This time last year, I wasn’t looking forward to my birthday. The “birthday blues” were at an all-time high and I wanted the day to be over as fast as the day come.

This year, I spent half my birthday locked up in my apartment; I almost went to work, but the thought of interacting with 95-plus hyperactive 9th graders wasn’t appealing (and Mondays are professional development which extends the day to an excruciating hour and a half).

32 came like a blur. I was in the middle of an intense spiritual battle, desperately trying to hear God’s voice to my numerous questions: Which church congregation should I move on to? Should I resign from my job? Did I make a mistake in leaving my current church? Should I go back? Should I stay? God, what do I do?

Turns out 33 yields similar questions. I am grateful that God has gently persuaded me to “be still and know that I am God” as far as the church situation goes. Too often I let my own insecurities and doubts creep into my relationship with God instead of trusting His process and plan. Right now He’s refining me in ways that I never fathomed.

32 was the year I lost my grandmother. At 93, she saw 5 generations and was ready to transition. I foolishly thought she’d live forever; when someone is a part of your life for so long, their inevitable passing is jarring in surreal. There are moments I still expect to see her number pop up on my phone; when the family traveled to Florida after she passed, I still expected her to be fluttering around in the kitchen or sitting on her bed while the news blared in the background. I miss her.

32 was the year I went to 3 different countries. Grenada, Canada, and France. I learned that travel can be both invigorating and frustrating, magical and disappointing. There was a zest I experienced scurrying around my apartment looking for travel-sized toiletries, checking my phone for flight updates, and zipping/unzipping my backpack a dozen times to make sure I had my passport.

32 was the year I inched closer to the realization that I desire to be a storyteller. That God gifted me with a fire to share words of encouragement and wonder. Unfortunately, the aforementioned doubt is a present enemy, ready to snuff out the flame of creativity and faith that God writes through me.

32 was the year that my resilience and faith were tested. In these last few weeks, I’m facing seemingly insurmountable decisions. Decisions that I have to count the cost of the choices being made. Yet I know that my current position is triggering unprecedented anxiety and weariness. I spend most of my days dreading the next; waiting with restrained tension for the day to be over and I can breathe easy.

33 is the year I need to let go. Let go of the hesitation when sharing about the Lord. Letting go of a career that sparks adulations from family and strangers, but drains all facets of my being. Letting go of the stories, both fictional and factual, that I bound because I didn’t think I had anything of value to say. Letting go of the fear of starting over and taking unseen steps toward a future where I wake each day eager to see what God has in store.

33 is the year I embrace the words said in Luke 1:37 “With God nothing is Impossible”.

33. The year of Impossible.

I think I like the sound of that.

God is able to do far more than we could ever ask for or imagine. He does everything by his power that is working in us. Ephesians 3:20-21.

Hello, my name is Leah and I Make Mistakes

I thought this goofy picture of me on my 30th Birthday was fitting!

July 10th, 2022

How could I be so stupid?

I stared, dumbfounded, at my phone. A hacker locked me out of my Instagram account and was currently spamming my friend’s inbox messages. With my password changed, I lost access to my Instagram account.

All because I fell for a silly scam.

I’ve been doing a lot of silly things lately.

Initially, I thought I was talking to a relative about a Bitcoin investment they were supposedly involved with (turns out their Instagram account was hacked as well). They asked me to make a video to support their business and I was happy to help. The part where I messed up is where I allowed them access to my Instagram account. Suddenly I was receiving a flurry of phone calls, Facebook messages, and texts from friends telling me I had been hacked. Turns out the hacker used my video that was supposed to support my cousin to trick friends into investing in Bitcoin.

Praise God I was at least wise enough to give out any debit card or banking information. After imploring my friends to report, unfollow and block my account, I kept thinking “How could I be so stupid? So gullible? Why didn’t I question if this was really my relative? What happened to being wise and discerning? How could I have fallen for this?

Embarrassed, I spent this weekend mulling over my lost Instagram account. An account which was gaining traction and being used to encourage followers with the Word of God.

Turns out a pesky little devil wanted to stop that traction and derail the goal of my Instagram page. Further, I was so discouraged by what happened and the large part I played in this situation, I didn’t complete my writing goal for this weekend. The desire, thrill, and invigoration for my writing projects dissipated in a cloud of condemnation. Praise God that He pulled me to write this blog post!

When we make a mistake or fall into a scam, it’s easy to fall into self-pity and shame. Our enemy does whatever he can to put the brakes on our goals, especially when we are trying to spread the Gospel of Jesus. Around every corner, he lurks, with his foot stuck out to trip us and guffaws as we face plant on the concrete of life’s challenges, setbacks, and humiliating moments.

And if we stay face planted in our shame, we can never rise up, dust off our pants, and let God tend to our wounds.

The Bible always is the antidote to shame. Scriptures I’m going to hold on to for this week are Proverbs 24:16, “The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again. But one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked” . Another is Romans 8:1, “So there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”.

The Instagram Incident reminds me of a time I made another mistake, this one back in March. A friend and their daughter were staying with me due to a sensitive situation. I happily jumped at the opportunity to serve a friend in need. I enjoyed their company and saw this as a chance to bond with someone from the church. Things were going well for three weeks. Then, on a particularly stressful day at work, I came home exhausted and emotionally spent. Fresh off the grief of losing my grandmother, student needs at an all-time high, and general insomnia, I plopped down on my bed and closed my eyes for what I thought was for fifteen minutes.  

When I woke up, groggy and bleary-eyed, I saw a bunch  (15 if I remember correctly) of missed calls and a text that read I’m really worried, I am calling the police. I shot up out of the sleepy stupor. Police?? Was someone trying to break into the apartment?? After scrolling through the text, I realized that it was close to 10: 30 PM. Turns out I accidentally locked my friend and their daughter out of the house and they tried to get in contact with me. I immediately called them back only for another woman from the church to answer. She explained that my friend and her daughter were now at her place. She asked me how did this happen, had I been on medication?

I felt the condemnation creep up. The following day, when I was about to text my friend to apologize profusely for what happened, they read my mind. They ended up leaving that morning, saying that the incident from the previous night was the reason they couldn’t stay with me anymore.

Those memories flashbacked this weekend. How similar thoughts of “How could I be so careless? Why didn’t I set the alarm?? What would the other members think if my friend told them about the incident?

We each have our weaknesses; shame is a huge one for me. And that’s where the devil strikes.

I have to remember I am human. I make mistakes. Some small. Some large. What I do after is what matters. Paul in Philippians 3:13 to forget what’s in the past and try to reach the goals in front of us . Similarly in Isaiah 43:18 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past”. That means “if I just” or “This wouldn’t ofs”.

Going forward, I now know to be more discerning when presented with an offer too good to be true. To ask questions. To investigate.

We learn when we make mistakes. We become smarter and wiser. We can help others avoid the same mistakes we made.

Speaking of helping others avoid being scammed.

1.       If ANYONE messages you with an offer for Bitcoin or other too good to be true opportunities. Ask a ton of questions. Hackers will start to become agitated and pressure you for an immediate answer to their “offer”. Reply “No thank you” and block on whichever social media site they messaged you through.

2.      If a relative or friend messages you, call them immediately to ask if they really sent the message. If not, their social media account has been compromised, and let them know right away.

3.      Common sites where hackers try their scams: Instagram, Facebook, and Whatsapp.

4.      Sometimes you’ll get a message on Whatsapp from someone claiming they meant to message someone else. They’ll try and sweet talk you into forming a relationship (this also happened to me. I tell ya, I’m going through some surreal situations). Do not respond and again, block that account.

God uses our experiences so that we can be a support to others.

Maybe Silly isn’t so bad after all. Lesson Learned.

With Love,


Helpful Youtube Video about Social Media Scams  

Scammers Impersonate Instagram Users in Crytpo Scheme 

Woman loses 390,000 of Inheritance in Crypto Romance Scheme

The Trouble With Love Part 1

“I hope I’m not becoming a misanthrope” I sighed to my friend, *Janice, on a Tuesday evening. We were relaxing in her cozy, 10th floor apartment after a dinner of hard shell tacos. I explained that people are irritating me to the extreme lately and I didn’t want to become closed off to others. 

Lately, I’ve grown to empathize with cranky and cantankerous characters like All in the Family Archie Bunker or The Grinch. Each time I venture out into the open world, I grow frustrated with abrasive New Yorkers shoving past me with so much as an “excuse me” to cram into an overcrowded city bus (I admit, I may have too high expectations of NYC dwellers in terms of courtesy and politeness). I clench my hands into fists while waiting in line at Mc’donalds while  an indecisive customer decides to play 50 questions with the cashier. I give my scariest evil eye to the lady at the restaurant who is playing an obnoxious video on her phone at maximum volume (This also happens on NYC buses ; newsflash there’s this nifty little invention called headphones) 

What’s bothering me is that my specific prayer, recently, is for God to cultivate a love like Jesus. A pure, sacrificial, no barriers and complete love.  

Instead the mere existence of the human species vexes me to the point I want to pull an Emily Dickinson; shut myself off from humanity and continually churn out novels from the refuge of my bedroom. 

Yet God gave this one commandment in Matthew 22:38 that admittedly causes me great angst ; Love your neighbor as yourself”.  

Lord why are 90% (a guestimate) my neighbors so darn unlovable. 

Of course I am not 100% lovable myself. Stated at the beginning of this piece, my misanthropic tendencies are growing faster than weeds in a field. I shy away from conversations, connections and can be downright standoffish to others. My therapist and I have talked through childhood learnings that contributed to my behaviors. However, as a child of God I am called to the highest standard (which I sometimes throw tantrums at). I often wonder why “God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten son” (John 3:16). Yes, the world. Not just Christians. Not just my parents. Not just my brother. Not just my aunts, uncles, cousins and my cozy network of close friends. God loves everyone. 

And as much as love is a struggle for me, I must love everyone too. 

This sunday at church, a young woman talked about how Jesus wept for humanity. She used a term that I mentally kicked myself for not coming up with on my own “We need to sow tears for humanity”. She discussed loving without barriers, limits and expectations. The sermon hit me with a proverbial arrow to the heart and I realized my heart needed God to perform major surgery. 

For this summer I’ve decided to give this “love without limits” thingy a try with the expectation that it becomes part of my DNA makeup. I want to bleed 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8. To live out 1 John 3:16 “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters” (New International Version). 

Most of all, I want to love like Jesus. Unconditional and without limits. A sacrificial love. 

With Love, 


All Aboard the Love Train: A Journey Towards Biblical Self Love

“You need to love how God made you. And Leah, one of your main problems is that you don’t love yourself” my therapist said to me one afternoon during our weekly session.

This is one of those difficult and brutal truths that need to be heard, but causes your ears to bleed and your heart to tumble down into your intestines.

“I know”. A lump formed in my throat but I slowly gulped down the guilt. “You know something *Lucy?” I said confidently; the most confident and sure words I’ve spoken in a long time. “I don’t think I’ve ever loved myself. I then let out a dry and humorless laugh. “Heck, I don’t even think I like myself”.

The words came tumbling out of my mouth as a jumble of shameful admissions. The moment, a breakthrough for sure, both stung and soothed my soul. I didn’t love myself.

I’m writing this blog post two days after Valentine’s Day. By now department stores such as Target and Walmart have since ushered the boxes of sugary chocolates, gigantic teddy bears, heart shaped lollipops and oversized Hershey kisses in to a clearance section. In moves the new neighbors, the marsh mellow peeps, chocolate Easter bunnies and Easter eggs. But I’ve still got love on the brain.

I used to think self love was selfish. The root “self”, to me, indicated a haughty and hazardous narcissism. As Christians, we’re supposed to love God above all. Love others before ourselves. Self love, in my narrow understanding, was unbiblical.

Well, that mindset is slowly being debunked through careful study of God’s word.

Of course, as disciples of Jesus Christ, we are called to “Love the Lord with all your heart and with your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind” (Luke 10:27, ESV version).

In that same verse, the Bible reads “and your neighbor as yourself”.

I did a double take (or double read in this case) of that line. A proverbial “aha” moment went off in my head like a 5 o’clock in the morning alarm that startles you with loud successions of beep beep beeps. Love your neighbor as yourself. The ending of the verse carousels around my brain and comes to a halt so I can begin to understand what God is saying to me. It’s ok to love yourself! David even proclaims that “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well”. (Psalm 139:14).

Love, I’m realizing, starts with loving God and his creation (that includes me!). If I can’t love myself, then I can’t love others. I’m starting to wonder if I can even love God, if I can’t love myself.

Such a sobering, yet enlightening thought.

My therapist often discusses retraining my thought patterns to challenge what she calls “limiting beliefs” (stay tuned for more on that topic). One of my main limiting beliefs is that I am wrong for loving myself; when, in reality, I have a sneaking suspicion that I use this mindset to cover up a truth I have long avoided.

My journey to self love is far from over. I still have a lot to learn about the topic from a biblical standpoint. However, like with any journey, starting with small steps is the best way to move forward. Here a four ways I am learning to love myself in a Godly fashion.

  1. At the end of each of my therapy journals I am supposed to write down two things I like about myself , specific to the day. My therapist tells me what I like can be as “small” as “showering” or “cooking a healthy meal”.
  2. Look for ways that God shows us love everyday. As an addendum to my journals, my therapist has me look for God’s love throughout the day. She encourages me to look for His love beyond the obvious prayer time and quiet times (although speaking directly to God and Him speaking directly to you are main ways to experience His love). For example, today a gentlemen help me find Staples when my not so trusty Google maps kept rerouting.
  3. Remind myself I am worthy of love, even when I’m unlovable. If humans have perfected one trait it is imperfection. However, the Bible remind us time after time of God’s unfailing love. One of my favorite verses in the Bible is from Romans 5:8 “but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners , Christ died for us”. I thank God everyday that he still love me, despite my sin. Because I’d be down the a sinkhole if he didn’t.
  4. Look for how you are loved by others. I love my parents and my parents love me. Often, I think that they’re the only ones, besides God Himself , who truly love me for me. Again, I have to train my minds eye to look for love. An example is when my friend wrote me a lovely Valentine’s Day note. Although she is married, she took the time to write the words ” *Jack and I love us some Leah because you are a great friend and sister …we are grateful for you”. Dang, she tried to draw up wells of joyous tears from my eyes!

As I take this journey towards self love, I hope to encourage those who read my words to seek out God’s love in all environments. I’m actually planning on studying out the ways God shows us love and why we all deserve love. For Christians, find your go to scriptures on God’s love and his creation. For those of different faiths, I recommend writing down at least two reasons why you love yourself. Lets ride this love train together!

With Love,


***Names have been changed to respect the privacy of the persons mentioned in the blog.*****

Scripture references come from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

On This Day Last Year

My 31st Birthday!

On this day last year, I published my first post on “The Bashful Butterfly”. Initially, my plan was to post weekly blogs, but teacher life is real, so I decided to post once a month.

I kept up with my blog schedule a whopping 5 months.

Truthfully, I didn’t have a direction for “The Bashful Butterfly” or any particular audience I was writing for. I know I’m Christian. Single. A Teacher. Reader. Occasional writer. Movie enthusiast. Perfecter of procrastination. The conundrum came when deciding how to combine each part of my identity. At first, I was excited for the challenge; for the first time, I made the firm decision to keep writing no matter what. The real goal, I suppose, was to improve my writing skills. To build an audience. And to what content people could be encouraged by and find relatable.

In Mid-may I lost my stride. The mental toll of Covid , long standing racial strife in the United States, and deep wounds from my subconscious attacked at once. I became paralyzed with dread and paranoia as I waited for the next disaster to befall the world.

Internally I wasted away and thoughts I thought I had long buried resurfaced. I retreated into my shell while also shutting myself off mentally, emotionally and worst of all spiritually. God became an afterthought and in retrospect, I detached myself from my Lord because I was disappointed. Discouraged. Despairing. And in some ways, disappearing.

And it scared me.

Come September, I decided to seek therapy after parrying with the idea for years (more on that decision in another blog post). One evening, I wrote a concerning and downright frightening journal entry which was my signal that I needed help.

After a jagged journey to therapy, I’ve hit my stride. I am grateful to God for revealing my damaged heart through my writing. The Bible tells us that when Joseph was reunited with his brothers after decades in Egypt (brothers who sold him into slavery) , he said these words to them “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” Genesis 50:20

I used to think my mental health struggles were a stain, a curse or a blemish. I was ashamed of the negative thoughts that kept creeping up even though I am supposed to be a daughter of God. My anxiety, depression and detachment meant I was unfit for God’s kingdom.

Well, the Bible is full of people who were initially “unfit”. So I guess I fit right in, huh?

If anything, I finally have a direction for this blog. Going forward, I’ll take on a wacky, nonsensical and downright odd journey I’m on to spiritual, emotional and mental healing. I’ll share what I’m learning about myself and God, what I learned already and what I still need to learn. And I hope people who read my blog will come away with nuggets, no matter how rusty, on how God’s love plays an essential part in my healing.

So keep your hands and feet inside the ride ladies and gents. It’s going to get bumpy.

With Love,


When I can do Nothing Else, I Can Write.

sayhisname hashtag on Twitter
jen #BlackLivesMatter's tweet - "You'll never silence us. Justice ...
NELP's tweet - "NELP expresses our deep sadness and rage at police ...

When I was an undergrad student at SUNY New Paltz my major was English. My degree required six credits of writing courses and I took the opportunity to enroll in creative writing classes. I learned a method of writing called “stream of consciousness”. The technique, defined my Masterclass.com as such

“Stream of consciousness writing refers to a narrative technique where the thoughts and emotions of a narrator or character are written out such that a reader can track the fluid mental state of these characters” (Masterclass, 2019) 

Essentially, a fancy way of freewriting. Our professors would encourage us to use the technique when we were stuck on our writing pieces. “Write what comes to mind. Let the emotions flow naturally” With all the pent up frustration built up over the past few days, I decided to just write. I owe them that much.

A Most Peculiar Dream

Where do I start? When does it end? My voice, silent, my prayers unspoken, my Bible untouched. Lord forgive me. Forgive us. We failed. We continue to fail you, to break your heart. What’s one to do? You tell us to turn the other cheek and our skin has been slapped raw by racism, oppression and violence. The blood. So much blood. So little air. I hide in your fortress, yet the cries of the suffering overpower my ears. I see George Floyd, his eyes bulging oxygen swiftly leaving his body like leaves being swept up by a powerful Autumn wind. He looks at me and cries “help”. I look at the man with a knee to his throat. He eyes me, reaches behind him…


I jolt up from my sleep. A nightmare. Yes. Has to be. Then I hear a gasp beside me. I turn and like my brother George, the air rushes out of my lungs. Breonna. Blood soaks through the blue fabric of her EMT uniform. Her eyes. Blank. I can’t tell if she looking at me or past me. I reach for her but she falls back. I try to grab her and her clammy hands grab my arm. We both fall.

I slam down on concrete. My ribs sting from the impact and gravel embeds in my palms. A shadow envelops me and I look up. A tall, African-American male stands over me.

“Are you alright?” He asks. He frowns and bends down so he can meet me at eye level. His eyes are the color of freshly ground coffee beans.

“Where-Where am I?” I stutter. What’s happening?

He places a hand on my shoulder. “Hey, let me help. It’s alright, don’t be afraid” He holds out his hand. I take it. It’s ice cold.

We walk and I glance at the young man. He smiles back.

“What’s your name?” I ask.


I stop.


He stops in besides me. His smile is gone.

I can’t breathe.

“Run”. I gasp.



I grab his hand. His palms have grown colder. Almost wax like. An engine revs behind us. Headlights.

I take off. We run and run and then BANG!

I fall back to the ground.

I wake up.

I see Ahmaud. I see Breonna. I see George. I see Tamir. I see Trayvon. I see Sandra. I see Michael. I see Alton. I see Eric. I see Philando. I see Amadou. I see Sean. I see Oscar. I see Rekia. I see Botham Jean. I see Aiyana. I see Emmett.

I’m stand up. I drift towards them.

I’m sorry I say.

Someone hands me a book. It’s black with Gold lettering on the spine. I recognize the title.

“Then fight back” they say.

I sit up. Silence. I’m back in my room.

I pick up my Bible. Time to read the battle plan.

(Written in honor of those we’ve lost to violence, bigotry, fear and hatred)

I John 1:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (NIV Version)

The Importance of the Yourstory

toni morrison
Photo Courtesy of Vanityfair.com

If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.-Toni Morrison

As we move into March (Woo hoo for spring time!) I am in awe of how time speeds past us faster than the Road Runner (and like Wile E. Coyote, catches us off guard and knocks us on our bum). I’m grateful to share my adventures, musings and confessions  with you. Let the sharing continue! 

One of my favorite pastimes is going to the movies; winter, spring, summer and fall. I stroll into the lobby of a movie theater (shout out to AMC Theaters) and am greeted by the aroma of buttery popcorn. After I purchase the salty, buttery goodness, I eagerly enter the subdued lighted room which will transport me to another world for the next two hours. Since I possess a short attention span, movies provide the perfect voyage to new worlds, complex characters and universal themes such as love, family, adversity, fate, and dozens of other themes. The craft of storytelling is an important part of film.  With every film I see, I try to absorb the message the author is sending to the audience. 

The last movie I saw was The Photograph, starring Issa Rae, Lakeith Stanfield, Y’lan Noel and Chante Adams. This post isn’t a review of the movie per se, however I definitely recommend going to see the film. With a predominantly African American cast, The Photograph tells the story about a young woman named Mae who recently lost her mother  to cancer. An art curator at Queens Museum, Mae meets a young man named Michael who works as a photographer. Mae’s mother, Christina, was a famous photographer who came from the countryside of Louisiana to pursue her passion for photography. Michael wants to do a profile of Christina’s photograph collection for the newspaper he works for and Mae becomes the platform for his research. The two meet at a gala sponsored by the Queens Museum, develop a relationship, fall in love, and, well, I’ll let you see for yourselves. 

Image result for the photograph movie poster issa rae
Photo Courtesy of Flickeringmyth.com

What I appreciated about The Photograph came from the universal themes of discovering your past, love, following your dreams, and longing for connection. Christina, the dreamer (Mae’s mother), falls in love with Isaac, a fisherman from Louisiana. Isaac wants stability and to build a life with Christina. Christina wants freedom to pursue her passion. Her steeled concentration of her passion led to her distant relationship with Mae. Mae tries to revisit that lost connection with the support of Michael (who struggles to maintain connection). 

Each scene of the film presents snapshots of the characters’ lives. One of the strongest elements of the film is the lighting and cinematography;the way the camera zooms in on Mae through Michaels’s point of view (love at first sight), the brightness of the countryside of Louisiana, the calm blue hues during a storm (this is where I caution parents with children under 13) while Michael and Mae make love for the first time. 

If you are looking for an action packed romp, The Photograph is definitely not the film. The subtleness of each scene is the movie’s core strength. More importantly, the film told a story with two African-American leads which didn’t involve drugs, gang violence, racism, poverty, or slavery. The topics listed are a part of the African-American experience, but that can be said for whites, Asian Americans , Latinx American, and Native Americans. 

I remember numerous conversations with my friend *Macy about how lucky young people of color are to have young adult authors such as Tomi Adeyemi, Nicola Yoon, Jenny Han, Elizabeth Acevedo, and Jason Reynolds to tell stories about youth who look like us.   Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Ted Talk, “The Danger of a Single Story” highlights how stereotypical storytelling can harm a group of people (her Ted Talk is amazing and one I will be covering her talk in a future blog post). I remember growing up and constantly reading stories about young African-Americans escaping slavery, dealing with gangs, or overcoming racism in the Civil Rights Era. 

Yes, those stories need to be told as they are an integral part of African-American history.  However, I could have used stories about powerful young black girl wizards, warriors, scientists, and superheroes. The reason I reclaimed my love for storytelling is because I aim to write the stories that were missing from my bookshelves. 

I am also a Christian who loves God and one of my goals is to write young adult Christian fiction. Oftentimes, I’ve observed the media portrayal of christians, particularly in America, as haughty, judgmental and hypocritical. When I write, I know I have the power to share my story, my testimony while showing the power, saving and redeeming love of Christ Jesus. God himself is a storyteller! The Bible is a true story of God’s relationship with mankind.  Genesis 1:3 read “And God said, ‘Let there be light’, and there was light” (NIV) . God used words to create us! Psalms 139:16 reads “Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (NIV). God writes the story of our lives, creates us and sends us off on an adventure to share His love. What a story to be a part of! 

Whether you’re Christian, African-American, white, Latinx, Asian, Native American, male, female, Differently Abled, or Klingon, we each have our own unique stories. Our stories can be powerful and engaging narratives that make a positive impact on our fellow humans. 

Now tell me, what’s Yourstory? 


The Bashful Butterfly   

I was able to visit one of the locations in the film The Photograph. Taken by myself, Feb 20, 2020

Thankful Thursday (Finding Gratitude in the Everyday and Everyday Challenges)

Thankful Thursday (Finding Gratitude in the Everyday and Everyday Challenges)  

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) 

Have you ever had one of those weeks you thought was going to be amazing, but turned out to be a total dud?  

The week began promising; I dubbed it the “week of the five Fridays”. Everyday leading up to the President’s week/February break (perks of being a public school teacher) was going to be Friday , I bought tickets to see Dear Evan Hansen on Tuesday (The play should be required viewing for EVERYONE, but more on Mr. Hansen in another post) and then 10 whole days of lounging, reading, museum hopping and movie binging. 

Then a student sprayed pepper spray in the hallways. Then my earpods were stolen. And my charger. And my portable charger. And $20. 

The week seemed determined to rattle and sink my spirits. By today my mind, body and spirit became depleted of joy and replaced by discouragement. I walked around foggy, listless, almost apparition like. I became angry at the student who stole my belongings. Angry at myself for putting myself in the position to have my belongings stolen. I called myself stupid, careless, irreresponsible and a whole slew of self-depricating terms. 

I neglected praying to God or reading His word. I was too busy brooding about how unfair the week treated me. 

Thank God for sisters in Christ. 

When I spoke with my spiritual mentor she reminded me to continue the daily practice we established at the beginning of 2020: Write down 5 things you’re grateful for. 

Gratitude has a way of reshaping our mindset. The official definition from Merriam Webster’s Dictionary defines gratitude as “the state of being grateful”. Gratitude becomes a decision. I could lament on my week or I could obey God and give thanks in ALL circumstances. Praise the Lord I was to come up with 10 things I was grateful for. I would love to share my “Top Ten Things Leah Is Grateful for (Right now) 

  1. Love of Christ 
  2. The word of God 
  3. Quiet times with God
  4. My Parents and brother 
  5. My sisters in Christ 
  6. Two more days until winter break! 
  7. Payday
  8. Seeing Dear Evan Hansen on broadway 
  9. The smoothie I had for Breakfast 
  10. A renewed joy of writing! 

Wow! I feel better already. Life can be a bummer, but that’s why God gives reminders throughout the day of his goodness. A smile from a stranger. A student telling you that you are the most relatable teacher in the school. A piping bowl of spaghetti. A warm house. A bed.  

Although the week started off crummy, I have the choice to walk in gratitude and praise God for the blessings that go beyond the material. When I’m tempted to wallow, I know God gives me the choice to choose joy. Peace. Gratitude.   

I would definitely recommend writing down at least one thing you’re grateful for each day. By doing so, you’ll continue to see God’s Grace each day. I certainly do. 

The Bashful Butterfly. 

I Published My First Blog Post! (Now What?)

“A dream doesn’t become doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work” 

~ Colin Powell 

Today moved slower than a sloth. I eagerly waited for the end of the day, raced to catch the bus home, sprinted up the stairs to my apartment, booted up my laptop and created a new document. Fresh off the thrill of launching my blog, ideas sped walked back and forth like commuters at Grand Central Terminal. Words ready to find a home on a new blog post. The momentum  revved up and here I am! 

Yet, I was here before. In my last post, I mentioned The Bashful Butterfly is my third attempt at blogging. Both times, I began afresh, surrounded by the expectation of a flourishing writing portfolio. I began as a  twenty-something Millennial woman navigating post graduate life. I was ready and I was a dreamer. The combination was enough, right?

Not quite. 

After two or three posts my progress halted. Disappointment snuck through my ego when I didn’t receive the views or comments I hoped for. I expected to go “viral” or thousands of reshares for one post. I didn’t create a writing schedule. I figured if I “felt like it” I’d post. The momentum faded and so did my passion for writing. I stopped writing for years (sans the yearly “New Year’s Resolution” list). I stopped (or never started) putting in the effort or building my writer’s portfolio. I wanted the fruit without the labor. 

With all creative pursuits, time, patience, and consistency are key. When we have a gift God has blessed us with, he entrust us to nurture the gift. Back in the book of Genesis, the Word says “ The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden to work it and take care of it” (Genesis 2:15)  

What does the verse have to do with writing? Well, a blog is like a garden. I have to work and take care of it. Key word: Work. I’m not a gardener, but I can guess gardens take time to care for. There’s seeding, putting down fertilizer, watering, checking, and waiting. Yes, the fragrance of a fresh new writing project is tantalizing. However, if I want to progress as a writer, well, I have to write. I have to toil in the garden, pull weeds (aka pesky sentence fragments, dangling modifiers, and run on sentences) and wait patiently for the buds to blossom. 

So I came up with three practicals for a novice writer/blogger.

  1. Maintain Consistency  

          When I started my new blog, I wanted to establish a consistent writing schedule. In the past, I would write when “inspiration sparked”. Well, sometimes inspiration takes a holiday on the beach and you’re left with your own grind to help you through your writing. I decided on a bi-monthly writing schedule (posting twice a month, just like a payday!) and post between Thursday and Sunday (Thursdays have been the reigning champ so far). When I’m consistent with posting, my readers know when to expect the next post and I hold myself accountable to a deadline. 

  1.  Ask for feedback    

      I teach 9th grade English and our school culture values feedback. As long as they are respectful, I encourage my students to think critically about the work of their peers and provide concrete next steps for growth. I am blessed to have writers who I admire and who are experienced in their craft. Asking for feedback on your  grammar, content, word choices, or sentence structure helps you see your work through a different perspective. 

  1. Apply the feedback 

      Oftentimes, I’ll ask for feedback on a project, smile, say “thanks” and then toss the feedback into the crevices of my brain. Or I’ll get defensive, scoff and think “well, they just don’t understand my creative genius”. If people take the time to read over my work, pick out what needs to be improved or expanded, then their time means they are invested in my development as a writer. My job as a student of the craft is to listen and apply the feedback given. 

Bonus: Enjoy the process 

With every endeavor the process will be a combination of joy, frustration, excitement, hair pulling, crying and saying “I got this!”. I thank God for the gift of words and the power words have to encourage! Will I get frustrated? Probably. Will I procrastinate? Most definitely. Will I always have perfect prose? Absolutely not! But I’m writing. And I love it!  

I want to thank all of you who took the time to read my first blog post! I am glad to let you into my zany world! 

Stay blessed! 


The Bashful Butterfly