Monthly Archives: July 2014

In Defense of Awkward

I have many weird traits. One, I love dark, quiet places. So when I feel stressed (particularly during thunderstorms…which is a constantly occurring situation that leaves me feeling stressed), I like to hide in my closet. Yep, my closet. Also, I’m super shy and quiet, and often experience (and am the cause) of the totally-awkward silence in which the other person expects me to say something, but I really just can’t…So yeah…

I have no (absolutely no) sense of direction, so I am constantly going back and retracing my steps to try to figure out where I went wrong. Sometimes I have to retrace my steps several times, probably causing people to wonder about the woman who is wandering around with a confused look on her face.

Finally, I have a tendency to run into things. Particularly in the mornings. Particularly when I’m tired (see: every morning). Usually these ‘things’ I run into are street lights. Yep. While walking (and daydreaming) I have often found myself crashing face first into a street light that I hadn’t previously seen (note to urban developers: Do we really need so many street lights? They are a safety hazard). Thankfully, usually no one sees this. If someone does happen to witness me walking into a streetlight (or sometimes a car door) I quickly start walking the other way, while trying to convince myself that they didn’t really see me.

In short, I’m awkward. I’m a book-loving, clumsy, klutzy awkward woman. The awkwardness hasn’t really gone away as I’ve grown older, but (I believe) I’ve been able to hide it (a little better).

But, I’m beginning to realize that maybe hiding it is the wrong way to go about being awkward. Maybe awkward needs a defender. Because awkward is kind of cool. My awkward is what sets me apart from everyone else. I would be totally normal if it weren’t for my quirks, but who wants to be totally normal anyway? Many people don’t love my awkward traits (I spend countless hours with people who tell me I need to talk more, smile more, be more, do more…). The ‘more’ crowd would love me to be confident, bold, articulate, insightful. The more crowd would love me to always be in style, always know the right words to say, the right things to do. The ‘more’ crowd would love for me to be coordinated, to glide through life like a dancer who is always sure of the right moves.

I’m beginning to realize that the ‘more crowd’ doesn’t really love me.

Instead, I’m loved by those who see the awkward, and who know how to point me in the right direction, or not mention the knot on my forehead (courtesy of my head intimately meeting yet another pole). I’m loved by those who give me books, and those who can laugh with me at my weirdness. My awkward is what separates the people who are real and true from those who I need to stay away from. My awkward is what compels me to write, and read and dream. It’s what causes me to be vulnerable and real, and what compels others to be vulnerable and real with me.

In short, even though I don’t always like my awkward, I love it, and am slowly starting to embrace it. I’d encourage you to do the same. When you begin to embrace the thing (or things) that make you awkward and weird, you begin to see that the same things that make you awkward, are the things that make you special.

In short, be you, the weird, wild, wonderful you.



Photo Copyright: icetray / 123RF Stock Photo

Prayer for the Day


As we get ready for another work week, wrap us all in Your arms of protection. Be our guide and our help and help us to always remember you. Give us the wisdom to make good choices and the courage to dream big. May we make lasting memories and have a love that overflows.

You are good.

In Jesus’ Name,

Talk back:  What do you need to pray for this week?

Copyright: marishaz / 123RF Stock Photo

Weekend Lounge: Art, Music, Fun

Weekend Lounge is just that. A place where you can sit back and  chill. We’re bringing you the best in music, art and entertainment. Enjoy your weekend!




Dark, stooped over, fragmented piece of glass sat she
cold and alone, and void of poetry
her verse was gone, her rhythm stopped, no song to sing
she wanted to fly, but couldn’t find her wings,
This dark essence, no one to hope in her words,
hear her voice, sing her song,
stepped on, beaten by life,
stooped over, utterly alone,
for what do I do when my strength is gone?
and I have no poetry?

No one to glean from
no inspiration comes
the future looks bleak,
her body is weak,
mindless but mindful
that there’s no sunshine in store
for her
whose poetry is gone.

Her glory, her essence, her strength, her smile
has long been forgotten
and replaced with the chains
of her Mistakes and her Shame
blighted and sinful and stricken with a curse
lies this silent woman who has been stripped of her verse,
Where is her story? What has become of her glory?

She can’t see the writing of her Maker’s hand
can’t read the words, can’t find the faith to see
what her mortal eyes cannot see
they say the storm will be over
but how can that be?
for someone who has lost her poetry?

But the Writer still writes
with His holy pen
and every stormy story
has a middle and end
and even the lonely can find a Friend
in the arms of Her Maker.

‘Your story’, He says,
‘Is still there, still being written,
still under My care.
I’ve allowed this storm to come and the
fog to fill your eyes so that you could not see
My will but now you must realize, child,
the web of your life is still being spun,
the song you once had is still being sung.

Your story, my child, is telling the tale,
of one who has overcome, a storm, a gale
I’m bringing you through
When you look up
I’m still holding you.

Stand up, My Daughter, I won’t let you fall
I haven’t forgotten your voice and your call
have not gone unheeded.
You can’t believe because you can’t see
the ending of your story
but don’t look at that, look at Me,
and see my Love, and My Comfort, my Glory, My Care
I who will never forget you and will always be there
who has written your name in the Book of Life
so that she who once had no story
will forever see My Glory
she who once had no song, will forever sing Hallelujah,
with tears in her eyes, remembering the times that she tried
on vain,

to write her own story, by herself,
forgetting, to put her hand in Mine
but now this time, she has decided to trust
In her Storyteller’s care, to rest in His arms
and watch as he gently turns the page in the Book

and gives her a sweet verse.


Love this video by John Legend, celebrating beauty of all kinds.

My God is Awesome Remix by Charles Jenkins featuring Jessica Reedy, Isaac Carree, Da Truth and Canton Jones. Lift Him Up!



For those of us who need a little extra help at clubs and parties….tips below:

Comedian Michael Jr.

Photo Copyrights (from top to bottom):
aleksander1 / 123RF Stock Photo
szefei / 123RF Stock Photo

3 Tips for Great Summer Hair

Summer is a time filled with heat, humidity, swimming pools and rain. All of these things means that we need to approach hair care differently during this time. Here are some simple tips for keeping your hair fresh and healthy this summer.

1. Consider washing your hair more frequently

Michaela wash

Heat, chlorine, sweat and pollution (eww!) all mean that your hair may need to be washed more frequently in the summer. If you typically wash your hair once every two weeks, consider washing it every week. If you usually wash your hair once a week, consider washing or co-washing your hair three or four times a week. Regardless of what schedule you choose, be sure to  wash your hair after you get into a pool or have an intense workout . Chlorine and sweat can really dry out your hair if you let it. Also, say no to the heavy greases and opt for lighter moisturizers during the summer.

2. If you usually wear protective styles, summer is a good time to (sometimes) wear your hair out.

Michaela afro

Even though there are many things in the air in the summer that can potentially harm your hair during the warmer months, summer also brings with it much more humidity, which can be good for your hair if you enjoy wearing it out. So feel free to let your hair down a few times during the more humid days!

3. However…summer is also a great time for letting your hair rest.

Michaela braids

If you (like me) tend to go a little crazy with the flat iron or relaxers during the year, consider giving your hair a break during the summer. Braids, buns,  sew-ins and half wigs are great ideas for letting your hair rest. However, even while ‘resting’ your hair, make sure to continue washing and moisturizing it regularly. Also, if you do decide to opt for braids or weaves during the summer, be sure that your hair isn’t braided too tight (Basically, if you have a headache after a braid job, it’s too tight).

So remember that if you wash, moisturize and protect your hair this summer, you will better ensure that your hair looks great all year long.

photo credits (from top to bottom): Copyright: basheeradesigns / 123RF Stock Photo Copyright: subbotina / 123RF Stock Photo Copyright: sam74100 / 123RF Stock Photo Copyright: warnerbroers / 123RF Stock Photo

Surviving Summer Camp

Art Camp? Band Camp? Cheer Camp? Sports Camp? Church Camp?

Here at Michaela Mag, we are intimately acquainted with the joys (and sometimes pain) of summer camp. On one hand, you make friends and memories that may last forever. On the other hand, you’re often crammed into a shady dorm-room or cabin with who-knows-how-many other females and subjected to more forced bonding than you could ever need in your lifetime. Here are some tips for how to survive summer camp with your sanity intact.

1. Remember the essentials:
Camp comes with many hazards: bugs, sunburn, insect bites, headaches….so make sure you come prepared. For any outdoor, overnight camp you go on, remember to pack:

  • Sunblock lotion
  • Insect spray
  • Sleeping bag/pillow
  • hoodie
  • socks (seriously, if you forget these, you’ll seriously regret it)
  • walking shoes
  • flip flops/shower shoes
  • bathing suit
  • Umbrella
  • Pain relieving pills (like Tylenol)
  • glasses
  • Any prescription medications
  • a whistle and a flashlight
  • any camp-specific supplies (sports gear/art gear/ etc.)
  • extra cash
  • digital camera

Also, it’s helpful to bring along a sheet of paper with the following information:

  • Your name
  • Emergency contact information
  • Health insurance info
  • Allergies/illnesses
  • Prescription medication information
  • These things will make your time at camp much easier.

2. Make a Plan….
Because I’m an extreme introvert, the idea of spending an entire week socializing made me want to crawl into a hole. But, I survived, in part, by making a plan of attack. For me, that plan was to make sure that…regardless of what other girls were doing…I would be curled up in my sleeping bag–alone–by a certain time each night. The first night of camp, I would try to find someone who felt the same way so that I didn’t feel alone doing this. Whatever your deal is with camp: make a plan for it. This may mean finding a roommate ahead of time, scoping out the girls who are less likely to get on your nerves to get to know, finding a quiet spot where you can spend your alone time when you need it, calling friends or ‘rents at a certain time each day, or stuffing food you actually like into your suitcase. Whatever it is that will maintain your sanity, make a plan to incorporate it into your camp survival plan.

3. …But be open
Not everything that I encountered during camp was fun: loud campers, drama, food I didn’t like, rain, and forced ice-breakers were some of the things that come to mind that were decidedly not fun. But…I found that when I took a deep breath, silently repeated to myself “It’s only for a week…” and plastered on a fake smile, some of the things about camps that I once rolled my eyes at became bearable, and I got to meet some great people. So be open, step out of your comfort zone and embrace the crazy that is camp. That way, on the last day, you’ll look around and see that ‘camp’ with all it’s quirk becomes your home away from home.

4. Work Hard
If you are at a themed camp (sports camp, cheer camp, band camp, art/music camp, etc). work your tail off. Camp is the place where you learn fundamentals and routines so keep your head in the game, show up and be ready to work. By working hard during camp, your post-camp life will be much easier.

5. Help Out
Whether it’s kitchen duty, helping others find where things are, or simply being a friend to someone who is homesick-help out during camp when it’s needed. You know you’re awesome, and helping out is a way to expose others to the awesome that is you.

6. Follow Up
Do not forget your camera. I repeat, do not forget your camera. Take pictures, get names and numbers from new friends and follow up–either on Facebook or by phone. That way, the friends you make at camp can be friends that last forever. Also, if you ended up loving camp, consider volunteering to be a counselor or leader next year. This way, you can be involved in making sure others have had as awesome a time at camp as you have!

Let us know: What camps are you off to this summer? What are your tips for surviving?

Image Copyright: kakigori / 123RF Stock Photo