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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…..”

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…..”

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?

 

 

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.  

….isn’t written yet!

“So don’t make judgments about anyone ahead of time, before the Lord returns.”   ! Corinthians 4:6

UnknownI’ve said it a bit recently to those around me, “it’s not how you start, but how you finish.”  And don’t get me wrong…. It’s easier to finish well when you get out of the blocks cleanly.

We judge a person on today or their past, but we have no idea of their future and where that will lead.  The choices, experiences and people that will all come together to make a complete picture in a life.

 

I know it’s hard, but as I read the verse this morning I wondered if we judge in life, when we should just have discernment?  So I got out the old dictionary and looked at the difference between judge and discern.

Basically, discern is to recognize something as opposed to judging where you form a conclusion about it.  I mean, I can discern that someone else is doing something that is harmful or full out wrong.  I can then take steps to not be harmed by these actions, but I just can’t pronounce judgement.  The end isn’t written yet!  If I do judge, does that contribute to an environment that pushes them towards a not so good result?

I am not sure….but it makes me think?  There have been people in my life that haveIMG_5237 judged me prematurely, and I think there has been a bit of an impact.  I am grateful though for those who have been on the other side.  The one’s that have given me the chance to change, grow and mature.  Those are the ones that didn’t write me off, but gave me the time, love and encouragement to fulfill the potential they saw and hoped to see bloom.

Know before you go….

Cayucos
Cayucos

I was driving through the fog and couldn’t believe all the cars with their headlights off.  It was crazy to me, and I thought, “your lights aren’t for you to see better, they are for me to see you!”

I totally knew that was important, but I wasn’t sure why?  It was just one of those statements that seemed bigger than the moment for me.  Bigger than just lights in the fog.  So I’ve been thinking about it off and on again, why is it so important to be seen?

Well in the fog it’s pretty obvious, so I don’t get hit!  But what about in life?

Part of it was something I already knew, but I kept skipping over it, because I was looking for other meaning.  “Let your light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and praise your father in heaven.”  (Matthew 5:16)

So in life the light isn’t really for me to be seen, but to show off God. I knew that though, so it really didn’t seem like the whole answer.  Well, that was until this morning.  Since my hubby’s surgery, I don’t sleep really well.  So at 3:30am, my brain went to the WHY people didn’t have their headlights on.

Worst invention ever, automatic headlights!  You see now that people have automatic lights, they don’t have to turn them on when they get in the car.  At night it works great, but when it’s daytime and foggy, those lights don’t function correctly.  People are driving around assuming they’re on.  They assume, they can be seen.

That was the perspective I was looking for.  So God wants to be seen through the lives of His people, and that happens through how we live.  So what if our lights aren’t on?  What if like the automatic headlights, we assume we can be seen and in that assumption we believe Jesus can be seen.  So that’s the question, are my lights on?  And what am I showing the world?  Are we hoping going to church on Sunday shows the world we love Jesus? Maybe it’s the verse we post on Facebook, or the fish we have on our car?

IMG_0151Sometimes I think much of the things we hope shows people that we love Jesus, just doesn’t.  Just like the headlights, we assume they are on, because they’re supposed to come on.  We don’t bother to check our lights before we go.

 

 

My friend Kay just went through a bout with breast cancer and came through fighting.  A couple of weeks ago she posted something that was cute, but to the point.  “Check your coconuts!”  She’s an island girl so it’s perfect for her.  I want to steal that for myself, but change it up a bit. So today I don’t want to assume my lights are on, and I would encourage you to do the same.    So don’t forget, “check your light!”

 

 

 

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