Friday, May 31, 2019

God Talks to Me

Yes!!!  God talks to me.  I suppose that God talks to you the way you need to hear.  Balaam had his donkey talk to him!!!  You don't believe me, look up Numbers 22 in the Bible.  Let me tell you the latest things God has told me.

I spoke to a few people about this first one.  I'm not a Sunday School person.  I'm just not.  Well, during the week I see a post that they are doing some studies and one of them said, "Intertestimental Period."  I couldn't even tell you what that meant at that time.  Didn't think twice about it but I saw it.  Sunday morning rolls around and it is not a Sunday that I have to be at church early.  I set the alarm early because I need that time to get up.  As the alarm goes off I promise you I see the post in my mind's eye.  INTERTESTIMENTAL PERIOD!!!  I finally understand that this is the period between the Old Testament and the New Testament, it is about 438 years.  In this time, the Sadducees, the Pharisees and the Scribes came about.  I have always had questions about these groups of people  I mean, wasn't it Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin that made the decision to kill Jesus?  Who were these people?  Where did they come from?  I promise you that I heard God ask me, "Didn't you always want to learn about the intertestimental period?"  I told God, "I do, but God I'm sleeping."  I closed my eyes and tried to go back to sleep but whenever I closed my eyes I could see the sign and I heard is almost sing-songy. "Intertestimental Period!"  I looked at the clock.  Sunday School starts at 9:15am.  It was almost 8:40am.  There was no way I was going to get myself and my two children ready to go to church.  I tried again to go back to sleep and then I gave up.  I woke the children up and get them ready.  It was an act of God that we were at church by 9:20am and they hadn't even started the teaching by the time I rolled in.  After years of wondering, I finally understand the Intertestimental Period.

This second time is less obvious.  I have been suffering from PMS for years.  I know you are thinking that all women suffer with PMS.  Well, I am telling you that I don't like having PMS.  I am fatigued, lethargic, bloated, fussy and moody.  I am the worst of myself and I am tired of it!!!  I also get something that Santi used to call the Bottomless Pit Syndrome or just BP.  I can eat and eat and I don't seem to get full.  I know some people have told me they go through the same thing.  Well, this past week, I open the fridge (for the 10th time) and I see Broccoli. I don't know what possesses me but I took the Broccoli, steamed it in its bag and ate it.  PMS went away!!!  BP went away.  I went to work and I was telling my friend about how Broccoli took my PMS away and she told me that Broccoli is supposed to be a food that takes PMS away and she showed me the article that showed it.  I didn't know this.  How was it that I took that Broccoli out the fridge and ate it? I knew it would help.  And after I ate it, I brought another bag with me to work so that I wouldn't over eat. It's like a miracle.

God talks to me all the time... through His Word.  When my mother died, I asked my father how he was holding up and what did he hold on to to make it through the bad days.  My father gave me 2 Corinthians 4:7-12
"But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not us.  We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken, struck down, but not destroyed-- always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.  For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus' sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.  So then death is working in us, but life in you."
The pastor preached on this chapter at Santi's memorial.

"For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."  Hebrews 4:12.  The Bible talks to me; God is talking to me through this Word and it brings to me life, light and promises.  So I will hold on to this with all I have.  I advise you do the same.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Tired of Being Tired

This past week with just my daughter, I have been feeling rundown.  I'm a little tired.  I'm not feeling really rested.  I confess that I have been feeling this way for a few weeks prior.  What I was expecting to feel is relieved.  I am not relieved.  I have made a list of all the things that I need to do.  I have a lot to add to it and I have started working toward the list, but I'm tired. 

Jesus says:
Come to Me, all you 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: 29-30 NKJV

This morning I heard the answer as if in a dream. If you are tired then rest.  But I have to do A, B, C and then I have to do E, F, G.  I won't be able to do anything if I don't get the rest I need.  The issue is that I feel almost irresponsible and I don't want anybody to think that I am irresponsible.  I find myself feeling bitter over little things.  There is a distaste for things, I know what is coming, BURN OUT.

I look at the things that are so very important right now.  I can see that there is worry underlying my need to get things done.  As soon as I followed the thought to the root, I can see the answer.

Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on.  Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?
Matthew 6:25

I look at my list.  I will tell you a thought sequence that is currently contributing to some of my stress.  As you know, I have been considering dating.  I have even talked about dating commodity.  I have thought that maybe I should lose a few pounds to increase my dating potential.  I have also thought about eating better so that I can feel better.  I have though about working out because I like how I feel after I work out but I would be lying if I didn't have that additional reason in the back of my mind.  In reading the above verse, it says not to worry about the body.  I will treat it right but if I don't lose weight, I shouldn't worry about it.  God is ultimately in control.

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things.  Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.  Matthew 6:33-34

So today I am resting.  I am spending time in prayer.  I am reading the Bible and (this is the hardest part) I am trusting in God to take care of tomorrow.   

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Hold On Tighter

Dearest Friends, I have some advice to give you.  Tomorrow is not promised.  This life is so short.  I'm not in a depressed state as I write this.  I am feeling wonderful.  I'm praying for my son to have a good time at camp.  I am hanging out with my sweet daughter.  We are watching movies and just enjoying the day.  I confess that I should have been cleaning.  Instead, I slept and prayed and remembered those who have fallen and I am thankful to them for their service in light of Memorial Day this past Monday.  I am thankful to their families who are grieving.  This leads me to think about all who are grieving.  You who are not grieving, hold on to your loves.  Forgive easily.  Hug and love on those who surround you.  Remember the good and forget the bad.

I had been thinking about this concept and it had been floating around in my mind.  James 1:19-20 states, "So then , my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God." (NKJV)  I think of all the times I have not done what is instructed here in this verse.  I have been quick to speak, slow to hear and quick to wrath.  I have done this with my husband.  It's easy to do the opposite with those we love best.  It's like we take advantage of their love for us.  I'm guilty of it.  And now in light of this information and what I have been through, I will tell you to hold on tighter.

I find myself doing some things differently.  I insist on hugging my children more.  I remind myself that life is short and I'm not as patient as I used to be.  Let me explain myself.  I would wait for a good time to go to the movies.  I would wait to go for a walk.  I would wait to write or do work.  I would procrastinate my life.  I still do it sometimes.  Bad habits are hard to break.  Instead of waiting or procrastinating, I move.  As Brad Pitt says in World War Z, "Movement is life.  Movimiento es vida." I don't always know what I'm doing.  You don't know what you are doing either but I am determined that I will try more things.  I will choose to be happy and I choose to be grateful in this life for what I have.  So... instead of letting go, hold on tighter.  Don't be crazy and hold on to bad things.  Hold on tight to the good.

When my husband died, I remember hoping that wives should hold on to their husbands while they had them.  I wanted people to feel bad enough for me to be grateful.  I know it's a weird thought but I was so thankful to God for allowing my sweet husband to go home.  I understood how wonderful God is so clearly in those moments of utter devastation, and I had peace.

My daughter and I recently saw a movie together that was what we would call really girly.  It was called Five Feet Apart.  It's about this teenage couple that fall in love but can't be more than 6 feet away from each other at all times because they have Cystic Fibrosis and they can't develop this bacterial infection that they contract from other people with the disease.  The message at the end of this movie is similar.  Hold on, touch, go on ahead and love (Not like that!!!).  It's so short.

It's over a year now.  I'm not dating but I'm asking questions.  What?  You don't meet people walking in the streets anymore?  Okay, so where do you meet people?  I'm laughing.  I don't know!!!  I'm thinking of opening up a dating shelter.  You come in and you sit in a cell and have other single people look at you with your dating bio on the cell next to you looking up with sweet eyes.  Million dollar idea!  Maybe it can be done for charity.  I'm full of ideas.

Okay, so that's all for now.  Remember, appreciate what you have while you have it and hold on tighter.

Monday, May 27, 2019

You Were In It After All

I'm sitting here thinking of God's Providence and I am humbled.  Let me start by saying that being human means messing up, all of the time.  We all have our seasons of good and bad.  I don't know why things happen the way that they do but I do believe in God's Providence-- God's timing and control over everything.

My son is going away to summer camp.  I could almost promise you that I thought it was in June.  I was getting reminders on what to bring but I kept it all in the back of my mind.  So this past week, my son reminds me that he is going to camp this upcoming week!!!  So I go through the list of things that he needs.  Here is what I find.  My son has outgrown EVERYTHING!!!  Almost nothing fits.  So while my daughter is at a play date, I took him to try and buy some clothes he'll need for camp.  It's like a drop in the bucket.

Then my friend, Janet, who had asked me about a week ago if I would like some clothes for David because her high school grad has outgrew his clothes, texts me to find out if I would like to come over to see the clothes.  My son is thin with long legs.  He has some... clothes issues.  Then throw in the fact that he is picky when it comes to clothes and I am a mom with some clothes problems.  Here's the thing.  Janet's son is similar to David in build and he has almost the same propensity when it comes to clothes.  David left with enough of his type of clothes to last him a year, at least.  Shout out to Janet!!!

Here I am being a distracted, forgetful, bad mom and God still looked out for me.  Thank you God!!!  Praise the Lord!!!

Yesterday I went to church.  My daughter was with her friend and they went to their church today.  David was working in toddler nursery so I was the only one sitting in our section today.  Our Pastor has been talking about Jonah.  And he reminded us that God is with us when we are in our own fish.  He is with us the whole time.  I had forgotten this.  I spent the service with tears flowing freely down my cheeks as I was reminded that I am never alone. God is with me regardless of how I feel.  It brings to mind this song that was popular way way way back when I was a kid by this guy named Larnelle Harris that is about how God has been in it after all.  How do you know but not know?  How could it be that I had forgotten?  God's Providence to the rescue once again.

I'm in this figuring out season.  I am trying to figure out who I am and what I want to be in my mid life.  I don't even know what's cool and what to aspire to.  I'm just putting one foot in front of the other and trying to hold on the God.  And He is with me every step of the way.  Thank You, Lord!!!

Sunday, May 26, 2019

As I Approach Summer

Why do I have "Provincial Life" from Beauty and the Beast in my head?  It runs like a loop.  Confession time: I think I have a lot of envy.  I feel like I'm sitting here watching life pass me by and I'm wanting.  I want to finish my degree.  I want to go and live in a different country (not really).  I want someone to buy me coffee.  I want someone to fight with.  You have to imagine me saying all of this with my whiny voice.  I know it's hard to imagine because I don't pull it out too often.  I promise you that I would get smacked in my mouth if I ever used that voice growing up... so I don't use it too often in real life.

I also have a voice in my head telling myself.  Girl, you know we are in a war for souls.  You get to go home when you die, but think of all of the people in this world that are struggling and who need the Light you are reflecting.  You can rest when you die.  There is work to do.  Come on!!!

I definitely need to rest.  You don't know this if you are not a teacher but we need at least one to two weeks of decompression where we just rest.  We don't want to think too much about school.  When we leave it's like a purging.  We don't want to know about school until it is time to think about school again.  I like to sleep and catch on my reading and cleaning (I know I'm not the only one who has not been on top of things in the month of May!!!)  I still have a lot to do, even as I write this.  I was so tired I reached out to a few friends to say a prayer for me.  One of my friends, who is more like a sister, texted me each day to find out how I was doing after that.  This was a balm to my weary soul and I thank God for this.

As I approach summer, I hunger and want for things that are good and not so good.  I wanted to take the children on a vacation but this is a summer of work that will lead to the completion of my degree, God willing.  Next summer, I am hoping to finally graduate, my son will be promoted to high school, my daughter will be moving up to middle school and it makes more sense to go on vacation next summer (Disneyland?).  It's hard to not suppose or assume what will happen in my life.  I need to be in the present and not allow myself to be distracted with what I want.  Instead, I need to be grateful for what I have.  I have two children.  I have had love.  I have a place to stay and a church community that I love.  I have the ability to eat well and be healthy.  I have health care, what a blessing!!!  Each night I go to bed in a comfy bed and in the morning when I arise I see the sun smiling through my pretty curtains in my semi-messy room that I like.  I am working towards my final degree, hopefully.  I have a coffee maker that makes the coffee as I sleep if I set it up the night before (my daughter does it).  When I get tired and I am ready to sleep, I just clap and the light by my bed shuts off and I can just turn around and sleep.  Sleep- I sleep so heavy.  It's a wonderful thing.  Praise the Lord for what I have and am now.  Praise the Lord for tomorrow.  Lord, I pray that you always remind me of what is important.  I thank You, Lord for allowing me to share my real, messy journey with others like me.  God is good to me right now.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

The Dating Website

At the suggestion of my dear friend, I decided to try a Christian dating website.  Okay, so... I have no idea what I am doing but I think it's funny!!!  This should probably NOT be my first reaction.  There is the option of sending winks and messages.  I'm chunky so I think it's important to show that I'm chunky.  I put in ONE picture of half my body.  I think this is enough.

I have a couple of concerns.  I definitely, I mean, definitely do NOT want a mass murderer.  I have decided.  I love to read the description of these men.  I also like to see the different pictures.  I wonder what is thought of me.  I wonder what their first impressions are. I have no idea. I feel like I'm going to have to adjust my description as I go along. 

I'm learning about who I am through this process.  I need to ask who I am in order to see what it is that I think I want.  There is every chance that I really don't want to date but I want to stay single and what I really wanted the whole time is to try it out to see what I want.  I feel that this is similar to working with my students.  They come to me and they have no idea what they want to be.  In their heads, the only jobs that exist are the jobs they see and they know.  They have no idea of all the other occupations out there.  They need to ask themselves questions.  They need to see the work environment and try out different jobs to see how they feel.  I worked for a non-profit as an activist for a week.  I learned a lot.  I learned that I didn't want to be an activist. Approaching dating is like this. 

There are days when I think about what I'm expecting.  I think just knowing that there are like minded individuals out there that are not in my circles is enough for now.  I think I was worried about my potential to date due to the limited selection that I'm exposed to; not that the selection that I'm exposed to is lacking.  I just want to know that there is more and what does the "more" look like.  I was talking about it to my very very close friend.  We need comfortable shoes for our jobs and we talk about it all of the time.  Whenever we find a good pair of multi-purpose, comfortable shoes that can be worn with many outfits, we celebrate.  We go to Last Chance (Nordstroms' Clearance Store) sometimes.  Well, I think that I felt like here I am looking for a specific pair of shoes at Last Chance and getting upset? frantic? annoyed? (feeling some type of way) because all I can find is a pair of used black Toms (BTW I  really was looking for a pair of black Toms but they were hard to find in Last Chance). Are the Toms not enough?  What was I expecting?  What was I hoping to find?  Why were the Toms not enough?  Could they be enough?  Am I going to leave the Toms and then wish I would have bought them?  Look at all the questions and issues that arise from shoe shopping, imagine all of the extra stuff to think about in dating!  Going on a dating website is like someone telling me that there is a store that only sells black shoes for work.  Maybe I'll find something there, maybe I won't but it gives solace to me that there is a whole store full of shoes that I may or may not like.  The problem may be that I like all of them but none of them will fit.  At least, I'm getting closer to finding what I need... I mean in terms of shoes.  By the way, I did find a pair of Skechers shoes that are closed toe, have a sneaker sole. They have a cooling memory foam insole that are black with a black sole.  I love them!!!  I found them on BOGO on clearance.  It was a definitely a match!!!

Friday, May 24, 2019

The Dime and The Band

It's funny the stories that stay with you.  I have a thing with dimes.  I feel like it is a me and God thing but I could just be superstitious.  Just so that we are clear, I don't worship dimes.  It just so happens that I find dimes a lot.  It all started when we were living in New York on the Grand Concourse.  Santi and I were a young couple and we were having some financial problems.  I remember being by myself.  Santi had a job where he would have to work overnight.  This particular night, I was going to have me a one person vigil.  I was going to stay up praying for God to help us in our financial situation.

I waited for my husband to leave and I started praying.  I was going to pray all night, well, this was my intention.  I really don't remember how long I was praying but I began to visualize that God could, allow money to fall from the ceiling like rain if He deemed it so.  So in my prayer, I reminded God of His ability to do absolutely anything.  I began to really pray in earnest which just tells you how very tired I was at this time of night in my vigil.  "Just let it pour money, God."  I remember praying something like this.  Well, I heard the distinct sound of a coin falling in the living room.  I woke up.  Jumped up and ran to see what had fallen.  It was a nickel.  A nickel!!!  I am sort of embarrassed to say that I was a little snarky with God.  God, you could have at least made it a dime.  Those are my favorites since I was a little girl.

As a child I was obsessed with Thumbalina and I wanted everything miniature including my coins.  The dime had always been my favorite because it was smaller than all of the others.  Yes, I realize that I may be insane.  Back to the story.

I put the nickel somewhere and went to sleep.  In my head, God had sent money and I was tired.  The next morning we had an appointment and I remember telling Santi the story of the money.  Well, we lived on a fourth floor walk up.  When we came out, I found a dime.  On the way down, I found a few more dimes.  In fact, I found a whole bunch of dimes when I came out of the apartment and we went to the subway.  I cried as I picked them up.  Regardless of what would happen with our finances, I felt God show that He was with me.  Even now, just remembering His goodness to me, I am crying out of sheer gratitude.

To say that I always find dimes is an exaggeration.  It's true that I had a propensity for finding dimes.  Every time I pick one up, I remember the Lord's goodness.  My children were then finding the dimes.  They have been trained that Mom gets all of the dimes.  We had relocated to Phoenix and we were living in our first apartment here.  I got out of the car and I was crossing the street to go home with Santi and the kids when I saw in the middle of the street what appeared to be a dime.  I picked it up.  It was the size of a dime but it wasn't a dime.  It was a golden band. I don't know why I thought it would fit my ring finger but I tried it on and it fit my finger like a glove.  When other rings have not fit, this ring has fit and I do not take it off.  It reminds me to always put God first.  I wore this ring with my wedding band and my engagement ring.  I would wear it with my anniversary ring.  I thought about leaving it off, but I can't.  Because this ring, this ring that I found in this unfamiliar place.  This ring that is about the circumference of a dime, this ring reminds me of the promises of God.  How can I take it off?  Why should I?  If someone is going to date me they are going to have to understand that this ring I wear for God.  My heart belongs to Him. 

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Informing the Children

So I am testing the dating waters and I have decided to tell the children to see what their impression would be.  I talked about the idea of remarrying a little bit ago.  They take time to warm up to ideas and so I mentioned the idea of remarrying earlier on so they could get used to it.  At that time, my son was very much for me marrying again.  My daughter told me that she didn't want anyone to replace her father.  I explained to her that her dad will always be her dad and there is no one who would be able to replace him ever.  This gave my daughter a lot of solace and we were able to talk about something she had been thinking about already.

I would hear my son talk to my daughter.  "You know, Janet, one day you and me will grow up, get married and leave the house.  Do you want Mom to be all by herself?  Wouldn't it be nice if she had someone to grow old with?  You don't want to leave the house and just worry about Mom would you?"  My son with the logical arguments.  Eventually he wore her down because when I broached the subject recently, Janet was all for mom dating.  It was my son that had an issue.

"Mom, I have a problem with you dating." He said.  "You do?  Why?"  I asked.  "How are you going to meet someone?  How do you know if they aren't a smoker?  Or if they have a criminal record?  What if they were divorced or not married?  How will you find out all of this?"  My dear son had a valid concern.  Then he asks, "What app are you thinking about using?  Are you going to use Tinder?  I heard some not so good things about Tinder, Mom.  I don't think that's the way to go."  I was driving and I wanted to park the car and just laugh so bad.  But he was right.  Am I ready to put my name to be matched for about $500 a year?  No!!!  I'm not there yet.  And I told them.

I told my kids, I don't know how I'm ready to date.  I'm just talking about it.  I'm thinking about it.  I told them.  My kids have a little checklist of who I'm going to date if anyone.  It's funny to hear them.  "Mom, not someone too old."  LOL!!!  Then I hear my boy tell me, "Mom, God is in control."  Yes, Ladies.  I'm am honored to be raising one of the good ones.  Forget about a husband for me!!!  I pray for good spouses for my kids.

I would tell you who my kids suggested for me.  They are super funny in some of their choices.  I think they have their ears up looking for a suitable candidate.  I'm worried that they'll bring someone home trying to introduce me to someone.  They just might!!!

In the meantime, I'll take the advice of my son and remember that God is control.  Praise the Lord for that.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019


Okay. So... I don't know how to say this but I have been thinking about dating again.  THINKING ABOUT IT!  There is nothing written in stone.  For all of my friends out there who read this, you should know that I have no idea what I'm doing.  I could take a personality test today and be one thing and take the same exact test tomorrow and be a completely different person.  I don't know, maybe I'm the only one like this. 

So, my husband swore up and down that if something were to happen to me, I would have no trouble dating again.  Then I told him the truth, I had trouble dating back when I was 25 years younger!!!  I mean, I had trouble!  Let's face it.  I AM trouble.  So I asked him, knowing what he knows about me why did I have such a hard time?  He told me that I was too smart and that guys don't like smart girls. 

I have this buddy that I would consider part of my circle.  I asked him why he thought guys wouldn't like me now and he said it was because I was too chunky.  I liked this.  This is an honest answer but he assured me that there would be someone out there.

I wanted to ask this other male friend of mine about what he would think about dating out here in Phoenix, but he misinterpreted my conversation starters and told me that he wasn't interested in a romantic relationship.  I kid you not.  I was hurt at the implication.  At the time I wasn't interested in a romantic relationship so...

I asked my friend, Zack, a pen pal and long standing guy friend and he told me that there wasn't a romantic algorithm.  It would seem that I am looking at my dating commodity, another term Zack came up with.  It means that I am looking at my "selling" points and my "not so selling" point.  I think he was the most reasonable of the answers.

I asked Esther.  It was a really quick conversation.  I asked her, "Would you date me?"  She said, "No."  I asked, "Why not?"  She said, "You're too intense."  I believe her.  This is the answer.   It's not that I'm too smart, I mean it could be.  Maybe I'm a little too thick for some people.  I'm definitely too old for some but too young for others.  Is this really what I wanted to hear? 

I come from New York City where there are so many people living on top of one another.  I have changed since that crazy girl who used to live there decades ago.  I do most of my communication through keyboards.  I'm always amenable in person and I usually only talk to people I know either from work or from church.  When I tell people that I am an introvert, they tell me that I'm a liar but believe it or not, I am an introvert.  Phoenix is a place that people tend to mind their own business.  That's just how it is.  It is a city but it isn't a very friendly city.  People tend to stick to their own tribe.  So... how am I supposed to meet people? 

Here is the real issue.  I don't like to ask for help.  I don't see myself joining eharmony, but I would try it... maybe... I just don't think I'm ready to date. It's like I'm in a bathing suit and there is a big pool but I just don't want to jump in.  Zack is right.  I'm thinking of my "dating commodity" to see what I would bring to the table if I were to date.  So, I guess you could say that I'm "pre-dating?"  I don't even really have a bathing suit either.  I'm not sure what kind of party I'm going to and I'm wondering if workout pants and a t-shirt would work. 

I think that God might have a plan.  I'm laughing because I know that God has a plan.  And I think He sabotages some of my attempts at figuring things out because He wants me to trust Him.  I'll give you an example.  I love to write letters (don't let me write to men in prison).  I joined this app called Slowly and I met a few people on there but for the most part, there were some people that were definitely too intense.  There was this one guy who was cool.  His name is Nicky.  I even told my Bible Study that I met this guy but he turned out to be... just as weird.  And thank God because imagine if I would have found out later that he was a mass murderer, right? 

Dear Friends, I really don't even know what else to tell you.  Pray that I don't meet a murderer. When I feel like writing, I'll just log on and write to you.  That's all for now. 

PS- Don't set me up with your friend... yet. 

Monday, May 20, 2019


I have been thinking about my options.  You know, there are a lot of things that I need to think about.  This past year has just been about existing.  I have been in survival mode.  Now that the smoke has cleared.  I realize that I have a lot of thinking and maybe even deciding to do. 

You may not know this about me but I am currently in school working on my last degree.  I make no promises.  The reason that I had decided to go back to school was for just this type of situation.  I wanted to have the opportunity to have options.  Now that I am nearing the end of this program (FINALLY!!!  Please be in prayer for me to finish the bulk of it this summer!!!), I need to decide what, if anything I should do with this level of education. 

Here is another thing to just consider.  I'm really just talking to myself.  The Bible suggests that as an "older" widow, I should stay single.  This is one option.  Another option is to get married again.  That opens the door to a whole new subset of options.  You should know that I still wear a band on my left ring finger.  The band is to remind that God comes first but I don't see myself never wearing that band on that finger so... there's that. 

Recently I have realized that I am middle aged.  I kid you not.  I have to remind myself that I am not young any more.  I may need to stop dying my hair purple and let the gray age me just so that I can remember every time I look in the mirror that I am not younger.  So, it goes to say that I have the option to date... maybe.  I'm still not sure about this.  However, I'm considering it, as an option. 

There are options all around me.  And I'm taking it all in and processing.  However, I am end of the year-graduation is tomorrow and I still have a meeting-I may be doing paperwork for the rest of the summer and I need to finish my work-I texted people to pray over me this week-my eyelids hurt-I almost cried at the T-Mobile store because I am just that level of tired- tired.  Honestly.  The only option that I am currently thinking about is calling it an early night and going to bed.  The option that I am choosing is to trust God with my options.  I am choosing to be joyful right this second because I have a comfy bed and a hot shower waiting for me.  I am choosing to hug my growing babies because soon they will have their own options to consider.  So I am praying that God lead me through the options like He led me through my year of survival like following a cloud during the day and a pillar of fire at night. 

Options-but ultimately, it's just one choice, really-Jesus.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

The Quiet

I find myself in a weird place.  I have been having problems articulating how I feel about it.  I don't think that it is a situation that is relatable to other people, or maybe it is.  I'm not sure how other people experience this phenomenon.  Allow me to explain it.

I am from New York City.  It's true that I grew up in North Bronx where there were tree lined streets and residential houses but I didn't stay in this type of neighborhood.  I was living in the Grand Concourse by Bedford Park Boulevard by the time I was ready to move.  It could get noisy.  There was always street noises.  Growing up there were the noises of the night.  I think I like the noise. 

Santi was noisy.  I would come home and there was always music and televisions running.  He was loud and boisterous.  He even chewed loudly.  And then there was the children!  The children were always so noisy.  They had games and television shows.  They are now respectively, a teen and and a tween.  They are learning who they are and this means that they are finding out how to be independent.  I am now the needy mom who goes after them.  They have learned how to entertain themselves.  So there are evenings and weekends that I am faced with this... quiet.  The quiet is disconcerting.  I am careful with music.  I don't know if a song will come on that will remind me.  There are parts of me that are still tender.  I don't know what happened but we don't really watch television.  So I'm faced with this quiet.  I like to pray and read in the quiet.  During the day I like the quiet to match the quiet way the sun filters into my room.  I like to walk around and look to see what needs to be done.  I make a plan to get things done during the day.  The day is better for planning. 

There are days when the quiet is oppressive.  I am faced with my thoughts.  There are times when I am faced with my feelings.  I don't trust feelings.  Feelings can lead you to dark paths and pull you away from the Way, the Truth and the Light.  I think that the devil uses your feelings to lead you down dark paths.  Don't get me wrong, there are times when the quiet is pleasant and peaceful.  There are good thoughts and good feelings.  But then there are days when the quiet is so loud that I can almost feel in in my soul.  Was this the quiet that stayed with Santi when we weren't home?  Was this the quiet that made him put on the radio and television on even when we should have been sleeping?  Do you have a quiet that oppresses you?  I don't know. 

I'm going to confess something.  Sometimes I don't pray in the silence.  There are times when I make up stories.  These stories lead to plans.  Sometimes these plans lead me to think of things that may not be the will of the Lord.  I'll give you an example.  In the quiet, I think about shopping.  I may even go online and next thing you know, I have an eyeshadow palette that I love but that I didn't need.  I have red lipstick that is fabulous but it is so close to another one that I just recently bought.  I find myself with shoes that I didn't really need.  I have been better about not falling into this trap.  Other times, I think, maybe I need a pen pal.  I don't need a pen pal.  Maybe I need to be reading this book.  Maybe I don't need to be reading that book.  Right now, I'm reading a book that is part of a series that I started and it is depressing, one of these dystopian societies.  Ugh!!!  Who told me to read this book and who has me still reading this book now?  The quiet.  You see, there is boredom and restlessness sometimes in the quiet that visits. 

So what is my solution.  Acknowledge the quiet.  Don't pretend that it isn't there or that it isn't a trigger.  I think attempting to ignore that which bothers you is a sure way to set yourself up.  Sort of like a pain in your leg that you ignore but will catch up with you later.  I understand that it will come somedays, not every day, just every once in a while.  I am prepared to write my prayers down in my journal.  I am prepared to read the Bible.  When I can no longer pray for myself, I can pray for other people.  I pray for my children.  I pray for my family and my friends.  I listen to worship songs or even happy songs.  I take a walk.  I drink a glass of water.  I meal prep for the upcoming week.  I have started a list of things to do.  One of the things is to write a post.  Take a picture.  Read a poem.  Try and finish this book so I can start another one because its killing me to keep on reading this book!!!  Ask people how I can be praying for them.  I need to be honest with myself and with God.  This is part of the reason that I am writing this post.  Maybe someone else knows about the quiet.  Maybe someone else has too much noise and is wishing for some quiet but then reads this post and can be grateful for their noise.  The noise doesn't last long.  Definitely be grateful for it.  That's all for now. 

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Santi's Birthday

Today, this Saturday, would have been Santi's 47th birthday.  It is hard to not set up the memory of Santi as an idol.  There is a fine line between commemoration and worship.  I didn't remind the children of his birthday today until later.  We decided to bake a gluten free cake for him.  We watched one of his favorite movies but I had been thinking about him all day.  Really, it was hard not to think about him this week.  This week has been pretty hard with my own birthday, Mother's Day and the end of the school year type of stuff.  I wrote a previous blog post regarding the issue. 

This morning I woke up and I looked into the mirror.  I see the evidence of age on my face.  I remember that the deal we made was that we would age together.  He will not age.  He will always be 45 years old, looking like 35.  He was always so handsome .  I was such a lucky girl.  We would argue about who was the luckiest.  It was the best argument that we would have.

Okay, so... I have had a lot of emotions to deal with this week.  There are a a few issues that I am faced with in addition to the emotions of missing my husband.  These are thoughts that come to me throughout the year. Who am I without my husband?  What is next for me?  I am on the verge of finishing what is more than likely my last degree.  My son will be going to high school soon.  My daughter will be going to middle school.  It's harder to make decisions as a single mom.  Do we go on vacation?  Do we remodel?  I'm telling you right now, I don't know.  So... this is what I am thinking about:

Yearning for God in the Midst of Distresses

To the Chief Musician. A Contemplation of the sons of Korah.

42 As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So pants my soul for You, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?
My tears have been my food day and night,
While they continually say to me,
“Where is your God?”
When I remember these things,
I pour out my soul within me.
For I used to go with the multitude;
I went with them to the house of God,
With the voice of joy and praise,
With a multitude that kept a pilgrim feast.
Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him
For the help of His countenance.
O my God, my soul is cast down within me;
Therefore I will remember You from the land of the Jordan,
And from the heights of Hermon,
From the Hill Mizar.
Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls;
All Your waves and billows have gone over me.
The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime,
And in the night His song shall be with me—
A prayer to the God of my life.
I will say to God my Rock,
“Why have You forgotten me?
Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?”
10 As with a breaking of my bones,
My enemies reproach me,
While they say to me all day long,
“Where is your God?”
11 Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God;
For I shall yet praise Him,
The help of my countenance and my God.

Monday, May 13, 2019

May Madness

May can be a hard month for me.  It's my birthday.  It's Mother's Day.  It's Santi's birthday this Saturday. We would have made 25 years on the 29th of May.  We would have made it to a quarter of a century.  I can't believe that two birthdays of his has passed without him!!!  I miss him.  I miss his crazy jokes.  I miss the way he would listen to all of my stories.  I miss his stories.  I miss just sitting next to him watching television.  Add to all the nostalgia, graduation, end of the year deadlines and I have something like my own personal Perfect Storm.

Rather than focusing on the bad and the sad, a Santi story came to me which made me just want to share his craziness.  When we got married, about a month after 9/11, Santi had never been on a plane before.  I didn't really want to take a really long plane ride if he was going to freak out. I planned on going to Walt Disney World.  I mean I planned an awesome trip.  Epcot, MGM, the Magic Kingdom, the Animal Kingdom, Cirque du Soleil, I mean, there was even a dance club. 

Well, we spent the day at one of the parks and then we ended up at Cirque du Soleil.  I didn't have a chance to change.  I had a whole look planned with the make up and everything.  We were worried that we weren't going to get there in time.  We had the perfect seats.  Santi needed to have popcorn and soda which put us further behind schedule.  I had just told him that I was glad that we were toward the back because I was wearing sweats and was looking awful.  I was arguing with Santi about stopping to get popcorn when the show was starting.  I don't know why but he gave the tickets to these clowns.  So we followed the clowns.  The clowns didn't stop at our seats.  They walked right up to the stage.  Apparently they were arguing.  They were arguing like we were arguing.  They walked up on the stage with our tickets.  They could not decide where our seats were and we were off stage clued into the fact that we were now part of the show!!!  Finally the clowns put the tickets on the stage and decided that these were our seats.  Santi went right up onto the stage and sat right on the stage where they put the tickets down.  He was always such a ham!  I don't know how he got up without spilling the popcorn.  And I was just saying how I was a mess and I was glad to be in the back so that no one would see me.  Hahahaha!!!  Think again!!!  After the show, people were coming up to us and saying what a good job we did.  Well, not me, but him.  It was so much fun!!!  We had so much fun. 

So, I'm saying a praying and holding on till June.  I suggest you do the same. 

Thursday, May 9, 2019

My Birthday

Today is my 47th birthday.  I want to tell you all that I continue to be blessed beyond all measure.  I am in a good place.  I am hoping for great things and I am trying to do great things.  God has been with me and has shown that He is with me through the good and the bad and for that, I am beyond thankful.

I reflect on my state of being for last year.  It wasn't as peaceful last year.  I really didn't consider birthdays and their importance until I was faced with mine.  I had two dear friends that really really made my birthday really special, Britney and Cari.  Britney brought me a balloon and a card and then took me out for my birthday.  Cari came to my house with her sweet boys and decorated my house and brought gluten free treats.  She allowed my children to celebrate my birthday.  I am thankful to her and as I remember this precious memory, I remember my friend.  Such a blessing to have had such an experience.  I don't want to take anything for granted. 

All day long I have gotten messages and notes in real life and through social media.  I am thankful.  My cup runneth over.  Whatever happens this year, it is God's hands.  I pray that God continues leading me in my life and I pray that I can continue to shine His light.  God is good.  Life is good.  Praise the Lord!!!