12 Months pt.2

September 2018

I got my period a week before we were leaving for vacation. I called the doctor’s office anyways to let them know but also to tell them not the schedule me for the procedure yet since we were about to leave for vacation and I didn’t want to be sore and in recovery during that time. So they pushed it back for October 19th and told me that if I have another cycle before the procedure (a healthy person would have one more cycle) to not have intercourse to ensure I don’t get pregnant. I’m like, seriously y’all, we have nothing to worry about, I probably won’t even get another period this year, but whatevs.

October 2018

I get ANOTHER PERIOD. This time it’s within the normal cycle time frame of 28-31 days. What the what?! This is new to me. The 19th rolls around and I’m expected at the hospital at 5:30am. They separate me from Jon and my mom and wheel me to the back where they let me know all the drugs I’m going to be on for the best nap of my life. My sweet doctor rolls in and gives me a heads up of what’s to come while I’m knocked out. “I’m going to make 3 incisions. One in your belly button and 2 right above the pelvic line. The third one might be bigger if needed to accommodate the size of that growth when I pull it out, okay?” I nodded and inhaled some wonderful drug laced oxygen.

Recovery (an hour later)

I woke up slowly to my doctor saying “Keilah, you did great. I’ll see you in a few weeks for your follow-up.” They wheel me to my room and my mom and Jon walk in. My mom has a huge smile on her face and she says “Jon, share the good news”…

Jon says “While you were waking up the doctor came and gave us the update:

  1. They pumped you with air so she could see inside but the cyst was GONE, DISAPPEARED, NOT THERE, NOWHERE TO BE FOUND.
  2. She confirmed there is NO PCOS
  3. She found some endometriosis. They measure it on a scale of 1-4. 4 being bad/a lot. She said it barely even registered as a 1 to them. So she went ahead and did an ablation and got rid of what was there.
  4. Everything looks healthy and all as it should be in there!”

Y’ALL. My ONE PRAYER since finding out about this cyst was that the Lord would dissolve it before my doctor had to go in. She didn’t have to do the third incision which would’ve been bigger because there was nothing to remove!

Being able to share these results with our dear friends in our City Group has been such an emotional thing for me. I’ve cried, I’ve laughed, I’ve been speechless, I’ve been in awe! These friends have been our closest confidants during this difficult season. They have prayed for us, over us and with us every step of the way. 

So at this point you’re probably asking, “So what’s the announcement?” Here it is:

He HEALED me.

Since August, my cycles have come within the healthy time frame of 28-31 days. I can’t remember how long it had been since my period tracker app was correct on it’s prediction date.

I am filled with renewed hope. I serve a God who has heard my cries, He’s heard my prayers and the prayers of those who love me, He’s answered my biggest prayer.

Now, obviously I’m not pregnant (YET). That’s another exciting announcement for another day. But I am so excited to see what my next steps are. Knowing that we are that much closer to having a baby of our own is a joy I have not felt all year.

While recovering at home over the weekend I had a lot of time to think about what the Lord has done for me. I thought back to January when I got my first period after really, seriously trying. Had I gotten pregnant in January I’d be having a baby this month. I look at our current situation with Jon busy with work and at the same time working on his Master’s in Data Science (wow), we fight to make time for each other. It’s not easy him being pulled in every which way right now. This could not work if we were having a baby this month. God knew. He knew what October 2018 would look like for the Knowles and He said “This might hurt you a bit to hear but, not yet.”

I’m trusting His perfect timing. It’s way better than my timing. His plan is perfect. It’s way better than any plan I could make.

It’s been a year exactly since we got prayed for initially over all the fears I was having about not being able to conceive. The Lord knew all along what 2018 would hold in store for us. He also knew that He wasn’t going to leave us for a second. He was preparing to flex His love, grace and healing over me.

We can hardly wait for Baby Knowles. I know that we’ll be telling our baby how The Lord WORKED A PERFECT MIRACLE in my body so we could have him/her. What a beautiful story of Him and how He loves.
————————————————————————————————————————————

Delayed fertility is not your fault. It’s not something you choose. And there doesn’t need to be shame attached to it. If you’ve been trying for a month or a decade, you’re not alone. I’m in this boat with you. I’m just enjoying the view God placed before me before we get to hold our sweet little perfect baby nugget.

 

xoxo.

12 Months pt.1

I can’t think of any valid reason to not share this. It’s such a taboo subject. But if what I share in the following posts can make just one woman not feel alone, can make one woman brave enough to let others in on her story, then this post has done it’s job.
I’ve been scared this story will fall into the “wrong hands” and my name would be smeared or laughed at. There’s shame in knowing your body isn’t working perfectly. I didn’t want to give everyone the privilege of being let in on this intimate information. But after what’s happened, I DON’T CARE WHO KNOWS because this story is bigger than me! Looking back it’s been all about Him. God flexing His matchless power.
I’ve not waited well during this season. It’s been a year of fighting for control, anxiousness, disappointment, frustration, tears, sadness, jealousy, very little enjoyment.

It’s also been a year where God has spoken to me more than He ever has because I’ve sought Him out, spoken to Him, cried to Him, yelled at Him, asked Him my hard questions. Sometimes I got immediate and clear answers, but most of the time His answers came at their own pace and wrapped in the most peculiar packages that have blown me out of the water upon unwrapping.

I looked for Him in everything. And I found Him in everything.

October 22, 2017
Jon and I were 10 days away from our 2nd wedding anniversary. The anniversary we agreed that we’d begin trying for Baby Knowles. I was feeling VERY anxious even though I’ve always wanted a child. It’s like reality set in that we are NOW intentionally trying to get pregnant. Fear crept in very sneakily. I didn’t even know he was there until I voiced out loud for the first time in my City Group that I was terrified we would have a hard time getting pregnant, if we’d even get pregnant, I was terrified of miscarriages, terrified of the label “infertile”. I told Jon on the morning of the 22nd that I wanted us to get prayed for by one of the pastor’s at our church who has like a ton of kids, because obvi that guy’s doing something right, amirite?
November-December 2017
My fear and anxiousness got the better of me. We “tried” but I wasn’t tracking anything. I wasn’t trying to get pregnant EVEN THOUGH ALL I’VE EVER WANTED IS A BABY. It didn’t make sense to me why I was putting this off and feeling “not ready” all of a sudden. It also didn’t help that during this time other ladies would say “just don’t try and it’ll happen” or “the more you want it the less likely you are to get it” or “don’t get your hopes up”. PSA: don’t ever, EVER tell a woman who’s trying for a baby these things. I don’t care if you think those things were ~true~ for you. It’s not helpful. Zip it. And listen.
January 2018
I’m tracking EVERYTHING. We’re trying on good days and bad days, up days and down days, left days and right days. And then one night while at a get together with my City group girls, I went to the restroom and saw that I started my period. I faked a smile, I told the girls that I was with that night and brushed it off like no big deal and left the party. I bawled the entire drive home. I threw myself in bed and wept uncontrollably on Jon’s chest for an hour while he held me and tried his absolute best to comfort and console his weeping wife.
February- August 2018
I’d experienced the most irregular cycles, peed on countless ovulation sticks — every one of them coming back negative. Not one positive. I had conversations with women who upon sharing how I was feeling and how I could potentially maybe be pregnant, shut me down and said “it’s all in your head” “you’re just symptom watching” “you’re probably not pregnant” “take a test just to put your mind at ease, but know that it’ll probably be negative”. So I stopped asking questions. Not because I wasn’t hearing what I wanted to hear, but because I was already telling myself those things in the back of my mind…on repeat. Why did I need other women telling me the same things? I was at my breaking point in August. Frustrated beyond belief at my irregular cycles and my lack of ovulation and everyone and their mothers getting knocked up but me. Crying every time someone announced their pregnancy, wanting to rejoice with them but also feeling so dry and empty inside. One week, I saw 6 ladies announce their pregnancies! SIX! And there I was holding my phone counting the 70th day since my last period. I made an appointment with a new lady doctor and she set me up for a sonogram to get a closer look as to why my cycles are out of whack.
August 24, 2018
The day of my sonogram appointment. As I’m laying on the bed while the sonographer is cruising around downtown, I’m looking up at the tv monitor showing my insides. I wanted to cry because I knew what I was looking for was not going to be a tiny baby. I felt the sonographer stop moving and start taking a ton of pictures on her screen. I saw something on the monitor. She wasn’t blinking, my eyes were darting back and forth from her to the monitor above me. She wasn’t saying anything. I knew this thing I was looking at was the cause of my problems. She sends me out to the waiting room and says the doctor will call me back in a few.
After a lonely, incredibly suspense filled 45 minute wait, I am finally called back. The doctor sits next to me and shows me the sonogram pictures. Again, I wanted to cry because as I’m looking at these pictures I realize that these are not ultrasound pictures of a tiny baby floating around. She begins by apologizing for the long 45 minute wait. She explained that both her and the sonographer could not identify what that thing was that we noticed. The doctor said it was a “cyst-like growth on your left fallopian tube.” But she could not confirm what it actually was because she had no earthly clue. She told me she wanted to schedule me for a laparoscopic procedure after my next cycle comes so she can get a better look and figure out what the heck it is and how we can treat this and get me good and pregnant. I reminded her that since my cycles are so irregular, I didn’t know how long it’d be before I got my period again and that this waiting could go on for a long time. She said she needed me to get a cycle before going in because she didn’t want to run the risk of me being pregnant and then going under anaesthesia. I then asked very timidly “Worst case scenario: this cyst-like thing, if it has damaged/crushed the tube it’s sitting on and you have to remove it, does this mean I can’t get pregnant?” She looked at me and confidently said “Not at all. Worst case scenario we have to remove a damaged tube, research has proven countless times that the remaining tube will function perfectly alone and you’d be able to get pregnant with the one tube.” I already felt a wave of relief hearing that answer.

Beginning that day, my one and only prayer became “Lord, please dissolve whatever this cyst-like growth is by the time she has to go in for this procedure.”

That following Sunday Jon and I asked to be prayed for by one of our pastors again and this time anointed with oil, because we were praying for healing this time.

(James 5:14-15: Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven).

The pastor asked Jon and me to hold hands and then he touched both our hands with oil as he declared healing over my body…

Anger

Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 

-James 3:11

I’ve known for some time now that I can be a very angry person. It doesn’t take much for me to get angry (I hate this about myself). Something can piss me off and my entire day is centered on my anger (yet another thing I hate about myself).

I one time heard a guy at church share some of his story and he mentioned that he used to be a very angry person. I remember very clearly judging him and thinking “Ugh, there’s nothing worse than an angry man. I bet he’d hit his ex and that’s why they’re not together. I bet he just let his rage out and would yell at anyone”. Again, not very proud of myself here. Honestly, I don’t even know this guy, never spoken to him, so I have LITERALLY no clue what his anger looked like.

Now that I’m struggling with my own anger issues I realize that anger doesn’t rear its ugly head in the ways I imagined it would. The biggest way I see anger is when I’m driving. Yep. Road rage.

I’ve had no problem flashing my brights aggressively at the car in front of me, I lay on my horn when the person in front doesn’t immediately go on green, I yell, I move my hands like an Italian as I’m yelling, and I’ve also flipped some people off (again, not super proud of myself right now).

Jon has told me more times than I can count that one day I’m going to get shot by someone I piss off on the road. That comment doesn’t usually go over well with me.

At my Bible study earlier this week, the Lord interrupted my listening to the leader and He very clearly asked me the following question:

“How can you be in my Word daily and still spew out anger? How can your heart still be filled with so much anger?”

Then he answered it for me.

“My Word was given to you not simply as information but for transformation.”

Do not be conformed to this world, but be TRANSFORMED by the renewing of your mind…

-Romans 12:2

Immediately my heart was convicted. Here I was at Bible study, studying the Bible every day, at church on Sundays singing my heart out to Him, raising my hands high, telling God how awesome, wonderful, perfect He is and that He makes no mistakes. But the second I get in my car, I’m yelling at the person beside me and calling them an a*hole!

How can both fresh water and salt water come from the same spring? It can’t.

All this studying of the Word but I’m not allowing it to change me. I’m sharing this with y’all because I wanted to include you in this. Not really sure why. If you’re battling with anger as well, know you’re not alone.

My prayer this week since having this conversation with the Lord has been “Make me aware of my words before I speak them, help me to recognize when my anger is starting to bubble up and give me the self-control to not act out. And I surrender every moment of this day to You.”

If you think of me, pray for me. If you are thinking of me randomly, it’s probably because I need the prayer.

Thank you for reading this far,

xoxo

“Best” Friend?

I will be the first to admit that I am not the greatest at being friends with people. Especially friends with other girls. But really, just friends in general.

I can remember as far back as elementary when I started public school. At the start of every new school year I’d pick a person I got along with (they usually sat next to me in class) and we quickly became “best friends”. We hung out during recess, helped each other out with classwork and chatted on the phone occasionally on the weekends. Nothing would be wrong but all of a sudden, I’d get bored of them…literally tired of them.

This usually happened by the end of the school year. And I’d drop them. Actually stop talking to them with no notice as to why.

As we signed each others yearbooks they’d make me promise we would hang out during the summer. I agreed while fully knowing in my mind, heart and soul that I’d never talk to them again.

Every school year I chose a new best friend. I remember towards the end of 3rd grade on the playground I had gotten into a petty fight with my current at the time best friend. I told her I didn’t want to be her friend anymore and I started to storm off (I’ve always loved a dramatic exit). To this day I remember as if it was yesterday, as I stormed off I passed the previous years’ best friend and she very clearly said,

“Well, there goes another one…”

The pang of guilt I felt in that moment was too much for a third grader to fully articulate. But this 27 year old can: I was embarrassed, ashamed, I felt small.

But I didn’t change. Wanted to. But just couldn’t. I still got tired of them, got bored of them, they had nothing new to offer me, I had learned everything I needed to know about them within those 9 months together.

High school was the first time I remained friends with certain people for longer than a school year. Confession: There was absolutely a time I felt bored of some of them, tired of some of them, felt I knew everything about them already…but I didn’t break off our friendship.

When I went off to Bible college I was meeting a ton of new people, making a ton of new friends. We all hung out everyday, during classes, after classes, lunch and dinner, in our dorms/apartments. I confessed to a close friend my track record with friendships. I think I was trying to warn her. She looked me in the eye and told me that she is not going anywhere, she won’t let me bail out on our friendship. She was the most intentional friend. She didn’t give up on me and would not allow me to give up on her haha!

I needed her during that time. She helped me come face to face with this weird thing I do in friendships. I realized that my view of friendships was “I don’t NEED friends. I don’t NEED people” and it came from watching my mom in her friendships. Now this is not bashing my mom in any way, just to make that VERY clear before you read on (especially if my mom is reading this haha hey ma).

My mom has never felt the NEED to have a best friend, someone always hanging out with her, always texting her, always wanting to be together. That’s just not who my mom is. She enjoys her alone time (#introvert). She absolutely had friends but always kept them at a safe distance. I unknowingly picked up on this and began to believe I didn’t need to let people in, didn’t need to let them get too close and that it was totally normal and okay to just drop people and not talk to them anymore. This is not to say this is what my mom did, this is just how that thinking manifested in me.

My motto for a while became “friendships are seasonal”. That was my legit excuse whenever someone annoyed me or bored me and I was ready to drop them.

Over the years I learned that this is not what it looks like to have gospel friendships. I’ve made LIFE-LONG friends that will not allow me to just drop ’em. I am continuing to learn that it’s better to have just a few close friends, being picky and choosy about who I share things with and who I don’t. Using discernment to see who I can trust and who I can’t when I make new friends. Gossip is a bitch and I’ve been hurt by friends gossiping about me, in turn I’d gossip about them. Now it is a conscious decision for me to choose to not gossip about a friend.

My mom taught me that gossip is “any conversation where you mention a third party and they are unable to defend themselves in that conversation.”

That is the bar I (try to) hold my conversations up to. I fail, a lot more times than I care to admit actually. I’m working on it. I have a circle of friends that have the freedom to lovingly call me out on my sin–and they do. I learn what it looks like to be a faithful and constant friend. I’m far from the “best” friend title, but I like that this is my journey, my challenge, and I have incredible friends around me who won’t quit on me and won’t allow me to quit on them.

The Weight of It All

Caution: Vulnerable post ahead.

A few months ago I had a REALLY trying week. I arrived at work (for those that don’t know, I’m a nanny to two fun toddlers. I work in one of those toddler’s house.) and as the nanny-mom was getting ready to leave the house she showed me a bunch of little bundt cakes that someone had given her. She told me I could give some to the toddlers as a snack and then told me I could have some too. I thanked her and she walked out for work.

Leading up to that week I had become increasingly aware of my body and weight. I was beginning to feel down about my weight (as the number on the scale was going up, lol). So arriving to work and seeing all these tiny bundt cakes scattered around the kitchen kind of triggered something in me. I told myself that morning that even though I really wanted one of the cakes, I would commit to practicing self-control and not allow myself to run to the kitchen and shove a cake in my face.

That “self-control” turned into self-verbal abuse. Everyday that week my eyes wandered over to the counter of tiny bundt cakes. Every time I thought about having one of those cakes I told myself “Keilah, stop. You don’t need it. Have you seen yourself lately?”

Every hour that I couldn’t eat a cake I heard a voice in my head saying “You are disgusting. You are a disgusting person. You are struggling THIS hard over cake? You disgusting, fat girl. You should be ashamed of yourself. If anyone knew how hard you were struggling right now they’d only ever see you as a fat girl.”

I work 40-50 hours a week. These thoughts flooded my mind every hour on the hour while at work that week. You guys, this was verbal abuse. These were things I was believing about myself 50 times that week. I didn’t share this with Jon out of fear that he would see me as a “fat girl” and be disgusted by me. I went that whole week silently verbally abusing myself and not even knowing it. I felt like a child being torn down by a bully.

The next week at work I was still feeling the aftermath of a weeks worth of tearing myself down. While feeding one of the toddlers breakfast I broke out in tears, sobs. Poor baby girl was watching me with such a confused look on her face. So, fighting every thought and emotion that was keeping me isolated, I reached out to my city group ladies and spilled (but not everything, because again, I heard that voice telling me to not let some of those ladies in that deep because if they knew they’d just see me as “that fat girl”).

My city group leader called me after work and I spilled EVERYTHING to her. Thank God for her friendship and love. She lovingly called out those things I was believing as LIES, she encouraged me, and spoke TRUTH over my weary soul.

That night I laid on the couch and yet again spilled everything…this time to my sweet husband. He held me, told me that he understood what I was feeling and experiencing because he too has been there. I told him I was ready to make a change. I needed to not only fix how I was thinking about myself, but I needed to fix my eating habits.

Jon has been doing the Ketogenic diet since the first of the year and has lost over 60lbs as of today! I’ve done keto before (last year) and fell off after losing 24lbs. I fell off because I realized my heart wasn’t in it. I wasn’t committed. I didn’t have a purpose behind doing it.

 

I’m choosing to go keto to be healthier, to lower the number on the scale, to feel comfortable in my favorite clothes, to be confident in my own skin, to feel better in the day and sleep better at night, and ultimately to help me get pregnant. I want my body to be a safe space for baby Knowles someday.

For those who don’t know what the keto diet is, I’ll give you the short version.

  • low carb (we stay under 20g/day)
  • high fat
  • no sugar

Since the 1st of June to date, I’ve lost 11lbs. While it’s coming off slower than I’d like, I am seeing the results and feeling the results. Doing Keto this time around I have found so many awesome recipes that I can’t get bored of. I have motivation, I have a purpose. I am so excited to continue feeling better and thinking better about myself!

 

 

 

Girl-Gang

Sometimes girls are not my favorite creatures ever. Sometimes they can be the literal worst. I know what my breed is capable of and it’s ugly. But there is also something so wonderful about being a girl. We have an understanding of who we are as human women. We are complicated, we are messy, we are extraordinary, we are unique, we are protectors.

In this current season in my life, I am realizing how important having women in my life is. I have never so looked forward to meeting up with a group of women than I do now. I crave deep, challenging and rich conversations.

I have a group of women that I know are for me, they love me, they hear me, they speak into my life, they bring light to some dark places, they point me in the right direction.

As I look back on my “adult years”, I have been surrounded by women I could trust. There have been more trustworthy women than not in my lifetime. Man, I am so thankful for that. In Bible college, I had my roommates that forever changed my life. In my university I had a circle of women in the RA program that knew me from the inside out and still loved me. In marriage, I have my church girlfriends that hear me, see me, love me and challenge me. Just in life overall, I have a small circle of best friends that support me and encourage me and love me for who I am.

I cannot imagine going through this season of my life without this kind of support system.

It’s a nice thing to feel known.

I read somewhere that our greatest need is to be fully known and fully loved. Imagine someone knowing everything about you–

  • your weight
  • your real hair color
  • the losers you dated
  • what you look like with no makeup
  • your biggest mistakes
  • your most embarrassing moments
  • your awkward phase in middle school
  • your biggest regrets
  • your greatest victory
  • your Mount Everest of a dream
  • your hopes
  • your fears

….and without hesitation, they fully love you.

Hi, can we take a moment and soak that in for a minute?

For some of you reading this, this might sound terrifying. You might be turned off to the idea of some other person knowing that much about you. You might doubt that someone could love you knowing all the crap you’ve done. You might even think you’re too “complex” or “complicated” to figure out.

Sister, you’re not. You’re human. You were created for this. The only being we could never fully know is God. And, uhm…you’re not Him. You are capable of being fully known AND fully loved. Loved imperfectly (because we’re human, duh), but fully loved.

If you don’t have a group of ladies that you trust, reach out to me! Please. My life has been so changed by having these ladies in my life.

Shout-out to my girl gang: Charis, Brittany, Sara, Rebecca, Sarah, Abby, Natalia, Camilla, Olivia, Jenn, Katie, Sarah, Hollyann.

Keto Pizza—What?

Yes!I found a Keto pizza recipe. And y’all, it. is. good.

Now, I am not doing the Keto diet but my husband is. His favorite food is pizza so the fact that he can’t have pizza while on this diet sucks for him.

We’ve tried two other low carb pizza recipes that Jon has hated because it’s not real pizza, obvi.

When I posted the photo of the finished product on my instagram I had so many people DM me asking abou the recipe, so ya go! It’s the easiest thing in the world!

What you need:

  • 2lbs ground beef
  • 2c mozzarella cheese
  • 1 1/2c of Marinara or Pizza sauce
  • 6 slices of provolone
  • pizza toppings of your choice

 

Instructions:

  1. brown your ground beef
  2. put it in your crockpot***
  3. mix in the mozzarella cheese and stir it all together
  4. pour your pizza sauce in an even layer
  5. lay your provolone slices all over to cover the surface
  6. top it all with your pizza toppings
  7. cook on low for 4 hours OR cook on high for 2 hours

Sprinkle some parmesan cheese and enjoy!

***Tip: I drained the grease from the ground beef before throwing it in the crockpot

It looks like a lasagna with all the layers but it is so good. I almost wish Pizza Hut and Dominos had pizza that tasted like this. I asked Jon what he thought and he said it was better than the other low carb pizzas we’ve made in the past. We had plenty of leftovers and he ate them for lunch the next day.

I consider this meal a wife win. If you try it, let me know how it goes for you!

 

West Coast Girl in the South

As a lot of you know, I’m originally from sunny Southern California. Born in West Covina (Shout out to the creators of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) and raised in Fontana/San Bernardino for the first 15 years of my life.

2014/2015 is when my world started shifting. Our next door neighbors at the time were packing up their house to move to Austin because the cost of living in California was OUTRAGEOUS. Before they moved they handed my dad some brochures of the homes in Texas. The seed was planted. He shared this information with my mom. However, they didn’t share this with me till way later (good call, parentals).

I was starting my sophomore year in high school and finally fitting in–a very crucial time for any teenager. At this point my parents had kind of shared non-nonchalantly about the idea of maybe, possibly moving to Texas. It was a hard no for me. It was like my parents knew this would be my response, so they didn’t bring it up again.

I thought they were insane for even considering leaving our home, extended family, friends, church, and schools. This was all we’d ever known as a family.

Some time later (although I don’t think it was too long after. The timing of this event is a little foggy to me) mom and I were in the car driving to see a relative. We’re on the freeway and out of nowhere I start tearing up, it was like an out of body experience what I was feeling and about to confess. I turned to my mom as she was driving and told her “Mom, I think we need to move to Texas”. Now I’m full on sobbing, completely unaware that those words just changed the rest of our lives. Mom pulls over onto the shoulder of the freeway and she’s sobbing!

I’m like, dude you wanted this. Why are YOU sobbing? But that’s not why she was crying.

She told me that her and my dad prayed and brought this idea before Him and said “Lord, if it is Your will for us to move to Texas You will confirm it through Keilah.” I was the fleece thrown to the Lord, asking for a sign and for a tangible confirmation (Judges 6:36-40).

I had everything to lose: friends, family, school, comfort, security. I had nothing to gain…so I thought.

We sold our home in record time, received above the asking price, we sold every bit of furniture and really just anything and everything that belonged to us. We DROVE from San Bernardino, California to Keller, Texas with our Honda Accord and the clothes on our backs.

At some point we entered Texas and stopped at a gas station to stretch our legs and get some snacks. As we were about to walk in, an older man with a cowboy hat was exiting and stopped…..to hold the door open for me and mom. We both kind of paused and looked strangely at him like “Uhm, are we supposed to tip him? Are we about to be ‘Taken’?” He simply wanted to hold the door open for us, BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT THEY DO IN THE SOUTH. He was our great welcome into Texas.

November 4th, 2015 we arrived in Keller, stayed in an apartment until we moved into our dream house on December 19th, 2015. This is a home we could only have dreamed of having when we were in California. Our Cali home was infested with rats, old as dirt and the San Manuel Casino was our backyard. Our Texas home was brand spanking new, two story, high ceilings—no rats!

I made incredible friends in my new high school, I found out I had a knack for acting and got actively involved in theater. I went to an incredible Bible College in Dallas, through connections made at the Bible college I heard about Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma and made sure I got my degree from there. I met my husband in Texas! He’s never even been to California!!!

15 year old Keilah could not have known, dreamed or imagined the blessings that would’ve come with moving to Texas. I only saw what I would be losing. Turns out that what was waiting for me in Dallas/Fort Worth was WAY better than I could ever think up.

Now, you’re probably like “Okay, Keilah, Texas isn’t THAT great. Surely there are some things Cali is better at than Texas”. To that I would say, yes, you’re right. See the list below.

  1. Texas doesn’t have Mexican food. They have Tex-Mex which is garbage with a sombrero.
  2. Texas doesn’t have mountains. How will I know where North is?
  3. Texas doesn’t have beaches. Texas has Galveston and that is toilet water.

Three cons against a long list of pros? Not even a competition. Like the bumper sticker reads : I wasn’t born in Texas but I got here as fast as I could!

New Year, who dis?

I was talking to one of my best friends recently and shared that for the first time in a long time I am very hopeful, excited and expectant for this new year. I know what my resolutions will be and they’re not traditional by any means. But these are three things that I feel will be SO good for us.

  1. Leafy greens
  2. Sex
  3. #UnoDinner

These three ~resolutions~ will take care of me, take care of my relationship with my husband, and take care of my relationships with friends. Keep reading for an explanation on these weird resolutions.

The typical resolution is to work out more and lose weight. That’s fine and all but I’m tired of lying to myself. I want to give myself something realistic that I KNOW I can do. Just add more leafy greens to what I’m already eating. The hope is that eating more salad will make me a little more full before I can get to the normal food. I’ll be giving my body the things it needs.

A friend of mine shared with me something told to her before she got married: “before you’re married, the Devil will try to get you in the marriage bed. After you’re married, he’ll try to keep you out of it.” Now, that’s probably not theologically sound, but I believe it! Schedules get busy, late nights of work, too many commitments, too heavy of a dinner (I.E. bloating), and flat out laziness. I’m sorry if this is TMI. I bet my mom is cringing right now reading this (sorry, Ma). But I want to be honest about this. It’s a real problem that a lot of married couples face and no one ever talks about it. You go into marriage with your “sexpectations” being one thing and a year later it looks nothing like what you expected. There’s no shame in that, sisters. But we (I) can’t let being lazy be a habit. My hubby deserves some lovin every day for the rest of his life and homeboy would take it for sure. But like, let’s also be realistic, ladies. I’ve seen what not having consistent sex with Jon has done to our marriage. I’ve also seen what it does when we have been consistent. I’m not saying I’m going to do it every day, because that is not realistic for ME. But as Jon and I enter this season of trying to start a family, it works in our favor to be having some marital fun pretty often 😉 Plus, apparently it’s harder to make time for sex after a baby comes into the picture. I have no excuse right now pre-baby.

I noticed this year that I isolated myself a lot. I went through some stormy seasons in 2017. I fought some battles that I’d never fought before and I didn’t feel equipped for those battles. When I lost, I isolated myself. Avoided friends, turned down game nights, movie nights and such. It felt better to be alone, but as I sat alone–it SUCKED and I felt worse. Humans were not created to do life alone. Community is so important. In October, I shared with Jon my idea of #UnoDinner. Every month we will have a friend(s) over for dinner at our place. (This gets me in the kitchen practicing cooking and cleaning lulz). We’ll spend that time getting to know them, hosting them, being in community, growing our relationships and learning to be good friends. Then before the night is over, we have to play at least one round of Uno Attack. Yes, Uno. It’s my favorite game, it’s the easiest game, and also you really learn a lot about a person when you play games with them.

(If you’d like to be in our cup of names that we will draw from every month, comment below!)

I probably gave y’all a lot of information about my life that you did not ask for, but you DID sign up for it by subscribing 😉

Are you making any resolutions for 2018? Are you dreading this new year? Feeling hopeful for something? If so, what are you hopeful for? And how can I be praying for you in this coming year?

Happy New Year,

Keilah

 

 

30 Random Facts About Me

In no particular order, I might add.

  1. I liked the movie Left Behind (Kirk Cameron version)
  2. As a teen, I’d practice kissing my shower wall…You’re welcome, Jon.
  3. I won’t ever sing to my fullest potential around anyone other than my dog.
  4. Out of the three movies, High School Musical 2 is my favorite.
  5. I’ve never read/seen Harry Potter…because witchcraft.
  6. I once accidentally called my 4th grade teacher ‘dad’…and I still have not recovered from that humiliation.
  7. I sometimes wish I still lived in a dorm with all my closest friends.
  8. I tried to teach my mom how to give birth when I was 5. Caleb was born, so obviously she didn’t do it right.
  9. In elementary, I never knew how to keep and stay friends with someone, so every school year I’d drop the previous year’s friend and find a new one.
  10. My mother shopped for me well into my college years.
  11. I always wanted a sister but I think God knew I’d hate her and bully her.
  12. the #3 is my favorite number.
  13. My dream job: to be an actress on a very successful comedy show…or to be a MUA.
  14. I am not a people pleaser and controlling people don’t like that about me. (See #25)
  15. I have a strong need to control situations but not people.
  16. As a kid, I didn’t understand that dating was a thing. I assumed you got married first and then had a boyfriend. In my child mind, of course you marry the first boy you like.
  17. I can count on one hand how many times I cooked pre-marriage—also while married. All on the same hand.
  18. I really loved high school. Every part of it.
  19. My dad wanted me to be a singer and I told him that was his dream, not mine.
  20. I chose Bible College over Debby Ryan’s agent.
  21. I’ve had my future children’s names picked out for years. Now Jon thinks he can come in here and make changes.
  22. I have a 6th sense when it comes to identifying fake-ness in people.
  23. I’m funnier over social media than in person.
  24. My mom taught me to choose my friends wisely, they don’t choose me.
  25. When I started public school at 2nd grade, she taught me that not everyone is going to like me. That freed me from potentially becoming a people pleaser.
  26. I’m a harsh judge when someone hasn’t learned a lesson I’ve already learned.
  27. I graduated from bible college and a private university all so I can be a stay at home mom someday and I don’t feel any less for that. A relative once tried to shame me for that telling me we needed to be more than our moms. If I could be even just a fraction of the mother my mom is, that’s worth more than my two degrees and all that relative’s schooling.
  28. In elementary, I told my principal about my PE coach making inappropriate comments to me. I never saw that coach again.
  29. I’ve always been in some sort of leadership position, and if I’m honest, I find my identity in being able to lead. For the first time in years, I’ve not been in a leadership role. It’s uncomfortable, humbling, hard. But also refreshing in a weird way.
  30. I experienced anxiety and symptoms of depression for the first time in my life when I felt stuck in my customer service job. It got so bad to the point of calling in sick when I had already parked in the work parking garage because I could not bring myself to get out of my car and face the day.

 

If you read all this, thanks for sticking it out haha! I tried to choose interesting, random and vulnerable facts about myself. I also found it a bit hard to come up with these. Comment below with an odd fact about yourself! I’d love to know I’m not the only random weirdo on the internet!