Be Still

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How many times have I checked this tree in our front yard? Not once or twice but multiple times this Spring. My husband and I drove around the neighborhood and compared similar trees in size and development this past weekend. We asked ourselves, ‘Do we need treatment for a fungus or fertilizer?!’

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Our other tree started to show foliage overnight. We were so excited, ‘It was just a matter of time’. We both agreed.

I don’t know about you…

I take delight in manipulating external factors so outcomes can be achieved in a timely manner or even sooner than expected.

When outcomes are delayed, I get impatient. When hurrying, I mess up at times.

Can I really rush the growth of our front yard trees? That’s a foolish thought! We can use pesticide if there is fungus and fertilizer to nourish the soil perhaps.

I truly struggle with God when circumstances are not unfolding as expected. I may repeatedly ask Him, ‘Help me now, I need an answer’ or ‘Please, fix this for me right now! or ‘I will fix it myself!’

The Lord reminds me everyday, “Be still, and know that I am God…”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭46:10‬ ‭NIV‬‬

God is in control. He takes care of details and aligns the circumstances with the most favorable plan in our lives. We just need to surrender and trust in Him alone.

It’s quite a challenge to wait, I know.

It took me twenty-five years and three professional licenses before I stepped into a regional position. Even though I face opposition multiple times in a day, God reminds me “Be still, Adriana’.

God equipped me for the circumstances I’m facing today; otherwise, I would have already failed.

God’s mercies and grace are renewed every morning. He is my refuge and comforter. As I’m sitting in my leather couch this morning, I am counting all career blessings that have unfolded this past year alone.

Let me relax, drink my morning coffee, and enjoy my day ‘off’.

Spring is already here and there is no need to rush.

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God always makes a way!

At 7:50 a.m. I was on my way to work when I heard the phone ring. Doctor’s demands were harshly voiced over the telephone,’quit smoking immediately’. He later added, ‘I don’t care if you inhale the nicotine, you must stop now. It suppresses your immune system…’

I was embarrassed  and remained quiet at first.

‘Yes, sir’ I softly answered.

 I never knew how difficult it was to quit smoking when our bodies depend on nicotine. I used to smoke a pack a day of ‘Marlboro – ultra lights’!

I was battling addiction then.

There are all types of addiction; alcoholism, workaholism, gambling, overeating, pornography, drug and sex addiction just to highlight a few.

Withdrawal symptoms are typically signs of dependence; an ongoing struggle during the initial stage of recovery. Relapse is another factor to keep in mind.

For over six years, I had been battling ‘atypical cells’ in my body and I still need to be tested every six months.

When I initiated the healing process, I decreased the number of cigarettes each day until I no longer needed to purchase a pack. I also replaced smoking with healthier, relaxing activities.

I find exercise, arts and crafts, reading, journaling and prayer to be quite relaxing. Most importantly, meditating on God’s Word calmed my anxious heart.

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In Christ, anything is possible.

“It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭18:32‬ ‭NIV‬

 Let’s trust in Jesus Christ, surrender our addiction and live an abundant life filled with healthier choices.

I am ALL in. How about you?

Let’s not party!


Would you like to take a walk?, hubby asked. I glanced at him quickly and mentioned, ‘later’.

All I truly wanted was for him to join the ‘pity’ party and forget about the wellness program.

What? yes, you heard me right!

I wanted loud noise makers, colorful balloons, matching cups, plates, table cloths and napkins plus ton of confetti.

When I party, I like to celebrate my ‘stinking’ attitude in style.

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‘Stinky’ thinking overrides the joy of every waking hour.

If we focus on regrets, we neglect our blessings. If we focus on past circumstances, we neglect the joy of the ‘here and now’. If we focus on the ‘what ifs’, we neglect the richness of today’s reality.

Discouragement and pessimism creep in fast when holding tight to a stinky attitude!

The Lord encourages us, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:8‬ ‭NIV

But God, how can I think on what’s lovely and admirable when the circumstances are just NOT so lovely? How can I be noble when others are not?

As I’m wrestling with Him,  I pray for strength when I’m weak and disheartened.

Finding time to pray and meditate on Scriptures is key.

Keeping a daily, gratitude journal reminds us of God’s faithfulness, a tangible reminder of His blessings.

Saying NO to some activities provide a margin for us to rest and not be exhausted all the time.

I would rather be rested, prayerful and grateful instead of partying with a stinky attitude! How about you?

Let’s not have another pity party anytime soon.

 

Not Alone!

“Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭66:20‬ ‭NIV‬

How many times have we stood at a crossroad and did not know which route to take?!

Mapquest directions were not clear or GPS was malfunctioning or its signal was lost or there was an unexpected detour along the way.

Challenges in life are to be expected.

We may experience mixed emotions when standing at a crossroad but we can definitely take a minute to breathe, sit back, relax and pray for wisdom.

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Over the years, I’ve made numerous life-altering decisions. As much as I like to consult with family and friends, I’m the one who is ultimately responsible for the outcome.

It can indeed be a lonely experience!

 As I’m facing another crossroad in life today, it is nerve wracking not to have a clear sense of direction.

Calm my anxious heart Lord!, I often pray.

Praise God for His faithfulness, comfort and peace.

God is currently orchestrating the most favorable circumstances and is taking care of details on my behalf. Even though I still don’t have a sense of direction, I know He has heard my prayer.

I just need to trust Him as I am waiting for an answer at the crossroad!

Illustrated Journaling Bible

Choose a Journaling Bible for ‘Illustrated Journaling Bible’.

It has lined margins or blank space to allow for intentional journaling.

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Illustrated Bible Journaling

captures the key concept(s) of Scripture in just one image or two!

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For those who struggle in memorizing Scriptures, Illustrated Journaling Bible is an option.


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I do much better in remembering the plot of a story or key concept(s) than all of the specifics or details from a narrative.

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Illustrated Journaling Bible is relaxing, therapeutic in nature and fuels creativity.

Consider the following FB communities:

Bible Journaling 101, Bible Art Journaling Challenge, Bible Journaling, Journaling Bible Community (closed group), and/or Seasons Illustrated Bible.

If this is a new activity, I would highly recommend Bible Journaling 101.


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Journaling is a reflective activity.

It provides an opportunity to meditate on just one verse that stands out during quiet time.

Personally, the SOAP method is my preferred method. (Keep it simple and most importantly enjoy the process)

What does S.O.A.P stand for?

S for Scripture,

‘Out of these verses, which Scripture speaks to me today?’

O for personal Observation,

‘What is the Holy Spirit revealing to me in this season of life?’

A for Application,

‘How can I apply new insight(s) or wisdom to my current circumstances?’

P for Prayer,

 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:6‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Daddy’s girl!

“Let heaven and earth praise him, the seas and all that move in them,”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭69:34‬ ‭NIV‬‬

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Happy first anniversary dad! I’ve missed you.

Enjoy the serenity, sea breeze, singing birds, tropical weather of your heavenly estate.

Dad and I would sit together for unlimited hours at a time! We talked about anything, laughed at funny jokes, shared updates on ‘novelas’, arranged for auto repairs, shopped for office supplies, ate ‘Arepas’ every morning, dealt with disappointments and grief, watched ‘Sabado Gigante’ traveled to Scandinavian countries…

YES! I was dad’s little girl.

In my teens, dad enjoyed my piano practices at sunrise, and even dreamed of piano performance in concert halls. As I grew older, dad was delighted about college plans and career opportunities.

I vividly remember dad’s tears of joy when I graduated.

If I could whisper in his ear where I’m possibly heading next… He would smile at me right at this moment and would say, “you can do it, Adriana”

Dad never graduated from high school yet lived in two countries, retired in his early 40s, traveled around the world and provided us with life-time opportunities.

Praise God for His faithfulness!

 Dad was a remarkable man who also battled Parkinson’s disease for over 35 years, shared his wisdom, loved unconditionally and left fingerprints engraved deep in my soul!

Dad’s integrity, humility and forgiving heart will forever be treasured.

Dad is much alive in my heart!

YES! I’m still dad’s little girl.

Back Row Girl!

I was always the ‘back row’ girl, quiet and shy!

Did I ever enjoy piano performance? Was I delighted to answer  teacher’s question? Was I eager to ask questions when confused? Was I ever willing to lead a group of friends in high school?

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I was always the girl in the back row doubting my ‘skill’ set and afraid of stepping out of my comfort zone.

Just like when Moses doubted himself, “Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.””
‭‭Exodus‬ ‭4:10‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Because my speech was delayed until age four, I always struggled with fluency and articulation of speech then.

I never thought I had the courage to master two languages, develop leadership skills much less be licensed in two States and be Board Certified today!

 I steadily developed one skill at a time; an ability to express ideas to large groups, generate profitable outcomes, problem-solve and facilitate team discussions just to highlight a few. Our skills and talents are sharpened everyday as long as we are willing to embrace change.

We just need to step out of our comfort zones, move to the front row, believe and trust in the Lord.

Our Lord will equip us along the way. Just like He equipped Moses so he could confront Pharaoh; both assistance and resources were provided.

God will do the same for the two of us!

Perseverance, optimism, and Faith are undeniably key ingredients for a brighter spotlight!

Take courage, take a step forward, find your front row seat, and be ready to make a difference.

Don’t be a back row girl!

The Accidental Feminist

The Accidental Feminist

 “The great hope is that no amount of sin, personal ambition, feminism or even good desires will change God’s good design for women,” Courtney Reissig.

I’ve never considered myself a feminist, but I am now convinced I’ve been an ‘accidental’ feminist all along!

Challenging God’s authority is indeed a manifestation of feminism.

Wow!

That’s a profound statement.

 I spent at least twenty years orchestrating my life exactly the way I wanted. Did I ever consider biblical truths? Did I ever align past decisions with His truths?

Probably not!

 At the end of the day, I was mentally and emotionally drained. I was quite unfulfilled I must admit. Accomplishments, possessions, status, promotions were never enough. Things, people or events will never fulfill the longing of our hearts.

I can sit here in front of the computer screen and dwell on all types of regrets while I type my next sentence. Instead, I choose joy for God has transformed my life in the past decade.

Praise God for His beautiful design for women.

I’m not only content but my lifestyle has aligned with His heart and most importantly His truth is revealed one day at a time!

Get your copy at Amazon.com today. I hope you will enjoy the read as much as I did.

Guilty as charged!

Have I used ‘facetune’ app to erase wrinkles on my face?

Guilty as charged!

There will always be an opportunity to fix our ‘looks’ on the app. by just clicking different features.

‘click’ red eyes are fixed, ‘click’ wrinkles are faded, ‘click’ teeth are whiter than ever, ‘click’ textures are smoother and even another ‘click’ 10-15 lbs. are instantly off!

Magazines and TV commercials highlight the latest trends of beauty products.

Have I used anti-aging products?

Guilty as charged!

As a matter of fact, I’ve found the best products for facial ‘aging’ spots in the market recently. Yes! I’m quite aware of the aging process… Loss of hair, belly fat, grey hair, aging spots, flabby arms just to mention a few!

Exercising our bodies, and eating healthy promote wellness. Just know, our hearts need most of our attention.

Guarding our hearts from negative emotions will enhance our quality of life. Don’t allow anger take root in your heart.

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Have we asked ourselves lately?!

Am I resentful or forgiving? Am I judgmental or understanding? Am I hateful or loving? Am I selfish or giving? Am I angry or compassionate?

If we are experiencing negative emotions today, let’s pray for God’s perspective, renew our minds quickly and pray for healing of our tender hearts.

1 Samuel 16:7 reminds us, “People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 

‘Please Lord, give me a fresh perspective on aging and most importantly heal all matters of the heart. Give me a fresh perspective on gray hair very soon! I don’t want to be ‘guilty as charged’ on my next birthday…’

In Jesus name I pray, Amen.