don’t need to know. I do know this: Our commitment toward each other is priceless. It is fruitful. These girls show up week by week, on time, one even arrives at 6:50 am and we spend an hour and a half together, before school starts.
Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth says, “When we’re young, we may be able to gloss over some of those pesky character defects with natural blush of our energy, good looks, and personality. But as we get older, our physical sparkle begins to fade. And those same character shortages, if not dealt with and sanctified, will only become more pronounced and visible.”
Coming from the world of fashion and beauty, as I read Wolgemuth’s words, I visually saw, and felt a Touch Cosmetics brush swaying against my cheekbones and jaw line. The beauty of camouflage makeup is to make all things blemish, go unseen. Yet when fine lines and wrinkles invade the face, the camo makeup that once glided to showcase matte porcelain, creeps into a bumpy street-like pavement whose cracks are annoying, cause misalignment, and sometimes even pot holes. The outcome? An unsanctified soul exposed where pride root birthed anger, bitterness, and rudeness.
But, these girls—full of youth, some days they are decked out with makeup, other days they are all natural—they are choosing sanctification, now. They are aware of the “i” in pride and daily they fight the mundane patterns of its trap. They are laying the foundation of sound-doctrine before they go off to college and meet the staggering statistics of students who walk toward cultural acceptance and reformation of the mind. I watch in amazement as they bloom into an amaryllis, and I learn from them.
Who am I, who meets deadlines, meets with high school girls, builds Legos with her son, and loves to cook for her husband? Who am I with a journalism degree and mynute social following to compete with today’s writers and speakers? Yes, my thoughts said compete, and I typed out the word. Compete. Compete. Compete. It’s true. Why lie about it? Why coat SHELLAC on it? We think about our competition before we put ourselves out there. I have. You have. I am, however, choosing to say, Jesus speak each time that pesky word comes to kill, steel, and destroy my joy. You see, competition although healthy at times to boost the endorphins, also has the power to boost pride.
I have concluded: I cannot compete. I should not compete. I am raising the white flag and saying, world, I surrender… I am not the social maven with all the answers to get the most likes or best engagement. I am not the social diva who is constantly posting on her every moves. I care. I do. In fact, I have cared so much that it’s paralyzed me from writing. It’s paralyzed me from experiencing the joy of listening to my fingers sway and glide on my keyword. I simply don’t want to spend time suffocated by competing. I don’t want to lose time by thinking of the “perrrr-fect” caption for a freak photo. Nope. I don’t want to compete. I want to be a forever learner of wisdom. I want to live a life adorned by the Gospel. I want to calm the nudging whispers of the Holy Spirit to write. Today, I choose to obey.
What about you?
Are you enticed by the white movement seen in last night’s State of the Union? Or, is there something nudging you to obey authority, live by the grace of God, and choose agape love versus culture’s definition?
Ladies… as I saw the many women dressed in white, I asked myself, what are we choosing to become? Why are we allowing our minds to be flooded with lies from the enemy who tell us we are not worthy, so fight to grab a platform, a seat in the senate, or blast words of hatred through a megaphone? Have we forgotten the details of what took place days after Jesus resurrected? He didn’t show himself to a man, first. Instead, he chose Mary, a woman, and gave her the vital task of being the first missionary. Now that is true power. Women, we are precious. We are loved. We can even go back to Genesis where the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” Like the quarrels between our country’s parties who choose to be divided instead of One Nation Under God, if we as women continue to fight like men and remove the adornment God designed for us, we will continue down a slippery road of deceit and bitterness where its pronunciation and visibility will be our tragic legacy.
“Do you know who you are? God made you a woman. Accept His gift,” says Wolgemuth. “Don’t be afraid to be feminine and to add physical and spiritual loveliness to the setting where He has placed you. [If you choose] you are a child of God; you are a part of the bride of Christ. You belong to the King—you are royalty. Conduct yourself in a way that reflects your high and holy calling. God has called you out of this world’s system—don’t let the world press you into its mold. Don’t think or act like the world; inwardly and outwardly, let others see the difference He makes in your life,” she adds.
I am convinced that the influence of an army of godly women will be incalculable—in our homes, our neighborhoods, in our workplace, in our public schools, colleges, and universities, in our culture, in our senate. Will you choose to be one of those women?
The sun’s rays are now kissing the closed blinds, and as they seep inside my bedroom, the colors of orange and gold show up. I look at my son holding his stuffed dog, Bulldoggie, with the death grip, as Daddy would say. I wonder, what he’s dreaming. He inhales, he exhales deep, and he’s up.
Photo by Brianna Santellan
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