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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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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”

Advent: Focus

IMG_8720Advent.  It is a new tradition for me, so the first Sunday of Advent almost passed me by.  Yikes!  It is not my fault!  I don’t come from a background where Advent is celebrated, so it just kind of snuck up on me.  I was barely over the turkey and it just appeared! 

So just like anything in my life, I take what is celebrated by many and use it for my own nefarious purposes.  Ok…. Maybe not nefarious, but I definitely do make it my own.  I need to have help in keeping focused, and writing helps.  I tend to be shall we say….. wordy.  So if I have to post something, like for Advent, it helps me to focus and get the writing done.   Continue reading “Advent: Focus”

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…..”

Just what I needed to hear…..

It was a long walk to get there, but we made it.  I wasn’t sure we would?  There was even a couple of times I was ready to turn around and go back, but we didn’t.  And in not turning around, we gained the enjoyment of a lovely waterfall and a different perspective.

img_8365We needed to take it easy, but we were in the mountains!  How can you just sit by the pool when the trees are calling your name?  We were outside of Yosemite at the wonderful Tenaya Lodge.  We had gone into Yosemite Valley the day before, but there were too many people. So on Sunday we were staying close to the lodge to avoid the crowds and just get some much needed rest.  The day before, I had gone and asked where the trail around the lodge started, and went to check it out.  I walked for a couple of minutes and saw that it was a hard packed road, easy to walk.  Perfect for a man recovering from radiation, and his exhausted wife. Continue reading “Just what I needed to hear…..”

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?……”

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,l

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,l”

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….”

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