life with Reyna

So, as many of you know if you follow me on Instagram, I recently went to a plant nursery with my boyfriend. But I didn’t go there just to take pictures (or get pictures taken of me lol)…

Yes, I became a plant mom. I did what I’ve always dreamed of doing, and bought a hibiscus plant, my all-time favorite flower.Which, to those who are not plant buyers, is a pretty decent investment. I even bought fertilizer for it because I thought, If I’m gonna do this like I said I would, I’m gonna do it RIGHT.

Here are a couple of facts about my new plant…

*Name: Reyna – I named her this because it means “queen” in Tagalog, the Filipino language (Yes, I’m half Filipino. If you didn’t know, now you know!)
*Favorite Things: Sitting in full sunlight and drinking lots of water
*Thrives on: 60-90 degree weather + this special fertilizer every week.

It’ll be a week tomorrow since I got Reyna, and these days have proved to be so interesting. From the first day, being paranoid that the neighborhood kids would come into our yard, and pick off the pretty flowers Reyna already had bloomed to thinking I might have killed her on the first couple days of being a plant mom after leaving her outside over night, and the temperature dropped 20 degrees (UGH), I have already learned so much as a new plant owner.

Lessons Learned (So Far)…

  1. INVESTMENT. I said this already, but having a plant is an investment. Just like having a pet or a child. Only, a plant is WAY more affordable. Sure, the initial cost of a plant to some people may seem ridiculous. Add the fertilizer, and you’re realizing that you could’ve spent that money on getting your nails done. But all-in-all, you’re only needing 3 things for a plant most of the time: water, sunlight, and fertilizer. Eventually, maybe a bigger pot, but that won’t be for a while.
  2. ATTENTION. Like having a pet or a child, a plant needs attention too. And since this is my favorite flower, I’m realizing I want to do all I can to keep it alive and well. So, I now think of the things I may not have thought of before, like the weather because maybe I could put Reyna outside or not.
  3. YOUR BEST + TRUST. Within all of this, I have definitely worried a little more. Because I didn’t spend a good sum of money for this plant to die within the first week I got it, and I want to be able to learn to cultivate something I love. But I’ve had to really accept that I can only do my best to take care of Reyna, and trust that she will follow through with results from the care I’ve given.

Plant Perfectionist

PAUSE: I know, it may seem sorta weird that I’m referring to my plant as a “she,” and am describing her and the care I’m providing as if she were a child. But if people can do that with their pets, surely I can do this with my plant, okay? Also, I have definitely been obsessed with taking pictures of her growth every day…like, who am I? Who have I become?

Anyways, some of my perfectionist tendencies started to creep back into my life once the high of buying Reyna ended, and it was time to actually take care of her. I got really freaked out the second and third day I had her, because I’d left her outside overnight, not realizing it would be close to freezing outside. The flowers that had been in bloom originally had started to wither away, and I frantically brought her inside to see if the temperature would be warm enough.

Two days passed, and the only change there was was that the flowers had almost closed completely. Literally, this is what the flowers looked like, and I was really disappointed in my carelessness ALREADY…

Later one night, one of the flowers fell off of the plant on its own. I almost cried. And I wrote a poem about it…

“Reyna”

A flower just fell off my plant just now and I
Slightly feel like a failure.
Not even one full week of having her, and I
Can’t seem to take care of her.
The weather isn’t cooperating, she needs
More sun than what she’s getting.
I gave her water, tomorrow I’ll fertilize her, and just
Hope for the best that she doesn’t
Surrender the life she’s got left.
So, this is what it’s like to be in charge of something you love, something you’ve
Made an investment in.
A piece of my heart rests in her petals now, so many of them shut tight, eagerly waiting to bloom when the
Time, climate, and sunlight are just right.
Stay with me, Queen, God will see us through this indecisive weather change where
Winter seems to be coming back to have one more say before
Spring finally settles in and assists all of us in growing as we should.
You and I will survive this.
In His Hands, His care, we are
Good.

This all might sound silly to some of you as you’re reading this, but truly, if this past week has taught me anything, it’s that God cares about what we care about. Because, I won’t lie…there was a day when I watered Reyna, put her in front of my bedroom window for some sunlight, and prayed, Okay, God, I’ve done what I can. I’m leaving the results up to You.

I had some doubts that God would want to actually do anything about Reyna since, seriously, there are so many other things in this world going on that are way more important than the health and life of my newly acquired plant.

And I came home from work to find Reyna like this in my bedroom…

My Reyna B L O O M E D. So much 😭 I literally let out a squeal when I walked in and saw her like this! And it made me think of how Honey, my stepmom, texted me and my sister last week about how she’d lost a diamond from her wedding ring, and she’d been upset, but surrendered the fact that it was missing to the Lord. He’d allowed my dad to find it not too long after! These two events inspired me to write a poem about how God cares about what we care about because His love and mercy towards us are so great!

“He cares.”

God cares about the things we care about.
Even in the little things, like missing rings and fading flowers,
He desires for us to realize we aren’t in control, and to
Surrender the power we think we have back into His Hands.
He is capable of taking impossible things and situations, and
Turning them around for our favor and
His praise. He doesn’t have to satisfy our wants, but sometimes (within His will)
He does it anyway because He loves us
Endlessly.
He revives our weary souls when we’re wilting, He
Feeds us when we’re hungry, even
When we’ve gotten lost due to our own decisions, He
Leads us back to His Heart.
So, the next time you have a concern don’t think, “God doesn’t care about that!
It’s not significant enough to matter.”
Simply calm your worries,
Leave the results in His Hands, and
Understand that, if it’s in His will to do it,
He can and He will fulfill it
Just for you.
For the sake of Love.
Because He cares.

Super grateful for the grace to keep learning how to take care of Reyna, and also reflect on the reminders of God’s care for me as I do so! And to end this post, here’s two more pictures of what Reyna currently looks like. 😍🌺

Yes, those are new flowers that have bloomed!

Peace.

“Be his peace.”

How many of y’all have seen or heard this phrase? Whoever said this first, I see what they might have meant: if you are dating or married, when you’re significant other is going through it, isn’t feeling well, etc., you’re supposed to be the one person they can go back to and feel safe with. The one person who they can be themselves around, who can help refresh their perspective and rejuvenate their soul. Especially in a world full of people who can just d r a i n you.

Dear whoever said this first – I see what you meant. But I don’t fully agree with it. Not to say that you shouldn’t try to encourage your significant other when they are going through a rough time, or that you shouldn’t try to be a peaceful person to come to. But that encouragement shouldn’t be rooted in you

What is Peace?

The Merrimack-Webster dictionary defines peace as several different things, but here are a couple of the definitions related to what I’m writing about here…

  1. “freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions”
  2. “harmony in personal relations”

Okay, so according to these definitions, a friend or significant other can totally bring peace to you. Maybe even a thing or activity like your favorite flower, or a walk outside can calm you down. They can free you from “disquieting or oppressive thoughts and emotions,” and you can experience “harmony” within that friendship or relationship, or in that thing/activity.

But what happens when that person is the cause of disrupting your peace sometimes? It can definitely be possible: people aren’t perfect by any means, and can be frustrating to deal with sometimes. And things and activities can cause irritation too, if they aren’t exactly how you want them to be.

Some say you should find peace within yourself, but if you’re like me, I can be just as disruptive to myself as someone else can! 😅 If I am constantly worrying, or dwelling on stressful situations, I cannot bring myself peace either.

With a Capital “P”

I want to replace the “Be his (or her) peace.” statement with this one:

Jesus is Peace.

Yes, with a capital “P,” because ultimately, when our lives are in chaos, when things aren’t going the way we want them to, when people in our lives whom we deemed closest to us cause disruptions to our thoughts and emotions, Jesus is Who we can turn to, Who will provide that indescribable peace that nothing or no one on this earth can even explain.

Several times in the Bible, Jesus encourages His disciples of the Peace that He brings…

“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” — John 14:27 (ESV)

When Jesus was describing to the disciples how the world would hate them because they are not of the world, and also that the Holy Spirit would come down on them to help them bear witness to the things they have seen, He encourages them again later in the book of John:

“I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” — John 16:33 (ESV)

‭In 1 Peter 5:7, we as Christians are called to “cast all our anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.” In one of my favorite passages in Philippians 4, we are called to “not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (verses 6-7)

I know in the Bible it doesn’t capitalize the word peace, I took some creative liberty with it because Jesus-type Peace isn’t just normal peace. It allows you to feel totally calm when your flesh tells you you need to panic. It urges you to pray instead of continually cycling through the same anxious thoughts over and over again. It encourages you to rest in God, and trust that He sees your situation and how you’re feeling about it, and He is going to handle it in His way, with His will, and in His timing. And knowing all of that, you’re still at peace!

I’m not saying that you can’t say someone or something in your life brings you peace, because they very well may be or do that for you! But, they are not that capital P “Peace” that surpasses understanding, that will never leave you or forsake you. That thing or person that you have in mind when you think of the word “peace” can’t be with you 24/7, they can’t understand your thoughts all the time even if they really want to, and they are going to mess up and maybe even not be your peace sometimes.

I encourage you to, first and foremost, seek out Jesus as your Peace. It not only allows your to rely on Him fully, but it also releases the pressure of yourself or another person to be that for you, knowing that we are all human and cannot get it right all the time.

But Jesus surely can, and He will! 🙌🏽

#MishyWrites 🦋💚

“to the Giver of Words” (POEM)

In honor of World Poetry Day, it is only fitting that I dedicate today’s blog post and poem to my number one Inspiration – God! He is my Maker and My Savior, the only One Who truly understands me, and has been with me through my prettiest days and ugliest times. And He has blessed me with the gift of words to share His Love and Grace to those who need it!

The words He has given me have been some of the biggest parts of my healing processes. There was a time at the beginning of this year in which I felt like the words had just stopped. Like they were stuck, like I couldn’t get them out, and I was afraid because I felt like I’d lost this way with words somehow.

But God is faithful; in no time, He re-inspired me in a completely different light, and I cannot express my gratitude enough!

I wrote this poem at the beginning of this month after realizing how much easier the words were flowing again, and I just had to give thanks! So, in honor of my Daily Inspiration…

“to the Giver of Words”

Thank You, God, for more words to write.
As Your word is my Sword through this spiritual battle, You
Also provide words to flow from You to my mind through the pen onto paper to
Fight through the situation I’m facing.
This gift reminds me I’m not alone, that You
See me in my darkest hour, and in my time of need, and You give me the
Words to put down so I may receive the healing, and possibly,
Help those who are in the same position to heal.
Thank You for holding my hand as I document my story, and the
Lessons You’re teaching me.
I may not see what the end result is, but
I know You will get the glory.

#MishyWrites 🦋

pink is for Piglet: a poetry prompt

It is definitely not Friday BUT I have slacked on blog posts this month, so I decided to go ahead and post today AND tomorrow!

Last week, I was supposed to meet with a friend to write, and honestly, whenever I go to meet with someone to write, I wonder what questions will be asked, what prompts I or they will come up with, etc. And before I even knew I was going to meet with this person, I had started a poem based on a picture of Piglet (yes, the Winnie the Pooh character) I saw on Pinterest.

*Rabbit Trail: Never underestimate Pinterest. I can’t tell you how may times I’ve redownloaded it back to my phone because just searching through images alone can spark some amazing things. I get a lot of my Instagram inspo from there, which leads to a lot of poetry inspo too!

Well, once it was confirmed that I was going to meet up with this friend of mine, something in my mind clicked; I wanted us to do a little poetry prompt based on what I had just done (and also, when I think about it, I think I’d done this at a poetry workshop I’d gone to last year!). And since I ended up not meeting with my friend due to a double-booked hangout session, I’m going to share it with all of you!

Step 1: The Color

Think of a color, any color! Maybe it’s your favorite color, or a color of something you’re wearing or holding right now. Maybe it’s the favorite color of someone you love, or the colors that are mostly seen during this time of the year (so, since Valentine’s Day was this month, maybe: red, pink, white).

Step 2: The Object(s), Character(s), People etc.

Now that you have your color, think of the objects, characters, people, emotions that are normally associated with that color. Write them all down.

Step 3: Pick One Thing and Write Down All Associations

Now, out of all the things you wrote down associated with your color, pick one. Maybe you picked an object that you love, or that reminds you of a good past time. Maybe you chose a person you admire, or a character that you used to watch on TV as a kid.

Based off whatever you chose, think of the background of that thing, how you feel about it, if you connect with it in some way currently. And write something (a poem, a short story, the beginnings of an essay, etc.) incorporating those things!

This is the poem that I came up with, inspired by the Piglet image above! I thought about how Piglet is always the timid character in the Winnie the Pooh series, and how some say that A.A. Milne wrote the characters in such a way to portray different disorders. Piglet’s disorder is said to be anxiety…

“Piglet”

Little pig, little pig,
Don’t let anxiety win.
You tend to turn to worry when the unknown appears, when
A problem presents itself, and you don’t know what to do, and you
Bury yourself in fear instead of trying to sort through the issues you’re facing and the
Feelings you’re dealing with.
It’s easy for all your “what if” questions to be negative:
“What if this goes left instead of right?”
“What if how I’m feeling lasts longer than a season?”
“What if I’m incapable of getting all I need to get done accomplished?”

A wave of overwhelming washes over you, and any reasonable thinking goes out the window,
Causing your mind to hiccup from one topic or thought to the next,
Stuttering your speech, and placing panic as your default reaction to anything happening.

Because you aren’t thinking clearly, you run and hide in different houses,
Ones that create a false sense of hope that the heaviness your concerns cause will not
Destroy the walls and uproot the foundation.
But anxiety huffs and it puffs and it blows it all down, and you’re left
Shaking and searching, fleeing from the scene to find better shelter from the fears that chase you, from
The storm cloud that’s always hovered over you.

Little pig, little pig,
Seek a Sanctuary that not only lets you in as you are, but also
Heals your pain from the inside out, and
(Contrary to what your mind tells you)
Provides peace and joy through the worries and doubts that have disguised themselves to you as the truth for so long.
Leave anxiety at the door as you step into this
Safe space where you belong without the threat of danger at your heels.

“But my eyes are toward you, O God, my Lord; in You I seek refuge; leave me not defenseless.”

Psalm 141:8

#MishyWrites 🦋

“note to self”

*Here is a fact that may be expressed every once in a while, but maybe isn’t expressed enough:

You can be dating someone, and still have low self-esteem/confidence i.e. you can still feel unattractive & unworthy of love even when someone is loving you well, & telling you that you’re beautiful/handsome.

I’m taking a guess here, but if you’re single, you might have rolled your eyes after reading that because you feel that if someone were to affirm you in such a way, you wouldn’t really have self-esteem issues, which is fair.

If you’re in a relationship or married, my guess is you might know what I’m talking about. Because yes, I’m currently in a relationship, and yes, I recently have struggled with feelings of self-deprecation.

***Disclaimer: My self-deprecating thoughts did not come from any emotional/verbal abuse from my significant other. All of this was rooted in my own head with my own insecurities. So, I don’t want any of you to immediately think that low self-esteem within a relationship automatically means that the other person is responsible. The other person could have their own self-esteem issues as well that are rooted in their thoughts.

I hesitated to write about this because I felt like admitting that I had low self-esteem would make me seem weak, and my pride tried to tell me that that was the last thing I needed while feeling insecure. But one of my favorite things about writing is being vulnerable with whomever is reading so that maybe those who have felt the way I have felt, or even currently feel those feelings, they know they are not alone.

And truly, expressing my weakness only points back to the strength and power of God in my life! Like when I look back on all the things He’s brought me through, I can be encouraged that my low self-esteem cannot bring me down, but will ultimately bring me back to God.

“But He said to me, ‘My Grace is sufficient for you, for My Power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insult, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (ESV)

So yes, in the latter months of 2018, and even in the beginning weeks of this year, I admittedly didn’t feel beautiful. Not even pretty; definitely not sexy. I questioned my personality, and compared my looks to girls I know and love, and even those I didn’t know, but would see by scrolling through social media. I considered wearing makeup more often because maybe I’d feel more attractive. I wondered if I was worth it; if I was truly good enough for anything…even good enough to be dating my boyfriend.

It’s not like all of these thoughts were brand new; I’ve definitely thought some of them before, but doing so in the way I was doing, in a different place in my life, it was just really hard for me to push past them. And eventually, these thoughts were no longer just in the background of everything going on, but they were actively affecting me in how I responded or reacted to things. They even seeped into my dreams, creating scenarios that frightened me because they only confirmed the negative thoughts I was thinking about myself.

Communicating these feelings to my boyfriend did help, but nothing helped more than to remember who I am, and most importantly WHOSE I am. I am the daughter of the Lord. I am an heiress in the Kingdom of God. I am loved so much, that my soul was bought with the Perfect Sacrifice. I was created in His Image, and there is NO ONE ELSE just like me. I am unique, I am a masterpiece, and my self-confidence relies on all of those truths.

Go and read the beauty and comfort that is Psalm 139. ❤ We are known and loved so well!

I had to continually affirm myself of these things over and over for a good while, and dig back into God’s Word to remind myself that I am HIS. And that fact alone outweighs any opinion or beauty standard or personality preference or self-deprecating thought this world throws at me sometimes. Of course, it doesn’t mean I’m fully healed of my insecurities; they will probably try to creep back in another time. But I can at least go back to the assurances and reminders of my worth.

It is VITAL to understand WHO we are and WHOSE we are!

Naturally, I wrote a poem about it…

“note to self”

The low self-esteem that has creeped through the seams of my life found its way into my dreams one night.
It had happened only once before, and in both nightmares, my confidence was
Shattered by my envy of other women.
And this burden isn’t a new one; admittedly when I’m awake I sometimes find myself
Scrolling through the pages of girls the world deems “pretty” or “sexy,” and
As I scroll, I can’t help but wonder how I could compare to such beautiful women with
Hair all done and nails on fleek and
Faces and bodies that could make any man possibly
Leave the woman he’s already with because
Maybe he isn’t satisfied.
Sure, his woman may be loyal and love well, but she might not be
Pleasing to the eye.
And that is a great fear of mine: to be told that all of me is loved, and then
Abandoned for another because I’ve been
Sized up next to another woman and I
Do not measure up.

How heavily I have weighed my worth in my
Worries of losing earthly love, when
My true value does not lie there.
How often I’ve accepted the lie that beauty only belongs to some, when truly it is
Shared by everyone.
The only ugly that is in me is the impulse to
Degrade myself because I’ve been exposed to
More people who express beauty differently than me. And I
Became afraid because my reflection did not match there’s perfectly.

But “I am fearfully and wonderfully made,” yes, a masterpiece!
And no woman can ever
Do me like I do me.
And no man can ever determine my worth and value on whether he decides to stay or leave.
My self-esteem rests in the Hands that created every fiber of my being, and
Every piece of my personality.
My self-love is found in His Love for me,
One that saw the darkness in my heart and
Through sacrifice, wiped it clean.

So, I release those insecurities, and I
Embrace the fact that
I am MORE than enough.

Yes, I am a queen.

#MishyWrites 🦋

“Purpose”

Earlier this week, I was talking to my boyfriend about some books and poets that initially inspired, and continued to motivate me to write poetry.

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur showed me what poetry could look and sound like. It also helped heal wounds that I had been trying to move past. Reyna Biddy’s I Love My Love expressed some of the same feelings I’d felt during that healing process. And my all-time favorite poet Arielle Estoria, along with Sarah Wallick, motivated me in my call to write poetry for myself and others with several poems in their book Write Bloody, Spill Pretty.

I’ve found that, as I’ve continued to think about what to write about, sometimes it helps to go back to the basics – like blogging. Blogging is where sharing my writing publicly began. Before that, it was sitting in my room and reading, praying, and meditating to figure out what to write about. And pulling those books back out this week, and just looking through them, reading the poems that really hit home for me, reminded me of my purpose to write.

And I think creatives just need that sometimes – to go back to the origins of where we began to be inspired. It doesn’t mean that we must go back to the exact level of how we created, but it’s a humbling and rejuvenating experience to remember where you came from, and what started it all.

So, I wrote this poem specifically to myself titled “Purpose,” to remind myself why I keep going on writing poetry.

And before or after you read my poem, ask yourself these questions:

What is your purpose?
Why do you do the things you do?
What/who inspires and motivates you?”


“Purpose”

Don’t forget why you began this.
You didn’t have many solid plans moving forward, but

You had a head full of ideas and you
Daydreamed of days in which your purpose was clear.
Through pain and questions, you were led to a thing you never desired to use;
A way of writing that you initially despised, but several poems later,
You found healing there,
And you sought to bring the same
Sympathy, Empathy, and Hope to others.
You longed to have the
Heartbroken be whole again,
The hopeless see Light despite the darkness that surrounded them,
The vagabonds given a place to rest their heads, hearts, and souls.
And through all this you’d
Point to the One Who is the
True Provider of all Comfort,
Who always sees how you and others hurt and
Longs to draw near to them as they draw near to Him.
Presenting True Hope is your purpose,
So,
Don’t forget why you began this.

I gotta keep going.
Mishy
🦋

rest. – Psalm 23:2

Resting used to be really hard for me.

From 2017 until the middle of this year, I was constantly on-the-go. Most days I wouldn’t get to my house until I was ready to rest my head on the pillow at night. There was something about the rush of everything; the constant coming-and-going of my every day that had me on this high.

Maybe all of those meetings, practices, and hang outs validated me. Because I was doing so much, I felt important somehow, I felt needed and wanted. I know for a fact that during those times, I despised sitting down for more than an hour or so, unless I had to wait that long until my next appointment or whatever for the day. If I was just sitting around relaxing, it gave me time to think, which in a sense is good. But I would spend most of that time thinking about what I’m not doing – questioning why I haven’t reached a certain point in my life; why some events occurred and why others haven’t happened yet. That empty space of time I would have to myself would potentially be wasted by me mindlessly scrolling through my phone.

Now, at the beginning of this year, I re-learned how to embrace solitude again. I spent hours in my room writing, reading, meditating, or watching Game of Thrones. But I didn’t mind being by myself. It was only when I began getting busier within my passion, and making new friends to hang out with did the silence and seclusion get to me.

My response to verse 2 of Psalm 23 explains this concept of wrestling with rest. It’s really amazing to look back at what I wrote here because this time last year, I was wondering if anything I’d dreamed of doing and worked towards would come to fruition because I felt like I wasn’t doing enough. I felt like I had to be doing more – meeting more people, being more active on social media, writing more. I was comparing myself to a lot of the writers, poets, and spoken word artists I looked up to, and I felt that resting would set me back.

But being where I am now and reading this piece…I understand the importance of rest more now. I still struggle with taking a break every now and then, and that’s where God stops me by getting me physically ill so I can slow down, or canceling plans I had, or placing someone like my boyfriend in my life to remind me that we can’t always constantly be going places and doing things.

It’s vital to rest. Not just to rest physically – but spiritually, in the presence of God.


“He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.”

Not right now, God.
I can’t rest just yet.
I see all these people making moves, releasing things, doing what I long to do, and I’m not there yet  so I need to get going.
I can’t stop now.
Surely, You can’t be telling me to lie down when I don’t have my stuff together.
Once it’s all said and done,
I’ll be sure to hit up that pasture,
Kick my feet up, and soak it all in.
How sad is it that I refuse to listen to Your Voice gently whispering to me:

“My luvvy, resting is where you begin. Not rushing around, throwing words on a page. Not half-heartedly creating just to have things out there, just to quickly stand on stages upon stages
No. You start here with Me.”

And my restless spirit knows it’s the right thing to do, so, despite the logic my mind wants to throw in my face,
And the passion with which my heart yearns with,
By Your Strength alone, I will take my place in the pasture and
Sit.
Sit still and graze.
Still by the still waters.
And I’ll soak in more of You, and more of the patience I need.
I will be at peace in the waiting.

I gotta keep going.
Mishy