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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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Looking for Harmony

DSC_0132I went to a bible study this morning, and I think there was some shock that I was there.  This was actually my second time there and when I walked in the first time, it was quite a surprise.  I was by the far the youngest person in the room.  I would say that most of them were a good 20 years older than me, and retired.  Grandchildren and great grandchildren was their reality, mine is just finishing getting my children out of the house.

So I sat, and they were all introduced to me and I to them.  It was funny, and while I felt a bit out of place, they were all more than kind to me.  After the study, I was not sure if I would go back.  It had more to do with how they ran the study, than anything else, but I had decided to go at least the one more time before their August break.

So today, I walked into the class and was warmly greeted by all.  After the class, I made conversation with one of the ladies as she had asked prayer for her daughter and a job decision that was coming up.  From the way she spoke, I assumed her daughter lived in the bay area, and since that is where I am from, it gave me an “in” to have a conversation.  We spoke of her daughter, where she lived and the decision she would be soon making.  It was a nice conversation, and I was glad that I had found an opening to speak with her.

At that point, the teacher of the group walked out with me and made a comment that made me smile.   She handed me the binder of study materials that they were using and said that it was OK if I did not come back.  She said it nicely, and I know it was because she recognized that this group was not my peers, and not out of a desire to get me out of the group.  Whatever my feelings were before, by that time, I knew I would be back.  Really, how could I not?  This is a group of women that I could learn from, and like I told her, I might teach them a thing or two also.

Meeting these ladies also fits into the scheme of the new me.  I want to be challenged by who I know, and seek out those who haimages-1ve a different experience than I do.  I want to hear their stories, and see from their perspective.  This is important to me.  Why?  I think it is so I can meet people where they are, and not where I think they should be.  I think that is a lot of the problem with the world.  We expect everyone to be like….well us.

Everyone thinks we need to be unified, but I don’t like to think in terms of unity, but more like harmony.   Unity seems like sameness to me, and I know that in our ways of thinking many of us are not the same.  I like to think more in terms of harmony.  We are singing different parts, that look and sound awfully different.  All of us singing with the same goal 9165c3e52b881ae39233a13d8c8df74din mind.  It may sound a bit discordant when you take each part separately, but when it is all put together by a Master Conductor, we get something that is beyond what we could ever imagine. I cannot wait to hear their stories, and seek out the harmony that He creates

 

Right time, right place.

Today was a day of encouragement.  Some of it I gave, and some of it I received.  The events were nothing spectacular, but it is typically the small things that can have the most impact. This morning, I went to the grocery store, and by the time I came out, my car was in the shade.  It was a simple thing, but in the heat of the Central Valley, it provided welcome relief even from this morning’s heat.

When I came home, I had to hurry and get cleaned up, as I had a massage appointment to get to.  It was only twenty minutes, but after the stress that I put myself through this week, it was like a little slice of heaven.  This week my regular therapist was back from a maternity sabbatical, and I was happy to see her.  After my massage, we sat and talked for a few minutes.  First she gave me the update about the new baby and the challenges of being a new mom.  I told her some of my experiences with the boys, and encouraged her to use her own good sense to make decisions.  I advised her to not worry about what other people say she should do, but to take the advice and use her best judgement.  I then told her that I had quit my job, and that I was working at blogging and trying to “reinvent” myself.  It was then that she was able to give some encouraging words to me.  It was a great conversation, and I left feeling better in both body and spirit. Continue reading “Right time, right place.”

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.

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.

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.  

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