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Cheryl Mendoza

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

Grateful still?……

IMG_0620I was thinking the other day how grateful I was.  We had just gotten back from a family wedding in San Diego, and it had been so much fun! It was just a moment when I was reflecting on the wedding, the love of family, the amazing time we had and how far we had come this year.

I thanked God for the peace, strength and all the good people He has put in our path to make it all happen.  As I sat there I wondered, would I feel this way if the outcome hadn’t been so good?     What if Mike’s health and surgery had not progressed so well?  Then I remembered that we aren’t really through it yet.

 

Continue reading “Grateful still?……”

What trouble?

So timing is everything.  The older I get, the more I believe that.  I have been reading through the bible.  I’m not on any plan, timeframe or anything like that.  I read, ponder, and write.  I may read a little one day, a lot, or I might even skip a day.  (shhh….don’t tell anyone)  Some days I just re-read what I’ve previously read, and stop and ponder it more.  Those days are the best!   Those are when the word of God matches perfectly with my mood, or the events of the world to bring me a specific message.

dsc_0901When I was reading the letter from James, Jesus brother, he talks about waiting patiently while you are going through trouble.  My first reaction was to think, I better hold onto this because we are walking through trouble. But my mind rebelled.  What trouble?  Well, I tried to come up with some, but really couldn’t.  I mean I know Mikey has radiation coming up, but that pales in comparison with what he’s been through.   The boys are doing pretty well, and a couple are even thriving. Then I thought back to a couple of verses before.  And it says, “Your gold and silver are corroded.  The very wealth you were counting on will eat away your flesh like fire.”   That one got me, because for a long time money has been a real problem for me. Continue reading “What trouble?”

#Respondinlove…..always

IMG_7061So it was a few days ago, and I don’t even really remember what I was reading/watching.  It really must have been FB or something, and reading comments about the problems at border detention facilities.

They kind of bugged me.  Why?  Well they kept calling for the government to be compassionate and I thought… how?  A government is a thing.  It can’t be nice and it can’t be mean.  It can be neither loving or unloving.  Now it can take steps to alleviate suffering at the border, but because it is made up of separate people with differing ideas that isn’t as streamline a process as it seems.

When I think of government, I remember Samuel’s warning to the nation of Israel when they wanted a king.  That they were more likely to be oppressed by their new king than anything else.  They went with him anyway, and found a whole mess of trouble in the process.

Continue reading “#Respondinlove…..always”

Greatest is LOVE….

IMG_7220.jpgI was talking with a friend the other day.  It had been a while so we chatted about this and that, but we eventually came to the situation that had been happening at my church.  We’ve known each other for years, and during that time I have always gone there. She felt bad.  She knew of my love for my church and how it is a big part of my life.  It is where I worship, learn and serve.  I mean, that is part of my life everywhere I go, but church is obviously the place I naturally live out my faith.

Continue reading “Greatest is LOVE….”

You may be surprised…..

IMG_8153It’s so funny how God speaks to me.  Or maybe what’s really funny is how I listen?  I told my husband the other day that I had never dreamed about being a writer.  Like, that is what I want to do when I grow up!  Nope….never felt that way.  Writing for me is more about submission and therapy?  I write to submit my thoughts and feelings to God, and ask Him to help me sort through them.  To move from knowledge to wisdom.  Well…hopefully.

 

 

Continue reading “You may be surprised…..”

The Mystery of it all…..

We had visitors and commitments this past weekend. While it is good to see people, it was even better when we were alone and driving up into the mountains.  Ok… well the foothills at least.  We went to one of our favorites spots, and I couldn’t believe the changes.  It was the last place we visited right before Mike’s surgery and it was his first solo drive after.  So much though had changed.

Where we typically go is more like a creek than a lake.  Monday though, it was definitely a lake!  We’ve been going to this spot for the past few years now, and I’d never seen it so full! Beautiful water!  I guess we aren’t in a drought any more.  We typically climb down from the parking lot and explore a bit, but today it was all under many feet of water.  So we found a spot, and just sat.  The surroundings had drastically changed, and so had we.

60874093_10217777558244561_7147374966990700544_n Continue reading “The Mystery of it all…..”

To laugh or not to laugh….

img_4462It’s Mother’s Day, and I am sitting here listening to Christmas music.  I know it’s crazy, but in some way it brings me comfort. It reminds me that there’s hope for this world.

 

 

It’s been quite a year packed with all sorts of crazy happenings, but also some of the sweetest moments.  And you know, the older I get, the more I see that it all goes hand in hand.  Life, death, pain and pleasure.  Love, fear, failure and triumph.  All these things occupy the same space at the same time, and it’s right that they do so.  It’s not always fun, but it’s the way it happens in this world.

There has been pressure this year.  With tumors, surgeries and unfortunately a lot of 16939225_10211261381504215_4523643083069843847_npain, but as Mike said the other day, “I don’t think I’ve laughed so much.”  It’s pretty weird because we typically laugh a lot!

I think this is the feeling you get when you truly feel loved.  I know about the whole “God so loved the world” thing, but I don’t think I’ve ever come as close to understanding it than I do right now.  We are loved by the Creator of all, and He is on my side.  Our side.  Even while we walk through scary times, I know that His love keeps us safe.  Things aren’t perfect, but I trust Him, and that gives me peace.  Because of that, we look to the future and laugh.  ‘Cuz it’s been mind blowing so far, and we still have a ways to go.

And for the record, I am listening to “Jazz Musicians Christmas” on Pandora….. so it’s not really like listening to Christmas music. IMG_0171Right?

 

 

Love IS the answer…..

So I had a bit of a revelation the other day. I was hurt by someone I didn’t even know.  They commented on something that wasn’t a big deal, and it bugged me.  Now luckily I worked my way through the hurt, but it made me wonder.  “Do you know who I am? “

I mean obviously, she didn’t know me at all.  The question came to my mind because of an exercise this speaker did at the conference I was attending.  It was the same conference where this lady approached me.  The speaker had spoken about insecurities, bullying, anxiety and how we might be playing a role like an actor, instead of being our authentic selves.  So she asked us to take a nametag and write down all the names we called ourselves, and exchange them for what God says of us.  So here we are writing down the real and perceived flaws or inadequacies that pretty much most of us feel, ready to exchange them for something better.  As I went through the process, I thought of my encounter, and laughed when that question popped into my head.  “Do you know who I am?”

And no, not in the hands on hips, attitude filled, head bobbing way.  No, it was more like the hurt, sad or broken woman who was writing on the nametag.  She didn’t know if I was worthless, fearful or abused.  She didn’t ask if I was anxious, stupid, ugly or unwanted.  She just came up to me and made a comment that could wound, without intending to.  In that moment, whoever I thought I was, may have just been confirmed by a complete stranger and a silly exchange.  Worthless, not good enough, different.

It was sad to feel this way in the midst of this gathering where I should have felt safe.  It was even sadder to think that those words may have found more fertile soil in someone else.

It made me mad for a couple of weeks.  Not in the I am mad and going to be in a state of anger kind of way, but in the way where I couldn’t write about it until now.  Where I could actually write clearly about the encounter, and not be harsh with my words.

I wanted the anger at my hurt to be gone, and just be left with the sadness of how we treat each other.  Now I have no illusions that this woman was trying to hurt me on purpose, but she did on accident.  It made me wonder how many times we do that with other people?

Now to be perfectly clear, this was a Christian women’s conference.  A quick weekend event that is meant to encourage and uplift.  So you can really imagine my chagrin to have had this little hiccup in the proceedings.  Now, she may have thought that what she did was no big deal, but remember my question, “Do you know who I am?”

When we don’t know someone, it is really hard to know how to approach them.  Quite frankly, it’s impossible!  We don’t know their personality, history or the day they’ve had.  Multiple factors that all add up to who we are and how we filter information.  So how can we talk to each other?  Well, I would give my most favorite example, and that was a guy named John.

You see, we meet John through the bible.  For many of us, his words are the first we memorize about Jesus.  “For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son….. John 3:16.

He writes the ultimate words on how God loves us, and it’s a good thing, because later in his life John is called again to give some hard truth.  In the book of Revelation, heaven is opened and John sees what is to come.  Some of it is hard truth, but it’s truth we can handle. How?  Well because we go back to where John started, “For God so loved…..” We can handle the truth when we know that someone loves us.  If there is even a bit of doubt of that love?  Well then you can almost guarantee a bad reception to anything you say. Hard truth, or even a simple comment in the middle of a crowd.

So friends, check your heart when you make that observation, comment or give advice.  Make sure that person knows you’re speaking out of love.  If there is any possibility of doubt, maybe you shouldn’t be saying it? Take the time to lay that groundwork of love first.  Then you will have the ability to speak into their life in a way that will encourage, uplift and bring wisdom at the exact time they need it.

 

A little peace….

One of my favorite parts of the Easter story is of the last supper.  I have always loved how John relays how Jesus washed their feet.  I can imagine how uncomfortable they would have been, but how relaxed by the end.  I mean really….who doesn’t love a foot massage?  

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I think of the simple task of Jesus washing and drying their feet.  These men who walk everywhere, but not with the comfortable shoes of today.  No.  They are walking many miles with leather sandals of ancient times.  Can you imagine?  Ouch!  So they are sitting there, uncomfortable in the first place with Jesus assuming the role of servant.  Then as they are willing him to finish, they start to relax and kind of enjoy the slight massage of their sore and tired feet.  Before they know it, their eyes snap open and they realize that they were in total comfort.  They lock eyes with Jesus, and I can imagine the slight smile on His face.  


I think that is how He is with our lives.  We (I) fight him when he asks us (me) to do something.  I struggle like Peter with the appropriateness of the idea, and then before I know it, I am in the middle of His will and my life is filled with His peace.  I am in total comfort, and I can imagine His eyes on me.  And that same slight smile is on His face.  

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