A Glimpse of Mi Vida...

It started with a missions trip to Camden, where my life and perspective were changed and where this blog began. Life has been a roller coaster filled with its ups and downs and I'm excited for the adventure and discovering what God has in store, even though I really dislike roller coasters... I am a Lady in Waiting...

Monday, February 13, 2017

An Open Letter to My Fellow Single Sisters...

Dear My Fellow Single Sisters-

It’s okay if today is hard because you realize today that you’re more single than ever. To me, it’s just another Tuesday night. I didn’t always feel that way.
But I want you to know that I feel you and I get the difficulties of singleness and I want to apologize to you on behalf of maybe some people who have hurt you. I want to apologize to you because you deserve to be apologized to.

I am sorry if this holiday has made you more aware of your single status.
I am sorry if you feel you like the last one in your friends group to get married or to even be in a relationship.
I am sorry for the friend or two that might have neglected your friendship because they are now in a relationship.
I am sorry for all the bad dates, you’ve had to go on in hopes of “putting yourself out there”.
For all the times that someone asked you if you tried online dating and they proceed to list every site that they can think of and occasionally throwing in JDate for laughs.
I am sorry for the friendships that ended when someone got married because their life now changed and they feel that you don’t understand or no longer have time.
I am sorry for the church’s whose emphasis has been put on women’s ministries where you felt like the only single person. For the ministries that made you feel less than if you weren’t married or didn’t have children. Or for the church’s that never spoke about singleness or catered to the needs of the single person.
I am sorry for the all the well-intentioned Christian men who might have led you on in friendship or relationship.
I am sorry if you ever felt the need to prove yourself and your value or worth to a man, for the times that you felt you had to go above and beyond to get his attention.
I am sorry if he didn’t reciprocate the feelings but took advantage of the attention you paid him.
I'm also sorry if he never learned how to communicate with you, especially if he is no longer interested.
I am sorry for every time you have heard, “you’ll meet him when you least expect it” or “I can’t wait to meet the person you marry”.
I am sorry for the times that you just have to nod and smile when family or strangers ask, why you’re still single.
I am sorry for the times that you might of masked the difficulty of singleness in satire.

You know what though, singleness doesn’t have to be lonely. You’ll be okay, you’ll survive this season. It can, if you allow it, be the most joyous season and a season where you learn and grow the most. Every season God takes us through is one of growth, learning, and surrender, grace and love. Sometimes godly love, self-love, and love with a man in relationship and eventually marriage..
So my dear fellow single sister, I applaud you for all that you have had to to endure during singleness. I hope that you embrace this season. I praise you for the strength that you posses to live each day out of your heart and soul status not your relationship status. It’s just another Tuesday, go eat some tacos and watch This Is Us!

Friday, January 13, 2017

These Are a Few Of My Favorite Things

A few weeks ago, my friend encouraged me to create a birthday wish list
of my favorite things to help give others an idea of things I love.
Hopefully this list lets you get to know me a little bit better as well.
I am just so excited to be turning 30! I hear they are the best decade of years!


So these are a few of my favorite things...

Sunflowers
Dark Chocolate
Trader Joes
Target
Twisted Sage
Bowl of Heaven
Thai Diamond BBQ Glendora
Coffee Klatch
and 
some of these Amazon Goodies


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Celebrate Differently- Connecting to Others Through Prayer



Celebrate Differently

“Do small things with great love” -Mother Theresa

The week of Thanksgiving is always one of my favorite times of the year because it is filled with many service opportunities amongst my church family. This year one of the women from my Growth Group and I (along with her teenage daughter) somehow loaded my car with five boxes of Thanksgiving items, four turkeys, five pies and packages of rolls. It barely fit but we did it and we set out amongst Covina and Glendora. I love serving alongside children and teens because it begins to instill bits of the importance of gratitude and giving back. I didn’t grow up serving alongside my parents, but I learned to love others through their generosity with those they encountered.

As we jumped around town, we delivered meals to our first two families. Our third family was a family of eight. I had a sense of angst as we approached this home as each of our hands were filled with boxes and items. We were greeted halfway through the yard by a man who helped up onto their patio. We had small talk, wished them a Happy Thanksgiving, invited them to Christmas Eve services, and then offered to pray. I felt slightly uncomfortable to offer prayer after we invited them to service. I am not sure why, but there was a hesitation I think because I felt a tinge of uncomfortable due to the chaos of the home that surrounded us. We offered prayer and they gave us basic requests for family and health. We prayed.

I love prayer because it allows us to come to the Father in humbleness, in thankfulness, and to make our petitions. We petitioned for this family and for their needs. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6) Prayer creates vulnerability with God and each other. It was after our prayers that this family began to open up and share their struggles, hurts, and pains of the family and the past. There we stayed with them for another 30 minutes as we offered encouragement and recommended connection to the church community and services. I am thankful for the opportunity to pray with others in all circumstances and for the way that God connects us to others through prayer.

As I reflect upon last night, I am reminded of God’s faithfulness. It is through prayer that we are humbled. Through prayer, we are able to connect with others and can share moments of vulnerability. I love seeing what God does through big faith, generosity, and prayer within our local communities and through our simple obedience.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Honor


Honor




The past few weeks my church has been going a series on the Ten Commandments. I had missed church the previous weekend as I was preparing for a small speaking engagement with the financial firm, and so I couldn’t recall which commandment we were on. As I walked up the stairs into the auditorium of the church, I read the list of commandments from where we had last left off and I was halted in my steps as I read: “Honor Your Mother and Father”.


I believe that this has been one of the hardest commandments that I have struggled with keeping for awhile. My heart sank into my stomach as I prepared to hear the sermon.

A basic synopsis of my childhood from two other posts:

“Most people who have met me or have seen me live life would never know that I have experienced some traumatic verbal and emotional abuse for most of my life. Heartbreaking neglect and hurtful and harsh words thrown at me from my parents, the people that are suppose to love and accept me most. For the longest time, I held it in. I surrounded myself in busyness and burying this deep heartache and pain because no one could know. It was the lie I believed. I felt unloved and unlovable.”

“Life hasn't been easy or difficult, I have had some very low moments in my childhood and adulthood and some amazing joyous moments. Truth of the matter is, I once was a daddy's girl. At some point things change and my relationship with my dad changed. But I couldn't take the deep emotional hurt or verbal abuse. Truthfully, it doesn't matter what his addictions or pains are, it is my baggage that had to be dealt with, sorted through, conquered, and left at the feet of the Cross. Not every day is easy, but each new day is better as I strive to find forgiveness and healing. Through therapy I began to see my dad for who he is, not who I wished he was. I began to see him as a lost, hurting, and broken boy. I began to let go of the titles, pressure, hurts, and bitterness. God has redeemed me and brought a lot of healing and restoration.”

If you would like here are a few other posts of the back story (or feel free to explore my whole blog later):

The Broken Boy

Titles

A Thanksgiving Plea

Symbolism of 40

Briefly glancing over those posts brings up such raw emotions as I linked them just now.

As difficult as it was to sit in the service, it spoke such truth to my heart. The pastor shared that “children are like an arrow- held, pointed in the right direction, pulled back, and then released. Released into the right direction”.

Despite my difficult and emotionally painful childhood, I still have to honor my parents like I honor God. I have learned over the years that I must serve and honor my parents like I serve and honor God. I’ve learned that the closer I grow to God, the further I was from my parents but that the closer I grew to God, the more that grace and love for them grew.


The thing that most spoke to my soul from the pastor was that he spoke about how sometimes honoring your parents is about creating space with them. That was myself with my family over the past two years since moving out. Space created healthy boundaries for me. Therapy created ways for me to process through my past and find ways to be tolerant of the words that were spoken to me. Therapy allowed me to not hold thoughts of my parents hostage because when I do hold them hostage and place blame, it truly holds me in with bitterness. God’s love broke down many emotional barriers for me.

The pastor then said, “that it should break your heart to have to obey God when it in turn disobeys your parents.” This described so much of my turmoil amidst our relationship. My choice to move to Haiti or go on mission trips, my choice to move out, my choice to work in the nonprofit sector. God had led me to so many amazing opportunities and sometimes they didn’t meet my parent’s will for my life but it met God’s perfect will. When my will and God’s will align it is a beautiful thing of peace.

Although there were times, places, and spaces where I felt empty or broken or unfulfilled, God filled in the gaps and He made a way for me.

As I was recently making an upcoming list for a party, I was dumbfounded by the amount of people I had on the list who have impacted my life. I don’t say that to sound conceited or popular, it’s quite opposite actually. God has first and foremost filled me and comforted me with His presence over the years. But secondly, He has brought so many people in my life that also filled gaps that I needed. From friends, to other families who have invited me over for Thanksgiving meals, Christmas dinners, Easter and other important times- when I struggled being apart of my family, so many other families came by my side and welcomed me into theirs.

I think one of my greatest prayers has been for my future husband’s family to include me into their family like their own (like I’ve maybe been a missing piece and the perfect fit for their son), to even potentially call me daughter as well. I am thankful for the healing and restoration that God had done through me because of surrender and through a therapy chair in the past. Life with my parents has not been easy, but I am thankful for the honor I wish to still bring them and the respect I have as appropriate boundaries and space were created in my adulthood. I am excited for my future family and to hopefully impart wisdom on those who struggle through similar family circumstances. The conversations aren’t always easy but let me know if you want to chat.


Dear Lord, please continue to give my vision to see things like you do and to see family through a filter of love, honor, and respect and offer grace continually.

You can listen to the sermon here.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Date Night



Last night I found myself in Fullerton for the evening. I was helping out a friend by pet sitting overnight and had no plans. If you know me, not having something going on is a rarity. My heart felt a tug to catch up on rest and to spend time with Jesus. Yet I still felt a sense of loneliness and wanting to be surrounded by laughter and people’s company. I began texting friends, seeing if anyone was free and would be in the area. Like the sound of bird chirping (my text tone), no, no, no, kept resounding over. It isn’t often that I find myself in Fullerton but one of my favorite restaurants is in Fullerton and Orange. I had a great day at the office yesterday as well as a successful month and it begged for a bit of celebration. As my heart felt a sense of solitude, I prayed. I debated even going out at all, but then I thought why not celebrate with God. Take myself on a date and enjoy this time.


I feel good in my current state of singleness, but there are moments where my heart is pinged with the sting of loneliness. The thoughts of what relationship and married life could be like; those feelings of sorrow don’t come up that often but when they do I find myself stuck in my head and seeking God to get me out. I needed a sense of courage to go out alone, but I sensed God calling me into deeper love and relationship with Him for the evening. I recently heard that the opposite of courage isn’t fear, but it’s self-preservation. I wanted to preserve my time and be surrounded by company. But even though I know I am chosen by God, I don’t live as such. I would rather live in the quietness of home and embrace my singleness in private than outwardly in public. I am continually learning that my identity is in God, not in the company of others. As important and significant as community is, I (sometimes) place more value in living in community with others, than living and communing with God.



I left and set out. I haven’t been to this restaurant since December and I was so excited. As I wandered around the restaurant (seat yourself), the only table I could find open was right near the front door. A small round table for three, there I sat, facing the front door. Each person who entered and left the restaurant could see me there. Sitting alone. I surveyed the menu, ordered a glass of wine and appetizer and my meal. I pulled out a book and began reading. I’m reading Bianca Olthoff’s “Playing with Fire: Discovering Fierce Faith, Unquenchable Passion, and a Life-Giving God”. In the few chapters I read sitting there at dinner, I felt God drawing me closer. I gleaned to the words Bianca wrote, finding correlations to my own life.



More and more I find myself listening to that still small voice, simply obeying and God allowing blessing to flow through me unto others in ways I didn’t expect. That’s a post for another day, but today God has been calling me to be still and to become more and more on fire for Him. Treat yourself out to a night with you and your Creator where you can enjoy the stillness, listen for His still small voice, and enjoy the company of yourself and His presence. Make the most of the time you have, and if you don't have time... then make time because He desires our presence and calls us to find Sabbath margin.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Love Out Loud


Love Out Loud

I remember being a sophomore in college when I discovered my life verse, “Little children, let us love not with words and speech, but in truth and action.” I often hung out in the Student Success offices because I was a commuter and had made friends with the alpha leaders and staff there; it was one one of the computers that I read this verse for the first time and a deep peace resonated within my heart and soul. It was in college that I truly began living out my faith and was brought to do things that I never imagined: changing my major, moving to the East Coast for a few months for a couple summers to serve in a community and culture unlike the one I grew up in. The verse stuck with me and then while I was living in Haiti for three months, it took newer and deeper meaning of God’s love not only for me, but for the sweet orphans that I spent my days with. I could tell these sweet children that I loved them, but to them the words were empty like many other promises that were often broken in their lives. To truly care for these children, I needed to not just love them through kisses and hugs, but to help to provide for their daily and basic needs; water, shelter, and food.


Love is a crazy thing and it allows you to do crazy things out of our overflowing love from Christ. My prayer has always been that God’s love would be pour out to others through my actions. I think this world needs this same love now more than it ever has. So what can we do, what is our call to action.


Ten years later, I work in Student Success and my colleague and I were dialoguing about how can we support local law enforcement and police officers. There was a tragic car accident last night and so he encouraged people to support them, “We need to rise up and let our boys in blue know how much we appreciate and value them. Text or call your law enforcement and first responder friends, let them know.” I was so challenged and convicted by this statement and our conversation. Sometimes if we don’t act upon a moment of motivation, it passes and dies and nothing is accomplished. I was reminded of the tattoo of 1 John 3:18 on my wrist. How do I embody His love? As I was getting ready for bed, a burst of energy came over and I got to the kitchen. I made chocolate covered oreos with cookie butter drizzle and then my heath brownies with honey roasted almonds. I had a late start for work and knew that I need to utilize my few free hours in the morning. There is so much negativity floating around our society today and I was filled with such joy as I dropped off those two different goodies for two different law enforcement offices. They didn’t know my name, I didn’t write a card… I simply passed the items off to another office and whispered my thanks and gratitude for all they do. Police and Fire Departments has come to my rescue throughout my life as my dad worked for public service/government and we’ve been put in unfortunate circumstances, so for me personally I have such gratitude for these men and women who love their community and risk their lives.

How often am I thankful or appreciative of something but fail to actually express said feelings? How often am I embodying God’s love and serving others? My challenge is for you, for us to display our love more through our actions. Through that simple hello and smile to a stranger, to that coworker who needs encouragement, or to that homeless man or person who is hurting. Paying for that strangers meal or Starbucks behind you in the drive through, or for just acknowledging someone’s existence or helping to provide for their basic needs. So friends, let us Love Out Loud!!!

Love Out Loud


Love Out Loud

I remember being a sophomore in college when I discovered my life verse, “Little children, let us love not with words and speech, but in truth and action.” I often hung out in the Student Success offices because I was a commuter and had made friends with the alpha leaders and staff there; it was one one of the computers that I read this verse for the first time and a deep peace resonated within my heart and soul. It was in college that I truly began living out my faith and was brought to do things that I never imagined: changing my major, moving to the East Coast for a few months for a couple summers to serve in a community and culture unlike the one I grew up in. The verse stuck with me and then while I was living in Haiti for three months, it took newer and deeper meaning of God’s love not only for me, but for the sweet orphans that I spent my days with. I could tell these sweet children that I loved them, but to them the words were empty like many other promises that were often broken in their lives. To truly care for these children, I needed to not just love them through kisses and hugs, but to help to provide for their daily and basic needs; water, shelter, and food.


Love is a crazy thing and it allows you to do crazy things out of our overflowing love from Christ. My prayer has always been that God’s love would be pour out to others through my actions. I think this world needs this same love now more than it ever has. So what can we do, what is our call to action.


Ten years later, I work in Student Success and my colleague and I were dialoguing about how can we support local law enforcement and police officers. There was a tragic car accident last night and so he encouraged people to support them, “We need to rise up and let our boys in blue know how much we appreciate and value them. Text or call your law enforcement and first responder friends, let them know.” I was so challenged and convicted by this statement and our conversation. Sometimes if we don’t act upon a moment of motivation, it passes and dies and nothing is accomplished. I was reminded of the tattoo of 1 John 3:18 on my wrist. How do I embody His love? As I was getting ready for bed, a burst of energy came over and I got to the kitchen. I made chocolate covered oreos with cookie butter drizzle and then my heath brownies with honey roasted almonds. I had a late start for work and knew that I need to utilize my few free hours in the morning. There is so much negativity floating around our society today and I was filled with such joy as I dropped off those two different goodies for two different law enforcement offices. They didn’t know my name, I didn’t write a card… I simply passed the items off to another office and whispered my thanks and gratitude for all they do. Police and Fire Departments has come to my rescue throughout my life as my dad worked for public service/government and we’ve been put in unfortunate circumstances, so for me personally I have such gratitude for these men and women who love their community and risk their lives.

How often am I thankful or appreciative of something but fail to actually express said feelings? How often am I embodying God’s love and serving others? My challenge is for you, for us to display our love more through our actions. Through that simple hello and smile to a stranger, to that coworker who needs encouragement, or to that homeless man or person who is hurting. Paying for that strangers meal or Starbucks behind you in the drive through, or for just acknowledging someone’s existence or helping to provide for their basic needs. So friends, let us Love Out Loud!!!