Day 1: Home

IMG_4710

View from Maugaoali’i taken July 9, 2016

When I use to live in America, I use to get a lot of questions about where I’m from. I was proud to say American Samoa. Regardless of the ignorant stereotypical replies I would receive, I enjoyed showing off photos like the one above. I love my beautiful island home. The scenic hikes are just the icing on the cake. American Samoa is about the Samoan culture, the history, my heritage, my people. No matter where I go, American Samoa will always be home simply because this is where my heart is.

When I think of home, this is what I think of. #DevelopingYourEye

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 🙂 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.

Weekly Writing Challenge: Mystery Ending

So many different topics come to mind. It doesn’t help that life in itself is probably the biggest mystery of all. Currently, the violin instrumentals that are playing are setting up the mood for this week’s post. It should be interesting to say the least.

It’s Two-sday. 😀 Get it? I’m sure you do. Recently, I witnessed the outcome of several bad decisions I made. I did things I did not think would have any repercussions. I was wrong. During a conversation with a friend, I told her

It’s too late. I can’t do anything to change the past. I can only change my choices in the present to make sure it doesn’t happen again in the future.

Ironic enough the blog from Wednesday on the Daily Post had to do with childhood “adult visions”. If you’d really like to know all about what my childhood self wanted, feel free to read my “I’m A Big Kid Now” blog post.  There’s so many possibilities for the future based on all my different childhood imaginations. I’m pretty much working and waiting to see what is to come.

FRUIT CUPS ! More specifically, the delicious coconut jellies in the fruit cups that leave me wanting more. With so many left over fruit cups after school, it would be a shame to see it all go to waste. So where does it end up? In my refrigerator…well the fruit cups do at least. In the words of my mom,

“Waste not. Want not.”

Theme song of the week: Chandelier by Sia. Why? Because…

Party girls don’t get hurt. Can’t feel anything, when will I learn? I push it down, push it down.”

I’ve lived that line for a long time but never realized it until this song. I get hurt and I party it off. It’s like grown people medicine. It’s disgusting, but the effects feel so good.

I’m the one ‘for a good time call.’ Phone’s blowin’ up, ringin’ my doorbell. I feel the love, feel the love”

It’s all fun and games until…actually there’s no until. That’s all it’s really about. Fun & Games. Truth be told, I love it. I love  happy atmospheres and getting everyone on good ones. I love keeping the energy up and dancing until my feet hurt. I’m always the one who gets the calls (no ringing doorbells because those don’t exist on my island) “Lets Go Out!” Don’t get me wrong, I love it but it’s always…

1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, drink
1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, drink
1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, drink

Throw ’em back ’til I lose count

Every weekend. Never fails. Same process. Why do I do it?

“I’m holding on for dear life, won’t look down, won’t open my eyes. Keep my glass full until morning light, ’cause I’m just holding on for tonight.”

Based on how I was raised, I was taught to always look to God for everything. I believe in that, but after all the pressures of the week, it always feels amazing to release and it feels like…

“I’m gonna swing from the chandelier, from the chandelier. I’m gonna live like tomorrow doesn’t exist.”

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_writing_challenge/telephone/

Do You Remember The Time…

I don’t remember the time when Michael Jackson released “Do You Remember the Time” but the song I know will always remind me of Summer 2014 is the release of his song with Justin Timberlake “Love Never Felt So Good”.

It may not have been released in the summer, but its a song that I’ve played constantly. It’s one of those feel good songs. It brings a sense of hope, happiness and most of all its a reminder of how good love really feels. Whenever it comes on, I can’t help but smile and be thankful for all the loves I have in my life.

I love songs that make feel happy and want to dance everywhere. This song is one of those songs. It makes me want to dance even if JT was not saying, “Dance. Let me see you move.” AH! Love! Like all other Michael Jackson songs, this song will last as one of my favorites until the grave. And yes me loving Michael Jackson’s music may have something to do with it. *big smile*

BONUS…I love the fact Justin Timberlake wears his wedding ring in the video. There’s no greater picture of “love feeling so good” than a man boldly wearing his symbol of love for his woman.

Daily Prompt: Musical Markers

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/

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”.

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.

In Loving Memory of my Grandma Fou

This post is dedicated to someone very dear to me that went to be with Jesus on April 10, 2014. 

My grandma's face in the back though :D

I miss her. This photo was taken on my 25th birthday. She asked me “Aga fea e fai sou toalua? Toeiti alu a’u. Fia vaai a’u lou faaipoipoga.” (translation: When are you getting married? I’m going soon. I want to see you get married). I laughed and replied “Aua e te popole (translation: don’t worry) Grandma, I’ll get married before you go. I promise.” I won’t be able to keep that promise now and it makes me sad to know that I can’t. My grandma’s face in the back though 😀

Some people grow up not knowing their grandparents. On my mom’s side, I was fortunate enough to grow up with four different grandmas that were basically like having one. I was “the pele” (equivalent to princess, still am) and I was treated as such by all my grandma’s sisters living in American Samoa, which I refer to as my Aua grandmas. Grandma Fou was the oldest of all my grandmas. She was loving. She was kind. She was sweet. She was beautiful. She was wise. She was strong.

She was a phenomenal woman. She had such a peaceful presence that would flow from her spirit. My mom said she was the best at putting babies to sleep. No matter how fussy I got, Grandma Fou would put me in her lap, sing to me and po po me until I fell asleep. I spent most of my infant and toddler years in her house. Like my Aunty Julia (Grandma Fou’s baby girl) said, I was the first grand-baby they took care of in their house.

I  remember feeling loved whenever she’d greet me with a “Hi Baby”, smile and kiss me on the lips. I remember feeling safe when in her arms. I remember feeling joy every time I saw her because I knew I was going to get money or candy. I remember looking forward to going to daycare in Aua because I never really stayed in daycare. I spent most of my time with her and Papa Fu’e in their house because they spoiled me and I loved it. I remember our Fale family Christmases at her house. I remember family events and even random visits to Grandma Fou’s place just because. I remember how much I loved the relationship she had with her sisters.

The Fale Sisters - My Aua Grandmas. <3 Grandma Fou, Grandma Eseta, Grandma Lafo and Grandma Vai

The Fale Sisters – My Aua Grandmas.

I have no regrets. I loved her greatly and she knew it very well. I made time to see her and loved on her but not as much as she loved on me. She lived a full, blessed life and was clothed in beauty, humility, wisdom, strength and love. She always took care of her family and loved beyond words.

Life won’t be the same without her earthly presence. She’s rejoicing with Jesus right now and experiencing a blessed reunion with Papa Fu’e, Great-Papa, Pema, Aunty La’i and all her loved ones that have gone before. Heaven gained another beautiful spirit. I love you Grandma.

He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” Revelation 21:4 (NLT)

 

I will miss you immensely.

I will miss you immensely.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Threshold

 

The threshold of every Jesus moment is at the cross.

The threshold of every Jesus moment is at the cross.

“At the cross, at the cross
Where I first saw the light
And the burden of my heart
Rolled away.
It was there by faith
I received my sight
And now I’m happy all the day”

This chorus from the hymn At the Cross by Isaac Watts describes perfectly as to why the cross is the most perfect picture of a threshold. Every Christian experiences that moment in their life where they receive salvation and experience that overwhelming feeling of grace and love. It is at the foot of the cross of Jesus where all the past, present and future wrongs are left behind and this new born Christian starts the journey to eternal life. The Christian life is not an answer to an easy life, but it is the answer to a stronger and more complete life. A life that begins at the cross.

Pictured above is a picture of my church members coming to the cross to find healing, restoration, forgiveness and grace. Touching the cross is a symbol of leaving behind all the hurts, pains, sins, wrongs at the cross of Jesus so they can start a new journey in a new season with the Lord as the Guide.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/04/04/photo-challenge-threshold/

Today’s NaPoWriMo challenge is based on writing a love poem to an inanimate object. I figured why not tie it in.

Christ’s Cross: My Threshold

To demonstrate my love,
I can not do enough.
Words are inadequate
Value beyond a diamond in the rough.

Everything wrong I’ve done
I don’t have to carry
I can leave it at the cross
Where all my sins I bury

The threshold of a new journey
A life with Jesus I’ll be beginning
After I nail my sins to the cross
Where Christ died for my new being.

To demonstrate my love,
I can not do enough.
Christ’s cross where He suffered and bled
So I can leave my sinful slough.

Day 7 of NaPoWriMo 30 Day Challenge: http://www.napowrimo.net/2014/04/one-week-in/

Love Month Blues

Growing up as a Christian, I was always told either “wait for the one God has made specifically for you” or “Jesus needs to be your lover first.”

I can’t say I’ve had Jesus as my primary lover throughout the course of my life. Regardless of my flaws, He has always loved me yet I still feel lonely a lot of times. I crave the love of a physical companion. I won’t blame it on any thing else except the mere fact that I am human and created to love.

My love month blues have nothing to do with God’s love for me because that love never fails. It does have to do with my lack of patience and getting into relationships that for some reason always seem to fall a part and never fails to hit me in the month of February repeatedly. Personally, it’s more a month of heartaches than any thing else.

This year, I decided to not let myself wallow in my sorrows and do something different. I bought half a dozen roses and chocolates for my mom, sent cupcakes to the guy I’ve been crushing on and gave roses with chocolates to the people who have been great encouragements in my life. To tell you the truth, it felt so much better to give on Valentine’s Day than to receive. I thoroughly enjoyed the huge smiles and the phone calls of gratitude I got. The opportunity to make someone smile and feel special really turned everything around for me.

I realized love isn’t about what you get. It’s about what you give. ❤

Flowers for my Mama