Stifled

Technically this would be another Weekly Check In, but alas I am still without a scale so I can’t check in till next week.

So, since I wanted to share the great things the Lord showed me yesterday, I will do that now.

We had an all worship service yesterday and as we sang, we were encouraged to journal through some songs and thoughts. And these are the things I wrote. Literally, I just copied and pasted. These were my thoughts/prayers.

Listening to “Our God Reigns” Lord, and I’m clearly hearing how I don’t actually live this out. I believe it’s true that you reign in the WHOLE world and that you alone are King. But, I see how I don’t let you reign in all my being. You’re not reigning in my heart or over my sin struggles. I feel like I’ve listened to the passive lies of the enemy (an idea one of my sisters recently shared). I feel that I too have been listening to satan. Oh Lord. Heal me. RESTORE to me the JOY of my salvation! Restore to me the hope and love and thrill of being your baby girl!

Father, I feel like I lived under a curse all year long. Because someone spoke death over me. I feared all year long over this!!!! I was in prison all year long thinking about it! And I know it will happen. And only you know how. So, why do I sit and worry and fear? I know I’m gonna die one day. And that may be this year or 50 years from now. But, alas you are the King of my heart and my life and only you know when. You alone will heal and protect and RESTORE to me all the locusts ate from me this past year! You alone will restore my heart, my mind, my body, and my spirit. I’m reminded of this verse. I pray this over me. You and you alone.  “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” – Psalm 90:12

Listening to the song, “Todo Poderoso” (All-Powerful) really convicted me. Listening to that song, I feel like You [Lord] showed me that I have been living in a spirit of fear, no power and no self-control. This is a big deal because I have been living so fearful of food and so oppressed by sin that I’ve made sin really big and God really small instead of looking at sin and reminding it that my God is really BIG! You Lord, have given me a spirit not of fear, but of power, of love and SELF-CONTROL (2 Tim. 1:7).

I’ve been living in such a complacent way. I SETTLED for FEAR and powerlessness. I am absolutely powerless in the face of temptation and food issues. I have severe brokenness in this area but perhaps it’s because I have brokenness in my faith! I am powerless, but you O Lord are not! Are you todo poderoso over all of me? Are you all powerful over my fear??? I’ve been living in stifled faith!!! Which just goes to show how powerful words can be. They can bless or curse a person.

Psalm 100: “Shout for joy to the LORD, everyone on earth. Worship the LORD with gladness. Come to him with songs of joy. Know that the LORD is God He made us, and we belong to Him. We are his people. We are the sheep belonging to his flock. Give thanks as you enter the gates of his temple. Give praise as you enter its courtyards. Give thanks to him and praise his name. The LORD is good. His faithful love continues forever. It will last for all time to come.”

Come to the Lord with gladness. Lord, gladness. I keep coming to you with fear. Where is the gladness? Restore to me the gladness of being yours!!!

For we are not our own, but we are yours!! We belong to him. To you, I am your people. Lord, yes!!!! I am yours. I am yours. I am yours. Lord, help me live this out. Help me live like I’m yours. Help me rejoice at being yours!!

Amen. It was so good to have that time and those incredible realizations! It’s so easy to become stifled in faith and think that we are actually living, when we’re just passing time and going through the motions. I am so thankful for this awakening. I want to be healed Lord, in all parts of me. Food, weight, my desires, my appetite, everything. Here am I, Lord. Reign over me! All of me! Be todo poderoso over all of me. I surrender. I surrender, LORD.

 

 

songs for your listening pleasure/reference

Danilo Montero “Todo Poderoso” thank you m3mitrox for posting this video.

 

Passion’s “Our God Reigns” cover of the brilliant Delirious’ song. Thank you blueyedsoldier07 for posting this video.

2016

Oh what a year! Can’t believe it’s finally coming to a close! Thank you, Jesus. Today, I am spending some wonderfully lazy time reading and meditating on the word. I have nothing planned today, except to rest and catch up on some writing and to do my two year-end traditions.

1.) write a letter to God

2.) pick a word for the year

This word is just a word, but it’s something I feel led to pray over myself and beg the Lord for. I’m almost finished with my letter, and here is the 2017 word…


Your will be done, Lord.

Happy New Year, friends!!

Mercy

Had some incredibly sweet fellowship time with a sister today. Chatting about the year, she noted that she has never heard so many negative comments about a year as she has for 2016. I totally agree. In fact, I am certain that life will never be easy again. It’s a sad truth that no matter what happens in the world, media, or in politics we will never know peace on earth. Ever. The earth is groaning for Jesus. He alone restores.
As we spoke, we shared about some tough lessons we had to learn this year. As I recounted some of my challenges, I mentioned that I was at least happy that I could see God’s mercy in them.

Verbalizing that thought reminded me of Adam & Eve’s story and the closing parts of Genesis 3:

22 Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever-”
23 therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken.

24 He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life. – Genesis 3:22-24

When I was younger, I used to think the Lord was sorta mean for keeping Adam away from the tree. I actually know a few non-believers who have this against the Lord. How could He withhold knowledge that could enrich humanity’s existence? Interesting perspective, yet not at all the lens I read it through.

It was 2016 that I reread verse 22 for the first time in years and I was moved by these words, “less he reach out his hand and take also…” I am totally taken aback by God’s mercy, which is so subtle!

God- being omniscient, already knows the wickedness of the man’s heart here at this moment of the fall. He already knows man’s propensity to self-destruct. He knows Adam will go back to that tree and grab from it. And the truth is he would have, and I would have as well. We all know that the minute we tell children not to do something that’s the very thing they do. I would have touched that fruit as well!! Believe me, I would have.

The fact that God placed angels to guard the tree doesn’t just protect the tree, it protects Adam from Adam!! What great mercy our God has!!!
I look back at my own life and I think, how thankful I am that the Lord didn’t let me get sick while my father was alive and I was busy taking care of him. God kept me from sickness while I was caring for my family, when no one else could! I’m so thankful that God did not allow me to be sick when I couldn’t physically sit and rest. And once I did become sick, I am so thankful that God had mercy on me by allowing this sickness! I could have gotten to 1800 pounds. Believe me, that is in me to do! I am a champion eater. A champion self destructor. A champion sinner. I am an Olympic gold-medalist at gluttony. I could eat myself into the grave, literally. This is the very thing I am currently fighting against. Death by gluttony which is SIN on my part, is the very Goliath I am trying to kill.

But God, in his infinite mercy allowed me to sin to a certain extent before causing me to stop. That is MERCY!!! Jesus guarded me from me by allowing me to have health issues. Though people can easily look to God and blame him and be angry for something like that, all I can see is his love and mercy for me that He would do that to save me. To save me from me. And there’s no guarantee that I won’t die of the consequences that I brought on. But there’s an absolute guarantee that Jesus alone is my healer, my hope, my redemption, my sabbath, my salvation, and one day, only he knows when– my home. That my friends, is MERCY. That God would save me from me and not pay me with what I deserve (hell)!

What merciful acts have you missed in your life because you’re looking at it as a set-back or problem?

I’m reminded of 1 Peter 4:3. When I was diagnosed in 2014 the Lord brought me to this verse.

“For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry.” – 1 Peter 4:3

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this verse before, it’s a big one in my life. I think of that verse and I remember a special verse in 2 Peter 3:9 too.

“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” – 2 Peter 3:9
And these two verses remind me that the time that has past is enough for having tasted every sin imaginable. I have. I’ve tasted many. In my head, comparing it to food, there will never be a new fascinating take on flavor or chocolate, pizza, etc. I’ve tasted it all, or enough. The time that is past suffices for idolatry. And consider how much MERCY and grace God had on you (on me) during those great moments of rebellion, that He didn’t return for His bride. If He had, would I have been counted among her? Probably not, considering my whoredom and betrayal of Him for pleasure. He hate patience for me to wander and then repent. And I’m not special. He has that for the non-believer you are praying for. Keep praying. Don’t lose hope! He saved all the believers. And everyone has a story to tell. Don’t lose heart, the Lord is MERCIFUL and mighty to save. Fight hard!!
Lord, I thank you for your absolute, unmerited mercy! I love you!! I fall facedown before you in awe! Thank you mighty Savior!! Abba King! Thank you!

Energy

Where!? Where do kids get this crazy energy from??? I am so tired! I haven’t felt this tired doing housework since my dad was around. My niece and nephew have been on Winter break for a couple weeks now and that means that I watch them all day until their parents get home.

Well today I had the brilliant idea to make breakfast, lunch and dinner all at once so I could get out of the kitchen once and for all. As I was cooking I realized I had to go to the grocery store to get some missing ingredients. So I drive there and back. I finish making meals and then I decide to take the kids to the library for the free craft hour. (Can I digress for a second… if you are not taking advantage of the free things your local library offers, you are surely missing out!! Free fun for all!! I love you Public Libraries!!)

By this time, I’m already sore from being on my feet all day. But I had promised these monkeys that I’d take them to play tennis after the Library. So I drag my very tired butt and their very hyper butts to the courts and we manage to get some good playing in! I am already sore! I got in some good serves and managed to help them learn a little more. Although I feel like all I ever say is, “it’s not baseball!” haha

After tennis their parents pick them up for basketball practice and I drag my very tired body to a hot shower and bed!!! I don’t know where kids get their energy from, but give me some of that Lord. Please? That is one of my favorite things to observe as I drop pounds. The lighter I get, the more energy I have. I can’t wait. Give me some more energy Lord. I’d love to be unstoppable. Not for my benefit or fame. But for yours!

I bet everyone says stuff like that. Oh Father, help me make you famous even when you stop me and when you keep me still as well. This very moment in my life feels like one of those moments. This later portion of the year has been so hard. I know you have called me to stillness. Abba, be made famous even in this time. Forgive me for wanting more. Use me, as you’d like.

Here am I, Lord.

Dinah

While busy at work, I get a phone call from my Mumsie asking me to swing by the house to look at “the baby.” I decide I’ll swing by when I get back from the grocery store. Then, while dealing with fighting children by my side, at the check-out, I get a frantic phone call from my sister scolding me about taking “the baby” to the vet. Yes folks, “The baby” is my 2.5 yr old Siamese Beauty, Dinah Duluoz.

Yes, Duluoz. (Shout out to my Kerouac!!) Dinah was rescued in 2014. She, along with her siblings were thrown out and beaten when they were newborns. I met her when she was a week old. She was beautiful and so tiny she fit in the palm of my hand. She had a broken tail, and a wounded eye. To this day, she is still skittish when it comes to loud noises and ruckus. The moment I met her, I fell in love and was certain that we were meant to be. I always wanted a female cat, so I could name her “Dinah” like Alice in Wonderland. Having always felt like Alice myself, I was ecstatic to find out she was in fact female. Dinah stayed with her foster mom for the first two months of her life because she had to be bottle fed to be able to be released once she managed to weigh 3 lbs. I adopted her in November of 2014. And since then, our lives have never been the same!

Dinah imprinted on me and followed me EVERYWHERE when she first arrived. Once I had to go back to school, it kept me out of the house much of the day. Thus, it was that moment she fell in love with my mother. My mom is in her seventies and because of Dinah, I am convinced my mom’s health has improved. She has someone to talk to, care for, and love on, and Dinah just eats it up! Needless to say, she traded me in for the Original, and now, they are inseparable.

The kids are mad for her and my sister is obsessed with her. As you can already tell, Dinah is one very spoiled (and I’ll repeat, beautiful) cat. We’ve celebrated her birthday every year (it’s really just an excuse for us to eat cake), and we’ve face-timed with her. She’s incredibly loved.

So when I get these phone calls from her number one fans about how I am being a bad cat mom by not taking her to the vet because something’s wrong with her eye, I’m totally annoyed because they’re both overreacting. I get home and check her eye which looks like she just got hair in it or something simple like that, they’re both mad at me for not doing anything about it. Cat’s get pink eye, just like humans, so that’s going through my mind. But, I’m pretty sure in this case, it’s nothing. I decide that I will do nothing and just keep an eye on it.

Hours later, I take a look at her face and see that she has debris in her eye. I shine a bright light over her face and with a Q-tip I remove the debris. A little later, I check it again and clean her face, and while I’m at it, I decide to bathe her (with waterless kitty wipes) and then I decide I’ll trim her nails. She reluctantly lets me.

After a while I attempt to hold her and she gets angry and runs away. This long ode to Dinah to share how ironic it is that she is so angry at me for loving her so well, and here I am sometimes resenting Jesus for loving and caring for me in ways I do not understand.

Dinah doesn’t understand that my cleaning her eyes and trimming her nails is for her own good. Like I don’t understand that Jesus allowing me to struggle with sugar cravings is for my own good. He can absolutely remove them all. He is all-powerful and Sovereign. However, the struggle makes the victories that much better! By struggling I learn to depend on Him, I learn temperance, and self-control. I learn to flex muscles I have never used. Especially the “no” muscle. I feel like many of us Christian women need to learn to use that muscle. We tend to over work ourselves because we say “yes” to too much sometimes.

Anyway, I love how the Lord always uses children or even cats in this case to teach us lessons that are important. For me, this was a big lesson. I must trust my Heavenly Father as He heals and removes the debris in my eyes that cause me to see things cloudy and out of focus. I need Him to restore and heal my vision. I need His healing to not only see clearer and sharper, but to also see the things that only He can show me.

Things like self-control, obedience, and eating in a God-fearing way. And also stuff like how beneficial it is to have Dinah in my life, and how much of a blessing a simple cat can be. And how much He loves me, even as He cleans all my wounds and problems. Oh, what a good and MERCIFUL God!! Thank you Jesus. I love thee! See, there was a point!! Thanks for reading this ode to Dinah!! 😉

These are pics of Dinah’s b-days, her studying Microbiology with me, as a baby when she first moved in, and her hanging with her momma. 🙂 You had to see her!!

 

 

Christmas

So thankful for Jesus coming to earth to make a way for us. So very, very thankful!!! Traditionally we Mexicans celebrate Christmas on December 24th. We stay up till midnight to open gifts. Since we do that, Dec. 25th is usually the most boring day in our family. We stay home and sleep in and eat leftovers and that’s pretty much it.
In my fellowship we have a House Hold Community group text where our whole group communicates. This year, one person asked to see what everyone was eating for Christmas, and I want to share these pictures with y’all!


Southern Christmas Spread


Biscuits and gravy


Southern breakfast


Steak, risotto & homemade sangria


Maine Prime rib


Korean Christmas Dinner


Kansas Christmas Dinner


Menudo de México with fresh homemade tortillas!!

Look at these plates!! All different styles, all different places on earth and yet the story is the same. Family coming together to celebrate the birth of our King!! What a beautiful picture of what Christmas is.

I know this blog is about food issues and all that, but today food is just food and I love how our culture is seen in all of these pictures. Each one is different and they all represent our multi-cultural fellowship. Exactly what Jesus did. Bridged the gap between all these different peoples by uniting everyone at the table. Himself.

What a wonderful God we serve!!! He has made a way for everyone! Seriously, the greatest Christmas gift, ever! Merry Christmas everyone.

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” – Isaiah 9:6

Groaning 

Had an amazing worship time with the people I love most on this earth. We had a special Christmas Eve service today. It was wonderful. One of the greatest things that was spoken about tonight was this idea of “groaning.”
Scripturally speaking, this is the idea that was discussed.
For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. – Romans 8:22

And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. – Romans 8:23

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. – Romans 8:26

We spent some time discussing the hardships of 2016. War, terrorism, violence and death. The land (world, country, state, city) is groaning.

We discussed the church. Personal illness, chronic pain and suffering, death, loss, and brokenness. God’s people, groaning.

Then the final question was… “what areas of your life are you groaning in?” We were encouraged to journal our answers on paper. I thought I had nothing to write. I was way wrong.

I’m groaning. Majorly groaning. I’m groaning about weight issues and my health. I’m groaning about death. I’m groaning about singleness (there, I said it). I’m groaning about the world. I’m groaning because I am apart from the person I love most (Jesus), and to be near Him, would mean I would be apart from the earthly people I love most. I’m groaning about fear. I’m groaning about finances. I’m groaning because I am on this earth and it’s beautiful and captivating but it’s also dark and disturbing, and all I want is you, Jesus. I am groaning!!

I know that being with Jesus trumps all good and beautiful things here on earth. And I want that. But, there’s the humanity in me that longs to see me have physical victory in my battle with this Goliath!! The humanity in me longs to see my niece and nephew give their lives to Jesus, and get married someday. The humanity in me that longs to see all of my children (we’ll talk about them later) walking with the Lord. The humanity in me wants to see some closure in places, relationships, ministries I’ve been, walked in, and served in.
Lord, I am groaning!!!!! Thank you for coming to your people as a servant, a humble baby. Thank you for what you have done to save and free us!! Lord, I am groaning. Groaning. Groaning. Groaning. Groaning. Groaning. Groaning. Groaning. Groaning. Groaning. Groaning. Groaning. Groaning. Groaning. Groaning. Groaning. Groaning. Groaning. Groaning.

People

I began my day by waiting for a friend at Coffee Bean. As I got there, a kind man got in line right before me. As the girl calls me over to order, the man steps aside and once I order my rooibos tea latte with sugar free vanilla (yuck- fake sugar!! But I couldn’t bring myself to do the regular one!!), she informs me that the man has paid for everyone’s drinks. I look over and smile and thank him, and he turns to me and says “Merry Christmas.” And walked away.

A total stranger bought me tea this morning. And not only me, but for maybe 25-30 others! I mean, seriously Mr! That was a classy move. I found out the guy’s name was Jesse. So, if you read this, Mr. Jesse, who bought coffee for everyone at Coffee Bean on 12/22 @10:30 am… thank you!! Totally classy, man. 😉 I prayed for you.

I met with my new friend, C and it was such a great time. And I was still happy and high because of free tea, feeling so hopeful about the human race!! And then once our wonderful fellowship was over, I took my mom and sister to the grocery store.

My oldest sister is disabled. She is very ambulatory and capable, but she is legally disabled. So when I arrived to pick her back up from the store, after having dropped her off 20 min before, I see her walking out and I pull up to the fire lane to help her. I put my hazard lights on, and her disabled placard on the mirror and I pop the trunk for her to load her groceries in the back.

As I wait, she says she doesn’t need help so I watch her in the mirror. When all of a sudden I’m confronted with the security guard. This is best told as if I were writing a play. So, here goes…

SHE: (shouting before approaching the vehicle) Everyone here has found a spot, but you’re more important than everyone else, right!?

ME: (completely taken aback) Excuse me?

SHE: This is not a parking spot. You think you’re special!?

ME: I’m sorry, I’m just waiting as my disabled sister get her stuff in.

SHE: If she was really disabled she wouldn’t be doing that!

ME: Why are you speaking to me in that way?

SHE: I am not speaking in bad way!

ME: You don’t have to be rude. You could ask me politely to move.

SHE: (with loaded sarcasm) Oh, you can’t park here, can you please move!

ME: Yes, once my sister finishes.

SHE: If she was really disabled she wouldn’t do that.

ME: Are you questioning the validity of her disability? Do you see her placard? Her cane?

SHE: No! No! She’s not disabled! Move!

ME: Do not speak to me that way.

(Sister is loading trunk, listening to everything)
SHE: I tell you now, you move your car! This is not parking spot! If she really disabled, park in handicap place.
ME: They’re all taken. I’m just loading here.

SHE: She not sick! If she was, she wouldn’t be doing that.

ME: Look, she’s right there. Speak to my sister and not to me anymore.

SHE: (she turns to my sis) You, you must move!

SIS: What’s your name?

And she told my sis her name, both my mom and sis got into the car and we drove off. I mean… seriously!?

I’ve never been spoken to in such a hostile way! I seriously did nothing!! I know fire lanes read “no parking” and I also know that we’re called to honor the law. And thus, when you get down to letter, it was wrong to park there. However, the door was 60 ft from my car, and my sister was already walking out when I pulled up. She is capable of loading her bags, in spite of her disability. I think that if police were present, they wouldn’t have asked me to move at all. Especially considering my emergency lights and disabled placard. The whole thing took 8 min, max and I was getting yelled at the whole time!

I mean, seriously?? Why are we so mean to each other?? Ugh. People. Seriously, I’m so thankful that God is God because I couldn’t handle loving such unlovable people. I don’t know if I prayed for her when I drove off. But I just prayed for her now. I don’t wish her any ill will. My sis did call and complain tho. But, that’s her thing. I just know, that I don’t like being spoken to in such an ugly way. I pray the Lord blesses her with good days and more obedient ppl than me.

Lord help me love those who are least lovable. Just like you did with me!!! Just like Mr. Jesse loved on a bunch of strangers today. Thank you for loving me, Lord.

Bow

Woke up a bit blue. God blessed me with a beautiful overcast, dark day. And while I drove, I caught this beautiful sight!! (Don’t drive and snap pics!! Even though this is my second day in a row doing it!!!! lol sorry, po-po’s!!) I just had to!!!
This rain”bow” (a covenant sign of God’s love and promise- Genesis 9:13) made my day. Absolutely cheered me up! Yesterday Jesus gave me beauty in the sunset. Today I got a rainbow. I am spoiled!!!! I don’t know many people who look at the sky as much as I do. I am so thankful that my Lord speaks to me in my languages!!! (Astronomy, Poetry, jazz & dinosaurs!! Lol)

Thank you Abba!!! I love you too. I love you my King, Jesus!!

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