Candid Karina


As I mentioned last week in this post, I was given a pair of tickets to attend the Women of Faith Conference in Hartford, CT this past weekend.

What I couldn’t remember last week was exactly “where” I’d scored the tickets.  Don’t judge me, I do A LOT of stuff online and sometimes, I forget where I did what. (insert winky face).  But I need to take this opportunity to thank Booksneeze for the tickets, because I now REMEMBER they were the ones to provide me with the tickets, and I can’t even begin to express my gratitude.  Truly, and honestly.  WOW.  I’ll be forever grateful.

With that being said, where do I begin to tell you about my experience this past weekend?  How do I take such a life changing experience and put it into words?  And how I can I possibly take two full days worth of life lessons and inspiration and cram it all into one blog post?

The answer is simple.  I can’t.  So I’m not even going to try.

No, I don’t mean I’m not going to write about the experience.  OF COURSE I AM.  What I mean is…it’s going to take more than one post.  I need to give each item the attention it deserves.  So, please do come back in the next week or two, because I have SO MUCH to share with you!

For today, I’ll give you the basics.


Me and Sue

I invited my friend Sue to come down with me and on the two hour drive down we had a great heart to heart about where we both are in our lives, and the things we are both searching for individually.  Our aches and pains, and our thrills and joys.  Sue is just recently on her path back to God, so I was incredibly excited to share this experience with her.

We checked into our hotel Thursday night, and after a late dinner, settled in to rest up for the following day.

Friday morning we were up bright and early and headed over to the convention center.  After a short wait for the doors to open, we were let into the arena, and found seats close to the stage for the first session of the conference (which was general admission seating).

We spent Friday listening to the Women of Faith Worship Team sing songs of praise (and boy can they SING), and Sheila Walsh and Dr. Henry Cloud share their knowledge, wisdom, humor and life experience.  I’ll get into more detail in future posts about what each of these speakers had to say and how deeply each of them affected me, but for now let’s just say that just the Friday morning/afternoon session alone would have been a sufficiently life changing experience for me.

Both Sue and I got SO MUCH from these two speakers that we walked away at the close of the morning session knowing exactly why God had brought us there, and excited for the rest of the weekend.

After a dinner break, during which we dined at a great little spot in downtown Hartford called “Zula”, we headed back to the convention center for the evening’s program.

"The Porch"

This was actually the “official” start of the Conference, and we were introduced to all the women who would be speaking the next day.  They were: Sheila Walsh, Lisa Harper, Nicole Johnson, Luci Swindoll and Angie Smith.  That night we were treated to a “drama” performance by Nicole Johnson (which was really more of a poignant comedy) and a comedy routine by Ken Davis (who is ABSOLUTELY hilarious).  And finally, Natalie Grant took the stage to sing.  I love Natalie Grant and we did enjoy a few of her songs, but I have to admit, we were EXHAUSTED by the end of the evening, so we did sneak out a little bit early, to beat the traffic out of Hartford (and the parking garage) and head back to our hotel.

I hear we missed some serious planking action though, and for that, I am sorry. 😦 I mean, seriously..these ladies can party! 😉

Saturday morning we were right back to the convention center bright and early.  We had heard that Sheila Walsh (and the rest of the ladies) would be doing book signings that morning, and we were determined to meet Sheila.  So, with our books in hand, we made it in time to get in line for Sheila. It was an absolute pleasure to meet and chat with her, she is seriously an inspiration and an amazing lady.  My friend Sue shared with Sheila that she has never had a role model before, but Sheila had just become her first…there might have been tears.

Chatting With Sheila



We spent the rest of the day listening to all of the ladies above sharing their stories.  There were DEFINITELY tears.  And laughter.

I also signed up to sponsor a little girl from the Philipines named Grace, through the World of Vision program.

And then there was Mary Mary.  I’ve known their music for a long time, and I’ve always been sort of a casual fan.  But when they took that stage, they made me an INSTANT fan.   A lifetime fan.  Not only are they incredibly talented, but they also shared quite a bit of their faith, their story, their hearts.  It was one of my favorite parts of the conference.









By the time we left on Saturday afternoon for the 2 hour drive home, we were absolutely filled with the spirit, with inspiration, with hope and with love.

The entire conference was amazing, the women were incredible inspirations, the atmosphere was one of love and acceptance and joy.  In a room filled with ten thousand women and the only “catty” behavior I witnessed was from the security lady who bit my friend’s head off when she saw a bottle of water in her bag (which was innocently left in there). 😉

I have decided that not only am I attending again next year, but I am determined to bring a WHOLE GROUP of ladies with me.  This must be shared with everyone I know and love.

There is SO MUCH MORE to tell.

Like I said, this post is just the basics.  Just a taste of what’s to come.  I’m still processing, still trying to get all my thoughts together.  But come on back…my next post will dig deeper into the speakers and how they moved me.  And there will be more pictures! 🙂

Thank you again to Booksneeze.  Truly, there are no words for how grateful I am.

{November 10, 2011}   To New Adventures

I have a vague recollection of showing interest via a survey, poll, or email a few months ago in attending the Women of Faith Conference in Hartford, CT.


I couldn’t begin to tell you exactly how it was that I came across this opportunity…but I was asked if I’d be interested in attending, and if so, which location I preferred.  I picked Hartford, as it was the closest to me geographically.  Then I promptly forgot all about it, and moved on with my daily life.


Then, about a month ago, I received my registration and free tickets in the mail.  It took me but a few minutes to remember that I had, indeed, shown interest in this conference.  It took me even less time to get excited about the prospect of attending.


I immediately called a friend who I know would love the opportunity to attend with me.  Sadly, she couldn’t make it.  So, I moved onto the next friend who I KNEW would absolutely be down for going.  She, too, could not make it.  So, I had now reached out to the two most spiritual and religious “Women of Faith” that I know, who I knew I’d enjoy spending a weekend with, learning, growing, sharing.  I knew I had others I could reach out to, but I simply wasn’t sure where to go next on my list.


I know many Women of Faith, and many who I knew I could and would enjoy a weekend such as this one with.  But which one?  Where to turn?  So, I turned to God.  I said “God, I know you want me to go to this conference, so, alone or with a friend, rest assured, I am going…but who should I ask?”


God led me to my 3rd friend.  A new friend.  My running buddy, my gym partner.  I have known her less than a year, yet in this short time, we have become sisters.  We run together, we work out together, we share meals, and we share our doubts, our struggles and our joys.  The day I met her (introduced by friend #2 above, while the 3 of us went for a run), I knew instantly we’d be friends.  The next time we got together, it was just the two of us going for a run.  I happened to be frustrated about something personal, and vented during the run.  And she listened, counseled, and reacted as if we’d been friends a lifetime.  It was fate.  Our friendship I mean.  It is one of those I like to call God Friendships.  Because only through God can a friendship like this exist.  So effortless, so immediate, so real.


My friend believes in God.  But she has been distant for a while.  Recently, within the last year, she has been searching.  We’ve attended church together, we’ve discussed faith.  She is at the beginning of her journey back to God.


And it is she, that somehow, (and we all know how), ended up being my companion for this upcoming conference.


I am excited to go.  Excited to see, learn, experience, feel, pray, listen, share.  I have attended many conferences in the past, for work, for other “non-faith related” reasons.  I have attended many “faith retreats” in the past.  But I have never done something such as this.  A conference of this magnitude, for women only, to share in our faith.  I cannot wait to see what unfolds. I believe the timing for me personally couldn’t be more perfect.  I have been growing in my faith in the last few years, and this is just another stepping stone on my journey.


But more than my excitement, is hers.  She is as excited for this as any other person would be for a weekend getaway of sightseeing in Savannah.  This is retreat and a treat for her.  She is giddy.  And her excitement is such a blessing to see.  I am so grateful that I get to share this experience with her.


We leave tonight…I’ll give a full report next week.

One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are

My dear Twitter/Bloggie/hopefully one day real life friend Michelle Pendergrass recommended this read for me.

One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are – Ann Voskamp

What I read was the egalley/pre-published version of the book.

What follows is not so much a book review as it is my reaction to the words themselves.

From the very first words of the book I was drawn in. The beginning paragraph was captivating, engrossing, and so very poetic, I knew I wanted to read more.

By the end of the 1st chapter, I’m already in tears. But fully, completely involved in the story, in the pain, and in the questions…I want to read more.

By page 40 I can’t seem to stop reading, I lose sense of all around me and am completely immersed in her words, her beautiful, mesmerizing prose.

By page 122, I’m feeling filled up, inspired, excited to participate in my own life with the vigor the author is expressing in hers. I have all the same questions, all the same doubts, all the same struggles. I have all the same hopes, all the same desires, all the same grains of faith.

By page 141, I’m making a list. No, not a list of graces, though that will surely come soon enough, but a list of names. Names of people I will be gifting this book when it is released next year.

By page 167, I am craving that childlike wonder, and professing to live like a child. Every day. To see the world through the innocent and joyous eyes of a child.

By page 188, I’m in tears once again, and wanting to thank God for my friend, the one I call The Disciple, because she won’t hesitate to stop and hug a homeless person on the street.

By page 201 I realize I’m nearing the end, and I don’t want it to end…so I stop for the day, save the last 40 pages for another day’s grace…

By the last page, the acknowledgements, the Thank You’s…I am again in tears. Feeling blessed for having shared in these intimate moments with the author. And I am ready to begin my own list of One Thousand Gifts…and beyond.

This book is beautiful, full, enriching.

EVERYONE should read this book. Everyone.

{November 29, 2010}   Popinjay – Fake

I spent this weekend working a Catholic youth retreat. I have been involved with these retreats since I went on one myself 19 years ago…NINETEEN YEARS. Wow…

Preparations for this retreat began months ago. It involves a lot of time, sacrifice and hard work. It involves a lot of prayer. It involves a lot of love.

Every year, as the preparations are happening, there is a mixture of anticipation and “why do I always do this to myself?” 😉 But I know why, I always know why.

I spent the weekend with my closest friends, my faith family, and with an amazing group of young kids. I’ll tell you right now that whatever society wants us to believe about teenagers today, they haven’t looked hard enough at these kids. They haven’t given them a chance. I work with youth a lot and again and again I’m reminded that “kids today” are amazing. They are intelligent, and caring and loving, and amazing.

I spent the weekend with God.

I came home recharged, filled with love and awe, and hope.

There was nothing Fake about this weekend…

Except for the tattoos…

Those were fake. 😉

Pop on over to Michelle’s to see what kind of fake things others are picturing this week…

{November 10, 2010}   Raw

I’ve been doing a whole lot of inner soul searching lately.

I’m going through something of a transformation if you will. Digging deep, opening up doors that have been locked for many many years. Stripping off the layers of self-preservation, removing the masks, stepping out from behind the walls I’ve built up.

Like a snake shedding its skin, this is a necessary step for growth. But in the meantime, I’m left raw, naked, vulnerable, and hurting.

There are emotions I haven’t allowed myself to feel for a very long time. Some, perhaps, never at all.

I catch myself having moments of despair. Panic attacks. I am alone, I am scared, I am unsure and lost.

And then it passes, and I see the beauty of the situation. In allowing myself to open up, I begin to see all the promise of tomorrow. God has a plan for me, and for so very long I’ve fought him on it, keeping myself closed off and refusing to participate in this life he’s given me.

But now, in the midst of the pain, the struggle, the heartache, I see possibility, renewal, life.

I’m quite certain the tears are not done being shed, my heart will ache still, and I will have days when crawling back into the cocoon will feel like such a better alternative.

But I want to be a butterfly…I’ve got to bravely face the world, vulnerability and all…it’s the only way to fly.

{February 18, 2010}   On Lent

If you’ve read my blog for a while, then you know that I’ve been exploring my faith for the last few years.

I am a Christian (Catholic), and until recently, I wasn’t really sure what that meant. So, in the last year or two, I’ve been exploring, learning, taking the time to reflect, educate, and really understand what any of this means to me.

I’ve come a long way, and I have miles and miles to go…

So, at a time such as this, at Lent, I find myself wanting to explore further.

I’ve never been a fan of the whole “I’m giving up chocolate, soda, coffee, gum for lent” thing. I’ve never understood how “giving up” something like that meant anything. And then, constantly talking about how you “can’t have” this thing, throughout the 40 days, OH THIS HUGE SACRIFICE I make…it sort of misses the point, doesn’t it?

So, a few years ago, I began “giving” instead of “giving up”. I began making an effort to go above and beyond, do good deeds, give of myself, focus on others more during this time.

I always try to live my life this way anyway, but during the time of Lent, I make it a conscious effort, I pay closer attention.

I will be doing that again this year. Quietly. After this post, I will not be commenting on my efforts any further, I will keep this one between me and “my God”.

This year, I’m adding another thing I’ll be doing for Lent as well. This one under the “sacrificing” something to take time to reflect some more.

I spend A LOT of time online, and in front of the television in the evenings during the week. And due to that, I go to bed later and later each night.

And I find myself not dedicating the time I need to sleep, and to prayer.

I’m looking forward to seeing what comes of it.

So, for Lent, I’m packing it in earlier. I’m shutting all electronics off at 10:30PM (trust me, that’s early for me), and taking that extra time to pray, and to sleep.

I’m hoping to even dial it back to 10PM as the month moves on.

Who knows, maybe I can even create a bedtime habit that I can keep up for the long term.

{July 21, 2009}   Thank You

Picture This

The scene opens on a woman, early 30’s, fit, dressed comfortably, but fashionably in a long t-shirt, hoodie and tights. Hair in a careful constructed, yet messy bun, and comfortable ballet flats on her feet.

She takes one last look around her condo. Not a flashy apartment, but a stylish yet homey place. She smiles to herself as she turns off the last light and grabs her suitcase, purse, and sunglasses.

She is off once again on an adventure, headed to the airport, for her third vacation in less than 7 months.

To herself she is thinking “Damn, I am blessed, I lead a charmed life…please God, don’t ever let me take any of this for granted”.

In that moment, she quickly assesses her life. She is single, but extremely comfortable, and at peace with that fact. She has the greatest family, and without questions some of the best friends anyone could ever ask for. A good job, her own home, a new car, and other less necessary, but still highly enjoyable material possessions. She travels frequently, enjoys an active social life, and also has the opportunity to spend quality time with herself, all alone, on her comfy couch in front of the television. She has grown in her relationship with God by leaps and bounds recently, and is also a leader with the youth of her parish, a position that gives her much joy and pride.

Blessed does not even begin to cover it. Charmed seems too…superficial to truly explain it.
But life is good, no doubt, and as she sets off on this next trip, she can’t help thanking God once again for her many blessings, and praying that she always notices each and every one of them.

Life isn’t always sunny, and there are internal struggles, and stresses, and off days. She has moments of great despair, fear, and even confusion. At times, there is even great loneliness that overtakes and envelops her.

The future is uncertain for everyone, and even she, with all her blessings, wonders what lies in store. Will she fall in love ever again? Will she ever have a family like the one she is heading out to visit with? Will she grow old without a partner by her side? Will she grow old? Will some great tragedy strike and knock her on her knees? Can life possibly be this wondrous, this amazing and sustain itself?

Often times those thoughts can knock her breathless. Take away all strength and reason.

She pauses for a moment as all of this washes through her. The good and the bad. This eternal, internal battle we each face daily. To appreciate the blessings and fear the unknown. To embrace life, and yet, be prepared for it’s curveballs.

She adjusts her purse on her shoulder and smiles once again. THIS MOMENT…the only one she can, should and will concern herself with, is beautiful. The unknown will just have to wait it’s turn.

For now, life is beautiful, it’s a blessing, and she…she is grateful.

She? She is me. Thank you God.

I am 34 years old today. Hold on, let me let that one sink in for a moment…

wait for it…

wait for it…


Well then.

And you know what? I’m good. I’m perfectly fine with turning 34. In fact, I’m feeling pretty damn good about 34 right now.

Truth be told, I don’t feel a day over 24. Okay, fine, maybe 25. But to be honest, I feel and look better right now then I have in at least 6 years, so why should I be bummed about 34? I’m having the time of my life.

At 34 I sit before you a single, professional, intelligent, and sexy woman. I have my own home, a great job, the most amazing friends, and an incredible family. I’m in the best shape of my life, and spiritually, in a better place than I have ever been. And I might even have a new love interest (oh, more on that tomorrow).

How could I not, therefore, be thrilled about starting my 34th year on this planet? Of course I am, life is good and full of blessings.

It is those blessings I want to address in this post, because there are many, and I feel there is no better time than my birthday to acknowledge them.

So, consider this my formal thank you letter to the universe for the first 34 years of my life, as I prepare to take on the next 34 and more.

Not to sound like a rap artist at an awards ceremony, but first, to God. For all he has given me, and for the gifts, the simple pleasures, the people, the places, the moments. As I have grown in my faith this past year, my life has transformed in ways that I don’t have words to express, and for that, I am grateful beyond words.

To my family. My mother, who is and has always been, my best friend. I feel like I’m repeating myself, but there are no words to express how much I love you and appreciate you. My dad, the hardest working man I know, the sweetest, kindest man I know. We went through a lot in my adolescence, but now, as an adult, I have only admiration, respect and love for you. I’m the luckiest girl in the world to have you as my daddy. Lil’ Bro, you were my favorite “toy” growing up. I loved to carry you around, and when you were older, take you places with me and show you off to my friends. In all your years on this planet, I can’t remember one single fight we ever had. We don’t always agree on everything, but we’ve always respected one another, and had this unbreakable bond. Now you are a man, and I’m proud to call you my brother.

My grandfather, who I love dearly and who has always been one of my strongest supporters, always proud of whatever I decided to take on in life, and always ALWAYS there when I really needed him.

My uncle, the Warrior, who took his time with me, but knew just when to bring me back to my faith. I’ll be eternally grateful to you for this.

My cousin M&M, girl, I love you and admire you, and appreciate you and am so glad that as adults we’ve become the best of friends, you are my rock at times, and I’m blessed to know you.

My cousin PM, not even distance could dull our friendship. We have the history, the fun times and the tough times and I love you and the rest of your crazy clan out there in Cali.

The rest of my family should not feel neglected if I didn’t mention them by name, I love them all CRAZILY.

My friends, my other family. As a single girl, with no husband, no kids, it is in my friends that I have found my family. There are so many of you I’d be here all day if I named you all individually, so I’m not going to. But I will say that collectively, and individually, you all make my life worth living. Each and every one of you (and you all know exactly who you are), bring elements to my life which help to make me a whole person. I’d be incomplete if I didn’t know you.

Which brings me to my on-line friends. Those I’ve met in person, those I have not, those I speak to daily, those I only speak to once or twice a month. The bloggers, the Twitterers, the ones on Facebook and Yahoo and who knows where else on the interwebs…I learn from you, I laugh with you, I pray with you, and sometimes I even cry with you. I carry you in my pocket (literally, in my handy dandy blackberry) each and every day, and I genuinely care about your lives, and know you care about mine. I’m glad I “know” you.

Those are the people. There are so many other blessings I am truly grateful for, but as I turn another year older, I am learning that it is definitely, without a doubt, about the people you surround yourself with. And I? I have the best in my corner.

So, this is for you, on my birthday, I want to thank you.

Happy Birthday to me…because of you.

I wanted to write a deep, meaningful post today about the new president, about this wonderful feeling of hope in the nation and about how I’m looking forward to a fresh start.

I wanted to, but every time I started writing something I’d get halfway through it and realize that it just didn’t feel right.

Not because I wasn’t feeling what I was writing, but because I can’t really seem to find the words to express exactly what it is that I am feeling.

I suppose I’m suffering a bit of writer’s block on this particular subject. I suppose part of it is also the fact that this is not a political blog, and I tend to stay away from writing down my political thoughts here.

But then I realized that my feelings have nothing to do with politics and everything to do with faith.

And that I can write about.

Because it’s not about our outgoing president and how I feel about him and his outgoing administration. And it’s not about our new president, and what I think of his policies and goals for our nation. It’s not even about the fact that yes, I do enjoy the way the words “Our New President” sort of just roll off the tongue.

Politics aside, it’s about the emotions.

Let’s face it folks, regardless of what side of the fence you are standing on, our nation has taken a beating. Finger pointing aside, we’re a mess. Financially, we are a mess. Reputation wise, we are a disaster. And in terms of morale? Hopeless is fitting in more ways than one.

For a while now we (as a nation) have been dragging ourselves out of bed in the morning and going through the motions, but not really putting any of the effort and energy into changing our situations. We’re sort of like the disgruntled employee who bitches about how much he hates his job, but keeps showing up every day, never making a change. Or the abused wife who knows she needs to get out of this marriage, but just doesn’t have the courage to do it. We’re the alcoholic who knows he should probably stop drinking, but refuses to own up to that fact, or the debtor who knows she needs to stop shopping, but can’t put that pair of shoes back on the shelf.

So we keep going…miserable, unhappy, just making things worse for ourselves, and for all of those around us.

And then one day something happens, we hit rock bottom, or we meet someone who sparks something in us, or we have a sudden realization all on our own. But it happens, and we realize that it’s time. It is time to get off our butts and change our circumstances. We’re not sure how we’re going to do it, and we know it isn’t going to happen overnight. We know it’ll be a long hard road, and we’ll probably hit quite a few speed bumps along the way. We’ll probably have setbacks, and even fail here and there. It won’t be an overnight miracle. But we see it now, we see what we can be when we reach the other side, and we’re determined, we’ve got hope, we’ve got faith.

So we take that first step. Little as it may seem, and maybe not the same step everyone else would have taken, but it’s our step to take. So we do.

We put the wheels in motion for change. And that’s where it all begins, isn’t it?

That’s how I feel about this great nation today. It’s not about President Barack Obama (although, I do so enjoy being able to say those words this morning). It’s not about former President George W. Bush (I may enjoy saying those just a little bit more, quite possibly). It’s not about what one has or has not done or what the other one can or can’t do.

It’s about US, the citizens of the United States of America, and about the feeling of hope, newness, and fresh starts that are being awakened in many of us.

Politics will always be politics, politicians will always be politicians, and bureaucracy will always be “the machine”. But WE THE PEOPLE needed something to wake us out of our complacency and take responsibility for our own actions, for our country.

I have high hopes for the future of this nation, and it’s not because we have a new president, it’s because maybe now we can stop focusing on all the hatred and disgust we’ve been so quick to throw at the administration, and start taking some of the blame ourselves.

Put the responsibility on some of our own choices. We can’t change everything, but we can make a difference. YOU, individually, can change the world. Trust me, I see it happen every day, one single person can kick off a chain reaction of change that will change EVERYTHING.

That’s what President Obama represents to me this morning. Not about what he will do, but about what he has already done. Awakened millions to their individual potential.

Yes, we can.

{December 11, 2008}   And Also – Additional Thoughts

Pretty much immediately after hitting “publish” on this post yesterday, I had a number of additional thoughts.

Then I read some of my comments, and those sparked some more thoughts.

So, I figured, what the heck, I’ll keep the conversation (monologue?) going.

First off, I have made the conscious decision to stop censoring myself here at Candid Karina…hello, the name of my blog is CANDID Karina. So, no more holding back, no more censoring, if I’m thinking it, and I want to write it…it’s going up on the page.

So, if that means one day I talk God, and the next I talk shoes, and the very next I talk nonsense, well…that’s just me being Candid.

Also, I should clarify something, not that I feel I need to explain myself, but you know, for clarity’s sake. I am perfectly at peace with the person I am today. In fact, I like being a misfit. I get real pleasure out of the fact that I, along with my unique and varied group of friends, totally don’t fit the “mold” of whatever it is society has deemed a “Christian” is supposed to look like. Not that there’s anything wrong with fitting that mold (whatever that mold is), but I’ve always sort of prided myself on my differences, and that hasn’t changed.

To be truthful, I really think that it is in embracing our uniqueness that we also embrace the true spirit of what it means to be a follower of Christ. I think Jesus would have enjoyed our company and felt right at home among us.

We are welcoming, and open, and able to see past those “labels”. I think those are good things, all of them.

That being said, my buddy Frigga made a good point that it is the media who puts these labels out there, and perhaps I’m buying a bit too much into those labels (she didn’t say that part, I did). Maybe I’m worrying too much about what I’m “supposed” to be, and also about what I have let others tell me “Christians” are supposed to be, so I myself am guilty of putting those expectations on others. So, in a sense, I’m doing exactly what I don’t want done to me. It’s time I let go of all of that, and just let it be. You know?

Also, about my comment on being politically liberal and a Christian all at once, Beckie said: “Why is politically liberal and praising God all in the same breath bad? That’s one I have never understood”. Exactly! I completely agree, and I’ve never quite understood that either, and that’s, I think, where a lot of my hang-ups with religion have been in the past.

I battled organized religion for years, although I had a strong spiritual core, because I couldn’t reconcile my political beliefs with those I was being told I was supposed to have by the church. But again, is it not the media playing exactly off those thoughts that creates the dissent between those two sides? So, in essence, wasn’t I, again, letting the media control my behavior? I’m smarter than to let that happen.

I’m pretty sure I won’t find a solution to all my questions any time soon. I’ve no doubt that I’ll continue to disagree with somethings, while still believing wholeheartedly in others. And I’m confident that I’ve finally found a balance for myself in this.

I am, indeed, a misfit. But that doesn’t change the strength with which I am experiencing my faith.

And, I may have my moments of insecurity, or doubt, or self-consciousness about what others think of me. But don’t let that fool you into thinking I can be swayed from what I think of God. And don’t think for one moment that having others disagree with how I practice my faith can make me step back from continuing to do it anyway.

Because take the human element out of the equation, and I’m left with one simple truth…I believe.

The End.

et cetera