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Encouragement for Women Fight the Good Fight Run Your Race

Friday Feels

Happy Friday! The song at the very end of this post (PLEASE LISTEN, you won’t regret it) says, “You take what the enemy meant for evil and You turn it for good!” I don’t know about you, but already I am getting bombarded in my mind over anxious thoughts, and I haven’t even finished my coffee yet so I can’t just write today. I am going to walk you through a playlist that is playing in the background as I type. First up is “Symphony” by Switch because it 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.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_90_NAbv3k

Oof, those words right now hit the spot – the spot that is fixating way too much on the unknowns! Next up is “What If” by Blanca. The lyrics say, “What if You’re making me strong…what if I’m right where You want me.” Those are some better “What If” questions than what was going through my mind 🙂 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbVYIZ4nkX8

Then the lyrics change from the “what if’s” to “I know You’re making me strong! I know I’m right where You want me!” I can’t tell you how much I love that truth right now!

Next up is a new song that I heard on the radio while driving in the car, “Joyful” by Dante Bowe. This one has my heart smiling and chair dancing right now! “I got the joy, joy down to my heart, down to my heart, down to my heart…today TODAY!” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwvSKPOaQVg

And here’s the reason, the wonderful reason for hope in the midst of the Friday feels….this next song “The Reason” by Travis Cottrell says, “There’s a reason for this life inside me. One name above all names…Jesus, yes it’s Jesus!” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5i117hEAu5M

I hope you took the time to let those words wash over your heart and mind! I hope you let God sing over you just now through all these songs. My heart feels different then when I sat down and started this post, thank God. It’s the great exchange, exchanging all the junk for His truth. He loves us!

The Lord your God is with you, the Might Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17

With all my heart, Sonia

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Encouragement for Women Fight the Good Fight Run Your Race

Conflict Resolution

What are the 7 steps in conflict resolution? Here are seven-steps for an effective problem-solving process.

  1. Identify the issues. Be clear about what the problem is. …
  2. Understand everyone’s interests. …
  3. List the possible solutions (options) …
  4. Evaluate the options. …
  5. Select an option or options. …
  6. Document the agreement(s). …
  7. Agree on contingencies, monitoring, and evaluation.

Good morning! I just borrowed this list from https://www.mediate.com/articles/thicks.cfm I borrowed it from here because I will confess I am not great at conflict resolution yet. I am willing to admit that, and in the admission comes the realization that I do want to change this, and God, in His infinite wisdom, is giving me plenty of opportunities lately. The term “conflict resolution” is just strange to me: conflict? resolution? That’s like an oxymoron in my book, but I know it’s possible. One of the reasons I know this is because my husband models this for me all the time. For a long time I just thought this was a personality trait and that we are just different people, but I’ve come to learn a little bit more about myself this past year and know that I have some interesting ways of dealing with conflict.

I think first and foremost I need to remember that I have a voice, and that is the reality. The other fact I need to remember is that I have ears to hear, and I should listen. The next thing is that no matter what happens I can pray, I can let go & let God, and finally, I can choose to leave the outcome to Him. I need His wisdom for conflict – it just doesn’t come naturally to me so I need His beautiful supernatural strength that He promises is always available!

I just Googled, “How Did Jesus Deal With Conflict” and found this excerpt, “Responding to conflict with emotional maturity takes intentionality and practice. But as Christians, we can look to Jesus for guidance. Jesus did two key things when he was faced with conflict in the Bible: he stayed defined and connected.” You can read the whole article here, it’s really good: https://www.faithward.org/jesus-and-conflict/

So today, dear friends, my hope is that whatever conflict we find ourselves in WE STAY “DEFINED AND CONNECTED”. It is possible, with God all things are ❤ Stay blessed!

With all my heart, Sonia

P.S. I like to post one of the songs I listen to while writing and this one is so, so perfect for today. Nothing like Your Presence, Lord!

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Encouragement for Women Run Your Race

What Happened to Putting in the Work?

Yup. Pretty much!

Ok this is going to be a weird post, so let me just say that out of the gate here. Thank you D.C. for helping me with the title of this blog post. Lately I have been hearing stories of young ladies who want to marry a man that can take care of them financially (the words sugar daddy come to mind as I am typing this). There is nothing wrong with wanting to date someone who has goals and is responsible, but I am not sure about this whole expectation of a certain tax bracket! I heard a quote once that says something along the lines of, “Some women want to marry a general but aren’t willing for them to be soldiers first.” I think this is true.

I also know there are more than enough stories of men who were married during their rise in careers only to leave their wives for other women once they reached their success so I am not letting the guys off the hook here either, but I am really wondering what happened to couples putting in the work? What happened to growing together? Why are we an entitled society that expects the perfect insta-worthy house, car, job, spouse at the blink of an eye? How the heck did we get here?

Now, I do love a turn-key house like the next person, but there is something to be said about all those HGTV shows we all love so much that give us a glimpse of the process of building and show what it actually takes to make that beautiful reveal! Basically, I am writing about the “hard work” part of relationships or anything in life, really! Let’s not skip that part! Let’s not fast forward to the pinnacle without the glorious parts of putting in the work. It means so much more that way!

I guess that is what I am trying to say here, that good things take time. It doesn’t have to be perfect at the beginning. I met my husband when he was a full-time musician, and I was going through a Medical Assisting program. We had no idea how to handle our finances (we are still learning), and we had so many things we wanted to accomplish in life, but were nowhere near that when we met. I don’t even think we had a clue where life would take us, but thankfully we did it together. Thankfully we turned our lives to God in 2009 and grew into the fiercely passionate, persevering people we are today. Thankfully we didn’t side step the process to exchange each other for our “ideal” because we would have missed out on all this. Our marriage is so much more valuable because we are growing together, that is the beauty of putting the work in. My life with my husband is NEVER boring, I promise you that, and I love what God has done with our marriage. He has honored the work we have put in & continue to put in!

My prayer for all you singles (and maybe some of us married folk, as well) is that we set aside all our entitlement issues and put in the work, that we get some therapy, some accountability, humble ourselves and most importantly that we do not despise the small beginnings that God brings. We have got to start somewhere! Thank you for reading and sharing! Have a blessed rest of the week 🙂

With all my heart, Sonia

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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

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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!

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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

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Encouragement for Women Run Your Race

What’s Your “Brave” Today?

Good morning! It took me a few tries to come up with this title. I don’t know about you, but this week was interesting. Work has been busy, then the cooking, the cleaning, the phone calls – texts, etc. Life, this week, just seemed like it was on super fast forward. All that to say that it felt like so much and so little happened by the end of each day, but I’m thankful it is Friday 🙂

Last night I was talking with some friends, and we were discussing how we are in seasons where we feel God is highlighting things we do in relationships where we worry how we are perceived or if we aren’t going to be liked, accepted – basically, insecurities. Oooh those pesky insecurities! They can choke the very life out of you! Well, anyway the last six months I have felt like I’m on this fast track learning curve to let go of this old survival technique. Relationships are being reshaped, removed and realigned. It seems like I am confronted, on a pretty regular basis, with my own people pleasing tendencies. It has been a stronghold in my life in many more ways than I care to admit.

After my friends left Mario told me a conversation he’d just had on the phone with an old friend of his. His friend told him that someone he had known and considered his friend for 47 years sent him a text telling him to never contact him again because of his political beliefs because they were different from his on every level. The text was full of venom and Mario’s friend was shocked. I have heard of more and more friendships breaking up over vaccine status, political views, racial issues and all the hot topic buttons of the day. People literally hate each other right now. There is definitely an “us” and “them” mentality in every area. What happened to embracing differences, to agreeing to disagree?

Many fans of the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg would know that one of her close friends was her conservative colleague Antonin Scalia. Enjoy this article excerpt from the USA Today article, “Supreme friends: Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Anotnin Scalia“: “

Long before they became federal appeals court judges, Supreme Court justices, travel companions and New Year’s Eve celebrants together, Ruth Bader Ginsburg watched Antonin Scalia speak to the American Bar Association. As she would for decades to come, Ginsburg disagreed with Scalia’s thesis. But, she recalled in 2014, “he said it in an absolutely captivating way. “Thus did the two ideological opposites attract for what became from that day on a close friendship – one their families, friends and colleagues recalled affectionately after Scalia’s death at a Texas ranch in 2016 and again following Ginsburg’s death Friday on the eve of Rosh Hashanah. “What’s not to like?” Scalia said of Ginsburg at that joint appearance six years ago. “Except her views on the law.” Here’s the link to the whole fascinating account of their friendship if you want to check it out:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2020/09/20/supreme-friends-ruth-bader-ginsburg-and-antonin-scalia/5844533002/

I love that example of friendship in the here and now with that tension of disagreement. They didn’t back down from their beliefs even though they were obviously vastly different, but they liked each other. We are now a culture that screams diversity, but when presented with it we scream at and shame those who don’t agree with us. Okay, sorry, that’s another post for another day.

Getting back to the brave part….what’s your brave? Obviously Ruth and Antonin were brave in presenting their opposing views to each other personally and professionally. Stepping out in faith to take a stance or speak your view on something is a little scary for people (me) who have cared way too much about others opinions. I just want to share God’s truth and love NOW, and you know what…that might not be popular, but it will be BRAVE.

My prayer for you and me today is that we are brave and courageous in how we communicate who we are to the world. That’s loving God, loving yourself and loving others – speaking truth in love. The only opinion that truly matters at the end of the day is the One who made us, and He sees and knows. Hopefully we can be free in the brave today because He loves us. P.S. I put these songs because they go with the theme today. Please enjoy!

With all my heart, Sonia