Posted in Frustrations

Single Single, my foot has a tingle.

Yes, it’s Valentine’s Day again.

I really don’t care. A day doesn’t define who I am. I’m just glad to be alive for another day and I’m able to work and enjoy the nice weather we’re having here in Texas.

To some people though, it is a big deal. They go and buy roses galore, they have tons of chocolate and drink till they pass out.

But to the single person, it’s all a joke. At least it is to me. Why do people dedicate only one day for love? What about the other 364 days of the year?

It all makes no sense. Another thing that doesn’t make sense is when people make the whole month a “month of love“. What’s that? What about the other 11 months?

Love is an every day phenomenon.

Although yes, love has a lot of meanings.

You love your brother a different way than you love your spouse or your friend.

Philos love: Brotherly love. Love for a friend or family member. Something you feel for someone who is close to you.

Eros love: This kind of love is reserved for married couples. It is the kind of love that only they two can share. The attraction they have for each other.

Agape love:  The best love of all. The kind of love that God has for us His children. The kind of love that God commands us to have towards one another. The unconditional love that we must show for each other no matter the circumstances.

Love is love, just like it says in 1 Corinthians 13.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant   5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[b] it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.Love never ends.

I’m not going to get political, don’t search for that here. The love God has for us and the love we should have for each other is not the kind of love you find out in the world.

Love has been abused and the word love has been overused. Love, for the most part, is seen as a door for other things. “Many times, the world’s idea of love is to love those who can further your career or those from whom you can get something that you need.  This is not a godly love.”

I have been told many times that I am loved. People come to the store where I work to tell me they love me. Maybe to them it’s Eros love but to me it’s totally the opposite. Maybe not love at all because I totally do not know them!

But see, the world sees love and sex as equals.

Love is complete acceptance of the other person. It’s not only sexual desire but desire to understand the person and care for them. Love is completely unconditional. There are no conditions in love. There is no “if you give me something, i will love you” or “here is some money, you must love me”. Love is totally  selfless. Love gives of itself. Love embraces. Love cherishes. Love doesn’t hurt you.

Valentine’s day is not the day of love. Do you really want to know when the day of love is? The day Christ Jesus stretched out His arms and died, for you. 

You might be single today, but remember this, you are not lonely. The more we seek God, the more He gives meaning to our lives. You don’t feel lonely because His presence is invigorating. You enjoy the day because He has given you the peace and love that you need. It’s beyond comprehension.

Gotta go, my foot really is tingling.

1 John 4:16

So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

Posted in Frustrations

A sound mind

Fear is insane. You wake up one day full of energy and you believe in your heart that that day will be the greatest yet and by the time you are done with breakfast your mind has given you all of the thoughts of yesterday and all the things you need to do today.

Sometime after lunch when your stomach is in knots, you’re biting your nails and you have a migraine the size of Alaska. This all happened because fear has entered your mind and you don’t think you have a way out of this situation that started as small as a mustard seed and has become the size of Mount Everest.

We as humans cannot avoid fear as it comes into our lives on this earth. Our minds can work overtime even in the craziest and most difficult of situations. Sometimes we are on pins and needles trying to figure out how to get all our toys in order.

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:7

I have, in the past 2 months, had a good amount of fear. Fear that one day I will loose my job. Fear that I will not be able to pay my rent. Fear that I will not be allowed to be in this country any longer. Fear that I will eventually end up alone.

I needed a touch from God. I don’t like that my life was feeling  out of control and it seemed more and more that my hands were being tied behind my back.  I was reminded that God does not give us the spirit of fear. God doesn’t want us to be afraid.

Do what is right and do not give way to fear.                                                                                                     — 1 Peter 3:6

Fear comes to us like a fog. It seeps into our minds in the middle of the night to keep us awake till the morning light. Our hearts beat insensibly, we run out of breath and cry ourselves trying to fall back asleep.

But God doesn’t want us to give into fear. God wants us to give Him our fears. He wants us to talk to Him and tell Him all that we are afraid of.  He makes us fearless in our hearts and minds when we focus on Him. The more we know Jesus, the more we know that He is with us and walks with us through it all.

The Lord is my light and my salvation — whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life — of whom shall I be afraid?                                                                                                                                        — Psalm 27:1

I’m telling you, after today I am feeling 100% better. Fear paralyzes you. Fear tells you that you cannot do anything right and you will always fail. Fear makes you backtrack and believe that nothing you do is important.

It is imperative  for us to remember that fear is not something that we need to keep around. Our mind needs to be at peace and the only way for that to happen is to give all our thoughts to God. We can have a sound mind, and the way to do that is to have control of our thoughts.

Posted in Frustrations

You are forgiven

Have you ever been stuck between a rock and a hard place?  I have.  But what does that even mean? 
You have been given two choices and by the looks of things, neither is a good one.  

Really, it’s very simple to chose the right thing though,  but we complicate things because we know right from work and we chose the thing that completely satisfies us. Which in turn can be the wrong thing. 

We want things to go in our favor but they won’t come that way when we decide to walk the wrong path.  

We walk in the dark thinking it’s OK and the light won’t find us, but we’re wrong. 

An example would be me, thinking that it’s OK to fornicate, believing that no one will find out.  

It’s OK to cuss, my words don’t really matter. 

A little flirting can’t hurt anyone.

Let me be angry, I have to vent. 

Lying is OK, I can’t really say the truth. 

_____________________________

But the truth is, everything we do has a price.  Everything we say is being recorded. Nothing is hidden from the Almighty and there are repercussions to our mistakes. 

Oh, those are the bad news. 

The good news, there is forgiveness

What?  How is it that me cussing is bad? you might ask. 

Or another question you might have is, what does flirting have to do with anything? 

After so many years of disappointments and broken hearted days, I have come to realize that I have not truly searched for what God wants in my life.  With 3, count it, 3 failed relationships; I decided to give up on trying to find my ideal husband. I even gave up trying to find a husband period. I accept that maybe I am not marriage material. And right now, I am content with myself and I surely am not looking.  But I flirted with so many guys, I will confess. It left me empty and unfulfilled. 

Cussing is not a good way to communicate, though “research” says it opens your vocabulary.   I have failed to comprehend that at times when I get angry to vent.  

I’ve lied and I’ve cheated too.  

All to satisfy something inside of me that no one will ever be able to fill.  No one can give you peace because there is no peace in sleeping around, in lying, in cussing, in cheating, in stealing, in drinking, in all the things of this world like working 90 hour weeks to pay exuberant amounts of money for things that you can’t take with you. 

I’m talking to me,  or you? 

I don’t know, but nothing will ever satisfy you. 

We have walked so far away from God, and He still has forgiveness. 

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:9 ESV

You don’t think that’s awesome?

Our sins have put weight on us.  We carry them like luggage.  They are heavy in our hearts and they make life more and more unbearable to the point where everything just makes us mad and we want to cuss and just plain throw it all away.  Years of marriage go down the drain, children suffer verbal and physical abuse, we struggle at work and with family, our bills kill us, we decay spiritually; because we don’t check ourselves and the fact that we carry sin on our backs like mules. 

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28‭-‬30 ESV

The burdens are our sins, but there is forgiveness.

Granted, we all go through struggles for 2 reasons. 

1. God wants us to come to Him.  He sent His Son to die for us to redeem from our sins.  He shed His blood to cleanse us.  His blood redeem us.  

What is the meaning of Christian redemption?

2. Sometimes God tests our faith. 

Does God sometimes test our faith by letting hard times happen to us? If so, why does He do it? Doesn’t He already know whether or not our faith is genuine?  

But that’s besides the point. The point is forgiveness. 

God forgives us when we repent of our sins. When we chose to stop lying, cheating, using His name in vain(yes, omg counts), when we stop killing,  when we stop sinning. He then comes to us like He did with the woman found in adultery:

Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”  She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”

John 8:10‭-‬11 ESV

Come to Jesus, and live. 

Posted in Frustrations

Forty and happy and blessed

I’m pretty sure that when people turn a certain age,  they start evaluating what they are doing and what they should be doing with their lives.
As another year has come,  I don’t have to evaluate my life, I love it just he way or is.
For some people, turning a certain age means changing some things like diet, friends and even wardrobe.  Start acting their age.  I say,  what does a 40 year old act like?  I’ve never been this age!

40 things I’m thankful for.

1. God.  For without Him  I wouldn’t even be 40!
2. My children.  They are a blessing.
3. My job.  I get to listen to music all day long!
4. My church.  Believe it or not, i found where I belong.
5. The people who love me. Friends, family, if your love me you’re included.
6.  My car.  Oh this one is a fabulous blessing.  Walking to work for 2 hours is not fun.
7. My headphones.  Those are a gift and I enjoy them when I can.
8. My bed.
9. Hot water! 
10. The people I work with. 
11. Regular customers.  I had some nice tips today.
12. Christian radio station.  They keep me uplifted and a blessing during work.
13. Coffee!!!!!
14. Living in the USA.  I love this country!
15. Books.
16. Comic Books.
17. Comic book movies!!!!
18. A roof over my head.
19. How much my kids have fun with each other.
20. Laughter.
21. Tiramisu! I have not tasted anything more delicious!
22. Sushi.  Ok,  it’s a tie between this and Tiramisu.
23. Music!!!!!!!!!!! I can’t get by without it. Contemporary Christian,  classic rock,  classic Christian (if that’s a thing).  Just no gangsta rap nor rancheras.  😕
24. My Italian heritage. One day I’ll learn Italian.
25. That I don’t feel 40!
26. That I don’t look it either!!
27. How fast my kids are growing.
28. Breakfast tacos.  The sell the best down the street from work.
29. Rainy days.  I don’t know you, but I feel they are romantic.
30. Romantic movies.  Specially romantic comedy.
31. Cloudy skies.
32. Cake!!!!
33. My phone camera.
34. Days off.  I love to work but I also love to just chill.
35. Jokes.  Who doesn’t like to laugh!?  See #20
36. TV
37. Netflix
38. Hulu
39. YouTube
40. Life!!!  I’m thankful for this life of a roller coaster.

I praise God for today, and every day.  It’s OK to live for today, it’s OK to enjoy what He gives and not worry what will happen tomorrow, because tomorrow is not guaranteed.

Posted in Frustrations

He Bled

In all my life I’ve never known
Someone who cared for me
As much as Jesus does
And what He did in Calvary.

He knows how much it hurts
To be beaten and bruised,
He knows all too well of pain
As the soldiers were amused.

Jesus hanged on the cross
Jesus, He bled
Jesus suffered all for me
So I wouldn’t be dead.

Jesus bled.
He gave His life for me on Calvary
Jesus bled and did die
All so that I could be free.

Posted in Frustrations

Perfect Practice Makes Perfect

Humanity.  We struggle with the most horrific things you can imagine. From abandonment to abuse,  from despair to depression.
From having your home destroyed, to surviving a tsunami.

Humanity.  We are survivors when it comes tragedy.  We can be in a situation where everything is taken from us, having no home, no vehicle and no cash; yet we tough it out.

Having nothing in the bank was not the problem, me believing that there was no way out,  was.  My mind raced into many possible problems and the anxiety attack came out of nowhere.  Having never had one before, I vowed never to have another ever again.

Humanity.  Humans struggle with giving thanks to God.  I have been there.  

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 NLT

This is hard to do at times.  See,  we look at the circumstances, we see the house crumbling down,  the bruises in your arms, the tears falling, the bank on minus.

What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
Philippians 4:9 ESV

Paul tells us so much on this chapter.  He went through the ringer in his lifetime.  From being stoned and left for dead to being abandoned and mocked by his fellow believers.  And in every circumstance, he’s been thankful.

Philippians 4:10-13 (ESV)

God’s Provision

10 I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. 11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to becontent. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

Read 4:8

Practice thankfulness.

Be thankful that in that wreck, you didn’t break your bones. 

Be thankful when you have zero dollars,  because you still have the strength to get up to work and God will supply all your needs.
Be thankful when you have no strength because you are alive and will be strengthen in the Lord. 

Practice thankfulness when nothing seems right, because a thankful heart is a happy heart.

God knows every single situation you have been through.  Every tear you’ve shed,  every time you’ve failed,  every single anxiety attack you’ve had. The pain you’ve felt,  the times you’ve cut. 
He knows it.  He knows you well. 

Humanity.  Can we be thankful once today?

I’m thankful for Him.

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

Posted in Frustrations

Real

When we were children, we had it all. 
All the imagination.  All the time to play.  All the dreams.  All the trust.  All the joy.

We believed we could do pretty much anything we had on our mind and if we could,  we would.
From wanting to be a doctor to an astronaut, to being a teacher to even Superman. 

No one really told us growing was going to be oh so hard.

No one said we would be depressed, no one said we would cry so much, no one said anxiety and panic attacks would come. 

No one said it would sometimes feel so overwhelming and out of control that people actually harm themselves to get their lives in the direction they want. 

If we are honest, we can see that most of us either cut ourselves or even think about it. 

I’ll be honest. Since the day I wanted to cut my veins, I’ve wanted to feel a blade slice my skin.  To let it touch me and cut me like you would butter with a hot knife.  To see the blood flow like a gushing fountain on a hot summer day.  Just to see if I’d scar.  Just to stare at them.  To pick on the scabs like I do when I pick on my cuticles.

It comes and goes.  I am not constantly thinking about and I’m not obsessed with cutting.  But it runs on my mind once in a while. 
You know when?  At work. 
Not because it’s a stressful place, but only because we have blades for cutting boxes. 
OK, I confess.  I cut myself once. 

But only because I was alone and I could do it on my hand, where no one could notice.

I did a cross.

It felt good.

But I don’t think it’s right.

It’s not right.

My cuticles are bad, my face even. 

And people cut themselves for many reasons, not only anxiety.

There are many drugs that help with anxiety.  I know people who have anxiety and they are on such medications that help them cope with all that they go through.  I believe in medicine. I believe that if you have some kind of disease, mental illness,  that medicine is necessary.
I haven’t taken any, mostly because I don’t like taking pills.  That’s my fault.

If only we could be honest with each other, we could see that we have nothing to complain about.  We all are struggling one way or another and instead of belittling each other, we need to support each other.  We need to love each other.  We, and I speak more to the church, we need to seek those who are in pain, and bring them to Christ.

I have a coworker who doesn’t believe people anymore.  He has been through the ringer and doesn’t allow himself to believe that the church will ever help. 
I was real with him.  And even though he totally doesn’t really trust me, he has found that I also have been through the ringer and even still I have faith that God pulls me forward. 

You know what, God does. 

There is a picture of a drug addict and he has the needle ready to inject.  And Jesus is behind him, His arm instead of the addict. 

When I first saw it, I didn’t understand that.  Why would the addict be injecting the drug into Jesus?  Why?
Jesus takes our place because He kn

image

ows what suffering is. And to give us a chance to keep living. 

Jesus takes our place. 

At the cross, Jesus took our place also.
He took it to save us from eternal suffering.  He knows what we are going through, the mental anguish we suffer.  The agony of having to carry everything on our shoulders.

Is why He said

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Matthew 11:28-30
The Message (MSG)

Jesus, only Jesus, knows what it is to carry a heavy burden.  Imagine every single possible sin you could ever do, multiply it it times all the humans in this world ;past present and future and have to carry it on the cross while dying!  That is a heavy burden.

I know this.  I believe this.  I see it. 

And when I think about cutting myself, I think of this picture, the one with the addict.

And I cry.

Because I don’t want to hurt Him.

More importantly, He doesn’t want me to hurt.

(Don’t forget to click on the links, they are awesome!)

If We’re Honest

Everything