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Encouragement for Women Fight the Good Fight Run Your Race Seasons

The Struggle

Yesterday Mario texted this to me, “That’s a sign of life. If you’re struggling it means you’re fighting for a reason. Dead fish float down stream.” I had texted him that I was struggling so much in my walk and where to go to church, struggling with enrolling in my final year of school (starting back up on June 28 – prayers appreciated), struggling with my hormones, struggling in friendships, struggling in my mental health. Struggling! So that reminder from my husband was perfect and timely.

Struggling is a sign of life. I am struggling against my old pattern of throwing in the towel and giving up when it gets too hard. Maybe you’ve got struggles too to which I say to you what Mario said to me, “That’s a sign of life!” Hang in there! Thankfully we can look to God’s Word for the fact that struggling is not unique to us!

Genesis 32: 24-30 24-25 But Jacob stayed behind by himself, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. When the man saw that he couldn’t get the best of Jacob as they wrestled, he deliberately threw Jacob’s hip out of joint.

26 The man said, “Let me go; it’s daybreak.”

Jacob said, “I’m not letting you go ’til you bless me.”

27 The man said, “What’s your name?”

He answered, “Jacob.”

28 The man said, “But no longer. Your name is no longer Jacob. From now on it’s Israel (God-Wrestler); you’ve wrestled with God and you’ve come through.”

29 Jacob asked, “And what’s your name?”

The man said, “Why do you want to know my name?” And then, right then and there, he blessed him.

30 Jacob named the place Peniel (God’s Face) because, he said, “I saw God face-to-face and lived to tell the story!”

Struggling, wrestling, reasoning….all part of the process. Don’t let the struggle scare you, let it encourage you (I am preaching to myself here too!). No pain, no gain! No sacrifice, no winning! No perseverance, no finish line! But think about the other side of these truths: Yes, pain – but all gain! Yes, sacrifice, then the win! Yes, perseverance..then the glorious finish line! Thankfully we get the choice and thankfully we have a faithful God who knows our struggles and gives strength where we are weak!

2 Corinthians 12:9-11 NASB And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast [a]about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 Therefore I delight in weaknesses, in [b]insults, in distresses, in persecutions, in difficulties, in behalf of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

With all my heart, Sonia

Categories
Encouragement for Women Seasons

The “DIS” and the “UN”

Nothing like a fresh color to fight discouragement too 🙂

Let me start out this Friday post with words that start with “DIS”: discourage, disorder distract, disappear, dissimilar, disadvantage. Now let’s look at words that start with “UN”: unwell, unhappy, ungrateful, untrained, unwilling.

Looks like these aren’t great prefixes: ‘dis’ means apart and ‘un’ means not! Ok, why the word lesson for us today, right?! I think it’s because I’ve had the word “discouraged” rolling around in my head since yesterday. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful over many, many things, but I’ve been battling discouragement. Maybe you have too!

I’ll just be honest here and list a few of my discouragements (in no particular order): estranged relationships, finances, weight, school, work, hormones, writing (I love it, I’m doing it right now!! It can be discouraging to find time not to mention the feeling that you’re just not a good enough writer & it’s just a waste to put all the time and effort in). Do you see it, the theme, the “dis/un” life going on right now!

So what do we do with this when there is SO much to be thankful for? How do we battle the world and our own minds that tries to keep our focus on the negative?

We can turn to His Word, I promise, we can. I just did to help me write this for my heart and yours and found this verse when I typed in HOPE:

Psalm 61:2-5 The Message

God, listen to me shout,
bend an ear to my prayer.
When I’m far from anywhere,
down to my last gasp,
I call out, “Guide me up High Rock Mountain!” You’ve always given me breathing room, a place to get away from it all,
A lifetime pass to your safe-house, an open invitation as your guest. You’ve always taken me seriously, God, made me welcome among those who know and love you.

We can turn to worship (thank you A.D. for sharing this a while back): https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Iooys8xC3QA

We can turn to Him in prayer, anytime – anywhere. It can be a simple, “I need You, Lord!”

You can text/call that friend, those friends, you know those ones that will pray for you at a moments notice!

Bottom line is we have a way out of it, a way into hope, a shift of focus that God gives us. It’s also okay to be patient with yourself if the discouragement is deep and long. God knows!

I just wanted you to know for this “before weekend read” that it’s okay to be discouraged and to be un- whatever because the truth of this hope we find in Jesus is truly unending and that is an “UN” that changes everything. Have a beautiful weekend full of hope. With all my heart, Sonia

Categories
Encouragement for Women Fight the Good Fight Run Your Race

I Got Final Jeopardy Right Last Night!

This is going to be a short post because I have two blog posts I have already written that say pretty exactly what’s on my heart this morning so I will put those links in this post. Last night I was on the elliptical machine while watching Jeopardy. Mario and I like to make it a game between each other and keep score over how many we each get right (no, we are not competitive LOL!). I was doing well because there were some categories with words, and I love language and words. So final jeopardy last night was, “German settlers in Texas called this animal “panzerschwein.” To which I yelled out. “ARMADILLO!” (For all you Jeopardy connoisseurs, I know I should have said, “What is armadillo!) Well, I was right. I knew something about armadillos since I had written a blog post in 2016 referencing the panzerschwein: https://john4four.com/2016/08/22/yes-this-post-is-about-armadillos/

After my triumphant Jeopardy win (wink wink), Mario and I took our dog, Fiona, for a night stroll. During that walk Mario was being funny about the word, “panzerschwein” using it in all sorts of ways. He had me cracking up, but this word got me thinking. Anytime God has brought to mind the armadillo it means something in my life. You can read about it in the post above. I told Mario, “God is prepping me not to self-protect. He is giving me a heads up to be brave about something.” So I told him that the panzerschwein/armadillo was going to be the title of my post today. I had it all mapped out in my mind, what I would write about, but it took a different direction this morning.

I opened up my phone and read more about the Palestinian/Isreali conflict and basically how Israel is being painted as the bad guy here and, listen, I have been to Israel and felt the tension in the air on the Temple Mount. I know that deep rooted bitterness and conflict exists not just on one side, but as I read more this morning it became apparent that the media is trying to paint one side as the villain and the other as victim. Seriously!? The one thing I don’t want to get caught up in though is the intense emotional reactions that the media are counting on. It just divides us further! So it got me thinking about another post I wrote about being misunderstood/misrepresented: https://john4four.com/2018/07/31/do-you-need-a-lawyer/

My prayer for those being misrepresented in the media, in that relationship, in your workplace, in the financial situation, in your marriage, in your church, in the most difficult places in your life is that you focus on the fight, not on the rhetoric. Ask God, “How do I fight this?” and “How do I respond?” The One with the answer is THE ANSWER. Jesus is the only one in the history of the world who endured all the misrepresentation that humanity could throw at Him, and He still got it right. He was fighting the good fight. Let’s not lose sight of Him in our fight! I am praying for Israel, those affected on both sides and for all of us fighting our own hidden battles.

No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. 2 Timothy 2:4

Thank you for reading today! I know you have lots of screen time these days so it is a blessing when I read comments and get feedback. You bless me! With all my heart, Sonia

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Encouragement for Women Run Your Race

Are You a Fighter?

Here we go, Tuesday! Right now I have this song playing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpuUlPfx0Ow I am doing my very best not to throw this laptop off my lap, leap off the couch and twirl around the living singing, “This is how I fight my battles!” I am praying that these words bless you today as you battle whatever is going on in your life.

Little secret, or maybe not so secret for those of you who know me, I am in therapy. I meet every two weeks with a counselor for lots of reasons, and it has helped me in ways I am probably not even aware of. My therapist is a Christian counselor and before you start judging the qualifications because of the Christian aspect, I must tell you that this counselor is a Doctor of Psychology – and a great one, at that! I am thankful for the balanced approach for my therapy.

So last week I had an appointment (even though I wanted to cancel – this usually happens when something good is coming my way, like a breakthrough or something) and mentioned a big issue I am dealing with. This issue literally makes my blood boil. I feel like I need to come out swinging on this one, and during my appointment I said something like, “Well, God didn’t make me a fighter for nothing.” To which my doctor replied, “Well, actually God does the fighting for you.” I stayed quiet. I mean, I know that God fights for me. There are verses all over the Bible that talk about how He defends, protects and fights seen and unseen battles on our behalf, but I don’t think I have settled into the fact that just because I see myself as a fighter doesn’t mean that I truly understand what that really, REALLY means.

As I was typing that last sentence in the previous paragraph I had these verses pop in my head from Joshua chapter 5:

13 And then this, while Joshua was there near Jericho: He looked up and saw right in front of him a man standing, holding his drawn sword. Joshua stepped up to him and said, “Whose side are you on—ours or our enemies’?”

14 He said, “Neither. I’m commander of God’s army. I’ve just arrived.” Joshua fell, face to the ground, and worshiped. He asked, “What orders does my Master have for his servant?”

You can study more about the meaning behind these verses here: https://www.bible-studys.org/Bible%20Books/Joshua/Joshua%20Chapter%205.html

I honed in on this excerpt from the link above: “Christians want to marshal God’s allegiance for their cause, when they should simply submit and follow wherever He leads. Once Joshua understood this, he fell “on his face” in worship.” (emphasis mine).

I heard someone in prayer recently say, “God works both sides,” and I took that to mean that He sees everything, not just my side or their side. He sees it all and can judge rightly. He fights for us based on truth. We sometimes (maybe even most times) fight for our cause, our rights, our egos, our agenda. When we look at the way Joshua responded it is apparent that he is a born warrior for God’s kingdom, prepared for battle, but He had to do it God’s way and that started with worship.

How do you worship when you are “seeing red” over something, your adrenaline is just pumping and you are primed for a fight? How do you worship then? I am seriously asking here. I guess we have to define worship first, right!? I just typed it into my search engine here and found these words that made sense to me from worshipdeeper.com :

Put simply, worship is declaring the greatness of someone or something. It is the act of giving up your own glory to make sure everyone knows that the thing being worshiped is pretty awesome. To put it even more succinctly, worship is bowing down to lift up.

For me today, I guess it comes down to shifting my focus, quieting my mind, breathing, taking time to allow the heat of the moment to pass and to look to the greatness of God instead of the issue at hand. I know I am a like Joshua in that I don’t back down from a fight, but I want to also be like Joshua in that I will worship before taking one more step! (I also want to put the disclaimer in here that I am not talking about when you are in physical danger – when you are being threatened with bodily arm, fight, my sister, fight! What I am talking about in this case are those issues that come up in work, friendships, family junk, rude customer service people, wacky church things, etc.).

That’s all the time I have for today. I put this song here for us because the lyrics for the chorus are, “I’m gonna see a victory. I’m gonna see a victory for the battle belongs to You, Lord!” And yes, it does. Stay victorious, my friend. I am singing right there with you!

With all my heart, Sonia

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Encouragement for Women Run Your Race Seasons

Saturday Brunch & The Funny Thing About Surrender

Here we are, first day of the week, and it’s tax day. Let’s breathe! Whatever this week holds, we know God is already there. I’ve got about half an hour to write so we are off to a good start. I have my Peets pour-over coffee in my “Rise & Shine” mug and am wearing my favorite oversized morning sweater with the softest Target leggings ever, so yeah, I’m feelin’ good. I hope whatever you are doing right now, you take comfort in the simple blessings God has provided. Sometimes that’s all it takes to surrender a bad attitude or a case of the Monday blues.

My daughter has been in New York for the last month and a half with her wife and her wife’s family and just got back this past Friday so to say I missed her is an understatement! She is 28, and I am beyond blessed that she likes to spend time with her parents 🙂 So Mario was working this past Saturday, and we took that opportunity for some long overdue mother-daughter time. I dropped Mario off at work while Gabbie looked for a nearby Saturday morning brunch spot (you just gotta love Yelp these days!). We went to a wonderful cafe with plenty of seating and delicious food.

We started catching up and talking about some of the “drama” the last few months, and I brought up the word “surrender.” I explained that the “drama situation” had me thinking about surrender, and how it is a process. I can’t will it to happen. I can’t just wave a spiritual wand over it, and it will disappear. I have to go through this process of the ebb and flow of the emotions, the reasonings, the questions and the dialogue with God over it. The grip this has had on my emotions is starting to lessen, and I am seeing something else in play: the fact that God does wants us to truly let go and let God in these hard places we face.

I don’t think there is a standard formula for each person, but I do believe that there is a process. There is a point of surrender when you are just tired. It’s the point where you are done with holding it up and hanging on too tight. It’s the point where you “hand it over to God” and say, “Take it please!” It’s at that moment that it’s not about ‘us’ anymore or ‘them’. It’s about the fact that it was weighing us down, and we need to lay it down. And please, please know I know it is not easy to lay down the bitterness, the misunderstanding, the broken heart, the unrequited love, the loss of job, the estranged family relationship, the dream that never came true, the battered reputation, the infertility, the financial mess, the boring job, the shattered friendship, all the heartache but lay it down, we must.

“Laying it down” may look different in your life than mine. In mine right now, it looks like speaking less about the drama and not fixating on figuring it out. It also looks like a change of focus, my mind/my thoughts about it/them are changing. I am softer when I talk about it, gentler when I think about it. The hardness around my heart that felt like it would never go away has given way to a gentleness that shocks me.

The funny thing is that surrender then looks like freedom when before it looked like defeat. Surrender ushers in the beautiful knowledge that it’s not up to you, that there is a bigger plan, but that the plan is no longer your focus. Your focus now is the One who led you through that heartbreak and loss. You follow Him. You let Him lead because once again, He proved Himself faithful with your surrender process.

I was so thankful to God that I could talk this through with Gabbie. I could be honest and share that this process is necessary, hard but good. Like the saying goes, “The struggle is real, but so is God.” As we finished up our delicious meal I told her that that’s why I reposted the “Mansions” blog post I had written 5 years ago because this process of surrender had me looking up once again, knowing there’s more to all this than meets the eye. His will, His plan, His way. SURRENDER. What do you need to surrender?

My prayer for us this week is that we lay it down, but if surrender seems impossible for whatever is concerning you, I just pray a whisper of willingness for you. It can be a whisper, He will hear you.

Thank you for reading! Have a blessed week. With all my heart, Sonia

P.S. Please enjoy this song by Blanca! So so soooo good!

Categories
Encouragement for Women Seasons

Mansions

Happy Friday! We made it! I have to tell you I had a rough night of sleep, could be peri-menopause, could be that I was hungry, could be all the things I was thinking about, but it was probably a combo of all those things. So instead of writing a new blog post and risk it being completely incoherent, I wanted to re-share my blog post from five years ago because this movie scene above has been playing through my head again so please take in this reminder that there’s more to life than meets the eye! Have a blessed weekend too. Thank you for reading this week. I hope it blesses you too ❤   With all my heart, Sonia

There’s this movie, The Holiday, that has a scene in it where Kate Winslet’s character, Iris, sees the house in L.A. that she’ll be staying in for her Christmas holiday. She is a woman who lives in a small, simple cottage in England so this place was a far cry from anything she’d ever lived in. Now, I don’t recommend the movie unless you love RomCom’s like I do, but this scene has something in it that hints at something I read in John 14:2.

Jesus says: “In My Father’s house are many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” John 14:2

I don’t about you but I know I don’t live like I  remember that truth every day, AND I SHOULD! We should! I’m going to let you in on an ugly secret…I hardly ever think about that wonderful truth about our destiny. I did when I first became a Christian seven years ago. Wow, did I think about it then. That was one of the things that I kept right at the forefront of my thinking, the reality that this world – what we see and live in now – isn’t it, and that Jesus is preparing that place for us.

So I’ve had a couple of rough weeks – some things in my control, others not so much. Things have been pressing in, and I have been reacting badly. It seems like all I’ve been doing is blowing it and then saying, “Sorry, God, I did ______ again!”

Here are some excerpts from yesterday’s journal entry:

Saturday, October 15th 8:35am “I’m sorry. I’m still in a rut. I can’t see my way out. You see me. What’s the answer? Where’s the way out? How long will it be like this? Is this really Your will, God? Let me still cling to You. I can’t feel You anymore, and I’m drowning.” 

Quite the “woe is me” journal excerpt, I know. But I also want you to know, it’s not always like this. This walk with Jesus has all kinds of days and seasons. I had bad days/seasons when I wasn’t a Jesus freak so why wouldn’t I have them now? I know God has been trying to get me to stop looking in so much and start looking out, to Him, others, the future, heaven, and maybe that’s why at 5am I had this scene playing in my mind from a movie that has nothing to do with anything really spiritual. I do love the song though. The whole soundtrack is really amazing. It’s Hans Zimmer, so of course!

God woke me up with this movie scene playing in my head as if to say, “It’s going to be better than that!”  Better than we could ever imagine here on earth with our limited perspective and no matter the troubles, the days, the emotions, the dangers, the enemies or “frenemies”, failures, woes, the steps backwards, the highs or lows, HE IS PREPARING A PLACE FOR US. Here’s another verse that just jumped out to me just now to tie up this early Sunday morning blog post:

But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9

The challenge: Live like a woman who believes what God says and looks forward with hope in her heart that she will dwell in a perfect mansion in His house.

It’s all about You, Jesus.

Have a blessed Sunday, Everyone. I hope we worship like never before today!

Love, Sonia

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Encouragement for Women

Thursday’s News

I’m sitting her with my laptop open and listening to this song right now because I have to (thank you for sharing this, NT): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GQlJbUd_LE

I was talking on the phone last night with a friend to see how she’s doing during a very stressful week, and we were catching up. We talked a little bit about this blog too. I shared my process – that I really don’t know exactly what I am going to write, but I get an idea for a topic or theme. My goal is to be honest with what I am going through, put the saving grace of Jesus on blast for those who haven’t yet listened to the Good News and to encourage all the saints to hang in there!

Today it is hard to write because I opened up the news on my phone and read what’s going on in Israel. It’s hard to think any of my struggles and issues are anything in comparison to what is going on over there because they’re not. You cannot compare – that is terrifying what is happening in the Gaza Strip! These are the times when I think my “little troubles” are less important to God. Sometimes we don’t just compare the good things in life, we also compare struggles and think ours are less then. Don’t get my wrong, I do think we all have to have a healthy balance of “bigger picture thinking” so we don’t fall into the trap of being self-focused, but I also believe that God knows everything about us and thinks all those things are important too.

He has an infinite supply of care and concern for us. He doesn’t just use it up on catastrophes or those we think have bigger problems, or believers we think are better behaved. His goodness runs after all of us – like the song says! That’s how I am going to end this out today. We are loved, and His goodness is for us in every single detail that concerns us. And because He is concerned for us and surrounds us (Psalm 32:7) we can go through this day not gripped by fear and anxiety. We are freed up to pray for others. I know, for me, I am going to be praying for Israel today and for all of us facing private battles that we may or may not ever talk about.

I am also posting a photo from our trip to Israel about five years ago and a video of me from that trip when I just broke out in song in a church with the most exquisite acoustics ever – just couldn’t help myself LOL 🙂

Thanks for reading today! With all my heart, Sonia

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Encouragement for Women Puerto Rico Run Your Race

JLo and “Againiffer”?

“Monster In Law” Premiere (Stock Editorial Photography)

Happy Wednesday, friends. How’s your week so far? Mine’s alright – lots of things swirling around in my brain already, some great and some not so great, but overall this is the them today: HURT. I am Christian. I became a Christian almost eleven years ago. So when I am thinking about how I processed being hurt before I became I Christian, I just remember never dealing with it. I just walked around with the open wounds in my life and my choices led to adding to my pain. I was living my life just trying to survive and functioning out of a constant myriad of pain. Back then, the pain turned into hardness and numbness. I became more and more cynical, more self- sufficient, more unforgiving, more controlling, more selfish and more and more closed off to true relationships. That’s what survival meant for me then. The hurts of unattended heartbreak made me an untrusting woman and eventually led to immense control issues.

I know…this is a heavy topic for a Wednesday morning, but I was reading the news last night and came across the latest headlines about JLo and how she is now with Ben Affleck. I understand that this might be a publicity stunt or something fabricated like that (putting this in here for my husband who constantly reminds me not to believe everything I read in the news – I get it LOL), but just the fact that she has been married three times, engaged four times and has had numerous boyfriends, leads me to believe this former Fly Girl is looking for love in all the wrong places. Seriously, she just got out of a long term relationship with ARod and now she’s with Ben, and it’s “Againiffer”?! She seems like the woman at the well in the Bible in John chapter 4, doesn’t she? (You can read the story here: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John%204%3A1-26&version=NIV).

No judgment here, I promise! I can relate – obviously – my blog’s title should clue you in that I know a thing or two about searching for love and ending up hurt until you find yourself at a well under the scorching sun, filled with shame. So, what I have learned about “hurt” since becoming a Christian? Well, the biggest thing I’ve learned is that there is actual healing that leads to wholeness. There really is, but there’s one catch, and the catch is you have to be willing to admit the hurt and surrender it. I totally get that surrender is a complicated term, especially nowadays, but it is true.

I am in a season where deep hurt is a very present reality – just when I think I have forgotten about it, I am struck with a memory or see a photo or something pops up on social media, and I remember…oh yeah, that’s right -there’s the pain. I got hurt, very badly. Thankfully that’s not the end of this blog post. The very amazing thing about being a Christian is that healing is possible – true healing, not like the little instagram quotes that you read one minute and forget the next. My healing process means that I am honest with God about what I am feeling. I journal about it. I am in therapy over it. I talk about it with my husband and only a few trusted friends (if and when I need a sounding board so I don’t toilet paper anyone’s house). I look to God’s Word over it, and most of all these days, I have hope in it. Hope that God will change me more into the whole version of the Sonia that He created. I already see glimpses of this wholeness. Even though the sting of it will pop up, the solidness that is anchoring me to the truth and love of God is indescribable. I just don’t have words for that part of it. I wish I did. I wish I could tell you what this new found strength and trust in the Lord feels like and looks like, but I will say this: you have to be in it to know it, and I invite you – if have never experienced the healing power of Jesus Christ accept it today. Accept Him today! If you want prayer over this just send me an email: sonialvsJesus@gmail.com, and I promise I will pray (and probably cry) with you.

So to all you former or current FlyGirls, Jesus is standing there at whatever old well (or boyfriend) you are staring at, and He is saying “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.” (John 4:26 NIV) I pray you don’t miss the opportunity of a lifetime for the healing of all that hurt.

With all my heart, Sonia

P.S. I put the salsa version of “The Blessing” song here since we are all about the Latinas today with JLo & all. Please enjoy and give yourself some room to dance!

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Encouragement for Women Run Your Race

It Didn’t Go My Way

Happy Tuesday! I hope you all had a beautiful time celebrating Mother’s Day this past weekend, but if it is a hard holiday for you, I pray you had peace and comfort! As we all know, holidays can be, well, in a word…COMPLICATED. I am going to share a little bit about our Sunday’s family Mother’s Day dinner. First of all, for those of you who don’t know, we have a 28 year old daughter – she’s my only child. She has been in New York for the past months so she was not in town to celebrate with me which already made it not as great as it could have been, but I get it – she’s 28 (I promise, Gabbs, it is fine!).

My dad had texted me during the week and asked if my husband and I would join him, my mom and my sister at a restaurant in San Marcos at 3pm. 3pm on a Sunday can be tough – the strong urge to just lay on the couch usually hits me around that very time! But of course, I said yes so Sunday afternoon around 2:30ish Mario and I got ready to head out the door, and we made it to the restaurant at 3:03pm. My dad is a retired Marine, needless to say, he’s a stickler for time so I thought we were late. We walked into the restaurant and said we had reservations at 3pm. I gave the hostess my mom’s name and my dad’s name. She checked her list and said that there weren’t any reservation with those names. I then had the sinking suspicion that they hadn’t made reservations. My parents had still not arrived by this time so I called my dad, and when he answered he said they were on their way. I explained we didn’t have reservations, and they weren’t taking walk in’s. My parents had me on speaker phone so they were both talking, trying to figure it out. My dad asked if I had any ideas. And I said, “On Mother’s Day?! No – we probably won’t get in anywhere without a reservation!” To say I was irritated is an understatement. I am not proud to confess here that I am a 47 year old woman, and I basically had a full-on tempter tantrum. In the interest of your time and mine, I will spare you all the reasons why my reaction went from zero to sixty but, yeah, it’s historical.

I was all but ready to just hand my mom her card and flowers in the parking lot and head home. You may be thinking this is an excessive response, and I would agree with you. Believe me when I say I am cringing as I am typing this. Mario saved the day with calling another restaurant down the road that could seat us in 25 minutes – so off we went while I was sulking in the car. When we finally got seated my mom said that when we get to be their age we will understand (the oversight of not making reservations). At this point I was a little less aggravated, and we ordered drinks and our food and had the most amazing time.

It was one of those meals that had everything in it – stories, funny FUNNY stories, love, memories, my dad’s non-PC jokes, updates on life, etc. It was special, and my mom even apologized for something years ago. It hit me that I would have missed out on this all because it wasn’t going my way. I would have forfeited this special time if I told Mario to just take me home. I would have walked away from a beautiful opportunity with my family all because of this 16 year old version of myself that sometimes tries to rear her ugly head and navigate my disappointments. It didn’t go my way that day, and I am glad it didn’t. It was better, way better!

I guess the takeaway/theme for today’s blog are the questions, “What Isn’t Going Your Way?” and “How Will You Respond?” Take a moment to think about, pray about and be about responding differently. Breathe, listen, and press in to the uncomfortable new normal of not letting your emotions dictate what your response will be. Bottom line: DON’T MISS OUT ON WHAT GOD HAS FOR YOU! I promise it will be better than you could imagine. (Also read Ephesians 4:32 about being kind and tender-hearted – it will hit you right in the heart in the very best way).

And to my parents, I love you so much. Thank you for being you.

With all my heart, Sonia

Categories
Encouragement for Women

A Monday Share

Happy Monday! I just read a devotional right now from Our Daily Bread and because the verse referenced is my life verse AND because it’s a beautiful reminder for the week ahead, I am sharing it here. Let His love sing over you today. Let’s tune our ears to His voice singing love and speaking truth over us. Have a blessed day, friends! Tomorrow I have a Mother’s Day story to share with you so stay tuned 🙂

With all my heart, Sonia

Here’s the devotional:

He will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17

A young father held his baby boy in his arms, singing to him and rocking him in soothing rhythm. The baby was hearing-impaired, unable to hear the melody or the words. Yet the father sang anyway, in a beautiful, tender act of love toward his son. And his efforts were rewarded with a delightful smile from his little boy. 

The imagery of the father-son exchange bears a striking resemblance to the words of Zephaniah. The Old Testament prophet says that God will joyfully sing over His daughter, the people of Jerusalem (Zephaniah 3:17). God enjoys doing good things for His beloved people, such as taking away their punishment and turning back their enemies (v. 15). Zephaniah says they no longer have any reason for fear and instead have cause for rejoicing.

We, as God’s children redeemed by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, sometimes are hard of hearing—unable, or perhaps unwilling, to tune our ears to the exuberant love God sings over us. His adoration of us is like that of the young father, who lovingly sang to his son despite his inability to hear. He has taken away our punishment too, giving us further reason to rejoice. Perhaps we might try to listen more closely to hear the joy ringing loudly in His voice. Father, help us to hear Your loving melody and savor being held safely in Your arms.

By:  Kirsten Holmberg