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Humor / Motherhood

God, Gratitude and Gangsta Rap

God, Gratitude and Gangsta Rap

You would never guess by looking at me, but I can spew N.W.A. lyrics like I grew up on the streets of Compton. Clearly, I didn’t; I’m a suburban white mom but I grew up listening to gangsta rap, one of the (many) ways I impressed my now husband, who IS an actual gangster (not really, but he’s bad a$$, and I’m not embellishing just because he’s my husband).

I moved from Morrison, Colorado to Hobe Sound, Florida following the incredibly unexpected loss of my father when I was 11. I went from a predominantly white elementary school (and when I say predominantly, I mean probably 99.99%) to a predominantly black middle school (and when I say predominantly, I mean probably 95.99%).

So began my education in gansta rap; suburban white girl listening to New Kids on the Block one day, to “watchin’ Yo! MTV Raps! What’s the haps on the craps?” (still white girl) the next day, but whatevs. Children are highly adaptable, and I was no exception. Culture shocked, yes, incredibly. But as my mom would always say, you need to pull yourself up by the bootstraps. And so, I did.

When I wasn’t listening to hard-core gangsta rap with my older brother, I was reading. I would devour books to escape the harsh reality that all children who lose parents at a young age must face: life is finite. It’s so cliche, but I literally experienced growing up overnight. Books offered an escape, where, for a time, I could forget about the gut-wrenching grief I tried desperately not to feel. The all-encompassing sadness of the very definition of a daddy’s girl losing her daddy was just too much for me, and so began my life-long love affair with books, the only thing that soothed my soul and attempted to mend my broken heart.

Fast forward 25 or so years to my discovery of the greatest book ever written in the history of books, the Bible. My 2013 New Year’s Resolution was to read the Bible from cover to cover. It took me 362 days, but I did it (I DID IT!!!). 

I know what you’re thinking, what does gansta rap have to do with reading the Bible? My answer would be nothing and everything at the same time. I saw a t-shirt recently that said, “I love Jesus but I cuss a little.” I need this shirt in my life. I DO love Jesus. I also love gangsta rap. I also cuss a little. Ok, A LOT. B

But I love life with ferociousness. I have walked through extreme darkness, which has blessed me with the capacity to feel sincere gratitude for life and all it has to offer, good and bad. My love of reading, my love of lyrics, and my love for Jesus have helped me realize I’ve always wanted to be a writer.

In the words of Biggie, “Damn right I like the life I live ‘cuz I went from negative to positive and it’s all good.”

And it is.


Guest blogger Jarah Montoya co-owns Factory X MMA gym with her husband, Marc Montoya, located in Englewood, CO. Jarah is a Colorado native and a graduate of Colorado State University where she received a B.S. (dual meaning) degree in Business Marketing. She is the mother of 2 children (7 and 11) and and French Bulldog. Jarah loves spending time with her family, running, reading, writing, CrossFit, MMA (watching it, not participating in it), gansta rap and Jesus.



Related: Gladys “I love Jesus but I drink a little” Hardy and Jarah have a lot in common.

Mile High Mamas
Author: Mile High Mamas

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  1. LOL, I can honestly say this is the most unique post we’ve ever had. Jarah, you are a hoot and thanks for sharing your story!

  2. This was so not what I was expecting. This girl is a hoot and how appropriate you quoted Gladys, too. Encore!

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