Friday, October 15, 2010

A blank bristol board

Today I thought about how life is like a blank bristol board. I took a collage class a few months ago and I remember starting with a blank board and having three hours to figure out what I was going to place on my board. It was harder than I thought. Its like we are given this life, our freedom to do what we want and yet its do difficult to decide what we are going to do with it. Some people stay looking at that blank bristol board so much that their life passes them by.

It was my first collage class and even though I have done collaging for a while now as a hobby is was harder than I thought to make a piece that I knew my classmates would be critiquing. It crossed my mind to make a piece based on what I thought they would like. I had to keep myself focused on making a piece that reflected me and forget about what anyone else thought. That's how life is, some of us live our lives to please others and forget that we are given this life to live as we choose.

We all have our unique abilities. We all bring something different to the table. If we followed our hearts, if we listened to that tugging of our souls our blank bristol boards would be a unique masterpiece.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Open to new things...

From this time forward I make you hear new things, hidden things that you have not known.--Isaiah 48:6

I read this scripture today and felt renewed. There are times when we feel synchronized and things just start opening up for us that we never even knew existed. We often wonder why does this happen. It seems to come at us when we least expect it. For me it has often happened when I find myself frustrated and confused about what I should do next in my life. I begin to think and think until I wear myself out. Then I finally realize that I need to let go and let God take over. I begin to pray about it (which is what I should had done in the first place) and give myself positive affirmations. Before I know it things begin to happen and I begin to see the path laid out for me more clearly. It never fails.

This is why it’s so important to read scripture as part of building your Faith. When we read scripture, such as the one above, it puts new thoughts in our minds and fuels the possibilities that we find in those words. I am ready to hear new things, wide open to the hidden creativity that I never knew was there.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Blooming Flower and lovely.

This morning I walked out of my apartment and saw this lovely contrast along with feeling the crisp wind of the coming fall season. Its really been bittersweet for me the last couple of months. It's good to be back here after a few setbacks. I am right in time for the fall season of 2010, the only one that will ever be.

I've been busy with a few things lately. One is my lay ministry program. I was nominated by my pastor to be part of this 3 year lay ministry program where we learn about theology, the church, and the bible. The program prepares us to take up a ministry at our church, almost like picking a major in your third year of college. Once we are done we can go on to getting a Master's in Thelogy or just begining our ministry in the Church. I have already completed my first course called Theology of Lay Ministry and it was very enriching. Finally, the church is now focusing on evangelizing the common people and providing them with the tools to serve their communities. I am glad to be a part of it.

I am still in the process of finding my blogging voice and creating my very own artwork. The last collage I made was for a dear friend of mine who went to graduate school in Philly. I've done a few creative pieces with packages I have sent to family and friends and I find it so therapeutic and exciting. I also have developed some photos I took in my trip to Greece where I was able to use my brand new toy-a Nikon D3000. I hope to share that here on my blog soon. I continue to find ways to fuel my creative spirit and pray that I will be able to build something solid and stable for myself in the near future. Looking forward to all the goodness...

Monday, June 28, 2010

Change is good...

This blog has been undergoing some changes. I have been learning so much during Kelly Rae's e-course that I am taking along with all the other activities I am pursuing. I am going through a process of finding my own voice and also to redecorating my blog to reflect me. I don't have a lot of the resources to do something fancy but I am in the process of trying to create my own banner. I will be really happy when I do so.

I thank God for taking me on this creative journey. I have had so many ideas of things I want to do but meanwhile I am concentrating on my collage art class and my e-course. Last week I created a Self-Portrait piece which I still have to add some things to do. Its very very simple but I think that many aspects of it really reflect my personality. It was really interesting how I started with one thought process and then ended up with something completely different. Art is truly amazing and very therapeudic. I will be posting my self-portrait piece shortly...stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Oh Van Gogh….

Last week for class we had to recreate a famous work of art. See if you can guess which one I did, it's one of my favorites. This project was actually the most challenging so far. I originally had started out with one idea but in class I changed my mind and this is what came of it. At one point I wasn't even liking what was being created but I just kept pushing myself and it didn't turn out so bad after all. A few people familiar with the painting were able to identify my recreation. I guess I accomplished my goal. This week, however, is a whole different project. I will be working on a SELF-PORTRAIT. My instructor told us it does not have to look like us it just has to feel like us so I can do a lot with it. Let's see what gives?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A little creativity

This is what actually came out of the collage I had to create for class. I was given the assignment two days in advance and had been thinking of it since but come Thursday I still wasn't sure. I prayed about it and kept going about my day when during lunch I picked up my Julia Cameron book and fell upon this quote: "The enchantment of New York lies in its big dreams, the reality of New York lies in its small living space." How true and significant was this for me. I immediately imagined a collage that reflected the quote. It would be a piece with a twist of sarcasm. I love living in New York City but sometimes I want to pull the hairs out of my head with my small apartment. It's probably not even as small as most places in New York but compared to my previous apartment in Chicago, its tiny. One cannot spend too much time indoors. Which eventually balances out because New York City is about going out there to hustle and juggle all sorts of jobs, internships, volunteering, gigs, etc etc. With the rush of New York, there is hardly time to be indoors.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Creative Journey to SPIRIT

I have recently embarked on an amazing creative journey. Since the last time I posted on my blog things have been unraveling so organically. I began to ask the Holy Spirit to place its divine ideas in my head and place my feet in the right direction and this is where it has lead me...toward art. Just last week Sunday I began an online e-course offered by Kelly Rae Roberts who has been a great inspiration for me on this creative journey. I think she is an amazing communicator and I am so grateful that she has shared the unraveling of her creative journey that has inspired me so greatly. I can relate to many things in her life, like her love of helping others in the field of social work and her fears of success. I truly admire her honesty and I am learning so much from this e-course.

I also started my collage art class at the Cooper Union last Thursday. I find collage art so therapeudic and hope to give workshops using the medium someday as therapy for others. I like my instructor and my peers and just being in the new Cooper building surrounded by creative folks really inspires me to keep moving forward. I've already received our second collage art project for Thursday which is to build a social satire photomontage. Its a bit challenging because I don't remember the last time I used satire in my work. I usually will write angry poems or happy poems. I like photos with smiles in them and although satire doesn't have to be dark, it usually involves ridiculing others. I want to choose something I feel really strongly about and run with it. Let's see what transpires!

I am so grateful to God for this creative journey. The other day I went to the Renegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn and had such a great time looking at all the handmade creations. There are truly some very creative and talented people out there. Maybe one day I can participate in such a fair and showcase some of my own work. Thats the a butterfly I am ready to soar to new heights...

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Slowly but surely blooming...

Ever since I started praying again I have been feeling more like myself. The holy spirit has really inspired me in many ways. For instance I have ran into a few online blogs that have really inspired and encouraged me to be more creative. One in particular has been Kelly Rae Roberts. Her blog is truly amazing. It is a step by step process from her unleashing her possibilities and letting herself bloom into even more than what she imagined. Just allowing herself to be led by spirit and not letting herself get defeated by negative thoughts, has allowed her to reach places she never even imagined. She went from blogging, to writing, to getting her book published, her own online business, and a whole lot of doors opened up after that. Its really all about just doing it like Nike says in their slogan. Even if you have to constantly tell yourself "just do it" every time your mind plays tricks on you by discouraging you.

I've had a few things I've been wanting to do for a while now, like something with my poetry, photos, collaging, and just doing more artsy stuff. Lord knows I am somehow trying to make room for it at home but sometimes I have to take some projects portable to my job. Its a little frustrating not having much space to do it at home, but I strongly feel that God is preparing me for something big and I must keep on pushing forward even though it's not quite certain yet how everything is going to happen, but I trust in the Lord and know that the Holy Spirit is going to guide my feet in the right direction.

So far I have just been creating little projects for people's birthdays or other occasions, but unfortunately I have no document of my work. I realize now that when I finish a project i need to take a photo of it to add it to my portfolio. I am going to definitely start doing that. We shall see what other divine ideas does the Holy Spirit have in store.....thank you God.

Monday, April 26, 2010

A minor meltdown

God definitely works through people. Today I was revealed many things. A friend of mine just layed it down for me. Told me exactly what I needed to hear. God bless her for that. It makes so much sense to me. What I have been feeling physically are manifestations of my emotional stress. I have been experiencing stress lately and my mind has been focused on negative emotions like anger, blame, sadness, and guilt. I have not been praying like I used to and I even missed church for two sundays. Whatever I have been feeling I have not allowed myself to express it. I have been holding in whatever it is that I've been feeling. Today I finally allowed myself to cry and to pray and to restore all communications with my Lord and Savior. All this time I know what i've had to do but it gets harder with time to admit to oneself that we do not know everything. If we are to Trust in the Lord we have to let Him know that we need Him. We have to communicate our pain to Him, show Him that we are going through a struggle. I am always telling others to pray and thats its okay to cry or to talk to a trustworthy person about how we feel. Yet here I am, Lost.

Another thing that my friend mentioned without me saying anything to her is that we all need that one person that we trust spirtually and I have been greatly lacking that. There are two people who have served as spiritual guides for me in New York and they both had to relocate to other places. I remember when Sister Eileen left to North Carolina, i miss her very much, but I know she is happy and that God's plan is for her to serve others. I am grateful to have crossed her path and I know that we will see eachother again. May God bless her. I often wondered who would be my next spiritual mentor. I can identify a few people, however I truly believe that those things just happen naturally. I cried today because I long for that. I long for someone to talk to about my personal spiritual battles, someone I can Trust.

So there I was by my bed unraveling myself to the Lord. Thank you Father, for humbling me and for helping me get the message. I already feel brand new. I know that you have good and great things in store for me! I know that you walk this journey with me and promise to never leave me..thank you Father God!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

To God the Glory

Its been a little while since I’ve written. I’ve been a bit sick to my stomach....literally. I am still not quite 100% but this is a wake up call to eat healthier. I had been trying to change my eating habits for at least a month know and it seemed like it was not happening being it just up to me. Getting sick has really helped me get back on track, I hate to But of course life goes on and thanks to God I managed to continue my routine. On Sunday I was on call for SAVI and actually got a call a little after 10:00 a.m.. I went in to advocate for a 28 year old male who was being physically abused by the mother of his child. I wasn’t sure how this was gonna go as the survivor of domestic violence is usually a woman. That goes to show you there is always the exception. I prayed about it and thankfully everything went smooth. I really hope and pray that things work out for him and especially his 3 year old son.

It was really a challenge to listen to this man speak without me wanting to interrupt him and tell him what he SHOULD have done. That is the difference between going through training and not going through training. Through training I learned that an advocate is there to LISTEN and ADVOCATE for the survivor, no matter what. We have to leave our personal issues outside of that space. We are not there to solve problems, we are there to make sure that our survivor gets the best possible care in the emergency room considering there are so many people involved i. e. doctor, nurse, P.A., social worker, sometimes the cops, the D.A, and none of those people can really look out for the survivors best interest, they all have a specific job to do. I realize that its really a skill and a gift to be an advocate. I thank God for leading me to become an advocate.

On Monday I just planned on going to the gym after work then my friend sent me an invite to theology on tap in Manhattan. There was going to be a speaker talking about the theme “Can God be trusted?” . Whatever I felt when I read that theme, I knew that I had to be there. So after the gym I headed to Metro 53 and met my friend there. It turns out we are both going through a similar “drought” and perhaps a challenging phase in our spiritual/religious life. Not only us two but I believe truly that all of us in the young adult group are going through many changes. Many of us have entered relationships that are challenging us to think about what our convictions are. What do we really believe in, and what are our values? Though I am going through a bit of a traditional prayer drought, I am praying in heart and soul for all of us. May the Lord shows us where we should place our foot next. May His will be done in all of our lives.

I remember the speaker had a wonderful sense of humor and was a really good speaker. His credentials were very impressive. Yet what I remember the most is how he completely got choked up when he had to answer the question “Can God be trusted?” He did that twice and the second time he had tears coming down his face. When I first read that theme I was never thinking that God cannot be trusted. In fact I COMPLETELY understood why he got all choked up about it. After all since I was a little girl that is what I have always believed. Not because I was naive or ignorant but because when I went to bed at night and everyone else was sleeping, that is when I really felt His presence. Because of Him I faced my fear of lightning at night. What I thought was dangerous then, now reminds me of how real the glory of God is.

Which reminds me of something I’ve had in my unconscious lately, the glory of God. I realize that the glory of God can be manifested in anything and everything we do, in who we are, in all things big and small. Yes I believe that God’s glory is manifested the most in the difficult times in the things we consider bad or ugly. That is where the glory of God is. And when I think about that passage in the bible that says blessed are the poor in spirit, I realize that in the poor is where the glory of God is manifested the most. It is through our struggle that we feel the most passionate. It is through our struggle that we see the glory of God.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Christ is the light...

Of all the events of Holy Week, the Easter Vigil on Saturday was very symbolic. There is something so special about seeing Christ as the light in our lives. The ceremony consists of arriving to a pitch black church and having a candle handed to you at the door. I arrived right on time and found a seat next to a friend on a pew by the door. I can tell there were a significant amount of people in the church even though the lights were all out and it was silent. Suddenly a prayer is said and someone turns on their candle and passes on their flame to others until everyone in the church has their candle lit. Its really so beautiful. Then the dim lights come on and until the Gospel is to be read the lights finally turn on in the church to symbolize the ressurection of Christ. Its so beautiful to know that the Lord takes us out of the darkness.

I was also thinking about the many roles in the church. Everyone does their part, altar server, lector, priest, laypeople, music ministry, and the parishoners. I remember the way I saw church as an altar server. I looked forward to getting up in the morning and getting ready to go to church early so I can dress into my altar server attire and be ready to be at the front of the church to walk to the altar with the priest. Sometimes I even got the chance to carry the cross. It was such an honor. I never questioned why I did it, it just felt like such an honor to me. Then I became a lector and I enjoyed proclaming the word of Christ and gathering with fellow lectors for annual retreats. I really felt a connection to the church then. Then I began to miss just being a regular parishioner and sitting down to listen to mass with my family. Though I am now part of a young adult ministry, I also enjoy Sunday mass as a parishioner. Its a lot challenging now to be part of the church because as an adult there are people all around me questioning why I am where I am, and why I do what I do. Thats what happens when you are no longer a child. You are an adult and you do what you do by choice and not quite by custom. I have grown up in the church and mass has always been an important aspect of my life. I feel closer to the Lord when I gather in church for mass and when I gather with my church family to enjoy a Sunday brunch or a bible study on Wednesday. I guess I can say that now I am in the business of Fellowship...and its truly fulfilling. I am grateful to the Lord that He has not allowed me to stray from something that has always been important in my Spiritual Life....serving Christ.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Sometimes you have to take a deeper look....

Talk about a million things that run through our minds...I truly truly admire people who have set goals and don't change them for no one and do not let anything get in their way. My biggest problem is that I just can't focus on one thing. From one idea stem a zillion and then I become so consumed that I lose the purpose. I am praying for the ability to focus on the purpose. Everything that we do has a purpose, a reason for thinking of it and wanting it to become real.

I just had a really good conversation with my brother. While conversing with him I realized something. I remember when I was younger I often searched for a role model, someone to look up to. I have a cousin who growing up always worked, and though she lived with her mom, she always kept her things in order. I remember that from the circle of family I grew up with, she was the first one to go to college. My younger cousin and I used to hear her stories about joining dance groups and she would even teach us some of the moves, it was truly inspiring. That is when I knew that I wanted to go to college. I continued to search for role models growing up but most of them came from outside of my family circle. It seemed like the more I moved forward in life, the more distant I became from them, not because I wanted to, but because we had less and less in common.

They say sometimes you have to take a deeper look. My brother Angel owned his first home by the age of 25. He attended Devry and got an associates in Environmental Engineer. Today, at 32 he has opened up his own business without taking out a loan. Where have I been looking all this time? My brother has worked very hard to get where he is and I am very proud of him. He truly has broken many barriers that have held back our family in the past. I have realized that we have always fought for something better. We have not accepted the traditional roles that our society had laid out for us. We know there is a world out there waiting for us to make things happen.

I thank God for helping me realize that I do not have to look very far to find encouragement by example. My brother Angel has worked very hard to be where he is today, something that we all have the potential to do but not many have the faith, the courage, nor the drive to make happen. I know for a fact that I possess those qualities, not only cause it runs through my blood, but because I know that God put the fire of the Holy Spirit in me.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The gift of expression through writing

So as of yesterday afternoon I am officially journaless. I finished writing in the journal I began in December of last year. Now I definitely have to go get myself a new one. I saw one online and maybe I will order it with the gift card that Chikybean sent me, she will be very pleased to hear that I spent it on something so meaningful to me and to her as well…the gift of expression through writing…so lovely. I am actually looking forward to getting my box of old journals in Chicago. For some reason I remember Rawle out of all my journals. That is the only one I gave a name to though I can picture also most of my journals in my head. Some of them were gifts, some were just regular notebooks, there are plain ones, colorful ones, and even binders with paper in them. I remember one of my first journals came from me challenging myself to write something everyday on a page and place it in a binder so I suppose I have 365 pages in that binder. Its funny how I was challenging myself at such an early age, if only blogging was available then…lol.

Anyhow, so I remember Rawle the bright blue journal that was about 5 X 7 in size and had one of those little black elastics used to close up the journal. I really loved that journal and giving it a name made me feel like it was my special friend. I may not have had imaginary person friends but my journals felt like good old friends that I can say ANYTHING to. I remember I also loved stuffed animals growing up and often longed for them to one day come to life. Then again I was watching lots of Disney movies and movies like the Never-ending Story with the talking dog and the rock man which I still have in my DVD collection. Such tender memories about childhood that I am glad that I have. Its nice to hold on to the good times in a time where so many of us are always focusing on the tough times. A good friend of mine once said “During bad times, remember that good times follow.”

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Oh ye of little Faith...

I am experiencing a Rude Awakening. But, sometimes it takes a rude awakening to wake up what has been sleeping in our hearts for way too long. I am not sure what I have been doing with my work life for the last 12 years. I can give the excuse that I’ve met some wonderful people in the process, because I have, however that is no excuse to continue doing work that does not inspire my creativity nor ignite my enthusiasm. What is happening to me really feels like direction. This is what it feels like I’ve been truly waiting for. It does come at an interesting time when I am giving excuses of why I should be grateful that I even have the job that I have right now. Am I grateful for the blessings of the Lord YES of course, however I feel like I am ye of little faith for not taking the leap to find my passion. I keep waiting for something, waiting to get my masters, waiting to save money, waiting to pay off my bills, its like waiting for Godot and Godot never comes because all along it has been up to us to take that leap of Faith…that is the Holy Spirit fire that we all have access to but we fail to exercise. One thing I learned years ago is that I will succeed wherever I go so I should never limit myself because of fear. Perfect love casts out fear and the things of God are not the things of this Earth, in other words even though we are experiencing a recession in this country, I will not be affected so as long as I am under the law of Spirit. Wherever I go I know that God will help me grow. Wherever I knock on the door of Faith I know the Lord will open and provide. That is having Faith.

I feel like all this time I’ve been feeling like I am being led by the spirit when in fact it has not been that way. The Holy Spirit Fire can make anyone do GREAT things. Especially wake up everyday with enthusiasm for serving the Lord. Walking with a skip in our step anxious to know what the Lord has in store for us next. I realized when I was in Chicago that the work I was doing was not giving me that enthusiasm, however I felt that it was more of the environment I was in. I figured relocating to a whole other city will help with that and believe me for two years now it has. However, I realize now that its not just the environment but it’s the work that I am doing. There is no passion in it for me, no motivation. I need to be in a place where I am working directly with people. I need to see the fruits of my labor for a change, that will help me get up every morning with enthusiasm. That will help me even become a morning person again the way I used to be. The work that I do know is meaningless, there is no one waiting for me to accomplish their task. In fact if I don’t show up I would be easily replaced. And its through no fault of the people at my job, its all up to me. I am the one who searched for this type of work again because I didn’t feel the confidence to go outside of my comfort zone. All I was thinking about was that I needed to be making enough money to be self-sufficient. I did not bother to explore things that I have really been wanting to do. Oh ye of little faith.

So now right smack in the middle of my rude awakening which comes at a very inconvenient time, I realize that I need to really make that change no matter how inconvenient it may be if I am going to ever move forward in Faith.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Finding my work (pt.1): A call to prayer

I am praying...praying for the Lord's guidance. Quite often do I fall into this frustration with my job. I feel like I am not doing anything of substance. In fact just today was confirmation of that. I am reading this book called Life@Work by John C. Maxwell which talks about how to exercise your faith at work. As soon as I began reading chapter one I knew this book was going to be the next Spiritual Non-Fiction book on my list, and not just a book I will read but one I need a notebook for. I find myself taking notes out of every paragraph. I am on chapter two where he is talking about finding scripture that can "frame the image of what it looks like for someone to be actively engaged in both the commercial and the kingdom side of life?" Isn't that amazing? Love it...ok so he uses the example of David the shepherd-king. He goes on to describe the four characteristics of King David's life that contributed to his success 1) his calling, 2) his service, 3) his character, and 4) his skill. So for the first one, I came upon a line that really made me think. It says here, "without calling, all you have is a job." Then it went on to say, "Working from calling, gives you confidence in your mission." When I read that I had to stop and close the book. I needed to absorb those two lines although I knew deep down inside for a long time to be true.

In fact as I thought about it through the day I realized that I went to paralegal school to try to build that confidence I felt I needed to pursue a career in law. I was not fond of paralegal school, I graduated with honors because I pushed myself to be the best at what I had committed myself to. However, nothing from that experience really stayed with me. The only thing I can say that really excited me was an online Ethics class I had that required me to do research and write papers, I did really well in that class and enjoyed doing the writing which had nothing to do with actual legal research. Legal Research itself was a pain. I just couldn't see myself doing that for a decade of my life. I think I need to really let go of this idea that I am supposed to be in the legal field.

I trust in the Lord and I know that He will light my path and is doing so already. I need to stop getting frustrated and just be. Right now I have a stable job that is helping me get on my feet financially but is not giving me any confidence to move forward. Knowing that God is with me is what gives me confidence. I pray that the Lord can light my path and help me to see where He needs me to be. To help me patiently await divine inspiration from the Holy Spirit. I ask this in the name of Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Thoughts on Julie and Julia: The Movie

What a delightful movie. They say that the book is always better than the movie, I wonder if it is. I might have to add it to my book collection, a classic. This movie pretty much summarizes some of the things I feel passionate about all in one: food, love, and blogging. The movie takes place both in Queens, New York and Paris, France simultaneously. We learn a little about French culture and the rush of the New York lifestyle. We are taken on a journey through the culinary masterpieces of Julia Child. From how to make beef bourguignon to boning your own duck, the dishes are really inspiring for anyone who is interested in French cooking or just cooking in general. We also see how technology has advanced between Julia’s typewriters and telegrams and Julie’s computer blogging and answering machines. Two complete different generations united by the neverending pursuit to do something of significance.

Julie’s character reflects the woman of today, living the city life in the era of procrastination. She is juggling a stressful office job, her marital duties, and trying not to let her mother’s discouraging comments get to her. She challenges herself to finally be able to fully complete something in her life. We see how she is able to incorporate her love of food with her love of writing. We also see the ups and downs she experiences when pursuing something with all her heart.

Although there weren’t any direct spiritual or religious themes, the characters all showcased qualities that would definitely please our Lord Jesus. Julie has a very supportive husband who encourages her to pursue her dream. However he is neglected in the process and leaves the house for a couple of days. We see how Julie can’t even blog in his absence, its like without love we have nothing. Isn’t that what scripture teaches us? This movie teaches us about supporting one another, forgiving one another, and having the courage to really do what we love.

What I like about Julia Child and her husband Paul is that they didn’t look very compatible. She a huge charming woman, and he a short hardworking bald man. Yet his love for Julia made him six feet tall and Julia’s charm captivated anyone she encountered. Their marriage was an example of how love bears all things. It was rare in that time for a husband to allow his wife to pursue a career. Paul, however, was always very supportive of Julia’s interesting pursuits.

I recommend this movie to anyone who loves food, writing, and a good old love story…or two. It can also be a good motivator to pursue your dreams. The movie actually inspired me to start this blog. I had been wanting to write a blog for some time now but didn’t know where to start. Seeing Julie express herself through her blog was so delightful and inspiring. Her blog reflected something she loved and she was able to incorporate that with everything else going on in her life. In the process she brought Julia Child back to people’s kitchens and into people’s hearts all over again. That is what I would like to do with Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ash Wednesday Reflections

On this Ash Wednesday, I think about how much the lent season has changed for me over the years. Every year there are new challenges to face, and I am grateful to the Lord for embarking me on this journey to renew my Faith in the Lord. This journey is fresh and brand new and I will not be taking it alone. We are blessed to be taking this journey together. I am grateful to the Lord for the strength to stand up for what is overflowing in our hearts. It makes me think of the peace and justice so many have struggled for so that we can live.

I came upon this prayer from Cesar Chavez of the United Farm Workers that can be used as a daily devotional during this season of Lent.









AMEN. (by Cesar Chavez 1927-1993)

I pray to the Lord for all those people who are seeking to get closer to the Lord but are not sure how. I pray that the Lord can light their path towards Him. I pray that they can make time to get to know Christ through His word and by doing things that can help them stay focused on Christ in such a busy chaotic world that is not always God-friendly.

That is why the Lord gave us His church so that we have a safe space we can worship Him in. I do believe that we can worship Him anywhere at anytime, but church is unique in that it helps us come together with our brothers and sisters in Christ. It creates a community of people that are learning to love and serve Christ and to love and serve one another. That is what Jesus asks of us to love Him with all our heart, with all our mind, with all our soul and to love one another as He loves us.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Thoughts on Prayer and the Bible

I went to mass today and the gospel was about the Beautitudes. One cannot just read the beautitudes and understand them. One must read them and meditate upon them through prayer just like every thing else in the bible. The most controversial part about them is the part that says "blessed are those who are poor in spirit, for their is the kingdom of heaven". Many people think that this means we shall remain poor and that material gain is a sin. I can see how one can think that, for the bible also states that one cannot serve God and money.

The Word, however, calls us to pray. Pray for wisdom, pray for help, pray for courage..etc. One cannot have one without the other. You can read the bible for literary purposes but the Word is meant to be used as a spiritual weapon to save our souls and feed our spirit. It gives us hope when man tells us there is no more hope. It forces us to go beyond mankind and believe there is a greater power working behind the scenes on our behalf. The word gives us power to conquer and eliminate evil things we struggle with daily such as depression, pornography, suicidal thoughts, temptations, addictions to drugs or alcohol, etc. These are things that may have a stronghold in our lives where we cannot see beyond them. Only through Christ can we make those changes in our lives that we cannot do alone, and through the Word we get to know Christ.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

When we do what we love...

Sometimes I wonder if life is passing me by and I am just working to pay the bills to live a decent lifestyle or to survive on my own I should say. How much of our lives do we spend doing things that we love. For instance, I love writing. Just this blog brings me so much joy knowing I am able to express myself and maybe inspire others to do the same. Sometimes I get so caught up in the routine of life that I don't have time to do what I love. The other day was the second day of my aerobics class and I felt so great after taking it. I realized that I miss incorporating dance and music in my life. I love to let myself be driven by the sounds of the music, its so good for the spirit. I also love live music and playing musical instruments like the conga, maraca, campana, and the guiro. Those are the things that make my spirit soar!

Lately I've been trying to spend a little time everyday exploring hidden talents especially cooking and baking. Im not sure if I have a hidden talent for it but it brings me joy to cook a good meal. I enjoy it even more when I know I am having company over. I hope to one day be able to serve large groups of people. I believe food and beverages really bring people together and I truly believe that bringing people together is one of the purposes of my life.

I also love scrapbooking because how else can we remember the good times we share with loved ones if we don't document it. Scrapbooking allows us to put our very own personal touch to our memories. Its really something special.

So I pray that God can make me an instrument of his peace, that I can find the courage and motivation to do what I love and maybe someday make a living out of it. After all everything I love involves sharing with others and isn't that what the Lord wants us to do. When we do what we love, our spirit soars and everything is good.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace...

I have been praying all day today. This morning was a bit challenging at work. Its tough to know whether something I am feeling is really coming from God. But I prayed and prayed and asked the Lord to shed some light...and He did as He always does when we ask of Him. One of the things I have been trying to do is to let myself be led by the spirit. The Bible talks about it and it can be difficult to comprehend, what does it mean to be lead by the Spirit? Too often we want to impose our will for ourselves and make spontaneous decisions without consulting our creator who sees the bigger picture, beforehand.

So, I prayed and I thought about my options and there was only one that truly brought me peace. It wasn't at the top of my list but it really felt like the right thing to do. I don't know what tomorrow brings but I pray that God's will may be done. I know and have Faith that the Lord takes care of His people and even though we wish we can be present to provide support to our loved ones, sometimes we need to let God take care of things. I accepted that decision and prayed to be able to convey the message as graceful and compassionate as possible. I was given a grand idea by my friend Maria to write something special in place of not being present in person. What a beautiful way to be there in spirit! I am now praying for the Lord to inspire me with His Word and allow me to be able to bring some peace to those who are troubled and to express the great Faith and Courage this person had in the Lord, and be able to celebrate the life of this person who enriched so many people's lives with her faith and unconditional Love. I am not sure why the Lord allowed me to share a special bond with her just a few weeks before her passing, but I trust in His plan and know that there are truly no coincidences in life. I pray that the family can find refuge in the Lord, and I pray for the Lord can make me an instrument of His peace...

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
when there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
Grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand,
to be loved as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying [to ourselves] that we are born to eternal life.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

"Be Still and know that I am God"

Sometimes there are just no words...and when the unthinkable happens its hard to stay in tune with the flow of life. This scripture really brings me peace whenever I am troubled. When I meditate on it, it helps me to come back to reality. It also helps me to remember that God makes it all work out for the good...even when for us it seems like the sun will not shine again.

As we get older we learn that life does go on...and we cope. Those who love God even get closer to Him as a result of their grief. No matter how we feel about goes on, and even if some develop feelings of hate or resentment towards God..He continues to work His miracles in our lives.

Its always tough to lose a loved one, but its comforting to know they were a person of Faith. A person who, in spite of the many trials in her life, remained Faithful to the Lord. A person who believed in the power of God's timing and His great ability to make everything work out for the good to those who love Him. An example of forgiveness and perseverance in Christ. A life of service to her family and friends and most of all to the Lord. I know He is pleased with her, so much that it brings me peace. I am grateful to the Lord that I knew this person and was able to share some of her joy in Christ with her. I know the Lord will take good care of her spirit. Her spirit that will forever live in the hearts of many, including my own.

"Be still and know that I am God" Psalm 46:10

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


I almost didn't make it to the gym today. Yesterday was my first day back in a long while. I got on that scale and was disappointed in how I've let myself go. Story of our lives right? Its hard to accept when we don't fit into our clothes anymore. That is my cue to make a change. The hardest part about a workout routine is the beginning. Yesterday I did weights and cardio, and today I planned to take a triple fat burner aerobics class. At work I was not feeling too well. Everything was against me going to the gym. Im telling you the devil will break you down at your weakest point, and right now my weakness is food. I was super cranky at work today just thinking about having to change my more comfort food.

By the grace of God and reciting prayer under my breath...I made it to the gym. The aerobics class was super challenging for me but I was doing my best and I knew that I had already won this battle...thanks to my Lord guiding me through righteous paths. I came out of that gym feeling GREAT! and VICTORIOUS and even though this is only the beginning I know it will not be long before I have a spring in my step.

Prayer really helps me push myself to do the things I need to better myself . The devil doesn't like it when we pray to our Lord. When I stepped into that gym the devil disappeared and the Lord carried me through. It is really a beautiful thing. We must love ourselves enough to want to care for our well being. I pray that I can develop better eating habits and always put in some exercise in my daily routine. When I feel good about myself, I can feel good about others, and serve the Lord gracefully and with a smile.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Setting the tone...

I read a spiritual message today that really stayed with me. It talked about setting the tone for our future. It was meaningful because a great friend of mine and I were talking about how next year (2011) is going to be a great year filled with positive changes. Then I read the spiritual message and realized that perhaps we are limiting ourselves. In 2010 we are starting a new decade, and instead of setting the tone for a good about we set it for a great decade! it didn't even occur for me to think of that. But the Lord helps us think new thoughts.

Next year just seems to mark the time for many changes that will alter our lives a bit for the better. 2010 is a year to work hard, save money, be creative, and most of all PRAY TO THE LORD and HAVE FAITH that it will set the tone for the rest of the decade.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Through Christ..

For a long time in my life I really enjoyed making other people happy. I love my family and friends so much it was hard not to want to please them. I am grateful to God for allowing me to really enjoy all the special people in my life. I think about how my life could have been different. I could have been a young mother or a young bride and that all takes up time. Precious time to build a foundation of Trust and wait patiently for my time. I mean it wasn't easy to know I was usually the one always single. There were days I didn't appreciate being single. But for the most part I can say that I truly enjoyed it. I really got a chance to live that single much that I moved to New York City so that I can finally try to please just one person--me-- for a change.

I felt the pull to New York for quite some time before I made the Leap of Faith. I am grateful to the Lord for guiding me every step of the way. It has been a true personal journey for that is still beautifully unraveling itself. I feel so blessed-beyond words. I have been able to face so many fears through Christ. He has helped me cross many bridges in my life and not just the many bridges in New York City but the ones that you really do not see yourself on the other side. Through Christ I can Trust and Believe I can do everything I set my mind and heart to do.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Public Service

     The last couple of days went by so quickly...its amazing how time flies. I went to the library yesterday and a thought came to my mind. Ever since I learned how to read I have been fascinated with books. I remember when I was little my mom took me to the local library branch and I always went over the limit on books I took out. The librarian, Maria, used to tell me the only way she would let me go over the limit was if I read them all. You bet I went home and read all those books. I remember reading Arthur, Curious George, and even books in Spanish. My mom always made sure I preserved my Spanish. I am 28 years old living in another city and still visit the library at least once a week. I still end up taking more books out than I can read in three weeks! Life has gotten busier now...but I always make time to read.

I began to think even deeper about this and realized that another place I visited all my growing life was the Catholic Church. I went from being an altar server, to becoming a lector, to becoming a Sunday School teacher. I couldn't just sit there and listen to mass I wanted to be part of it.

Those are two public places I visited often in my life...the library and the Church. No wonder I am so passionate about public service. I now volunteer with the Mount Sinai SAVI program which requires me to visit the hospital emergency room once a month to advocate for survivors of violence. The hospital...another public place in the city.

I wonder what God has planned for me! Amazing things happen when you pray to the Lord :)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Love bears all things

I finished reading a book I took out of the library last week. It was called "Where do I go?" and the title makes more sense now that I read it. It was about a woman who had been married to her husband for 14 years and had two kids with him. They were very well off and because her husband was so successful she lost herself in helping him pursue his dreams. Then he turns around and steps all over her. Doesn't allow her to get a job, doesn't want his mother in law in their home, and ends up taking away her children. All the while putting her down and making her feel worthless. But there was a greater purpose for that struggle and the wife realized that while she had lost everything, she really was gaining it all. Through the struggle with her husband, she restored her Faith in God. It may seem that after she had lost everything she would have lost her faith but how many of us ignore God until we are at the tip of the iceberg ready to lose it all? Our trials make us run to the Lord. He is there waiting for us with open arms. He will carry us through the sand and help us cross those bridges we need to cross to be renewed again in Faith.

Its scary to know that we stray so far from the Lord that we become selfish and rude...we become envious and proud. Our hearts become so hardened that we don't care how much our words can destroy another persons life. We don't care to abandon the person we made a commitment to love forever...We do not honor the person we chose to spend the rest of our lives with...we get into this bubble of selfishness and forget that our significant other is a person who deserves to live their dreams as well...who deserve their partners love and support.
There is a scripture that Paul wrote to the Corinthians which we must all meditate on whenever we need to be reminded of what Love is.

"Love is patient, Love is kind; Love does not envy or boast; It is nor arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; It is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."
1 Corinthians 13