Thursday, August 5, 2010

Relationships & Restoration

"After a while you learn
that what you really are
is all the experiences
and all the thoughts
you've ever had
and all the people
who have touched your life,
no matter how briefly.
After a while you learn
that troubles are temporary
and relationships
aren't always permanent.
You learn that many people
come into your life
and fade into forgetfulness,
while others remain
as warm places in your heart.
You learn to forgive the bad times
and overcome the resentments.
And you learn to live
with love in your heart
for the good times
and for the good friends
who may not be present,
but who never go away,
because the warmth of their friendship
and their essence lives within you
and becomes a part of what you are."
By: Winifred Stewart Brown

The one who brought out the rapper in me. The one who came up with McLite. The one who encourages and uplifts. The one who speaks truth even if it may hurt. The one who told me not to and I still did. The one who I used up almost all her patience with me. The one I lost as a friend for a season because of it. The one I never stopped looking up to through it all.
She is passionate. She is strong. She is fierce. She is beautiful, inside and out. She is a powerful woman of God. She is a friend. She is a sister.
She is Elisa Serrano Lopez.

When I was 19 years old. I began an absolutely wild, exciting, fun new life. I committed my life to Jesus. As I did, I was putting off my old self, my old life, old ways. I lost alot of friends, but oh did I gain the best friends anyone could ever ask for!

Elisa was one of these great friends.

I'll never forget when we were sitting in the backyard of Kelly Walsh's house on the swing, Elisa and I. This would be our first real interaction together. Now I'm not really quite sure how it came about. Maybe some music was playing perhaps. But next thing I know is I'm talking about the black girl inside me. I do have one. Not a joke. So I was letting my gangsta self out and this is the night Elisa began to call me McLite. Not to be confused with McLight. But because I'm small and white. Yes, Elisa is the one who gets credit for why ultimately people call me MC.

We had good fun times after that. Hanging with her and Dre. Chillin at Eworld when she was working. Being company when she had to close. Rapping. Singing. Shopping. Joking. Laughing. Good times.

Now let me share with you an excerpt in my diary I wrote about year after that as things were taking a turn for the worst in our friendship.

February 4th, 2007 "In a short period of time in my life, this friend became a huge part of it. They taught me many things and I am forever changed through their wisdom, strength, and influence. I now just pray that I can continue to grow and learn through their influence upon me and that I won't let them down. This friend I know will not be hindered by me being gone in any way. They have too many of amazing people in their life who would never have done, or do, what I did. I can't believe I've done this. I've probably just ruined one of the best gifts God has ever given me. I treated a friend like crap and in the end I just feel like crap."
Slightly dramatic you may say. But in all honesty, real. Without going into too much detail, I had deliberately done something against her, broke her trust, and ultimately paid the price for it. I lost her as a friend. Like I said, I had lost friends before, but this was different. This was one of the hardest times in my life.
We didn't really talk or anything for a very long time.
But how great is our God! Our God is a God of Restoration. And He began to restore our relationship.
So another day I'll never forget. I had just heard some news that for me was very hard to swallow and handle. I was confused, hurt, and brokenhearted. I walked into Starbucks that day and immediately Elisa took me in her arms & consoled me. No one thought to do this, but she knew I needed it. Funny thing is, what I was hurt by was very much connected to the reason we hadn't been friends. And that is why I can tell you it was God. God is the only One who could have brought restoration in that circumstance.
And I can also attest to you that our God is a God of Abundance. Over and beyond what we ever imagine.
Elisa and I ultimately became roommates!
So you don't think it's weird, I've been friends with Robert Lopez pretty much the same amount of time. He has always been like my brother.

Well, Robert and Elisa got married!

Robert moved in. I still live there. I live with them. The joke is I'm they're love child. It's so funny and perfect how things turned out. It just works and it's super great! I love them both. They are great friends individually and an awesome couple!

God is a God of Abundant Restoration, Love, and Joy.
I never would have imagined.

Here are some photos from they're wonderful wedding

Friday, July 2, 2010


Today, I got the wonderful privilege of taking a dear friend's family pictures. It was technically my first family photo shoot & it was so much fun. I hadn't seen Koran for two years (she informed me of this fact). We met in high school at good ol' Southridge. Well, actually that isn't quite true. If I'm correct, we really first met the summer before our freshman year. On the basketball court of the SHS gym. There we battled to show what we had. I think we would battle the years to come as well. I vividly remember being at basketball camp the summer before our sophomore year, sharing a room, & emotions were high. Inevitably, Koran & I fought...with just words, but it was a pivotal point in our friendship to say the least. I don't remember how things were mended, but all I care about is that we had & we are still friends now years after graduating. One of a handful I can really say that about. That's when you really know when you'll be friends forever. Atleast, I hope we will. She is so great. I can't believe she is married & a mother of two! My friend is a married women with two's strange to be at that age that my friends can be married with kids & careers. I feel behind. Not that I'm want to rush anything though! Definitely not. But nonetheless, strange. It was great to meet her little family, Nathan (her husband), beautiful energic Paiton, & handsome little man Richard. Here's a peek of our fun time down in the Columbia Park. Koran was smart & incorporated 4th of July.

Friday, April 9, 2010

A Little Piece of My Heart

Loved by God's Whole Heart.

Kimbo, Africa.

I was there in Africa almost two months ago now. I believe a little piece of me has never left. It probably never will. Every time I look at pictures or hear certain songs or wear the scarf given to me, my heart aches.

All sorts of aches.

Aches of 'gosh I can't believe I got to go'.
Aches of 'my goodness I loved it so much'.
Aches of 'I love it still'.
Aches of 'missing it and everyone there'.
Aches of 'when can I go back'.

And aches of the most prominent 'I have to go back'.

Its been said before I'm sure just in different words about different things.

I went to impart yet was imparted to in the process. I went to touch yet was touched. I went to bless yet was blessed far more. I went to teach yet was taught.

I went with a mission. I went to tell people The Good News. To reach people. To extend hope. To love people.

Yet I will be forever changed by the love that was shown to I and the others with me by the people of Kimbo.

Look at the faces of those who have changed my life forever. Look at the faces that have been through things at ages we couldn't imagine. Look at the faces that continue to love and have hope even in the midst of struggle and poverty. Look at the faces God loves with all His heart.

The Beloved Image beginning.