About Sameer

I seek to live my life in a way that keeps me joyful and young at heart, and helps me to continually see the world and the people in it with awe, wonder, reverence, and thankfulness. It's hard, but it's definitely possible, and it's actually what God wants for us! I love reflecting on and writing about the human condition, and the desires and battles common to us all. I would love to connect with you - please reach out anytime! Learn More...

When Your Ministry is Taken Away From You

2018-03-21T23:52:01+00:00 By |Strength, Wisdom|

Have you ever been humming along in one direction, and then all of a sudden life takes a sharp, quick turn? And while the effect may not be disabling or deadly, it does throw you for a loop. And leave you wondering “what now, God?” That is what has happened to me – and by no means is it crippling, nor does it induce a state of depression or rage. ...

When Nothing You Do Is Working

2018-03-14T05:07:48+00:00 By |Courage|

I  am in a deep, dark valley. I know that sounds really dramatic, but that is my reality. The current season of my life has been marked by incredible futility. Pretty much everything I am trying to do right now is met with failure. As an example, I’ve been wanting to find a mentor – praying about it, reaching out to people, seeking out connections, making sure it’s not contrived ...

When You’re Playing Hide and Seek with God

2018-03-21T23:52:28+00:00 By |Faith, Wisdom|

I  have a three-year old nephew named Blake, and he is the cutest thing alive.  I bet that all uncles say that about their nephews and nieces, but I personally think Blake would out-cute all other cute kids in any cuteness competition! Well, he and his family visited us this summer, and we spent our days going to the beach, swimming in the neighborhood pool, watching movies, and just spending ...

When God is Close to the Brokenhearted

2018-03-14T05:20:10+00:00 By |Dating|

There was this one time where I really loved this girl, and she loved me back, but things got jacked up because life is broken and people are broken and mistakes are made. In this relationship, most days were really, really great. But there was one day when something happened and my heart was shattered into a million pieces. I can’t get into the details, but I feel like most ...

How Faith Helps You Climb Mountains and Get Home Safe

2018-03-14T05:23:17+00:00 By |Courage|

Rachel adores The Sound of Music. Personally, I knew all of the songs from as far back as I can remember (I am pretty sure my parents had me watch it when I was seven), but I really didn’t remember the storyline. I mean, I remembered a nun, a bunch of cute kids, some Nazis, and a LOT of singing. But that’s really it. Well, on our recent trip backpacking ...

When You Struggle With Never Being Good Enough

2018-05-21T13:21:08+00:00 By |Courage|

One of the very generous gifts Sameer and I received for our marriage last year was a week-long trip to St. Thomas.  Sameer had to continue work remotely so it turned into a kind of solo retreat for me most of the time. As a new bride, I thought it would tear my heart into pieces to be on my own sometimes, but it turned into a time of deep ...

When Fear Keeps You From Miraculous Moments

2018-03-19T03:16:05+00:00 By |Courage|

Living only a few miles from the ocean in Southeast Florida, I have the opportunity to enjoy it all the time.  I appreciate it for many of the same qualities that others do: its power, vastness, rhythmic regularity, blueness, and beauty.  What I love most, though, is taking it in at night.  The crowds are gone, it’s peaceful, and the darkness all around me adds an element of mystery and ...

When You Can’t Help Others Help Themselves

2018-03-19T03:19:59+00:00 By |Wisdom|

In my last blog, I talked about my “savior complex” and how my compulsion to rescue others from their perceived or actual problems actually made me miserable. Perhaps you could relate to that. Today, I want to explore in depth when it isn’t a good idea to get involved in other people’s lives unless it’s truly led by God, instead of your own mercurial emotions and desire to constantly be ...

When You Always Feel Compelled to Rescue Others

2018-03-14T05:46:34+00:00 By |Wisdom|

I was talking with my friend Brittany recently about the way we spend our time, and one of the things that came up has to do with our involvement in the lives of others. Now, I think we are meant to do life in community, and be connected with a group of like-minded individuals who can be there for us while we also are available for them. Life pretty much ...

When I Foolishly Choose Me over Us

2018-05-21T13:12:36+00:00 By |Dating, Marriage|

Recently, Rachel and I took a train from London to the East coast of England so that we could walk the White Cliffs of Dover.  It was probably my most favorite experience during our entire time backpacking Europe, only because everything that day was so beautiful – the weather (partly cloudy and breezy, with great lighting for pictures), the cliff’s edge, the wildflowers, the rolling hills, the castle in the ...

When God Corrects Us to Protect Us

2018-03-14T05:55:21+00:00 By |Wisdom|

During our recent backpacking trip through parts of Europe, an interesting thing happened. We were walking around a city square in Ghent, Belgium one workday afternoon, and we saw a child running from the middle of the square toward the busy, crowded street. He must have been about two years old, and it caused us alarm because nobody wants to see a kid to go running into a dangerous situation ...

Rachel’s Thoughts On Marriage

2018-05-21T09:04:57+00:00 By |Marriage|

Sameer and I celebrated our one-year anniversary on May 23rd of this year, and it was spectacular. Our first year has had its bumps and bruises and hiccups, but I am so happy to say that we are even more madly in love now than we were a year ago. I wanted to take some time to write about and share my thoughts on marriage after our first year with ...

What I’ve Learned in my First Year of Marriage

2018-05-21T09:14:35+00:00 By |Marriage|

Rachel and I just celebrated our first wedding anniversary on May 23rd. So here I am, starting my second year as a husband. I’m no longer a newlywed, and in the parlance of sports, my rookie year is over. It’s been a great first year. I say that with hesitation because I know many, many couples have had a crappy first year as they get used to each other and ...

When our Hearts are Restless

2018-03-21T23:53:03+00:00 By |Faith|

Just like at the beginning of a new year, the beginning of my summer gives me a chance to consider how the first few five months have gone, and recalibrate my trajectory if I've gone a bit off track.  While it was a successful Spring semester, I do wish I would have spent more time with God.  Those of you who know me know that at the end of my ...

How to Get Over the Girl

2018-03-15T04:09:32+00:00 By |Courage, Dating|

So there was this one time where I really liked a particular girl.  It was way back in 2005.  She was all wrong for me, but I still wanted it to work, and gave it my all because I thought it just might.  I would be sweet and endearing and thoughtful.  I would demonstrate in meaningful ways how much I cared about her and her family.  I would put in ...

When You Really Want to Find a Mentor

2018-03-19T05:24:16+00:00 By |Wisdom|

The Karate Kid – the original version, which came out in 1984 - is one of my all-time favorite movies.  Why? Well, I could relate to Daniel LaRusso, the introverted, awkward, skinny underdog who was valiantly trying to make friends and fit in at his new school in California.  Plus, most boys my age saw the film and instantly developed a hopeless crush on Ali Mills in all of her ...

When You Are Scared of Sudden Disaster

2018-03-19T05:23:29+00:00 By |Courage, Wisdom|

When I look back upon my life, I realize that the most unproductive thing I can do is to fear the future. And yet, I have done it. I mean, we all have done it. We just want life turn out a certain way, and we pour ourselves out to make that happen, and don't want our blood, sweat, and tears to be wasted. And so we spend even more ...

Are You Safe To Be Yourself in Your Marriage?

2018-03-19T03:18:33+00:00 By |Dating, Marriage|

Lately I have been reflecting on the passion, energy, and effort involved when a guy really likes a girl and just wants to be with her. You know, when he's past the uncertainty and has made up his mind that she's the one for him for forever, and he goes all gung-ho pursuing her and trying to win her heart. I mean, this hypothetical guy spends time in the gym ...

When Love Starts to Become Conditional

2018-03-19T05:22:51+00:00 By |Dating, Marriage|

When I was first falling for Rachel, I tried to do everything to win her heart. I remember teaching her how to juggle, and showing her how to play guitar. I remember writing her poems and letters, and talking with her on the phone for hours, and gladly giving up time I could spend doing the things I’ve always done (my work, my fitness, whatever) just so that I could ...

Sleeping With My Wife

2018-03-19T05:21:52+00:00 By |Marriage|

A couple weeks ago, we were hanging out with our friends Becky and Jared, and we got to talking about marriage and sleeping together. It got me thinking about my own experience, and what I am learning, and what we are figuring out, and so I thought I would share it with you all. First off, I've slept alone my entire life. I've never had to share a bed with ...

Does God Share Secrets With You?

2018-03-21T23:53:18+00:00 By |Faith|

To start the new year off right, I’m reading Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts and it’s teaching me a lot about counting my blessings on a daily basis, and how that directly produces joy in life. I will probably blog about the book when I am done because I’m finding it life-changing, but for now I want to write about something else that the book prompted within me. Ann is ...

When You’re Always Looking for More

2018-03-21T23:53:30+00:00 By |Wisdom|

Well, it’s the end of 2015. And I’m doing some reflecting, of course. Maybe I should wait until New Year’s Eve, but I’m on Christmas break, and so my mind is in an introspective mood. Here's my main question: am I happy with how this year has gone? For the most part, yes. I mean, I think that all of us feel a bit of restlessness and perhaps even resignation ...

When You Feel Like An Imposter

2018-03-21T23:53:48+00:00 By |Courage, Wisdom|

I have been thinking recently about the Imposter Syndrome. You know, the fear I sometimes feel that I will be found out. That it will be revealed that I don't have what it takes. That people will discover that I'm a fraud. A poser. A complete phony. "All I can see is everything I’m doing wrong that is a sham and a fraud." ~ Don Cheadle Research shows that many ...

When You Catch Someone Messing Up

2018-03-19T04:13:33+00:00 By |Courage|

A while ago, I stopped by CVS after playing ultimate frisbee at school to pick up some mouthwash and some toiletries. It was just time to run some errands, no big deal. But as I was walking through the aisles by the pharmacy, I saw this guy - who looked to be around 23 or so - grab what seemed to be some over-the-counter medication and put it under his ...

What I’ve Learned in Six Months of Marriage

2018-04-06T09:16:49+00:00 By |Marriage|

I am six months in. To marriage. To being a husband, and having a wife. And it’s actually going great. You know me by now, I always want to be completely candid so that in my vulnerability you can find value. And so really, it’s been solid. I honestly thought I was going to struggle a lot – not because of Rachel, but because I have been so used to ...

Where Do I Get My Identity?

2018-03-22T00:00:47+00:00 By |Wisdom|

I have been thinking a lot about identity this week, probably I went to a concert this Tuesday. I finally got to see New Found Glory live, one of my all-time favorite bands and one that I’ve listened to for the last 16 years. They are a pop punk band out of Coral Springs, Florida, and I absolutely love their music because of the lyrics, the energy, the guitar licks ...

How to Find your Calling

2018-05-21T13:18:06+00:00 By |Wisdom|

In my last blog entry, I asked “What is your Calling?” and covered a number of related issues. I first discussed that a 'calling' is the secret of who you are meant to be, instead of something that you simply do (for a living, etc.). I also shared that I believe a vocation and a calling are different for most people, and that the former won’t ultimately fulfill you, but ...

What is your Calling?

2018-05-21T13:32:45+00:00 By |Wisdom|

I’ve been thinking a lot these days about contentment, and specifically how it relates to my calling. When I use the term “calling” I mean the secret of who you are meant to ‘be,’ and I am not referring to one’s “vocation,” which is the truth of what you can best ‘do.’ We’ll talk more about that below. But for now, I mean what Mark Twain was referring to when ...

Life Lessons I’ve Learned from Ultimate Frisbee

2018-03-22T00:02:37+00:00 By |Wisdom|

I love ultimate Frisbee. So much. If I could play every day of the week, I would. I just find it so fulfilling and fun because it’s competitive, exciting, and a workout – and it requires digging deep and pushing oneself to run and jump faster, harder, and higher than those around you. For those of you who have never played, allow me to provide some background before I tell ...

How the Shortness of Life Can Motivate You

2018-05-21T13:03:08+00:00 By |Wisdom|

None of us like to think about our impending mortality. But I think about it all the time. And for me, it’s a good thing. It helps me. It serves as my decision filter on a daily basis. And so I thought it would be worth exploring the value of this notion, because the years keep going by and our mortality is just—relevant. It’s something we can benefit from keeping ...

Lead with your sadness, and follow with your success

2018-03-19T04:09:24+00:00 By |Wisdom|

My friend Dan and I went on our annual Adventure Week at the end of this summer, which typically involves either skiing/snowboarding (during the winter) or backpacking/hiking/climbing (during the summer) in Colorado. Even if my life is bursting with busyness and responsibilities and commitments (and perhaps especially so), I need to do this once a year and just get away. It helps me to get off the treadmill of normal ...

My Goals Poster for 2015

2018-04-06T09:16:43+00:00 By |Faith|

If you've known me for a while, you know that each year I try to put together a collage of sorts with images from the Web - which I call my Goals Poster.  It's just a visual depiction of the major things I want to do in my life that year, and it helps me to boldly put my hopes and dreams and ambitions "out there" instead of just keeping ...

When You Know, You Know

2018-03-19T04:07:44+00:00 By |Dating|

When it comes to finding the “one,” I’ve heard many people say that. “When you know, you know.” I’ve always been like, what does that even mean? How are you supposed to know? And is it so definitive? How can you have a perfect peace about committing to something/someone for the REST OF YOUR LIFE, no matter what? And since it is one of the biggest leaps of faith that ...

It’s Okay to be the Little Spoon

2018-03-22T00:03:21+00:00 By |Marriage|

So, my friend Arturo and I joke about spooning a lot. We don’t do so in a crude way, but just because it’s something that people don’t talk about, and it represents an amalgamation of elements which are heavy and all too real: intimacy, vulnerability, masculinity, and femininity. And something we always tell each other with a wry smile is…. “it’s okay to be the little spoon.” I think about ...

When You’re Counting, You’re Not Trusting

2018-03-19T04:05:52+00:00 By |Wisdom|

So, one of the stories in the Bible that has struck and always stayed with me is from 1 Chronicles 21:1 (and from 2 Samuel 24:1). Basically, God had ended a three-year famine, and David’s kingdom was thriving. His nemesis Saul was dead, and he had recently crushed the Philistines, Moabites, and Ammonites, and he was pummeling any enemies that went up against him. And everything was going along quite ...

Any Guy Can Get Any Girl

2018-03-19T04:05:25+00:00 By |Singleness|

As I’ve mentioned a few years ago on this blog, beautiful girls are everywhere. EVERYWHERE. And growing up during my adolescence as a warm-blooded heterosexual male, I really liked looking at them. And I wanted to become their friend. And I wanted to become their boyfriend. And wanted to marry them and make babies with them and live happily ever after with them. Well, not “them” – just one of ...

Is Your Heart Closing Off, or Opening Up?

2018-03-19T03:40:56+00:00 By |Wisdom|

I’ve been thinking a lot about the state of my heart recently. I feel like it’s in a good place. I feel close to God, I don’t feel like I have any unresolved conflict or tension I should address, I feel like I doing the things that make Him proud of me. But I recognize I am still living in this world, and exposed to all sorts of pressures and ...

Learning Lessons the First Time Around

2018-03-19T03:44:10+00:00 By |Wisdom|

A handful of years ago, I realized that my brain works in this very linear and sequential fashion – which sounds good and healthy and all that, but actually is a bit dysfunctional when coupled with my always-doing-something personality. Basically, the way that I am wired is that I am always onto the next thing before I’m fully finished with the first thing because my mind just automatically and mechanically ...

What If Your Summer Camp Mentality Was Year Round?

2018-03-19T03:45:01+00:00 By |Courage|

Every summer, I go to summer camp. And I've been doing this for years. To be honest, things are a little different now that I am an adult in that I don't go as a camper, but as a volunteer or counselor or leader or helper (depending on the camp). Back in the day, though, I loved going to camps every summer - with my church, with 4H, at the ...

In Your Relationship, Does Your Heart Feel Safe?

2018-03-19T03:45:51+00:00 By |Dating|

I was talking with my friend Tammy the other day and she shared an insight after reflecting on a recent romantic relationship of hers - an insight which I thought was completely profound. And I asked her if I could blog about it, and she said yes. So here I go. Overall, I feel like a lot of people struggle with figuring out whether a person they like, or the ...

How to Conquer Fear

2018-03-19T03:53:00+00:00 By |Strength|

In my last entry, I talked about how sometimes we are just unstable, and it’s not a fun place to be because it makes everything seem so vague and confusing and even arbitrary.  When we are unstable, it feels like we are slowly going blind, or slowly losing our mind.  Sometimes it is just life being life, but sometimes it is really our own fault.  And I guess it stems ...

When You Realize You’re Emotionally Unstable

2018-03-22T00:03:42+00:00 By |Strength, Wisdom|

I have been thinking a lot recently about being unstable.  What seems to cause me to be unstable?  Well, it’s going back and forth on things in my mind.  So I’m not single-minded, I’m double-minded.  And I am realizing I hate being double-minded and I hate being unstable, because it feels like nothing is right and I’ve completely lost focus from what matters.  It’s like, I really want to be ...

When You Want To Live a Great Story

2018-03-22T00:03:58+00:00 By |Courage, Faith, Wisdom|

Alright.  What did I learn from the Storyline conference, if I consider how I've been living my life thus far, and how I want to make sure it is a great story?  Well, the first thing I realized is that even though I am always asking God to come through for me with this or with that, and definitely sometimes getting bummed and frustrated with various things, I have so ...

Viewing Your Life as a Story You Are Writing

2018-03-22T00:06:18+00:00 By |Wisdom|

Last weekend I attended Donald Miller's Storyline conference in San Diego.  It was really, really good.  All of the sessions were inspiring, and appropriately fit together to champion the theme of the weekend, and to springboard me (and the rest of the attendees) forward.  Don spoke for most of the sessions, but other speakers included his friend Bob Goff (who wrote "Love Does" - which is probably the best book ...

When You’re Sick of Doing Things Out of Obligation

2018-03-19T03:55:38+00:00 By |Courage|

I was thinking recently about the reasons why I do what I do.  I mean, my daily, weekly, monthly activities.  A few years ago, I made a commitment to myself to stop doing things out of obligation.  Because I saw too many people around me who were not very happy at all, and seemingly caught up in certain actions and practices and behaviors that they didn't really want to be ...

When You’re Always Caring What Others Think

2018-03-19T03:56:30+00:00 By |Courage|

I've been thinking a lot recently how people have dreams, and they even feel those dreams are from God...and they let other people know about their dreams, and have full faith for them, and wait for them, but it just doesn't happen. Well, it at least hasn't happened yet. And it makes me think about David, and how in his poems and writings, he asks God repeatedly to not let ...

Believing for the Best and Preparing for the Worst

2018-03-19T03:57:15+00:00 By |Courage|

I've been thinking how well-intentioned people, in reference to having a particular outlook toward an event, or experience, or even life in general, say "Expect the best, but prepare for the worst."  Expect the best.  Okay.  But prepare for the worst.  Um.  Okay. I've decided I hate that line.  It sounds good, it sounds conciliatory and maybe even soothing.  But it's so neutral, it's so...antiseptic.  It's so weak, honestly.  At ...

My Goals and Dreams Poster

2018-04-06T09:17:11+00:00 By |Faith|

Every year, I try to make a Goals and Dreams poster just to force myself to articulate tangible things that I want and hope to work towards over the next twelve months.  It seriously helps me. I first pray about a "theme" that God would want to give me for the new year - sort of a defining and encapsulating big picture that will regularly be relevant in interesting and ...

Living on the Edge

2018-03-19T03:58:29+00:00 By |Courage, Strength|

I've been thinking a lot about the edge recently. And living on it. I know that sounds vague. So I'll try to explain. I've been going to yoga relatively regularly for the last few months. The goal has been to really try to increase my flexibility and balance. My hamstrings, for instance, are always tight because I've been running around on fields for decades and I guess I don't really ...

The Beauty of Being Vulnerable in Relationships

2018-03-19T04:00:28+00:00 By |Courage, Dating, Strength|

Ive been thinking a lot about one of C.S. Lewis's most famous and most profound quotes: “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it ...

Testing our Strength

2018-03-19T05:30:08+00:00 By |Courage, Strength|

I have this friend, Wil, who I have known since he was eight.  He will be turning sixteen in January.  I hang out with him and his siblings (they are so much fun, and such great kids!), and his parents mentor me in a variety of ways that help me through life.  It's been really neat to see Wil grow up.  I remember being able to toss him in the ...

How Do You Want People To Think of You?

2018-03-22T00:06:34+00:00 By |Wisdom|

I've been thinking about the legends of the Bible.  It's interesting that if you just think of a particular person, one particular story or aspect of their life comes immediately to mind.  For example, if I said Jonah and __________, you would say, "the whale!"  If I said, David and __________, you would say, "Goliath!"  If I said Samson and __________, you would say, "Delilah!".  If I said, "Job," maybe ...

Why You Should Choose Someone Who Is Pursuing God

2018-03-19T05:27:43+00:00 By |Dating|

So, I mentioned in my last post about girls and standards that I believed a shared faith is so essential, at least to me.  I mentioned that she should be headed in the same spiritual direction as me, and she should earnestly try to live her life with integrity in all areas.  And I think it's a very reasonable standard to have, and one on which I could never compromise.  ...

What Should We Have In Common If We’re Dating?

2018-05-21T13:26:05+00:00 By |Dating|

My friend Mo recently mentioned how she wouldn't date a guy who wasn't into the same type of music as her, and so it got me thinking about our standards for the persons we want to date, and/or fall in love with, and/or spend the rest of our lives with.  Sometimes I feel like my standards for a girl are incredibly - no, insanely - high.  And we all know ...

How Are You Getting Through Life?

2018-03-22T00:06:56+00:00 By |Faith, Strength, Wisdom|

Earlier this semester. my friend Lucas recently twisted his ankle badly while we were playing ultimate frisbee at school. I was pretty close to him when it happened, and we heard a loud pop and so we thought he had completely broken it. Thankfully, though, a visit to the ER revealed that he had a severe strain and would need to stay off of it for a few weeks. So, ...

Playing Fair in Sports and Life

2018-05-21T13:13:12+00:00 By |Wisdom|

I went go to see Les Miserables recently...I had always loved the book and the storyline, and this was my first opportunity to see it on stage. The experience was amazing, and the portrayal of Jean Valjean's inner struggle to do the right thing really gripped me. He had committed a crime (breaking parole) early on in life, and despite all the good that he had since done and was ...

When You’re Single and Waiting

2018-05-21T12:57:16+00:00 By |Singleness|

For those of you who are waiting for your big love, I have to tell you that your life is never going to be the same. And you're probably thinking, that's what I want, I am tired of being alone, I am tired of the single life. I was there, I felt the same way. It felt like it would never end. But when it happened, it was like a ...

When You Have Wandering Eyes and Thoughts

2018-05-21T13:19:59+00:00 By |Dating|

There are beautiful girls everywhere. They are on the treadmills at the gym, they are in the produce section of the grocery store, they are employees where you work or students where you go to school - they are everywhere. But if you are in a relationship - if God blesses you with a relationship, you had better be all about that other person and not have wandering eyes. It ...

Why You Need Confidence in God to Have a Healthy Relationship

2018-03-19T05:25:48+00:00 By |Dating|

One of the character traits that stands out about Nehemiah is that he was so secure. And confident. But you can tell that the confidence isn’t in himself – it is in his God. It’s just crazy how his heart broke for Jerusalem, and he prayed hard and fasted and made sure the Lord’s hand was on this idea he had to rebuild the city walls. And from that point, ...

When You’re Struggling While Waiting For Love

2018-03-19T05:25:18+00:00 By |Singleness|

I’ve been thinking a lot about boy and girl relationships recently, as most of my single friends are in that place where they want it to happen pretty much right now.  I am probably not in any position to offer advice or guidance, and I definitely do not have a lot of experience, but I still wanted to write out my thoughts about some aspects of it. Obviously, we know ...

Remember Me With Favor

2018-03-22T00:07:53+00:00 By |Faith|

One of my most favorite people in the entire Bible is Nehemiah.  He inspires me because of the way he lived and the way he thought about things, and the things that he said.  One of my most favorite things that he said dots the landscape of the book in which he is featured.  In fact, the very last words of this book - nestled between Ezra and Esther - ...