Happy California Day to Me

One whole year

I made it. A whole year in California all by my lonesome. Of course, I wasn't alone, the Lord was with me the whole time. One year ago today, I embarked on an incredible journey of faith and fearlessness to the state of which I've always dreamed. God's wisdom lead me and His favor went before me and made a way for me (and still continues to do so). I write this post from my new housemate's home. I moved in with the best friend of my former house mom on July 1st and celebrated my first California fourth of July! Looking back over the past year, I can see how blessed I have been. How much God has done for me out of His faithfulness and provision. I'm sitting here in my housemate's backyard by their pool as the sun sets and takes the colors of the day with it, and I am so thankful to be where I am.

... I want to end this post at "... so thankful to be where I am." but I can't, though I am. This is the first I've written in a couple o…

Lighten Up


This is a spoken word piece I wrote on the first of this month after learning of the death of yet another young man with brown skin at the hands of the police. The following words come from a place of hurt and frustration and anger for the late child's family and friends and for all those who look like me and have dealt with this type of killing. It is heart wrenching and devastating that these types of murders are still taking place. My first thought after reading about Jordan Edwards, the boy who was murdered by a police officer, was, "Not again." When will it end?

You know what I find ironic and twisted? The fact that, according to this news article, Jordan got shot after he and his brothers were leaving a party because they heard gun shots. Wow.

Lighten Up
May 1, 2017

What will it take for me to be safe?
What will it take for me to no longer be a threat in your eyes?
Shall I bite my tongue at your command?
Make my palms open and plain for you to see?
Shall I hold them …

For a Moment

May 3, 2017

An original poem inspired by a typically difficult eating experience that I got through with the much appreciated help of friends.

I did something without you today
Well, you were still there, I guess, in a way
But maybe the hunger helped silence your voice
Helped silence the demands you disguised as my choice
And I don't mean hunger for food or for drink
But something much deeper than what one would think
Something like freedom to pick and to choose
To settle on something without your abuse
But I know you're still there, lurking around
Waiting for all of this soon to go down
For now though, the voice of support's in my ear
Cheering me on and fighting the fear
"You'll regret it", you say
And I know this is true
But today, at least, I did something without you
Will it happen again?
That I don't know
Do I even want it to?
Only time will show

Please Don't Say You Don't See Color

I'm Rayven

This is an original piece I wrote on January 23, 2017. Enjoy.

Don't use my ethnicity as a means to divide but use it as a means to understand where I'm from and what makes me different. I do see color and we should all see differences. To say we don't see color is weird and implies that differences are not good. It's okay to see me as a person who has brown skin, as long as you don't treat me badly because of it. It's okay and appropriate to notice that my skin's tone is different than yours, we learned how to distinguish colors in kindergarten. Just don't treat me with a lack of respect because of it. Don't let it divide us into a group of colors like we're a bunch of crayons. We aren't. I'm Rayven and I have so much to offer. I am kind and honest, I am creative and love to laugh. I love to inspire and encourage others. I can sing and write. I am worth more than the melanin of my skin. A brown crayon can only add color to a…

Praise Helps

What's good

I was talking to my "house mom" tonight and she let me know she had been concerned about me lately. She noticed my demeanor and how it's been down recently and offered great advice. She told me to "take off the garment of heaviness for the garment of praise". But how does one do that? Spending time in the Lord's presence definitely helps and the Word of God tells us that He inhabits the praises of His people. In addition to resting in the Lord, she suggested I make a list of some things that He has already done for me. It's a practice of mine to remind myself of God's previous goodness in my life during times when I may be struggling and even though I'm not really struggling to believe in God's faithfulness right now, I still think it would be helpful to do. The Bible tells us to think on those things that are good and lovely and true and just. What equals that more than the demonstrations of God's goodness in our lives?




I looked up online a shelter for abused women. I applied for it and immediately felt fear. What was I doing? How could I do this? Leave Ed, my... "best friend"? But I felt a drive and compulsion to stick with it.

I jumped at the sound of his presence. Hi.
What are you doing?
What was I doing? Nothing. Uh, nothing.
You're making a mistake, you know?
What are you talking about?
We both know what you're doing.
It's not like I'm leaving tonight or anything.
So you are planning on leaving, then?
Why was I the one feeling bad? No, I just... I don't know. I sighed.
That's okay, I already told you you could leave. I'm not stopping you. It just sucks what's going to happen.
What do you mean "what's going to happen"?
Look at you, you haven't reached your goal. What do you think is going to happen when you start listening to her again?
Oh God. Oh God. Oh God. No, don't panic. He's wrong, don't panic.
That's okay, at least you…

Peace in the Process

Despite the fear of moving forward

Let me start with honesty. Depression. It sucks and it's been creeping back over me and despite how much I've tried to ignore it, I can't. I've been lax with writing here lately because not only have I not had motivation, I've had no energy. I had no encouraging things to say. The last post about self care took a lot but thankfully, the words came together. And now I'm here, trying to mentally prepare (read: mentally avoid) for what is likely to be at least a six month stay in another treatment facility. What am I thinking? I have begun the daunting task of  seriously looking for an ed center and it seems that I will be admitted into a place called Mercy Multiplied very soon-- I have a phone intake session tomorrow morning so yeah. Needless to say, I'm very freaked out. Scared. Terrified. Yeah, that's it. I'm terrified. And it's not the idea of treatment that terrifies me. I was nervous about treatment back when…