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 life...it 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 diet...no 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 year...how 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.