Bearing my Cross · Body. · For the Ladies · Friendship · Life Written. · Mind. · Post-Grad. · Sojourn. · spirit · The Word · To My Mister

Waiting on God 101.

I know how to wait.

Or at least, I think I do — most of the time. I’m used to waiting on men, waiting on change, waiting on flights, waiting on food, waiting on traffic lights, waiting on lines.

But waiting on God? For some reason, that’s harder for me to tackle. Maybe because I can’t physically see or audibly hear Him.

Maybe because some days it’s hard to picture Him as more than a figment of my imagination. Maybe because I’m often too stubborn to remember He manifested himself in Christ, lives through the Spirit in me and works for my good every day.

Waiting is the worst.

Sometimes, I pray for patience. But then I learn the process to obtain patience entails waiting, so I usually take it back — can you take prayers back? Like unkind words or jeans that don’t fit?

Waiting is always uncertain — it can last hours, days, weeks, months, years. At times, waiting periods may pass in the blink of an eye. But others may not be so quick, they are painful and arduous and test every ounce of perseverance within me.

I’ve spent my lifetime waiting.

Not in this lazy, complacent way where I just sit and wait for good things to happen. Not in this overbearing, manic way where I run fast and chase after good things.

Somewhere in the middle, where I find peace in the present and satisfaction through productivity.

I’ve waited for my guy to come, I’ve waited for my medication to work, I’ve waited for a job, for a place to call home, for a friendship, for a degree. I’ve waited for short periods and long stretches. I’ve waited for the world to change (as my man John Mayer sings).

Here are my tips on waiting:

  1. Gain perspective. Think of why you are waiting, and what for. Think of how to use your time and resources wisely. How can you spend your energy? Who can help you in this waiting period?
  2. Pray. A lot. We are called to “present our requests” to God with “prayer and petition.” I think of a dorky petition I signed in middle school to allow gum chewing on campus. God probably has bigger fish to fry than gum privileges, but perhaps He wants us to approach in the same manner — with a plan, with support, with tenacity.
  3. Remember hope. It is with the Hope of the Lord that we truly survive, and more importantly thrive, during our waiting periods. We cannot do this alone, not without the support of friends & family, and surely not without God on our side.
  4. Weep. The older and hopefully wiser I become, the more likely I am to weep, to truly mourn for my hurts and heartaches, and for those around me. When I miss something or someone, when I beg God to deliver me, I often curl up in my bed or fall to my knees. I cry out to God, because He promises to hear our cries.

There are so many ingredients to waiting contently, waiting patiently, waiting in a strong and respectful manner. All of my suggestions come from the God-breathed Scripture, the gift that is His word. I would get nowhere without it.

Friends who are waiting, be encouraged by this: you are never alone. We wait for good news. We wait for good friends. We wait for better days.

When we wait on God, we will not be disappointed. When we wait for Him, He will reward us here on earth, and permanently in Heaven. When we wait, we grow.

Bearing my Cross · Body. · Life Written. · Mind. · Post-Grad. · spirit

You are an Influencer {On the Impact We Leave}.

Infuencer. It’s a term in the PR/Mkt field.

When working on a campaign, we look for people who already have an impact in their communities to boost our brand, image or mission.

For example, if Torchy’s Tacos was aiming to target millennials in the DFW area, they would search for Dallas food bloggers with a strong following who might already be featuring #tacotuesdays. Then they would create a partnership in hopes to spread awareness of their services and products among DFW young singles. Aka I am the perfect candidate because we know how much I love and consume tacos.

I’m an influencer.

As a young woman who has a steady following on this blog, my new Dallas one and social media, people are already listening and engaging in what I have to say. They want to know my stories, my highlights, my trials, my life. They want to keep up-to-date on my latest advice and lessons and whatever else I may share.

It’s an honor to be an influencer, but it is also a burden. It means I have to represent myself well, and also represent whatever entity I belong to well: that can be my employer, my family, my church, my Jesus. I have to choose my words and actions carefully, I have to consider how I dress, how I love and how I serve.

We are all influencers.

Each of us has a following, a community. You don’t need to blog or Instagram to have people look up to you, or to look at you at all. You’re an influencer at your work, school, home, on the road, at the grocery store, and more. You’re an influencer as a human being.

I encourage you to consider who you are and whose you are, to dissect where you’re plugged into and who you may impact daily. Wherever you go and whatever you do, you leave an aftertaste, a scent. Is it tasty? Does it smell good? Is it kind? Is it hurtful? Is it welcoming? Is it hostile?

I hope you leave a delightful taste when you leave a room. I hope your scent lures people in and makes them feel at home. I hope your smile is never forced and always sought out. I hope your generosity is always known and never taken advantage of. I hope you realize that you can and will and do change the world, and you are perfectly capable of being the best influencer out there.

Bearing my Cross · Body. · College Life · Friendship · Life Written. · Popular Posts. · Post-Grad. · The Word

Adulthood 101 {On Hope}.

“Adulting” is still new to me.

It’s been over a year since I graduated from Baylor, and I feel just as much of a child today as I did on Dec. 19, 2015 when I walked the stage.

I remember feeling proud as I shook President Starr’s hand. I remember feeling confident strutting across the stage in front of my peers, professors and parents.

But I also felt fear. Fear that I would not succeed, that my future days would only pale in comparison to the past at Baylor.

And I also felt hope. Hope that the God who crafted my past would also beautifully orchestrate my future.

my hope from yesteryear carries me into all of my tomorrows.

I felt proud and confident and afraid and hopeful in Nashville. I felt on top of the world, it was like the stars finally aligned and I found a real home away from home.

But when I came back to Dallas and I was diagnosed, I didn’t feel hope at all. I really thought my life was over. I couldn’t dream. I couldn’t plan. I could just sit and pray that the suffering would go away.

Even when I had no hope, God rushed in. He said, “I’ve got this. I’ve got you. Just be.”

So I just was. I slept through the night, woke up, showered, laid around, ate, fell asleep. Rinse and repeat.

At some point, in between being diagnosed and feeling like myself again, His Hope was reintroduced to my heart. And God proved to me that His Hope truly reigns over every circumstance, every doubt, every sorrow.

so it’s a year later and i’m still trying to adult.

Granted, I live at home. So it’s a bit different for me. But I still wash my clothes and pack my own lunch. I recently learned you’re supposed to wash your sheets every two weeks, so yeah…I’ve been doing that wrong since college.

I still plan out my finances and do my best not to spend all of my money on coffee & concerts–it’s hard. I still try not to sell my soul to the corporate world by spending time with friends and even getting out of the Big D every now and then.

Adulting really isn’t so bad.

God starts us off as children for a reason. He wants us to be pure and innocent, to be full of energy and curiousity. He calls us His Children, His heirs, His own.

But He also wants us to grow, to mature. To dive deep into our faith, to become head over heels for Him. He expects us to fall more in love with Him as we continue our relationship.

He prepares us, He nurtures us. He does not leave us alone at any point in our lifetime, and especially not when we enter into adulthood or experience trouble.

So, fellow emerging adults, I say this to you:

You will be fine.

You might spend too much money on tacos. And yeah, maybe you haven’t washed your sheets in a few weeks. You call your mother every day. And you’re thinking about leaving the country.

But don’t worry, because you’ve totally got this, because God’s totally got you. You are not an island. Surround yourself with people who shine His Light and show His Love. Surround yourself with people who you aspire to be like, people of all backgrounds and ages.

And just do it.

Show how much you trust in God and dive in headfirst into the unknown and uncertainties of life. Clothe yourself with strength and righteousness and Truth. Live the fruit of the Spirit and love in this reckless and radical way. You won’t regret it.

Bearing my Cross · Body. · College Life · For the Ladies · Friendship · Life Written. · Love Languages · Love or Something Like It · Mind. · My Adoption · Popular Posts. · Post-Grad. · Red Bus. · Rockstars. · Sic'Em Forever. · Sojourn. · spirit · The Word · Uncategorized

A Sheep’s Psalm: On Psalm 23 and Praise for Plot Twists

Mae Mae & Tim Pops
Mae Mae & Tim Pops

A few months ago, I praised God for plot twists.*

To my dismay and discomfort, plots kept twisting. And still do.

In September, I hadn’t the slightest clue what Spring 2016 held. By mid-December, I solidified an internship with Red Bus, and anticipated a big, potentially lasting move to Nashville.

Mid-January, weeks before my RBP start date, The Lord blessed me with host families who “adopted” me into their houses and lives.

Praise the Lord, He made a path to start 2016.

I arrived to Nash. Found a church. Found fellowship. Found friends. Almost instantaneously.

But wait. I started Red Bus. Found a family of fellow orphan defenders. Found Faith in the radical love from every person who showed Hope. Found forever–a big word for this weary traveler. Almost automatically.

BUT WHAT. I began to get sick. Real sick. Like coughing and hacking and draining of first my body, then myself: physically, emotionally, psychologically, spiritually.

But Praise the Lord for plot twists: He paves paths every day.

Right now, I’m back at home. Home, home, in the Dallas suburb where I learned to ride a bike.

Same room. Same girl. New woman.

Now Mae, not Mae Mae–a cute nickname Pops/Tim still calls me on occasion.

Transformed by time (3.5 years), space (Waco, Houston, Nashville), and great life events (a Baylor education, a summer in Italy, internships on internships) and even greater people (hey, thanks for making me, Mae).

It’s good to be back. It’s good to be home.

It’s good to unpack and reorganize my life: books, clothes, journals, calendars, with an intent to extend my stay in Dallas, Texas, and America.

I memorized Ps. 23 a year ago. Now it has a whole new meaning:

  1. The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not be in want. (v. 1, ESV). This makes me a hopeless, desperate sheep, and some Shepherd Man leaves me with zero desires apart from Him.
  2. He makes me lie down, leads me, restores me, guides me (v. 2-3). To green pastures for rest, quiet waters for hydration. Along paths of righteousness, not a limited A-leads-to-B trail.
  3. I walk through the valley. But I will fear no evil (v. 4). I don’t run or flee in the valley, but Shepherd Man escorts me out. Or protects me as I visit.
  4. You prepare a table before me, anoint my head with oil. My cup overflows (v. 5). It’s too good to be true. I make it through the valley and into a Kingdom. On a mountain.
  5. Sureley goodness and love will follow me, I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever (v. 6). Satan will try to steal me, but God’s grace and mercy follow me. The Loser’s schemes won’t get him to Heaven. I’ll land there. And I will bask in the fullness of the presence of the Lord.

Right now? I’m basking in an awareness of God. From home, Dallas.

One day, on the Best Day Ever, I’ll see Shepherd Man face-to-face. In Heaven, Heaven!

I’ll welcome silly, earthly plot twists, because these paths of righteousness will reunite me with my Shepherd Man. One Day. It’s coming! And I feel giddy!

Bearing my Cross · College Life · Friendship · Life Written. · Love or Something Like It · My Adoption · Popular Posts. · Post-Grad. · Red Bus. · Sojourn. · Uncategorized

Why Baylor Is{n’t} The Best

1914841_10153802789098245_7288070817191464997_n (2)Baylor University isn’t the best college…for everyone.

But man, it was the best for me, because I received an education and utilized opportunities that were worth the tuition, room and board.

If I had to choose again, I wouldn’t dare to go anywhere else, because that would alter everything.

It would alter the friends who became family. I had zero desire to join Greek life, yet Tri Delta gave me “sisters” and avenues to grow as a leader. I also refused to join the PR club for two years, but I loved the connections I made once I did.

It would alter the jobs that became hobbies. I had little immediate interest in interning with the library’s marketing team, but I called those bosses my best friends, and gained professional skills and personal respect for formal education.

It would alter the old me who became the new me. At Plano Senior High School, I was meek and uncomfortably shy. I felt like the tiniest, least significant fish in a vast, impressive lake.

At Baylor, an ocean of greater size, I obnoxiously yelled “Happy Birthday” to a friend across the quad. People gawked. It was uncomfortable, but I was unashamed.

We’re not all rich, white kids.

I don’t identify as rich, but my middle class, Dallas suburb family is financially wealthy compared to an impoverished family in the 254.

I don’t identify as white, but I’m more likely to call myself white over Asian. I was raised by a Caucasian family and many friends don’t share my ethnicity. I’m not a racist, it just happened.

I used to romanticize my affection for Baylor.

But now that I’m a wise and mature adult (aka survived two months of post-grad life), I realize Baylor is simply Baylor.

To some, Baylor may be a wonderful Christian private school with a current winning streak and a beautiful campus.

To others, Baylor may be another pricey university under scrutiny for how it approaches sexual assault on campus and its athletic program.

To me, Baylor is home away from home. Baylor is the perfect mixture of people, places and opportunities that molded me for 3.5 semesters and left a lifelong impact.

I’m not Baylor. But a big part of me looks like Baylor: Christian, outwardly appealing, inwardly dysfunctional. Baylor can successfully deliver when things rightly blend, but given errors highlight an undeniable brokenness.

Baylor is not me. But Baylor played a big part of me, because it was the catalyst that created who I am today. And I’m abundantly grateful to be confident in the woman I became at college, and hopeful for refinement post-grad.

Sic’em forever.

College Life · For the Ladies · Friendship · Life Written. · Love Languages · Love or Something Like It · Popular Posts. · Post-Grad. · Red Bus. · Sic'Em Forever. · Sojourn.

Hey Single Ladies: It’s OK to Love or Hate Your Status

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Dear Single Ladies,

My name is Maelyn. I’m also a single lady.

I love my relationship status. The reasons I love singleness may be the very reasons you hate it.

Let me tell you why I love it:

Singleness allows selfishness.

The beauty of singleness is: you are uncommitted.

I’ve learned far more in 14 days of adulthood in Nashville than nearly four years of school in Waco.

You are single. It’s okay to travel the world, start a company, or get that tattoo.

Embrace an independence to make your own choices, but be careful to realize decisions you make now can affect your future.

Singleness allows selflessness.

The beauty of singleness is: you can commit to whoever and whatever you choose.

In college, I overcomitted. I plunged headfirst into church, academics, internships, organizations and friendships.

I chose friending guys over dating guys, because my schedule and mind did not make room for more.

These days, I choose to commit to an internship with Red Bus and growing roots in Nashville.

My internship is full-time and requires travel, so I don’t have room to date now either. I choose that in my mind and my heart also doesn’t feel it.

Singleness allows sculpting.

I love to travel because it tests your adaptive and strategic skills. Traveling with friends is fun, because the team effort creates lasting memories: good and bad.

If I am a party of one, I learn more as an individual. Traveling alone does not allow me to depend on others’ knowledge or cultural competency.

If you hate singleness, you hate it.

If you love it, you love it.

Other people won’t get it.

If you’re lonely, they assume you love it. If you’re strong, they assume you’re weak.

You have a right to feel lonely, but a relationship won’t fulfill an emotional feeling.

You have a right to feel strong, but a relationship will force you to admit weakness.

If you are single, own it while you can. Don’t find too much comfort in it, don’t place too much hope for a change of status.

At this moment in time, I have zero desire, capacity or option to marry by 25.

This time next year, one, two or all of those factors may change.

I’m learning to a) not push people away and b) give myself grace if I do.

These are tough lessons, I’ve hurt others and myself in the process. I acknowledge the circumstances and own my mistakes. Hey, at least I’m learning.

Right now, I enjoy a carefree, independent lifestyle.

In the future, should my status change, I will embrace a more careful, codependent love.