Discovering Me via Social Media Freedom

The last time I was here was December of 2015. Before that, I was here in August of 2014. Coincidentally enough, the amount of time I’ve spent away from blogging are my two of my four favorite numbers 16 and 7. It took me 16 months from my August 2014 post to finally return in December 2015. After that, I was too caught up again in life (or maybe it was social media) to commit to blogging. I was lost in trying to live a life to please others.

During the second week of June, I decided it was time for me to get rid of my biggest distraction, social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat had taken over my life and I was literally using these tools to advertise myself (basically), cyber-stalk (in the most non-creepy way possible), covet, set a foundation for gossip and relinquish boredom. I didn’t realize I began to depress myself because I was too busy looking at what everyone else was doing instead of living the life I was meant to live and being more productive. My breaking point hit when I found myself upset my family and friends would do things without me and also frustrated with my boyfriend because he wouldn’t post anything about our relationship.¬†I decided I needed to disappear from the social media realm for a week at most to get my head on straight.

It has been a month since my “social media freedom” and it has been awesome. I’ve gotten hooked on books again, focused on my goals and less involved with the unnecessaries. My circle has gone back down to those who care enough to call or text. The motivation I now have to do what needs to be done has risen. The need to advertise myself and portray “social media” me is diminishing slowly. The cyber-stalking has disappeared (obviously because I have no way to seek out what people are doing). I no longer compare my relationship to others. The news I read is actual news about what is going on in the world. Best of all, I feel happy.

Discover happiness in freedom, or sitting on top of a container :)

Discover happiness in freedom, or sitting on top of a container ūüôā PC:¬†Sati

For the next ten days, I’ve personally committed myself to the “Developing your Eye” photography challenge to get me back on the blogging track. I need to do something small before I commit myself to bigger things. In this process, I hope to reignite my love for blogging and “develop an eye” for the beauty that surrounds me through people, places and personal objects.

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On Guard

“Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard for out of it flow the springs of life.”¬†-Proverbs 4:23 (AMP)

As a kid, I bought into the Disney idea of “someday my prince will come” and when he came it meant “happily ever after.” To love and be loved, isn’t that what everyone wants? Inside every person is the desire to be desired, according to¬†my own personal belief.

When I was six, I wanted to be a stay at home mom or else a Christian dancer/performer since I did it all the time in church. The idea of being available for my family 24/7 was my idea of success as a little girl. My dad was the one who worked while my mom sacrificed her job to raise my brothers and I. I wanted to do the same and invest in my kids and their futures. When I was six, I had in my mind that I was going to have a love story like my Nana & Papa. I would meet the man of my dreams at a friend’s wedding as a bridesmaid at around 18 or 20 and my focus would be my kids and grandkids.

When I turned 12, my dad started a computer business and a Christian radio station and I loved it. I had my first radio show at 12. I centered the rest of my career goals around media broadcasting. My focus changed, but I still had in my mind that I was going to have a love story like my Nana & Papa.

When I turned 24, I moved back home. I was done with school and had gone on a totally different path from what I had intended. I stayed in the communication field, but headed towards advertising since media broadcasting became boring to me. Having a passion for what I do is what matters most to me above the money. I wanted to go into tourism to introduce others to my beautiful island home, but ended up back at the radio station my dad started. As for my love story idea, I still had a desire for it but after being a bridesmaid in 18 weddings up unto that point the flame was dying.

Now I’m 26 and I’m teaching. To be honest, I love it. It wasn’t what I anticipated. Instead of having a bunch of kids of my own to focus on and invest in, I gained an opportunity to invest in the lives of other people’s kids. I have the chance to focus on kids¬†that could affect the future of today’s society. 23 weddings later though, my Nana & Papa love story longing disappeared and I started to settle for guys who displayed clearly through their actions they didn’t care as much as they said. In other words, they were a$$holes.

Life isn’t always what most expect from it. I believe God orchestrates everything and most of the time I don’t understand whats going on, but I’ve had to learn to trust Him. He gave me this job as a teacher to fulfill my childhood desire to help and invest in others and to create art by working with my church kids in the area of dance and drama. Just recently I’ve decided to let Him take over¬†my love story. In His time, my God makes all things beautiful. My job is to guard my heart and the people and situations I allow to affect it because it clearly affects everything in my life including my future as much as it did my past.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/futures-past/

Those Busy Ones

There’s a tug of war in my soul. I want to write, but time won’t allow me. Every time I sit to start the phone rings or my reminders pop up or workloads pile up. By the end of it all, I’m too tired to do anything else except sleep away the days toils that take its toll on my mind and body so I can be rejuvenated for the next day’s tasks.

Life Investments – Thank You Moms

Happy Mother’s Day to all the beautiful women in the world, specifically to the ladies that have invested in my life since the day I came out of my mom’s womb. Sorry I can’t name¬†everyone because I’m a Samoan, which means I’m blessed with a huge family.

I have been blessed by God to have Proverbs 31 women in my family and close circle. As I reflected on Mother’s Day and how grateful I am for all the wonderful women in my life, I thought of the sermon preached in church this morning. “How do you measure a life?” is the question that was asked. The title of the sermon was a quote¬†“The measure of a life is not in its duration, but in its donation.”¬†by Corrie Ten Boom. The donation these ladies have made into my life have been tremendous and I thank the Lord for His never failing love that is constantly shown through these women especially my grandmas and my mom. These are my testimonies of these ladies and the investments they have donated to my life.

Nana – The woman I am truly honored to be named after, Anneliese “Annie” T. Haleck Sword. She is beautiful and the definition of classy. She always made sure our family was bound in love and unity. She could bring any party to life the moment she walks into the room. She’s the reason I had a strong bond with my Sword cousins and considered them as my second set of siblings. She invested beauty, grace, a love for living life, a love for dance (specifically Samoan & Polynesian dancing), forgiveness, culture and the value of family in my life.” by Corrie Ten Boom

Grandma Vai, Grandma Eseta, Grandma Lafo & Grandma Fou – my Aua grandmas who have loved, nurtured and spoiled me since I was a day old. My parents could tell so many stories of my infant & toddler years and how they “fa’apele” me to the point I couldn’t go to sleep until we go to Aua to see my grandmas. Although one is my biological grandma, they have all taken care of me as if I was their own. In my life, they have invested love, peace, strong relationships with my brothers, a love for my church and a love and reverence for God and His will for me.

All my Aunties – From my Sword side to my Fale/Ponausuia side to my “aunties” from Cornerstone AOG, these lovely ladies have all played a part in giving me love and affection. They all make me feel beautiful and never cease to tell me straight when I’m doing wrong especially when I’m getting fat. They have invested confidence, affection and a love for all things beautiful in my life.

My Cousins, Sister in laws & My Bestest – The beautiful ladies who made me “Aunty Lisi” are definitely in need of mention. They are the reasons I have so many beautiful nieces and handsome nephews and no need for my own kids. They have invested joy and fun into my life.

Spiritual Mom – The one woman (besides my mom) who isn’t afraid to fuki my hair & tell me straight when it comes to my spiritual walk with God. Aunty Hope is definitely a one of a kind woman who constantly checks up on me to make sure I’m walking strong. She has invested in my love for God, spirit and creativity.

Last but not least, My Mom – Lori Fale. She is the reason I chose to move back home and I have not regretted it. Just being me and my mom at home has been a challenge and a definite growing process. I miss my brothers, but I have seen my love and relationship with my mom grow. She is the strongest woman I know. I have seen her at her worst and at her best. Through it all, she remains steadfast in her faith in God. The Lord has definitely blessed her with grace, strength, dignity and many of what Proverbs 31 entails. She raised my handsome brothers Gary, Curtis & Emmanuel to be wonderful husbands/boyfriends to their wives/girlfriends, which I absolutely love to brag about and gives me a picture of what my future husband better be like (L0L). She taught me so much about loving God and building a strong relationship with Him. She has a BIG heart for ministry and continues to pursue God’s calling on her life with the radio ministry He entrusted to my family. She has invested in my love for God & His ministry and my relationship with God. She invested into my life strength, faith, love, patience, honor, fear of the Lord and strong Godly values.

With My Mama && My Nephew

With My Mama && My Nephew

So Happy Mother’s Day to all the heroes out there we call “Mom”.

Celebrate Good Times…

I love celebrations ! 

Games + Laughter + Good  Food = Celebration Success

Games + Laughter + Good Food = Celebration Success

The baby shower for my brand new nephew KJ was nothing short of amazing. The pictures tell the story. OH ! I’m forgetting one of my absolutely favorite parts of the whole night‚ĶDESSERTS !

Cupcakes and Truffles

Cupcakes and Truffles by my beautiful & creative cousin who owns and operates her own baking gig called “She Bakes Too” in American Samoa.

Thank You ! You’re Amazing.

liebsterblogaward-2When I saw that I had been nominated ¬†for the Liebster Award, I wasn’t sure if it was a joke or not. Afterwards, I felt overwhelmed with gratitude since it was my first nomination for anything since I started my blogging journey. I want to say a very big THANK YOU to¬†heybetterme.com¬†for nominating me for this award. It was unexpected and thrilling.

Here are the rules for those who are nominated and want to participate in the Liebster award process:

Post the award on your blog
Thank the blogger who presented the award to you and link back to their blog
Share 11 things about yourself
Answer the 11 questions given to you by the person that nominated you
Nominate 11 bloggers who have less than 200 followers
Create 11 questions for your nominees to answer
Notify your nominees by posting your nomination on their blog
11 things about me

My autobiography – Myself x11:

Readjusting is quite a feat. I have found it easier to adjust to a culture versus readjusting to a way of life that I grew up with (Myself Fact 1). I’ve learned there is no satisfaction in anything of this world (Myself Fact 2). As a human, I’m always going to want more and have desires of longing for what another has (Myself Fact 3). It’s inevitable, but it can be controlled. Since I am a Christian, I believe that only God can bring change since He knows my better than I know myself (Myself Fact 4). I mean He is my Creator and the Creator of all things not man-made. Growing up in American Samoa made me a collectivist, but since I lived in the States for 3 years I developed a few individualistic traits that made my moving home a lot harder (Myself Fact 5). I still and always will value my relationship with God (Myself Fact 6). My views on church and the Bible has definitely changed (Myself Fact 7). I’m working on seeking God for His plans for my life because all my own plans went down the toilet with all the ki’o (translation: poop) in my life already (Myself Fact 8). Throughout all the life lessons I’ve picked up on, the one theme that has stuck out in every season of my life is “E muamua le Atua“(translation: God First) (Myself Fact 9). Recently I lost someone very dear to me.¬†My Grandma Fou and her sisters, Grandma Vai, Grandma Seta and Grandma Lafo, were very close and left a beautiful picture of what love, peace and relationships should look like. These sisters all had a part in raising me, even though only one is my biological grandma but they were all my grandmas (Myself Fact 10). They taught me the true meaning of the Samoan proverb, “O uo mo¬†aso uma, a¬†o¬†uso mo aso vale” (translation: friends are for all days, but siblings are for the bad days). I’m happy to say my brothers and I have been able to maintain this type of relationship so far and I can only pray that it stays that way (Myself Fact 11).

¬†Answers to Merrilyn’s questions from heybetterme.com:

1. Where are you from?

  • American Samoa

2. If you could live anywhere, where would you live?

  • I actually love where I’m at, but my second choice would be Auckland, New Zealand.

3. What is something you have always wanted to do?

  • Go to Italy

4. What do you do to relieve stress?

  • Go to the beach

5. Where are you presently?

  • In my fale (house) ūüôā

6. What accomplishment are you most proud of?

  • Being an Aunty. I absolutely love it.

7. What is something you cannot do without?

  • My family

8. What is your favorite childhood memory.

  • Building a fail treehouse with my brothers. We built all the walls and forgot all about the floor.

9. What is your favorite book/movie?

  • “This Present Darkness” by Frank Perretti

10. Sugar or Salt?

  • Sugar. Hands down.

11. In one sentence, talk about your blog.

  • My blog is all about my [Samoan] culture and my journey in life with God in hopes of someone finding interest or inspiration from my postings.

My nominations though ūüėČ

1. http://ubecute.com/

2. http://caseylove1985.wordpress.com/

3. http://imserenel.wordpress.com/

4. http://mariabrinkley.com/

5. http://academiaenafriqueadventures.wordpress.com/

6. http://thebrixtonhousewife.com/

7. http://lovehappynotes.com

8. http://madwomanofghostharbor.com/

9. http://lifeinthemeantimeblog.wordpress.com/

10. http://crazyguyinthailand.com/

11. http://name5ake.wordpress.com/

11  Questions for my Nominees:

  1. What is your source of inspiration?
  2. If you could go anywhere for a day, where would you go?
  3. Who is your favorite person in the world?
  4. What is your favorite music genre?
  5. What made you start blogging?
  6. Where are you from?
  7. What is your favorite hobby?
  8. Where do you enjoy going to spend your free time?
  9. What is your biggest fear?
  10. How often do you blog?
  11. What do you value most in your life?

11 Things About Me:

1. I find Joyce Meyers very inspirational.

2. If I could spend all day every day at the beach, I would.

3. Plumerias are my absolute favorite flowers.

4. I use to collect shot glasses until they grew legs and slowly disappeared one by one

5. I am saved by God’s grace alone.

6. I was born and raised in¬†American Samoa, but I’m not full Samoan.

7. Dancing is a passion, especially Polynesian dancing (siva Samoa, hula, aparima etc.).

8. I, I, I like to party‚ĶHoly Ghost kind of party. ūüėÄ

9. My family is convinced I am the definition for the term “social butterfly”.

10. I’m always down to meet new people and share my culture with others.

11. Most of my lifestyle is centered around the morals and values I’ve learned from the Samoan culture.

Three Days Later

Sometimes I wonder what was going on in the heavens on the second day before Jesus rose on the third day. So many different things could’ve been going on in the heavenly realm and even down below.

All I know is Jesus died on the cross and rose again three days later. I like to think it was specifically for me.¬†He sacrificed His blood for me. Every drop of blood that fell from Him was so I don’t have to die in my sin.

He died so I can live. It’s the simple truth. When He rose from the grave, I received power to live the way God intended me to live. Thanks to Jesus, I can now have a relationship with God freely. I don’t have to live in fear of where I will spend eternity. Three days later, I have hope. I have peace. Most of all, I have love.