Monday, July 18, 2011

Having it all

When I was growing up a popular mantra was, “You can have it all."  I always heard I could have it all as a woman: a career, a family, and a wonderful vacation filled life.  That is what I thought, and I believed. 
Well, in a perfect world where I could have it all, I would be the Last Comic Standing. (yes, really!)  Regardless of what my husband says about my comedic timing, I think I have great jokes.  I am sure that I can have a ton of laughs just based on my family!  I would be able to travel all around the country and my family and husband would love me so much that my absence would not matter.  The money I would send home would be enough to keep everyone happy, well adjusted and cared for.  Now, if only my mother in law would have given me that day off when they auditioned in Austin, life would be different!  Oooo that Suegra!

The mantra that you can have it all is a lie.  The truth is you cannot have it all, there are always consequences.  How many women have had successful careers but failed marriages and troubled relationships with their children?   How many women have a wonderful family life but are criticized for their choice to stay at home?

The actual Truth is, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” Philippians 4:13. However, the verses before this truth reveal something that I believe is too often over looked.  Philippians 4:11-12 "I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want."  Okay, I don’t know about you, but the verses I underlined just slap me in the face!  What?  Be content with whatever the circumstance.  Hey wait a minute; I am not the Last Comic Standing…. Is that ok?

The last week was rough.  I work part time, mother full time, and wife full time.  My job is not overly demanding, yet it is a job that has to be done to the best of my abilities.  However, I find that while trying to have it all, there are many things that go un-noticed, half done, or over-looked.  At the end of the day I think, if I had managed my time better, my house would be cleaner, all my emails answered, and dinner perfect with every food group.  The truth is that you can not have it all without doing something half way.

The secret is to be who you are supposed to be, what God calls you to be.  I think everyone has a place and purpose.  I can do all things with God who strengthens me, but I also need to recognize when I need to be content in the things God has provided for me. Then verses 6-7 come to mind, “6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  

 I love these verses because it gives me assurance that through prayer, I can ask for a change in situation; or I am given peace to accept the situation.   I find that chapter 4 in the book of Philippians has held me hostage for more than a week.  I find great comfort and conflict in these verses.  (The conflict is in my willingness to obey the directions to attaining contentment, and make it about me rather than about God.) I cannot have it all, I cannot be it all, and I am not good when I try to have it all.  I have to recognize my limitations and realize that God is the Almighty, the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. GOD gives me just what I need.  He gives me my needs, but not always my wants. When my needs are met, I can be content.  Now the trick is to keep my wants in check!


Sunday, July 10, 2011


The one certain thing in life is change; it is inevitable.  I have been thinking a lot about the evolution of friendships.  Here are my friendship categories: 

Category 1 Agape Friends:  Agape friends are the people I attended elementary school with.  Agape Christian school was the name of the school that I attended Pre-Kinder - 6th grade.  During that time there were approximately 18 of us, who lived, breathed, and were everything to each other.  There were no real outsiders.  We had all basically known each other from birth, and even though we had our tiffs, we were always united against the enemy. (The enemy being any teacher aide that did not treat us right, two come to mind!)  To this day, I can talk to any one of these friends, and it is if no time has passed and we still share a real love for one another. 

Category 2 Jr High and High School friends:  These friends share a common tragedy.  We lived through the worst school bus accident in the history of Texas.  It was September 21st and 21 students died.  Each one of us can remember where we were when we got the news of our fellow students dying.  We can remember the chaos and sadness of the days that followed.  As the graduating class of 1995, we may not have all been friends or for that matter even got along well, but we all were uniquely unified in shared grief, loss, and love.

Category 3 College Friends:  These are the friends I remember my mom saying are your "lifetime friends."  I am confident that I definitely have a few lifetime friends from college.  After all, how many people will you trust to take you out drinking on your 21st birthday? (Insert disclaimer here) I am not, nor have I ever been a huge drinker, but I did celebrate my 21st birthday with two and half drinks!  That is all it took before the word UP fascinated me for approximately an hour.  My college girls are the ones that were destine to help shape who I was going to be, and according to one of my roommates,"God sent me to you, to thaw your cold cold heart!"  That still makes me laugh.

Category 4  Church and Mommy friends:   These are friendships that I am still developing.  Friends that I share the commonality of our children being the same age.  Friends that share our Faith in Jesus.  Friends that are willing to let me play Bunco with them even if I can not count and talk at the same time.  These are friends that I hope will someday be the people I can count on to pray with me through my daughter's teenage years!

The thing about friendship is you grow up, and you grow apart.  Time passes and you realize it has been about a million years since you have talk to your "friend."  There are those that you can talk to and it is like no time has passed, and you can still share and laugh as though your time together was yesterday.  Then there are friends who you just loose contact with and when you talk, you realize that you don't know each other anymore. I think the key to lasting friendship is love.  I may not know you anymore, I may not know what you are doing every day, but I still love you.  I still think of you from time to time and remember the wonderful times we shared.  Change is inevitable, but love can last forever.

This weekend, we heard of a dear friend that passed away very unexpectedly.  He was a friend of my husband.  He was a groomsman in our wedding.  We have daughters the same age.  When I heard the news I cried; I mean, I broke down and cried.  It wasn't because I knew him well.  It isn't because his wife and I are close friends.  It is because the love found in sharing a brief moment of life together.  It is because he was one of my husband's best friends, and he was kind, caring, and a good friend to him.  Life changes, but love doesn't end. 

While crying this is the verse that came to me, "Jesus Wept" John 11:35.  To give a little context: Lazarus was dying and Mary and Martha, his sisters, had sent for Jesus to come and heal him.  Jesus did not come to their home until after Lazarus had died.  Jesus was greeted by Martha who told him that Lazarus was dead. 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”  After Martha said that she believed and took Jesus to the tomb where they had laid Lazarus to rest, that is when you read, "Jesus wept."  I read a commentary about this passage, it said how interesting it was that Jesus wept, knowing and having already said that Lazarus would rise and live again.  You see Lazarus was no stranger to Jesus, neither were Mary and Martha.  They were some of Jesus' dedicated followers and I would include friends.  While Jesus knew that Lazarus was dead, His love for him remained.  Jesus knew with the power of the holy spirit that Lazarus would live, but it still made His heart hurt.  Jesus' love remained.

Friendships they come and go.  People grow up, they grow apart, they move away, or they pass away BUT love is the only thing that doesn't change.  My husband and I often say,"God calls us to love one another," but how are we really loving one another?   It occurs to me, that sometimes love is not about the words, but it is equally about the actions.  "Jesus wept."  What a powerful statement of friendship and love.  Friendships don't have to be an every day all the time conversation.  However, they do have to have a genuine love for one another exemplified by the emotional support we give each other.  

Thank you for reading my blog.  I have so enjoyed writing this, and I hope you are enjoying reading it.  I am thinking my next career may be writing, so please don't hesitate to share with your friends if you like my message.  OR you can always become one of my Mindset followers!  Feedback is appreciated also!


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Prayer Impact

When I was a little girl, almost every Saturday night my family would go to visit “The Tias.”  (Tias is the Spanish word for Aunts.)  We had four that we visited regularly.  Three of them lived together and the fourth lived near by, and was usually with the other three.  My aunt Lulu, was the oldest of “The Tias” and my memory of her is simple.  Every year at Christmas, we had a tradition.  We would go to her house and she would measure me for my Christmas present, a nightgown.  She would make the nightgown in a traditional pioneer style, length to my ankles, neck covered, and long sleeves.   Then there was my sweet Aunt Ester.  She was ALWAYS in the kitchen and always ready with a snack and a smile.  My Aunt Millie was and still is very much the matriarch of her family.  She never married, and made it her personal responsibility to take care of everyone in her own special way.  Lastly, there is Aunt Angie, my personal favorite.  She is the baby sister to “The Tias” and to my grandmother.  I always saw her as being somewhat cool, after all, she drove a Monte Carlo and I was 10.  Nearly every Saturday when we would go to visit, my brother, sister and I would hide. (In the same spot every time!We would pretend that my parents had come to visit “The Tias” without us kids.  Every time we would jump out and every time they would act surprised. 

The point of my story is that besides all the fun memories of visiting my Tias, they played an important role in my life, and the life of my siblings.  My Tias always prayed for us.  I often think there have been few others who prayed for us as faithfully as they did.  They use to pray for all the kids of each family by name.  They were wonderful role models of prayer in action.  To this day, I cannot talk to my Aunt Angie without her breaking into prayer in the middle of the conversation.  She will be asking me how I am doing, and then she will trail off and sound something like this…..

“Aye Mijita, Lord be with you and bless you and give you his Armor of protection!  In His precious son Jesus’ name, Amen.” 

It was just last fall, when I realized what she was praying for me.

Ephesians 6: 11, 13-17

11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

I read these verses as a part of a Bible Study at church.  The study was Kay Arthur’s Covenant study.  This is by far the best study I have taken to date.  It gave more insight into the Lord’s love and commitment to His people than I had ever learned.  For years, my tias, specifically, my aunt Angie, had been praying this for me.  I am not sure that she even realized the impact of her simple prayer for me.  I could spend a whole blog just discussing these verses, and I may do that some day, but today, I am going to let them stand on their own with no explanation of the power found in them.

My thoughts are here today, because I have been considering different types of service to the Lord.  Today, I made a decision to follow a possible opportunity of service.  I am both excited and scared.  I am not sure if this is where the Lord wants me. However, I have a good feeling that it is; because, the moment that I made the call to discuss the service position, is also the moment that I felt inadequate.  I find that when the enemy attacks me, he is often disguised as me.  I began to question my capabilities, but the Lord brought me back here.   He reminded me that I am indeed cloaked with His Armor!

If this service opportunity works out, I will be sure to let you know what the Lord is doing in my heart.  This is just another step in my journey to be average in the world, but great in God.