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Cheryl Mendoza

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

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hope

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”

Remembering…..

What do I want to remember?

IMG_7423I want to remember that in my actions, I sow seeds. They can be seeds that lift a person up, encourage and give strength. Or they can be discouraging, defeating and used to tear down.

I may never see the fruit of those seeds, but that doesn’t mean that there won’t be a result or even a price that’s paid.

I think of those days and the men who lived here, planned and executed evil.  The seeds sown in their lives were ones that exploded in death.

What seeds could have changed that?

Continue reading “Remembering…..”

Living the best life!

IMG_8198Friday was a hard day.  I had been out of sorts for the last few days.  Maybe it was hormones, a heavy heart, work, hate pouring through the tv screen or a combination of that and more.  I was blue I guess, so yesterday morning I tried to do what would put me in a better frame of mind.  I read my bible and sat in the backyard in the only cool part of the day. My yard is not any kind of oasis, but there is enough growth and color to bring me peace.  So as I sat there, I chose not to open FaceBook.  I typically do it, so it was kind of weird for me, but I went with and hoped that it would contribute to a more peaceful state of mind.

As I sat and drank coffee, I wondered if part of my feelings were due to what we have
just went through and what is coming up. God has been so good and showing me peace, provision and presence during Mike’s surgery and recovery, but I wasn’t sure if I was still feeling like that.  So as I pondered, I felt like I wanted to go back to that time.  No… not Mike going through pain.  More like I wanted my trust to go back to God, in all things. To really live my life.  I have felt fear creeping back in over things that don’t even matter, and I knew I was returning to an old way of reacting.  My mind went to an upcoming trip we’ve planned and are so excited about.  It’s not till the end of September, and I was thinking, “am I going to put living on hold till then?”  No! That isn’t right!

_DSC2940I asked God to help me resolve to identify those things that are a step backwards for me, and to help me go forward.  To LIVE fully!  Every day!  To work hard, play hard and most important…. LOVE hard.

It was encouraging and lifted me up.  God set the bar a little higher for me, helping me to look up and seek to live a life that is full and honors Him.  How better can life get?

My time in the yard ended, and I got ready for work.  As I got in the car, I opened my phone to sinc my music and FaceBook was open.  So without thinking,  I started to scroll through the feed.  It was then that I saw a post that caught my eye.  It was a verse:Though you have not seen Him, you love Him. Though you do not now see Him, you believe in Him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of our souls.” 1 Peter 1:8-9

 Now I love the verse, but I couldn’t understand why a sad face with a tear?  I don’t feel sad with that verse…. It gives me peace and brings joy of a life that comes to a full circle in faith.  It really irritated me.  I thought wait…. what kind of mixed message is that?  Then I saw it again on another post and I realized why.

61090122_372332523391263_2373045765493751808_nI had known her as a girl serving preschool kids with a knack for telling a story, my hubby knew her as a student athlete, and during her illness we met the young woman she had become.  I will always remember the day she came to our house.  Mike had set up his “photo studio” and Kay, who is a cancer survivor, came to offer encouragement to a young lady fighting her own battle. We all talked about her treatment, school, photography among other things.  Faith and hope were sprinkled in the conversation, that included lots of smiling and laughter. 

And as I sat in my car, I realized why I hadn’t looked at FaceBook that morning.  God wanted to give me an example of what he was showing me.  The right perspective before I heard the news. While she was so young, her life was well lived.  She had used it to funnel love, grace, laughter and faith to those around her.  And in that life, we see the truth of what God is encouraging us all to do. Live your best life through Him.

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?……”

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…..”

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?  

IMG_8058

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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