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Cheryl Mendoza

How He speaks to me…..Or… can't He just call my cell when He wants to talk?

Lent – Killer Pride

IMG_7061OK… so again…. I haven’t written.  This totally bums me out, and have given me a crappy week.  Lent is a special time, and I try to use it as inspiration, but I am an imperfect person.  I have been looking at the why, and there are some legitimate reasons.  I work in the mortgage industry and for the past few weeks, it has been crazy!  That has taken a lot out of me.  Then of course there is the whole global pandemic thing….. Really?  Also, there are people in my sphere of influence who are dealing with real pain and I do my best to be an encouragement to them in their hurt.   And in that craziness, I’ve found it hard to keep focus.  

 

Why haven’t I said anything about this before?  Well there is one word for that and it’s PRIDE!  Truthfully I was embarrassed.  I want to communicate and work through my mess in front of all, so that others might feel some kinship and know that they’re not alone.   But I tell you….the pride thing gets me a lot of the time.  Anyone who reads this blog can easily see how I have “dropped” the ball.  So for a few days, I was stressed.  The crazy thing is, I didn’t know what I was stressed about?  It took days and some mirror gazing to figure out my pride was hurt.  The first year I did this….I wrote every single day!  I have yet been able to meet that first years output.  Because of that, I feel like I’ve failed.  The funny thing is, if this is failure, I am still writing more than I have in the past year.  I am failing “forward”!  And really…that is a win for me!   Continue reading “Lent – Killer Pride”

Lent – Reminder of hope

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Hope for today….

I attended a meeting on Sunday for our children’s ministry staff. We went over the new curriculum and made some decisions about how the class schedule would work. I was reflecting on the meeting and felt a sense of hope. Not that I was hopeless before, but there were changes in the air, and change is not always easy. So around this table we all met, and tried and do some planning for our classes. 

I would not say it was a perfect meeting, because I am not a perfect person. I was encouraged to see everyone trying to work together. We are human beings, we do not always see eye to eye. Where is the hope I was talking about you ask? Well the hope did not hit me until this morning. You see, this morning I started praying for each of the ladies in that group. I asked God to cover us with His love, and to give each of us His love for one another. 

Continue reading “Lent – Reminder of hope”

Lent – Moving Mountains!

IMG_6959I know….I know.  I have not written in a few days.  It’s not really because of losing focus, it’s because I have diverted my focus onto something equally as important. I have a few commitments that take a lot out of me.  So at times during the week, I may close my laptop a little early to get some extra rest.  I have to do it, or I will get in trouble with my hubby.    He is keeping as sharp an eye on me as I am on him when it comes to our well being.   Continue reading “Lent – Moving Mountains!”

Lent…Who I was made to be

DSC_1782Well if you happen to be following my progress, you might have noticed that I didn’t write on Saturday.  Did I drop the ball?  Not really.  You see, I use Lent as a season of focus.  A time to seek Jesus and write about what I’m working out in my faith.  I would really like to write more, but truthfully I don’t because I worry way too much about what other people think.  

So in regards to yesterday.  It was a beautiful spring day.  Since it was so nice, I did get out and do more work in the yard.  Pulling weeds, planting my garden and just generally getting my yard back into shape.  Yes…. I know it has nothing to do with writing, but it does have to do with my own insecurities. 

DSC_2150When I was young, I lived next door to my Texas Grandma.  She really wasn’t my grandmother, but she became a surrogate to our family.  By the time I knew her, she was a stay at home wife and my babysitter.   What I remember most was her yard.  She had the most soft grass, and a beautiful redwood tree.  I can remember being with her as she pulled weeds and tended the yard.  I believe that this is where I got my love of gardens.   Please understand though, I am not good at it.  I plant things and some grow, but many don’t.   Every year I get a little better at taking care of the plants and vegetables I put in the ground.  I am still very far from being good at this gardening stuff, but I still do it.   There is something peaceful when things grow, and even when they don’t.  

I do have a problem though.  I hate the feeling that I don’t do this very well.  What I hate even more is that people will know I’m a bad gardener!  Silly isn’t it?  Insecurities are a little silly, but they are feelings that can propel someone to do something rash, or stop a person in place.

IMG_8198 The amazing thing about yesterday was that I was so totally happy working in the yard, that I didn’t even have time to feel insecure.  

I took pleasure in the doing, and not in any reaction I would receive from any outside source.  And in that beautiful day, I felt a freedom that I don’t have all the time.  It was not only freedom from insecurity and fear, but freedom to be what I wanted to be.  Who I was made to be.  And isn’t that what we all want?  

Lent…Provision of time

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So have you ever heard a voice in your head?  I mean literally a voice that comes out of nowhere.  Call me crazy, but I have.  I guess you can call it an echo of conversations past, or maybe your conscience warning you.  As someone who follows Jesus, I believe that He’s communicating to me through the Holy Spirit.  Now don’t get me wrong, this was no burning bush moment.  I was just reading an article this morning and taking a few minutes to ponder the deeper meanings of the situation.  (more on that in a later post)  Then a crazy thing happened, I started scrolling.  Ok, it’s not such a crazy thing.  I am fighting an addiction, I admit it!  This whole internet thing appeals to my desires.  It appeals to my thirst for knowledge, my desire for wisdom.  I kinda relate to Eve.  (Any expanding on that is totally for another post). This is nothing new….. I’ve always like information….communication. 

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Photo by Negative Space on Pexels.com

 So back to my scrolling….  It wasn’t what I wanted to do, I really wanted to get to writing.  And that my friends is a big problem for me.  When I started thinking about Lent and what I would write about, the provision of God really kept rolling around my head.  His provision comes in so many ways, and one of the most precious commodities He provides is time.  And as I said yesterday, I already have time in my day, but then it’s up to me to use it wisely.  Some days I do, but some days I squander it.  I am horribly wasteful of this time, and it is heartbreaking when I truly think about it.  Why?  First it is a gift of God, and to not open a gift from Him is just plain stupid!  He knows my dreams and has given me a opportunity to work toward them.  What more could I ask than that? 

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So how did I get back on track this morning?  Well it’s all thanks to the Spirit’s whisper.  Oh….and Danielle Steel.  As I was scrolling mindlessly, I saw an article about the prolific author, and how she just published her 185th novel.  In that same moment I heard a faint voice,  “I bet this isn’t what she does?”  Ya, I guess you don’t write 185 novels by sitting around scrolling!  So since I can take a hint, I positioned myself in a more conducive writing atmosphere and here we are.   Taking the time to open the gift and ponder how I use it.  And hopefully encourage you to identify the gifts He has placed in your life.  And when you do, don’t let them sit there gathering dust.  Open them and use those gifts!  They are there for you to share with others, and bring about a fullness of life beyond our imagination!  To show God and His goodness, to a world that is in desperate need to see it. 

Lent…..and writing again!

It’s Lent and I am writing again.  There have always been times I’ve found it hard to write, but after last year, it feels even harder to string sentences together.   So the focus of this time of the year is something that I am relying on to help me push through.  I always work better with a deadline.

I already knew what I wanted to write about, it was just the “doing it” that seemed a IMG_7943problem.  I only have so much time in the day and much of it’s filled with work, family, the thought of exercise, and spending time with Jesus.  So I am in a small group type of Bible study and this past week we were talking about spending time with God.  Many shared how hard it was, but how they each were trying to do it.  I of course already have my time carved out, and have been doing it for years.  Before I could pat myself on the back,(OK…maybe I got a few pats in) I was reminded of a few things.  

First of all, this happened not because of my innate wisdom. (Because I have none)  It took a change in schedule, a mother looking for quiet and a lot of God’s prompting for me to have this time.  Now that I look back, I can see how little changes created such a major blessing in my life.  But I see now, that He’s not finished yet.  It’s like He’s saying, “Hey… you’re still trying to figure out how to write, so you’re all in the same boat.”  Every time I think I’ve got it down, I am reminded that I am still “under construction.”  And let me be honest…. It took 19 YEARS for God to get me here.  Ya…. Not a quick study am I!  

So here I am again, trying to put words to paper and work out my life with a God IMG_7024who sees and knows me best.  So this morning, I praise God for the time I spend each day just with Him.  It is an amazing gift!  I’m also looking forward to the next 40 plus days to see what else He will say.  

Was this what I was going to write about?  I didn’t think so… but this isn’t the first time my words have been changed, and I know it won’t be the last.   

Ready to soar in 2020

I was able to talk to my oldest son for a while last night.  We stood outside beneath the stars, wondering at the beauty of the night sky.  We talked of the new year and the feeling that something was coming.  It was a bit foreboding, but we both agreed that no matter if it’s good or bad in store, God would have our backs.

Those were the words I wrote on December 31, 2018, and how prophetic they would turn out to be.  So in the few weeks following, my hubby endured more pain, doctor visits and the diagnosis that would change everything.  Brain tumor.  Even now when we hear the words we shake our heads in disbelief and laugh.

imagesNow that it’s (mostly) behind us, we are looking forward to the new year more than we typically do.  Mike is looking forward to regaining strength and feeling more like his normal self.  I am looking forward to …. well I am not sure what?  Don’t get me wrong… for Mike I am praying for excellent recovery, and for the boys that they would continue to make strides forward in their lives.  Above all that they…….that we all would be able to know God’s presence.  But while I felt foreboding last year, I am not sure what I feel this December 31st?  It’s definitely not the same heaviness as last year, but it’s also not the normal New Years day feeling. Continue reading “Ready to soar in 2020”

Advent: Rejoice!

dsc_0835-2So it’s Christmas Eve and I am fighting my feelings.  I’m sitting here with my hubby on a quiet evening.  No family…. Not that normal excitement that usually comes with the season.  In some ways it seems kind of sad, but it’s just because things have changed.  Most of the boys are now with significant others and living out of town.  So we spent our “Christmas” together on Saturday, so that they would be with their ladies families on Christmas day.  It was wonderful to be together, but the new normal is taking some getting used to.  It was kind of getting me down having such a quiet Christmas Eve and anticipating the same on Christmas Day.  It didn’t help that I was going to the doctor because I wasn’t feeling well.  Really?  Is this how the holiday is supposed to be?   Continue reading “Advent: Rejoice!”

Advent: Hope

I started tearing up the other day.  They were on me so fast, I could barely stop them from coming.  It was because of the rain.  Now it typically rains during the fall/winter, but this was the first of the year.   I may live in California, but here in the Central Valley, there is not a beach in sight.  That’s OK though, because I do live just west of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, and they are amazing!

  IMG_7158There are good points and bad points to this area, but the worst is the air quality.  It sucks to put it mildly.  As the year goes on, the air quality deteriorates to the point where you can’t even see the mountains, that are with a short drive away.  The funny thing is, at some point, I forget they are there.  I drive east every morning, and eventually they fade into the haze.  So with the first rains of the year, I knew the mountains would be making a comeback.  I also knew that since it was raining, they would be obscured by clouds for now, but soon I would see them.  And in the anticipation, I found hope.   Continue reading “Advent: Hope”

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