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Are You Okay With Being Weak?

 

Screen-Shot-2019-10-19-at-2.39.08-PM-1.pngFirst of all, it’s okay not to be okay. Let me lead this blog post stating that fact. We can all take a collective sigh of relief to stop trying to fight the obvious in our lives. I had a thought the other morning – or several thoughts actually – it was like a list that wouldn’t end, and it consisted of all that is wrong with me. All my weakness were flooding my mind: i eat too much, i cuss too much, i fight too much, i don’t fight enough, i clean too much, i clean too little, i talk too much, i don’t listen enough, i am gullible, i am cynical, i am emotional, i am cold, i am wishy-washy, i don’t have healthy boundaries, i am withdrawn, i am too much, i am not enough no matter what i do…and the list went on. I’d like to say this was an isolated event, but it wasn’t. So I spent the day trying to prove myself wrong. It was exhausting. It is exhausting. Anyone else do this? Then later that night I had another thought about this whole thought process. It was this: all day I spend fighting the fact that I am weak. I spend my day trying to overcome my weaknesses and prove myself wrong about what I know about Sonia. Each day I am just growing weaker and more defeated. It is a vicious and futile fight. Why is that?

I was never made to be strong in the way I understand strong to be. That is why. Simple, really (but hard for me to comprehend!). I was never made to shoulder these weaknesses and magically nor forcefully turn them into something the world can nod their approval at.

So this morning I want us all to give ourselves a break. We are weak. Let’s just admit it, embrace it, own it. And just before you think this couldn’t be true about you, or true about that person with the perfect instagram – let me tell you, we are all weak. All of us. Different weaknesses – yes, but weak, we are, nonetheless. But guess what? Here’s the good part of that confession. We don’t have to stay like that – just a mess of a person. Let this equation roll around in your mind and believe it – this may the bravest thing you have ever done: your weakness = God’s strength in your life on display.

He will do miracles with those weaknesses! You just have to engage in the exchange. It is hard, let me tell you – that daily struggle is tougher than we imagine sometimes, but when you catch that stride and just let go and let God, something amazing happens. Freedom. Freedom from the thoughts of your limitations and freedom for fears that everything depends on you being strong. You don’t have to hold up all the spinning plates knowing you never learned how to juggle. Let the plates fall – and don’t care if the world laughs at the broken plates because God will pick those pieces up and make something incredible out of all the brokenness. He will put that masterpiece (made from your broken pieces put in their proper place) on blast in the most perfect way!

Here’s a passage on that topic out of The Message (2 Corinthians 12:7-10):

“7-10 Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn’t get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,

My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.

Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.”

Let’s respond to those weaknesses today with God’s divine plan to give us His strength. Let’s stop bullying ourselves. We don’t have to worry about what He is going to do with our weaknesses. Just run to Him. Call out to Him. Let His love lift your head. He loves us.

With all my heart,

Sonia

 

Encouragement for Women · Run Your Race

My Morning Walk Playlist

It’s 7:15am on Wednesday, April 29, 2020, and we are in the midst of a global pandemic with mask orders, (partial) beach closures and for some of us, in a remote working world. Amidst all of this there is pressure, stress, all kinds of relationship issues, financial problems, addictions, obsessions and loads and loads of self-medicating mechanisms. So this morning I woke up not looking forward to what the news will say or what awaited me in my email box for work. I have too much laundry to do and I’ve been working from home so I have no excuse. Dishes are in the sink and it’s just me and my husband here. I have relationship issues with some family members and friends and all of this was beating down on me this morning with the overarching theme that my life is a mess. I got out of bed and had to clear my head so I got dressed to go on a run in my neighborhood. God had other plans, and I’m so glad. Let me walk you through my morning walk (not run) with God, if you will 🙂

First it started off with my Apple Music not working on my phone. It wouldn’t load any song so I put on my Beats on and just looked for songs on YouTube the whole walk. Here are those songs. Please Enjoy!

Since I felt so defeated and down it is no wonder that the first song that popped in my head was something completely opposite: Kirk Franklin’s, Love Theory.

Next up as I started on an incline I thought of this song and typed it in, here it is…NF’s, I’ll Keep On.  (I love, love, love the words on this. It’s like someone looked in my heart and mind and put this song together!)

Then I went onto this song called Symphony by Switch. My favorite line of this one says, “Even in the madness, there is peace, drowning out the voices all around me. Through all of this chaos, You are writing a symphony.” YES! Amen!!

Next song that popped in my head was Riley Clemmon’s, Fighting For Me. Oh man, does He fight for us. Give this a listen and let those words sink in. He fights for us when we can’t fight for ourselves!!!

And then probably because I still had quite a way to go when I started to head back I pulled up for King and Country’s, It’s Not Over Yet. Like the song says, “Hope is rising! Never give in and never give up. It’s not over.” (I may or may not have been shadowboxing as I was heading home and listening to this one:)

As I rounded the corner onto my street I pulled up this song, Hills and Valleys by Tauren Wells, and let me tell you, my hands were up in the air, full on praising God and full of fresh perspective. “In the valley I will lift my eyes to the One who sees me there.”

Last song for my morning walk was also by Tauren Wells called Known. I walked up to the front door and turned the handle and walked in a different person than when I had left just a half hour earlier, all because I went on this little walk with God and literally let Him sing over me.

I can’t know what you’re going through this morning, maybe you woke up feeling great, maybe, like me, you didn’t. Either way, I know I was supposed to share this with you. I literally asked God, “if you don’t want me to write anything this morning I won’t.”  I’m totally content just having this moment with Him and relishing that, but here I am sharing my morning playlist with you and the literal journey God took me on – all because my apple Music wouldn’t work. I think that’s one of the big takeaway’s for me right now. When things aren’t working, GOOD, because God has something better.

Have a beautiful Wednesday and know that if thing’s aren’t working out the way you think they should, hang in there, with God all things are possible! Matthew 19:26

With all my heart,

Sonia

Encouragement for Women · Run Your Race

13 Pounds Lighter (Give or Take)

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My HIIT Machine from Costco 🙂

I had to go to a doctor’s appointment yesterday and had to step onto the scale. Disclaimer: I am not all caught up in fitness, but I would put myself into the category of people I have heard described as “Fit-ish.” At times I am more motivated than others, but I have purposed to do cardio at least four times a week along with some other at home exercises sprinkled in here and there – nothing too drastic, but I did commit to this. Some weeks are better than others. More often than not I have kept my commitment and got up on that machine. Now add that to some GI problems in the last year that “inspired” me to make some much-needed diet changes and, “voila!” I have kept some weight off. After I was weighed by the medical assistant I asked her what my weight was. She said that I was ten pounds lighter than last year at this time and thirteen pounds lighter than May 2018! Now I know weight is just a number and muscle weighs more than fat etc., and I believe that, but my clothes fit better, my left knee has stopped hurting me and some of my joints that ached a little before hardly ache at all now, so I know it’s a good thing. This is not a”quick fix -lose weight fast thing” because it’s just been little tweaks to my routine over time. I now have proof that little decisions towards my health when no one is looking & when I am tired and would rather not, are making a world of difference. Taking care of my body is not selfish act – as a matter of fact – I’m called to this, and not just in the way of my physical health, but in every aspect of life. I need to show up for myself & so do you! Whatever little tweaks God has been tugging on your heart to do, do it! Push through the obstacles of old patterns, old ways of thinking and just downright laziness. Invest in yourself! I say this to myself right now as I get ready for the upcoming year and all that God has. I know there will be all kinds of changes and unknowns, but I want to be going in the right direction.

This past year I pushed aside my Bible more often than I care to admit and chose doing things my way in many areas. I still pressed forward – picking up where I left off. God doesn’t leave us behind when we have a cheat day (or cheat week/month/year). He just lets us get up, dust ourselves off and keep walking. That’s what He showed me with this weight thing – He is pressing in perseverance not perfection. Although I want the perfection so badly, perseverance is where the victory is. I want to be more committed to “being” rather than “doing” because I know it’s in the “being” that the doing will be done the right way.  Here’s the “being” list: BEING God’s daughter. That’s it. That’s all I am called to do – the rest is up to Him. He just wants me to get out of the way, be ready for Him to lead me and then trust. Will I fail sometimes – yes! Will I get it right sometimes – yes! Will I mature through all this – yes! Will I grow more into the woman God created – yes, and not because it’s up to Sonia, but because it is up to My Lord and My God. He won me over ten years ago, and I look back on that ten year landscape and know I have lost more than these 13 pounds. I’m much lighter in the truest sense of the word. And just so you don’t get it twisted, I am not boasting in my abilities – I am boasting in God’s faithfulness.

The Race of Faith

Hebrews 12:1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Thanks for reading & thanks for running your race!

With all my heart,

Sonia

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The Physical vs. The Virtual

Yesterday I had an experience that I will never forget. It was a busy Friday afternoon, like any other busy Friday afternoon. I was rushing after work to pick something up from TJ Maxx before heading home to get ready to attend a couples costume event our church was putting on for the Couples/Marriage Group. I had received a text earlier that day that said, “Dress warm!” My costume was warm enough, but I knew my husband’s wouldn’t be so I made it a point to go pick up a long sleeved sweatshirt that would go with his outfit. Before I go on let me back up to Tuesday night – this very past Tuesday night, three days before this story takes place. For weeks now our Pastor’s wife has been making the announcement for donations of small canned goods (the easy-to-open kind, no can opener needed), protein bars, toiletries, socks, blankets and other items to go into big Ziploc bags to hand out to the homeless during these cold months. This is something our church does every year around this time. For the past month or so people have donated items and this past Tuesday night bags were made. Tuesday night is a church night for Refuge, the church I attend. We have services on Sunday mornings and Tuesday nights. Sometimes it is hard to get there after a hard day at work or just a plain hard day, but when I show up my heart, my mind gets recalibrated – I see people, they see me. It’s just connection. It’s just God. This particular Tuesday night, our Pastor’s wife gave me two of these bags to have on hand in my car in case I came across someone in need. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I would even get the opportunity because I rush around so much and don’t really stop any one place long enough. My life feels like I go straight to work, home, groceries or to church and that’s it. So yesterday as I drove up to park in front of TJ Maxx  I could see a rather large man, who looked to be homeless, crouched down in front of the trash can outside the entrance of the store. I got out of my car and as I got closer to the front door I got a better look at him. We locked eyes for a moment. He had piercing blue eyes that kind of shocked me because it was such a contrast to his dirt stained face and brown clothing. I saw a look in his eyes that I will never forget. The only way I could describe it was that he looked as if he felt bad for me that I had to see him doing that, picking through the trash. His face haunted me as I made my way through the store. As I stood in line to buy the sweatshirt I knew I was going to give him a bag if I saw him outside again. I walked out of the store and saw him down in front of the Rite Aid pharmacy a few stores down. I walked quickly to the car and grabbed one of the ziploc bags seeing socks and other items that I know he could use along with the food. As I walked over he looked frightened that I was making a bee line for him so he grabbed his bags and started walking away fast. As I quickened my pace, I yelled out, “Sir!” He stopped and turned around as I caught up to him holding out the bag. I said, “This is for you. God bless you.” He reached out his hand which looked mangled with arthritis and looked up and said, “God bless you.” He looked relieved and thankful. My heart broke in a million pieces right then. I walked back to my car, called my husband and just sobbed as I told him what just happened. This leads me to the title of my blog post tonight. All this happened in the physical – from the people showing up to church and bringing items, to our Pastor and his wife opening the doors and putting this effort into motion, to all kinds of people taking bags and handing them out all over the surrounding cities. All of this was shared by people who showed up to do their part. In a virtual world, this is what is missed. Now I know there are seasons when you just can’t get to a church, that’s not what I am speaking to right now. This message is for all of us who think online experiences “check the box” and fulfill that “requirement”. Guess what!? We don’t have to go to church, we GET TO! We don’t have to donate items, we GET TO! We don’t have to pass out bags, we GET TO! And to the man out there with the brilliant blue eyes, you are being prayed for and thank you for accepting that bag. God used you in my life more than you’ll ever know.

With all my heart,

Sonia

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Been Lied To? Have You Lied Before?

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So, here it is, the ugly truth. I have lied before, and I have been lied to. I am typing this right now because someone just lied to me, and instead of heading into the direction I always do, which is to exact revenge in some manner, I need to sit. Sit and write. Sit and write and pray. Sit and write and pray and confess. Confess this, lying to me makes me want to rip your face off. Sorry, it’s the truth. Even though when I lie or have lied – I want/wanted all the grace in the world – I am out for blood when it happens to me. I may not act out all the things that happen in my mind when I am confronted with this, but rest assured I have thought really bad thoughts about how justice could be delivered in the way I think most fitting for my shattered feelings.

So now what? What do I do as my breathing is still faster than I’d like it to be and my mind is still recalling the recent interaction? I’ve confessed my (MUCH) less than godly thoughts, and I’ve had some time to sit. I’ve prayed, “God help me not rip their face off.” So now what…

Maybe you are not like me and don’t have an anger management problem to contend with so you think you’re better than me with this – good for you. Really, I am not saying this in a mean tone as I type. I sincerely mean it: GOOD FOR YOU. I wouldn’t wish my temper on anyone.

I will say this though. In this weakness of mine, I am growing stronger in God’s grace. Just the fact that I am willing to sit here and type and not give full vent to my feelings towards the person who lied, is growth for me. Just the fact that tears are stinging my eyes instead of bad words being hurled out of my mouth at breakneck speed, is a miracle.

So this awful moment – when lies were flung at me, is just a moment in time where I can see God’s hand steady me as I wait. I don’t have to take the bait this time and walk away a villain once again because of my temper. I can remember that I, too, have lied, and I, too, need grace. All this is possible, even if this person doesn’t apologize and make it right. I can be free. I can honor the Lord.

So here it is…the TRUTH, I need God’s grace. You need God’s grace. We need grace from each other. Grace and grace and grace again and tons of truth – and not just a version of it, but the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help us God.

John 8:32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

That’s all for today. Thank you for reading (and praying for me!).

With all my heart,

Sonia

 

Encouragement for Women · Run Your Race

45 & Showing Up

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This from one of my favorite Bible teachers, Priscilla Shirer! Perfect insta post for this day!

To say I am blown away to wake up and celebrate this 45th trip around the sun is an understatement. I could fill a book and then some with scenarios that were not the safest nor sanest of things to do in my teens, twenties, thirties. With all of those memories comes this realization, “God kept me alive for a reason, and I don’t want to take that lightly.” I write in a prayer journal every day and this is what I wrote today at 8:45am: 

Dear Father God, Thank you for this beautiful day full of birth and identity in You! I pray I please You even more this year, respect and love my husband more this year and let go of the need of validation from others. Thank you for sustaining, growing me, teaching me and molding me. Steady as I go, Lord. No holding back now. I am brave, bold, beautiful and best of all, Yours. Make me even more effective for Your kingdom. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen!

There’s that part in my prayer – that secret part, the “Let go of the need of validation from others,” part – that makes me slightly terrified because I know it means that I have asked God to put me in the process of changing this, and He is faithful to do it. So why did I ask Him for this birthday gift? Because the people-pleasing part is killing me…as I know it is a killer for anyone. I just got off the phone with a friend of mine, and we were talking about the people-pleasing starts young partly because of not fitting in, like anywhere or with any particular group. She said, “It’s everybody’s story.” I agree. It’s not just my story. We don’t quite fit, and that is a good thing. So this year that is what I am going to do with God’s help: stop making it everyone’s job around me to make me feel accepted, valued and whole. That’s what God has already given me so I can open that up every day and launch out from there and SHOW UP!

To those who have been patient with me through all of these years, “Thank you and forgive me.” To those who will be put off by me putting up some new boundaries #sorrynotsorry, and to those that are in this same boat, “Let’s cheer each other on and point to Jesus!”

That’s all for today, with my whole heart, thank you for reading my b-day post!

Sonia

Encouragement for Women · Run Your Race

Insecurities. They’re a Killer.

Good morning. Happy Summer. It’s been awhile. It’s about 5:22am on Monday morning, June 24. I have been awake since 4am with a thought in my mind about insecurities – probably because I struggle so much with them. Let me give some insight to what goes in to these blog posts on here. What goes on in my head and heart is like a steady pressing in of a topic – a lingering theme that will keep popping up. When that happens there may be a few discussions with friends, prayer, more ideas and then I will try to talk myself out of writing. This has happened about 40 times with this topic until 4am today came around, and it was like, “That’s it. I really can’t take this anymore. I will write already!”

So here it is. Insecurities…they’re a killer. They kill everything in their path: identity, relationships, families, health, careers, hopes, dreams…everything. I think we know all of that firsthand, but how do we battle this? How do we not let this thing win? Disclaimer: I don’t have the answers for you. This isn’t a self-help blog post. Think of this more as a challenge for us. I, like many of us, love the instagram positive affirmation posts and quick 3 minute videos about how to be an overcomer. All of that is great and has its place but it doesn’t last, I mean, really it’s a 3 minute video, LOL!!

I’ll tell you what…it’s been almost ten years ago now that I started a journey – more like I was invited on a journey. Jesus literally met me in my lowest state of self-esteem and said, “Come follow Me.” And I did. Not knowing anything about anything, really. I knew the God of the Bible in the catechetical sense but thought He gave up on me a long time ago for a laundry list of ungodly acts and unrighteous living. That one act of believing what God says about me every day for the last 3,616 days has led me here to a place where I can say “publicly” that I tremble inside sometimes when I look completely in control on the outside – that I battle negative self-talk and sometimes believe it when I hear that old message in my head, “See, you will never get anything right.” I can admit that I struggle, sometimes greatly, with close relationships – that it’s a battle just to show up.

All that struggle isn’t for just nothing – it leads to amazing change and growth and new life and discovery of who God is and what He created us for. Believe it when I say that the struggle isn’t the killer – letting the insecurities win, however, is. The practical ways I battle this are to not to isolate. I heard somewhere recently that people die from choking sometimes because they’re too embarrassed for people to see them struggle so they find a private place and by the time it’s very serious and they need help, they can’t get it in time. Morbid thought, I know, but it’s true. Hiding and isolation are killers. I also start my day with God’s word most days. I need His words in my head a whole lot more than I need mine. I also serve at my local church where it is safe to have those struggles as people are open about their own. It really is a healing community. Lastly, I pray for perseverance. I pray to hang in there and not run from the hard stuff on the hard days.

Let me reiterate again, I don’t have the answers for you, but I know God does. I just want to share how my journey has been so far. To truly overcome insecurities or at least work past them on our really bad days, we need to have faith in something/Someone bigger than our fear and that is Jesus. He isn’t a bandaid or quick fix. He is a relationship, the one relationship that will truly lead you on a journey of freedom.

To end let me share the verse of my life from Zephaniah 3:17:

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With all my heart,

Sonia

Encouragement for Women · Run Your Race · Seasons

This (insert struggle here) is God’s Love Too

09da8585526a8d8d6938dab0d81eab0b.jpgTonight I have a confession to make here. I’m struggling with change all around me, and I do not like it. Relationships, jobs, schools, finances, family…things look very different than even a few months ago. Not all of it is bad, but it definitely feels like I’m on shaky ground, and I’m gingerly walking each step, holding my breath. I am questioning myself, doubting things I once found solidness in and have this sense that things are completely out of control. I wonder, “Am I just blowing it here?” or “Is everyone heading one direction, and I’m veering off the road?” That’s where I am right now. No concrete answers. No one saying, “Go this way or don’t go that way!” Just sitting here in my struggle against, CHANGE.

Last night Mario and I had a conversation about failure and one of the things we brought up was what real failure looked like. I said, “I think if you’re not growing and changing, you’re failing. If you unplug and disconnect from the hard stuff then you’re failing.” Little did I know how those words would play out real time in my mind the very next night as I sit here in this uncertainty.

This is all I know tonight…this is the only truth I can hang my hat on, “This, too, is God’s love.” Whatever all this is…the feelings, the wonderings, the angst, the worry…God’s love has not gone anywhere. That’s all I’ve got.  That He loves me, and He’s letting me have this time to process and grow out of fear and into faith. I’m a Christian so I do go through that process of trying to pinpoint what I’m doing that is sin so I can just confess it and be done with it. I have to just wait on God to see what He shows me. I have to cry out to Him and let Him know I am afraid and uncertain. I have to open up my heart to whatever truth He wants to reveal. Right now, it’s the “I have to” time because it’s part of growing up. I have to wait until He walks me through this to the other side. I can’t move. I can’t change friends. I can’t change jobs. I can’t change families. I can’t change churches. I can’t change anything, but I can wait for God to change me – because if you’re not growing and changing, you’re failing.

If you’re like me tonight, trust God and His timing. Don’t trust your feelings.

Also tonight in our Women’s Bible study we started “Steadfast Love – A Study of Psalm 107” by Lauren Chandler, and I have to tell you, as hard as it is to just “be” right now, these words we studied tonight really drove it home,

“He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven. Psalm 107:29-30”

God will get us to that desired haven – we can be sure of that. He loves us – we can be sure of that. He will deliver us – we can be sure of that. He is faithful – we can be sure of that.

With all my heart,

Sonia

Encouragement for Women · Run Your Race

Dirty Laundry Redefined

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Here are some of the titles I have written down for this blog:

“Fighting & Fixation”

“I Don’t Know Everything and Neither Do You So Let’s Relax Already!”

“OH NO! ‘Ruin is the Road to Transformation’ ”

“God, please help me”

Ummm can you sense a theme? It’s called being at the end of your rope, end of your self, end of the situation…whatever it is, it’s the end, YOU’RE TIRED!”

(Quick side note) About this image, just an FYI, I did try to find out who this “SoulBraille.com” person is to ask if I could use this image, but the website just goes to some GoDaddy account so props to soulbraille.com for creating this image.

Ok, now onto business, this blog format is way to inappropriate of a platform to give you all the nitty gritty details of the last two weeks of my life behind closed doors so let me say this, it was UGLY. Yes, ugly and Terrible. Horrible. Tragic. Unbelievable and yet, here I am wanting to tell you, that, yes I can say this, “God is here!”

You want to know why? Because if you knew me, I mean really knew me, you would know that I wouldn’t be sitting here at the computer, typing away, telling you that it’s gonna be okay. Okay, it might get worse before it gets better, but it is going to be okay God’s way. That’s the motto right now, folks, it’s gonna be okay – God’s way. What I would be doing if this was the old me….you don’t want to know. I promise you. You don’t!

There are messages that can play out in our minds about ourselves, our history and our destiny that just aren’t true anymore. I mean, I became a Christian at 35 years of age and that means 35 years of doing life in complete darkness and sick toxicity. 35 years! That means my elementary school years, teenage years, 20’s and half of my 30’s just jacked up from the floor up, literally. The history lesson that plays out in my head is so strong sometimes that I think this new life with God is just a hoax or a trick being played on me that I can be a new creation. Yet, here I sit in a home that is safe and pretty, with a sweet dog that is sleeping peacefully in her dog bed, with a husband that is working hard right now & we’re still married (!!!), with a daughter who loves to talk with me and see me, with friends a phone call away who will pray with me, with a church family that has real people in it who know God’s power and with a mind that is fixed on God’s promises, pushing through the pain and muscle memory of destructive habits.

I wish we would scream our deficiencies and let people see the ugly sometimes. Social media is so not reality a lot of the time. I know my accounts are too pretty at times. Social media is a good way to PR the heck out of your life when it’s in the toilet, let me tell you, so don’t believe the hype sometimes. I mean, there are times it’s just a good photo capturing a real moment, but when the angles are consistently on point, the color and background are flawless and the plastered smiles are perfect in photo after photo, it’s okay to ask the question, “What about your bad days?” We all have them, and they all suck! Doesn’t matter what filter you choose – it’s a freaking bad day!!

I was talking with a friend Monday night and she’s struggling too. During that conversation I was reminded of the story in Matthew 16 where Jesus was talking to Peter at Caesarea Phillipi and said to him,

18 Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’),[a] and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell[b] will not conquer it.” 

I got to go to that very spot (Caesarea Phillipi) a few years back on an Israel trip with our church. As our pastor taught there my heart just came alive to witness firsthand that this place that Jesus chose to have this conversation with Peter represented such death and darkness. I could relate to that! He was telling Peter that not even that evil would prevail against the work He was going to do.

Oh, how that inspires me right now, and I hope it inspires you too. Whatever darkness or death you are experiencing just breathe and get up tomorrow and scream or whisper to yourself, “God’s got this! God’s got me! God’s got them!” The gates of hell will not prevail against it, against you, against what God is doing in your life.

Air that dirty laundry – it’s time!!! You can be fragile…like a beautiful vase that God guards with His very life. You don’t have to be a ticking time bomb anymore. Let God bring the beauty from those ashes of your own destructive bombs created, and let Him hold your fragile heart. Stand in His safety. I’m standing there with you. From one broken spirit to another, it is well tonight and tomorrow and always. It is well, my friend.

With all my heart,

Sonia

Encouragement for Women · Run Your Race

Patience, Grasshopper!

New Years Day I woke up with a title in my mind, and it was this, “The Lost Arts of Subtlety, Discovery and Patience.” Don’t ask me why this title. I don’t know what’s it’s for yet. I’ll just have to be…patient (I know, corny – but true).

So do we talk about resolutions for the year or big plans or great changes for this year? I’m all for that but there are two themes that have been pressing on my heart and swirling around in this mind – and it’s these: bravery and patience. That’s it.

I don’t know what to say about those two words, but I did look up in the back of my Bible verses on patience just now and got stuck on Romans chapter 12 with these verses:

(Starting at verse 9 and going all the way to verse 21):

Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love. In honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord: rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfast in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

On the top of that page of my Bible I wrote this (from chapter 12), “I AM TO BE A LIVING SACRIFICE.” That is really tough given all the junk around this world, the brokenness of my past, my control freak ways (sometimes – wink wink), and the overwhelming odds, really.  But I think that’s where these two themes come into play…the bravery & the patience. Both of those things only come through unselfishness. They only come by sacrifice. Do you want to live your best life? I know I do. Well, it can be found right there. God tells us and shows us, it’s in the giving and the sacrificing. Our pastor mentioned that at church yesterday in the first message of the new year: to give. That reminder, along with the first movie I watched this year (“Second Act” – starring JLo and Leah Remini) Leah Remini says to JLo’s character, “No one likes a selfish girl!” I agree. The world around us isn’t inspired by selfishness. It is inspired by those willing to sacrifice.

I think for me this year, I want to take to heart all that Romans 12 lays before me and seek God like never before. I want to let Him blow the lid off of all that is holding me back, and I just want to give in private, unseen ways and also in big ways that shout “FREEDOM” to a world full of people looking to live their best lives.

Thank you for reading, and I pray this year brings you even closer to living the best life that God intended you to live.

With all my heart,

Sonia

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Thank you to Gina G. for this Bible she gave me in 2010!