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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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Religion

My Response? Seek Wisdom

So I was thinking this morning, what is my response?

Last week was a rough one for our nation.   We started out strong with the celebration of Independence Day, and ended with police and civilians hurt and dying on our streets.  During this week, we also saw athletes of all makes and models competing to represent our country in the upcoming Olympic games.  So, the highs and lows of being an American were out in force.  It is crazy to me sometimes that things like this, the best and worst, can hit right at the same time.

So what is my response? Continue reading “My Response? Seek Wisdom”

Where is justice?

So today as I watch the news and watch officer involved shootings, I am…?  I am not even sure.  I am angry and upset.  I am so sad that families will be going through the emotional roller coaster, that is now their new normal.  I am tired of seeing the same bad decision making, incident after incident.

I called my son, because I knew he would be angry.  As I spoke with him, I tried to work through what I was thinking, while giving him what I hoped would be wisdom.  So I told my son that the best way we can do something at this point would be  personal.  (At this point, I had a whole paragraph of some of the things that I think need to be addressed, but trying to keep opinion out and see what God teaches me through this.) Continue reading “Where is justice?”

Happy that no one is watching

So today I am going back to the start.  I said that I have typically 20 things going on in my head at one time, so I am trying to clear everything else out and focus on one thing.  I have my tap board ready, my shoes and a video of simple instructions.  I have to get practicing if I am going to be ready for next year’s National Tap Dance Day.

It has been a couple of weeks since building my board, and trying it out for a fekeep-calm-and-tap-dance-48w minutes.  Why haven’t I stepped back on you ask?  Well, this morning I was asking myself the same thing.  I thought back over the past couple of weeks, and wondered what happened?  What took my excitement away?  Where did the drive go to accomplish something new ?  I know the whole tap dancing thing seems a little trivial, but it really is a means to deal with other things that are truly not so trivial.  Insecurities, health, doubt, fear, fitness and choosing the freedom to live life joyfully.

 

I look back on the last few weeks, and I see doubt and fear raising their ugly heads.  These two monsters have been attacking me with a vengeance.  The avenues of attack?  It has been finances, writing, back pain and even discouragement.  So where is my defense?  I got a kick star280px-Gossamer_restoredt from reading the bible, making props for storytelling, helping my husband and reading some Max Lucado.  That is all just to stay afloat.  I also listened to an author/speaker named John Maxwell, and he was talking about one of his books, “Today Matters”.  There was a lot in it, but my quick take away was if you put something off until tomorrow, it is more than likely it will never get done.

 

I have been legitimately busy, but I noticed that this was the only thing that I kept putting off day after day. That caught my attention.  I always put off doing what I don’t like, is hardest or most uncomfortable for me.  It is a pattern.  So when I see this, I know I have to attack it.  So here I am, ready to wage war on my fear and insecurity through the art of dance.  OK, I use the word art and dance very loosely.  You have heard the saying, “Dance like no one is watching.”  Well I can tell you, I have never been more thankful that no one is watching.

Someone else’s box.

So I really love to write, and I typically have 20 things going through my head at one time, so I always feel like it should come freely and with ease.  The only problem is, most time it doesn’t.  By the end, it feels more like child birth than anything else.  Times of struggle, gasping for each new line.  Then at times there is rest and a moment where new insight is revealed.  So for me, it is not always easy.

This morning though, I was really inspired and wanted to just sit and get my thoughts down on paper.  It all started when I read a blog, “Fcuk Pretty.” Well the title had me interested, and when I went to read it, the post had me hooked.  I enjoyed the writing and honesty, but most of all I loved the commonality.  In my own life, I could relate to some of the feelings and statements that she was relaying in the post.  What is the best part though?   It was her.  I looked at some of the information about her, and I knew that I would not naturally be a part of her circle of friends.  (influence?)  To me though, that is exciting.

Again, we find so many ways to separate ourselves from each other, and I am done with that.   It is boring.  I want to risk meeting people who are different than me, the ones that I am not “supposed” to talk to.  I want to know their story, and how it may have hurt them or brought them strength.  I want to hear about the things that separate us, because when I look at them through the lens of eternity, those things become meaningless.

What do you think?  Are you tired of being labeled and put in someone else’s box?

Here is the link to the original post: https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/33316213/posts/1045939154

Seems the link may be having issues.  Where is my IT guy?  Please cut and paste…it will get you there.  Sorry for the difficulties….but I do recommend reading it.  Thanks!!

Time for another Adventure

Dinner is almost done and I am exhausted.  It is going to be a couple of long weeks as we are getting ready for VBA.  I am sure you see signs where you live about VBS, or Vacation Bible School.  Here though, we do Vacation Bible Adventure.  Both our Senior and Youth Pastors have daughters that work at Disneyland, so that should give you the indication what the place starts to look like.  Sets are going up all over the campus in anticipation of the 1,000 or so kids who will attend.  During the week, I tell storiesVersion 2to preschoolers.  Today I went and started to get our sets “built”, more like taped together, for the stories.  I was happy to have one of our students come out and help me today.  I had a picture from Pinterest of what I was looking for, but after showing her that, I gave her free reign to create.  I think she did a fantastic job.  It is a really cute whale….my pic is not so good though.
This whole undertaking is HUGE!  It takes so many people, using so many different talents to put these great environments together.  It is always exhausting, but always amazing to be a part of such a wonderful group of people.  Are you having your own Vacation Bible School?  Or Adventure?  If you are, leave a comment about what encourages you the most about being involved in this kind of event.

So I kind of cut her out of the picture because she is a young lady, and I try to be aware of any parental concern.

How do I respond?

How do I respond?  That is becoming my favorite question nowadays.  It is a question that I love, because I think it takes a lot of pressure off of me.  I do not tend to respond quickly, I try and ask the question first, and then wait for an answer.  Hopefully there is time to get that answer, but thankfully, when time is not on my side God seems to be bringing answers even before the questions are asked.

I got a text last night from a friend, and she was heart sick.  You see, she saw a pastor on YouTube, speaking to his congregation about the horrific nightclub shooting in Orlando.  He had no compassion for the dead or wounded, and he expressed his happiness over their deaths.  She texted me because I am her friend and she felt she could trust me.  I am glad about that.  I am also glad that in the past couple of years I have tried to read, listen, and learn more about Jesus.  In doing that, I felt able to speak to her last night, and I hope that she was comforted.

How do I respond?  I will always try to ask the question, or see if I have already gotten the answer.  Wait what if I don’t know?  How do I respond?  I guess I am just going to make a  default setting, command L.  Respond in Love!

Level of the least discriminating audience

Lowest common denominator.  Again, this math concept came back to me as I have been listening to the election coverage and heard it being used.  I know what you are thinking, politics and math? It was actually Stephen Hawking who used it, and while he was talking about a particular presidential candidate, I actually think about this all the time.   It is pretty funny because it is a mathematics term, and I hated math.  As I am getting older though, I am finding that math is making its way into my everyday life more often.  The best is when I use algebra as an object lesson for my sons.  My mother, the math teacher, would be proud.  My sons though, are pretty much over it.

math1
Just had to put a math graphic in here for fun. 

Back to my point.  I find that in a lot of things, people tend to go to the lowest common denominator.   Myself included.  I always wonder why?  Whether it is comedy. Where most jokes nowadays are more hurtful than funny, but everyone laughs.  Or it could be politics, where we jump on a bandwagon of the candidate who is talking the loudest, singling out an enemy and promising what they are going to do for you.  Or even the church where we pretend to do instead of really doing what we believe, because it is just easier that way.   Again why?  Maybe we are working, trying to make ends meet?  More concerned with getting the kids picked up from daycare than who will be the next councilman, senator or president?  Worrying about our weight, health, jobs, spouses  and children.  Which are all good things to worry about.  Too tired at the end of day trying to make life better, that we don’t have the energy to really ask, what makes a better life?   Too distracted to ask ourselves, do I really want to live a “lowest common denominator” kind of life?

I know that is a life I really don’t want.  Unfortunately, I believe that is a life I have lived too much of already. So I am now trying day by day not to accept that “uncommon” life as my own.  It is harder than it looks.  I get up, I write, I read my bible, exercise (ok so not every day yet), and I try to be encouraging.  Every day I fight the desires to wallow in self-pity, doubt, fear, pride and anger.  (Well that was an honest sentence for you) Each day is a new opportunity, and maybe more importantly a different opportunity.  So I take strength in the words of Paul, the man who wrote most of the new testament not the Beatle.  “I do not understand what I do.  For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”  He sounds as confused as I feel many times, but I love his honesty.  I take great comfort in the fact that if Paul didn’t have it all down on his own, than I am not doing so bad.  My Mom was right when she said, “it’s not what you know, but who you know”, and for that uncommon life, I am counting on Him being my Who.

If you want to check out where Paul said that:   Romans 7:15 NIV

Please leave a comment if the post encouraged, challenged or made you think.  

This season’s pain.

It was early when I arrived. The doors weren’t even open yet, but I waited. I knew she would come soon. It is not many times that I beat the woman to her shop. She is usually there with her hair in a bun wrapped up in a net, smelling of yeast and sugar. I can barely stand the smell, but it is the food imageshe has for me that I am waiting for. The crumbly hard shapes that fill my stomach and nourish me. It is not what I am used to, nor is it the way my story started. I once had a home, a place where I belonged. I was born there, I lived and was happy. The change happened so abruptly, as if it was a dream. One day I was beloved in a happy family, and the next I was a wandering soul enduring the heat and unknown. I am growing accustomed to my new life. It is not without peace, but it is just hard. Trying to find food, water, shelter and protection from the world. I used to have that, before that day, and I hope to find that again. Each new day is a victory, it means that I have survived to see another sunrise. It means that the memories of the goodness of life, have not been overshadowed by the pain. With each new sunrise comes the newest opportunity to be strong, to love and to show others that they can survive this life too.

She is here, and I am fed. Together we start a new day.

My husband has become obsessed with his camera, and had taken some pictures the other day in our small town.  Someone wanted to know the story behind the pictures, so I jokingly started writing about the cat and how she had lost her home.  By the time I was done though, I knew I was not writing about the cat any more.  I was thinking about the headlines of the day, and the young woman who has been subjected to more than anyone should in a lifetime.  I pray that her good memories, and her future are not overshadowed by this seasons pain.  That she would find healing, and  strength in her most important label, child of God.  

Tapping out a thankful tune!

So am I ready to tap or what?  This is something that I think I have always wanted to do, but hadn’t.  So here in the blogospere where I can be honest and live fully as myself, I am ready.   There are different DIY tap boards on the internet, so I had a pretty good idea of what I would need to make one.  I then watched a couple of videos from people who made one, and thought putting it together looked pretty easy.  To make it even less expensive, they suggested going to a home improvement store and seeing if there was flooring that you could buy cheap.  I googled the foam flooring needed and I was happy to see that it was inexpensive, but when I got thinking about the wood flooring an idea popped into my head.  I remembered that my sister had done some new flooring in her home not too long ago, so I texted and asked if she had some leftover pieces?  She did!   We were going to visit her, so I told her I would talk with her when I got there.  How great is that?

It was a boost that I needed, because our finances have been on my mind a lot lately. As of the end of the month, I am officially unemployed.  So now that the time has come, I am starting to wonder about our needs and how we are going to adjust our lifestyle when we are back to one income.  I have worked for the same company for the last 7 years, and so leaving was a hard decision, but it was a decision I felt compelled to do.  It was a new direction that God was prompting me to follow and I felt that the time had finally come.  So for that reason, provision has been on my mind.  What was encouraging to me was God using this tap dance “storyline” to not only teach me about myself, but to provide everything needed without having to spend a bunch of money. Again, it is a simple thing, but it was a reminder to me of who God is and how He works.

I gave a month’s notice, so I was doing pretty good until the month was almost done.  It was then that I started to stress.  I was wondering how I could make some extra cash, even before I was in the situation where it was needed.  I was getting ahead of God.  When I realized that, I tried to relax.  I thought back to the many times before when He had come through.  God has a bunch of different names in the bible, but my favorite is Jehovah Jireh.  It means the Lord provides.  I had to remember that I was not the source of our families provision, and neither was the job I had.  That job was a tool that God used to provide for us.  I felt better, over my panic attack, and feeling a little more secure.

So back to my tap board.  I went to my sister’s house and she gave me more than enough flooring to make the tap board.  I came home excited and thankful.  It was then that God made me laugh out loud.  The next day I walked into the garage and found foam flooring.  How it got into our garage, I will never know?  Both my husband imageand I were stumped?  It might have been one of our children, or maybe even left by the previous owner.  My husband then decided that some plywood he had could be used for my board.  It was just the right size, and didn’t even have to be cut.  The only item I had to purchase was some gorilla glue.  So for under $5.00, I have my tap board.  With that board, I will get some exercise, learn something new, live joyfully and continue to work on unpeeling the onion that is my life. Except now, I will be doing it to a different beat.

 

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