I was born and raised in Vineland, New Jersey (the birthplace of Welch’s Grape Juice). My childhood memories are mostly filled with music and experiences in church. I come from a line of talented musicians, so family time looked more like jam sessions. We’d fill the living room with the sounds of the saxophone, guitar, trumpets, drums, tambourine, congas and four-part harmonies.
Some of the tunes we played came from the beautiful island of Puerto Rico (our cultural roots), but most came from the coritos (little choruses) we learned growing up in the Latin@ Pentecostal church. Because of my family’s deep commitment to the body of Christ, I grew up in church choirs, going to board meetings, visiting congregants’ homes and the Arts/Crafts hour with the “church mothers” on Tuesday afternoons.
A few choice words that reflect different aspects of who I am…
Salsa. I like it with blue corn tortilla chips and when I’m on the dance floor.
Passion. I bring this to everything that comes my way in life. It is also a wonderful fruit juice.
Singing. Everything from Motown to Johnny Cash to the Lord’s Prayer.
Authentic. I strive to be this in my relationships with friends, family, at work, and before God.
Creative. I believe that I was made in the image of the Great Creator, the One who continues to create. I want to go do likewise, to bring color and life into the shadowed and broken places of our world.
Grace. I have it when I walk in heels, but struggle receiving it when I make a mistake.
Fun. It is not just what happens when the workday is over or on the weekends. It is becoming a word I use to describe the mountains of struggle that ultimately bring meaning and value to my liife.
Faith. It is the unseen ground that keeps my feet steadily as I walk on this Christian journey.
Spam. A canned “meat” that few dare eat, but I thoroughly enjoy with white rice and black beans. It is also something that clutters my email accounts.
I like reading books that help to develop my theological understandings of life. (There is nothing better than curling up next to the fireplace with a commentary on Song of Songs.) I also enjoy reading books like The Hunger Games, and giving them my own theological spin. However, my biggest book temptation is in the category of fashion. I have read books by fashion icons Nina Garcia, Isaac Mizrahi, Clinton Kelly and Stacy London. My favorite fashion book is A Guide to Quality, Taste, & Style, by Tim Gunn.