Doing vs. Being

I think a lot of today’s culture emphasizes “doing” at the expense of “being.” But what good is it to accumulate a beautiful list of accolades without being settled in your soul? Without being who God has called us to be, can we truly do what he has called us to do?

I think the being comes first, then the doing. Though often lived out simultaneously, the inner work takes precedence over the outward deeds. I even believe that the inner work fuels the outward deeds.

When I say “inner work,” I’m referring to heart and character, all the things that cannot be seen. Addressing things like motives and intentions make our actions more impactful. When I think about acts of kindness that have been shown to me, the motive and intention has often resonated with me even more than the actual deed.

Does God feel the same way? I think he does. Though he wants us to bring him our best, he also doesn’t desire sacrifices that are not produced from a clean heart.

You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one. You do not want a burnt offering. The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.

Psalms 51: 16-17

God is more concerned with what the world can’t see. He looks at the heart.

So why are we so concerned with what the world sees? Is it for significance? Is it to keep up with what others are doing? Is it because we are trying to earn our worth by doing enough? Is it because we aren’t sure what would be left if we removed the surface level stuff? I’d say all of the above, but I can only speak for me. As some of my “stuff” has been stripped away, some voluntarily and some involuntarily, God is teaching me that what I do may be different, but my worth is still the same to him. Everything has changed, but at the same time, nothing has changed. He loves me no less, but I love him more.

In my doing, I also have permission to be. Be settled. Be peaceful. Be intentional. Be who I’m called to be.

My worth isn’t connected to what I do. It’s connected to who am I, which is connected to who he is. And because of that, it will never change or diminish. It’s settled. I can exhale.

Selah ❤


Don’t call me strong

I don’t want to be strong anymore.

I’ve decided that the popular definition of strong is something I no longer want to identify with. When black women like me are labeled strong, it often refers more to how much pain we can tolerate, how much mistreatment and stress we can handle before breaking. (Bonus points for breaking privately, while maintaining a polished exterior.) It seems to be some sort of badge of honor, a consolation prize for pain unjustly endured.

I think that subconsciously, labeling someone strong can dampen the labeler’s empathy for the “strong person.” Example: When statements like “I’m hurt” or “I’m struggling” are met with, “you’re strong” as though the latter negates the former. It can feel like your strength disqualifies you from help or compassion. Because you can bear something, does that mean you should have to bear it without help?


No one  should  be pushed to their capacity, just so that others can marvel at the vastness of their capacity. So for me, strong is over.

Strong is over.

But shouldn’t Christians be strong in the Lord? Strong and courageous?


I’m not saying that I’m not strong. I have witnessed my own strength in situations that threatened to overwhelm me. Make no mistake, I am strong and I know this. But I am not strong in and of myself. God’s strength is perfect in my weakness. He gives me strength for the battle. He makes me strong.

You have armed me with strength for the battle.

Psalm 18:39

But strength in society’s context lends to a more toxic definition and the true understanding gets misconstrued. It even tangles my own expectations of myself. Because of the way the label “strong Black woman” is weaponized against Black women, my choice is to distance myself from the burden, not the character trait.

If God remembers my frame, recalls that I am only made of dust and has compassion on me (Read Ps. 103)–I’m going to follow His lead and have some compassion on myself.

So for me this looks like asking for help, acknowledging my uncomfortable emotions, not feeling guilty for crying when something hurts. It looks like softness. Taking off the superwoman cape. Surrounding myself with people who handle me with care and extending the same grace to others. It looks like realizing the fullness of my potential, while fully respecting my limitations as a human.

Human. Resilient. Powerful. Graceful. Creative. Capable. Brave.

Call me any of these things, do not call me strong.



A prayer for clarity


You know that I’m an overthinker. Left to myself, I’ll be immobilized in a cycle of anxiety and second guessing. My own thoughts and rationale can’t be trusted sometimes, but yours can. For that I am always thankful. When I don’t know what to do, instruct me. When I’m wrong, correct me. When I’m weak, strengthen me. When I’m stubborn, humble me. When I’m confused, give me clarity. Let my thoughts align with yours. Help me to see what you see. Teach me not to lean on my own understanding, but to acknowledge you in all my ways, knowing that you will direct my path.

In Jesus’ name,


Live Authentically


So 2020, huh? Wow.

As the year comes to a close, I’ve been doing some reflection. There seems to have been a recurring theme: LOSS. Collectively and personally. They just kept coming.

Professional losses, lifestyle, friendships and relationships, happiness, security. I was accustomed to keeping it together, but it was all falling apart. I saw myself on the road to an undisclosed destination with a trail of things I’d loved and lost behind me. Things I’d worked for. Things I’d depended on. Things I’d prayed for. Things I’d loved. There were so many missing pieces and I was absolutely reeling. I felt like I was losing who I was. Anxiety kept me awake at night. And the sadness. Simultaneously empty and heavy.

In the spirit of authenticity with God, I had to ask him, “Why did you take so much from me? I gave you everything. I’m doing what you told me. Are you angry with me?”

I had to ask him, “Why did you take so much from me?”

His answer– “I have plans for you.” Jeremiah 29:11 type plans. God wanted me to have the audacity to believe that despite everything, He was still in control and that everything was going according to plan. I held onto Psalm 20:7(NKJV). “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.” And I’ve fallen in love with 1 Thessalonians 5:9 (NLT) “For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us.” It reminded me that:

  1. God chose me
  2. He did not choose me to pour out his anger and wrath on me (Jesus took it all)
  3. He chose me to save me

When I questioned whether he was just trying to hurt me (shameful to even admit) he reminded me that he chose me, not for wrath, but for salvation and love.

“Though he brings grief, he also shows compassion because of the greatness of his unfailing love. For he does not enjoy hurting people or causing them sorrow.”

Lamentations 3:32-33 (NLT)

My faith didn’t cause me to supernaturally transcend, at least not in the physical sense. But I can attest to the fact that his peace surpasses understanding. Walking in the will of God brings a stability that I can’t describe or comprehend. It transcends. Peace is available in the process.

I’d love to say that things are perfect now, they’re not. I’m still on the journey. And I’m perfectly okay with being a work in progress. But I can say that things are a lot clearer these days.

I’m able to see that the interruptions actually protected me. The heartbreaks taught me how to grieve properly. Those who walked away made room for those who entered. The struggle was only there to transition me into the things I’d prayed for. What I lost made me grateful for what I still had. The sadness taught me that joy can always coexist, and overshadow. The low points showed me even more what gifts I have in the people who loved me when I had nothing to offer them. Instability taught me about the solid Rock. Loneliness taught me about the friend I have in Jesus. My weakness showed me his strength.

Loneliness taught me about the friend I have in Jesus.

Now at the end of 2020, I’m living in the realization of so many long awaited answers to prayer. I’ve met some amazing people. And I’ve experienced and accomplished things I had only imagined. The person I was has been refined. More at peace, more joyful and closer to God than I’ve ever been. I’ve experienced him in a new way. This season of my life has cost me dearly, but I wouldn’t change any of it. I share the sentiments of Job in chapter 42:5 (NLT) “I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes.” I think that was his plan all along.