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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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A question of loyalty…

For a while, I have had a love/hate relationship with living in the Central Valley.  It may be because I bought into what people were saying….there is nothing to do!

IMG_6894Well, this isn’t the bay area, where there are plenty of museums, venues, and events, but that doesn’t mean that there is nothing to do!

Case in point, the Kingsburg Historical Park is hosting an interesting exhibit on the Japanese internment experience.  While it may be small, it provides some perspectives and spurs questions that are applicable even today.

The few things that really stood out to me….. Continue reading “A question of loyalty…”

My National Monument…..

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Funny thing was…I took this as we came in.

I thought it would be a nice drive to Porterville.  My son was there for work, and so we went down to have lunch with him.  It was a nice leisurely drive down CA43 and a relaxing lunch getting all the info on the job he was doing.

After lunch I was not expecting much, you see we had bee bopped around the house all morning.  Typically, we get up and out early, but this morning we had been moving kind of slow.  So I was not expecting to head into the mountains for long drawn out ride.  How naïve of me. Continue reading “My National Monument…..”

Brains day off….

IMG_5156What happens when in one day, you are going from the mid eighties to the mid ninties, after weeks of  the mid seventies?  You head to the coast.  And when your hubby wants to take sunrise pictures, you get up at dark thirty so that you can make it to the coast before the sun comes up.

IMG_5163At 3:30 this morning, I was really not in the mood to worry about my own camera, so I just decided to use my iphone.  I snapped a good amount of pictures, but not too many.  It had been a long week.  My brain had been on overload and I wanted to spend some time just enjoying the beauty that surrounded me. Continue reading “Brains day off….”

Lost on SR155

So it is Saturday, and that means my hubby wants to practice with his new camera.  The thing about that is, he always wants me to go with him.  He was disappointed this morning, since I had an appointment at 9:00 and that means any day trip wouldn’t start till after 10:00.  We are kind of a get up at the crack of dawn and miss the traffic kind of travelers, so waiting till that late in the morning was hard for him.  I think I made it up to him though, as I got us a bit lost which gave us a bit more of an adventure.

We were supposed to be heading to the Tule Elk State Nature Reserve, but I got it mixed up and we ended up at the Kern National Wildlife Refuge.

The place where we wound up was closed, can you imagine?  It was only open for the duck hunters, which is not the kind of shooting we do.  We made a note to come back, especially when a big hawk flew over us moving from a tree to a telephone pole.  It was amazing!

So I attached a few pictures.  Since I had steered us wrong, I knew I had to make it up to him.  So I told him he could drive, and he did.  We wound up going into the foothills on SR155.  We saw blue sky, the small town (?) of Woody, beautiful green valleys and cowboys.  It was a wonderful day.  We now know a great route to drive for some beautiful scenery and two places that we will visit in the future.  More places to explore, and more pictures to take. dsc_0914

 

I am NOT…..

I AM.  God’s name.  I have always thought it was kind of a weird name, I mean really…. I AM.  Well of course you are?

It was not until this week, when I was actually doing a script for our preK class, that I got a better idea of what it meant for me. So as I read the story of Moses, a new sentence jumped out at me.  It was something that I don’t remember ever thinking about before, but today I heard something different.d2ca09d8868423819bd7b85d27b29d6e

It wasn’t really what God said, but it was something that Moses said.  God had just told Moses that he was going to bring the children of Israel out of Egypt.  Moses then starts arguing with God, telling him all the reasons why he was the wrong man for the job.   Moses asks, “who am I”, and in that question, I found a different way to look at God’s name.
God is the I AM.  You can put anything you need after that statement, and it works.  I AM holy.  I AM truth.  I AM wise.  The I AM statement about God is always true, but like Moses, for me it does not work so well.  The I am statement does not fully describe me, there is always an asterisk.

 

I am encouraging.*  Except when I am tired, have given it all out already and have not gotten encouragement from God.

I am patient.*  Except when I have done all the calculations in my brain already, made a decision and have to wait for others to make theirs.

I am generous.*  After God has to remind me that He has my back, and the resources at my disposal are truly to share.

I am a good listener.*  Except when I have to listen too long.  Ugh!

These are things that I strive to be.  Some of these are even my gifts and come fairly easily to me, but can I do them right all the time?  NO.  God is all those things and more, and He can do them right all of the time.  He fulfills the purpose of his name perfectly.  I AM.

Everything I need, hope for, dream about and strive to share is found in that name.

Cooling off in Cambria

So we had to go to Paso Robles yesterday evening for a concert, and since it was just as hot there as it was here (100+) we decided to hit the coast first.  I could not be more thankful for the detour.  We left temperatures in the 90’s and arrived at the coast to fog and high 60’s.  I got to put on a sweatshirt and everything!  Since I was with the shutterbug hubby, I decided to bring my little camera and follow his lead.  These are a few of my favorite shots.

 

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Moonstone Beach. All these rocks are a natural exfoliant. So much nicer to walk on than sand.

Continue reading “Cooling off in Cambria”

Just say cheese….

So I was reading a blog this morning, it is called “ Beauty Beyond Bones”, and it is written by a recovering anorexic.  She made a post about this week being “body positivity week”.  She had a great perspective on this body positivity thing, so I have put a link here if you would like to take a look.    https://beautybeyondbones.com/2016/05/12/body-positivity-week/

Her post got me thinking though about the pictures that we take.  This is on my mind lately, because my husband is starting to be heavily involved, dare I say obsessed, with photography.  He is always trying to get me to take pictures, so he can learn to use different techniques. I never remember being so weird about taking pictures, but then again, I have never been this old and there have never been so many picture taking opportunities available.  I mean really, Facebook is full of them.  So as I was driving, I began thinking about this woman’s solution in regards to body image, and then I thought about my own.  It is funny, as I write this I am sitting at a desk with a mirror over it.  So I am basically staring at my own face, thus the picture I have posted.  I find this slightly ironic.  I even had to take two pictures, because I caught myself in the first one trying not to smile so big.  Jeez!!

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So I thought about the pictures that I take.  Sometimes they are funny, silly, but usually they are for a remembrance of a time, occasion or friends.  Some of the pictures that I have taken recently are ones that I do not like very much.  Why?  It seems that I am more concerned with trying to look cute than enjoying the “why” of the picture.  How do I know?  It is evident in my body language, and I can just tell by how I look.  These pictures show a woman who is not comfortable with how she is perceived.  The funny thing is though, I pretty much am OK with how I look.  I am old, well not that old, but old enough.  On the edge of still being kind of cute, but sags and weight are taking a toll.  I thought about that, and I felt stupid.  I love looking at pictures, and I thought of the pictures that have spoken to me the most.  The ones that made me really feel things, and they were of people who were not necessarily looking their best.  Dorothea Lange immediately sprang to mind.  Her pictures of people who were struggling through the depression in the dust bowl are some of the most important pictures of our time.  These people are NOT looking cute.  What you do see is pain, resilience, struggle, fear, and maybe even some hope.  These photos opened people’s eyes to what the effect of unemployment was on the entire family.  These photos still have the ability to touch people today.  And I am worried about if I am cute?

The pictures that I like best of myself are the ones where I forget about the camera, and I concentrate on enjoying the moment.  Then, my smile is genuine, if not a little large.  There is a twinkle in my eye, even if you can’t totally see it through my glasses.  My body language is relaxed, even if it is a bit, how do I say this?  Chubby?  And if my gray hair is peeking out? Then so be it.  This is who I am, and I like that me.  I like the me who is more concerned with celebrating a birthday than looking cute.  The one who is having fun, being silly with a friend, better than the one who is trying to get her good side.  The one who is willing to show her tears, even when she is not a pretty crier.  So I have decided, that I am not going to worry about how I look.  I am going to focus on enjoying the moments God has given me.  To be fully invested in who I am with, and what is happening around me.  So tonight as I go and celebrate a wedding with friends, I choose to forget about how I look, and remember to let the joyfulness of the day be my beauty.

 

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