Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Welcome 2017, how much awaited for you...

Getting ready for the final countdown...sorta...

During the last week, people were trying to find the best way to greet the new year, looking at local venues, finding the right attire, trying to fit in with the status quo. I know I fell into this trap myself, looking for a place for my boyfriend and myself to go and celebrate, ordering a dress for a formal event, booking a hair dresser to get my hair done and even contemplating on booking Uber.

" So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom"-Psalm 90:12

A change of plans and a change of attitude...

To my surprise, as I logged into my e-mail to print out my tickets to the event, the first e-mail that popped up was that of a cancelled event. The much awaited celebration had been cancelled. It was only three hours before the event would have taken place and we had no other place to go.  It was frustrating, another hard hit in 2016. We had already seen many issues during this year, a stream of celebrity deaths, much violence in the media, political turmoil and between my boyfriend and myself many challenges in our personal lives. He started the year at the worst way possible beating the odds, and I started the year stumbling to move forward.

Then it hit me, I could pout about it, or think of this as a hidden blessing to go do something else with my boyfriend. Granted, I wanted to make the last day of the year memorable and spectacular since the other 364 days were A-okay, good, fair or could have improved. But God's plans and timing showed that the original plan was not going to go through. As my boyfriend called  me to  explain that he would be running late, I explained what happened and he simply stated "let's just have a nice dinner, look for an available restaurant and lets just enjoy a romantic evening." 

A true Silent night, A true Calm evening...

It was a nice evening we both spent. Maybe that was God's plan all along, to have us go away from the chaos, the pessimism, the pressures of society and to just enjoy the last hours of 2016. We enjoyed Cuban food which was our first time trying it. We then moved on trying to attend a dance at some of the local places, but to our surprise there was a cover charge. We felt that we would prefer seeing a movie, we went to see "Sing," my boyfriend doesn't like animation movies. However, he was the one laughing throughout the whole film. The film ended and with a 1/2 hour left in 2016, we drove up to Mount Hamilton, picked a spot and saw the skyline for San Jose. From a distance we saw fireworks, the excitement of the city as it welcomed a new year. The whole evening felt different.
Carne con papas arroz con tostones. 
San Jose Skyline 

The truth about time...

For the last month all the world was talking about was the much anticipated arrival of 2017.  A year to start anew, new chances, new opportunities, new starts, and the end of a turbulent year.  The media has reported the most atrocious events to have taken place in the last decade, political turmoil, shooting, bombings, viruses, nature attacks, and a wave of celebrity deaths. Throughout 2016, each month we looked forward to the next month for better times and more positivism. Yet, with each passing month instead of focusing on better days and the little blessings, we continued comparing one tragedy to the next, one death to the next, and one scandal to the next.

" In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven" - Matthew 5:16 

We  forgot to live one day at a time and to do things in the now instead of waiting for next week, next month or next year.  We kept waiting for things to get better and only when we saw things get worse, kept pushing off the desires of our heart. Bucket lists were unfulfilled, vision boards were inconclusive, goals were broken and resolutions never met. We kept forgetting through the year that we don't need for a new year to start to launch or push forward on goals, dreams, projects or vision boards. We can start as soon as the thought crosses our mind. It had crossed my mind a while back to test out this Cuban restaurant with my boyfriend, it had crossed my mind to see the movie and it had crossed my boyfriends minds to see the skyline of San Jose at night again. This was a perfect opportunity for us to do things instead of talking about it.

We are into the first week of the new year. It is not surprising that the new year started on a weekend and the second day of the year was a Monday. It is all according to God's plan stopping us from putting excuses and falling into the safety net of  "I'll wait until next week to do..." or " I'll wait for Monday to start fresh on..." well the later is now. The time is now and the moment is now. We keep waiting for things to get better for the weather to get warmer to go for a walk, for the beginning of the year to sign up to a gym, for the beginning of the week to clean out a room or for a fresh week to start writing a book. The moment has come to start seizing the days and show more purpose than yesteryear...

We have 363 days now to do more things. We do not need to wait until next year to do what we have desired to do today. A day at a time a moment at a time, step by step, bit by bit. Things get done, with effort, prayer and drive. We don't need to focus on what could have been, let us focus on what will be. We don't need to rush at the end of the year to join the most glamorous party, we can simply have a nice dinner or go see a new  start with a beautiful view. Overall, let us not stop living life but start enjoying each memory we make.

And this has been my aha moment...

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Vulnerability the true act of bravery and courage

"We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians; our heart is wide open. You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted in your own affections. In return (I speak as to children) widen your hearts also"- 2 Corinthians 6: 11-13

Truth about Vulnerability...

The American Culture has taught me that to share deep and personal experiences is uncomfortable for the receiver, and seen as a sign of weakness, as someone not being able to hold a firm grip in life, being thin skinned and defenseless.

Vulnerability has always been seen as a sign of lacking stability, fragility, weakness, break-ability, and delicateness. Mainly the focus with vulnerability is on the weaknesses rather than the aftermath and regaining of strength.

I had to be very vulnerable this year, in many areas of my life which I did not want to reveal. It was challenging when it came down to speaking from the heart and speaking truth. It was overwhelming when speaking about emotions and speaking about matters of the heart. However, we all come to those crossroads in our life, where we can no longer hold back what we keep inside and when we need to start pouring out our heart whether talking to a sister, a mother or the man you've shared your time with.

Getting Real...

I did it, I let it out. I told my boyfriend how I felt. I pour out my heart I said the words that I have not said to another man in 10 years. I love you. Three simple words that carry so much weight of the world and so much emotion. Three simple words that are not so simple to say. Three words that can change the course of any relationship mother to children, children to parents, friends, and man to woman or woman to man. Three words that are challenging to say unless willing to be vulnerable and willing to show true raw emotion. My greatest weakness is showing emotion and my greatest fear was him breaking up with me. But I said these words with the conscience understanding that I might not hear these words back. I had no expectation of hearing it back and should not set one up (but as a woman, I was hoping that he would, which leads to still having an expectation). I faced my challenge and my fear. This was harder than payroll during a holiday week with OT and double time. This was harder than running a mile. This was harder than cooking in the kitchen with mom correcting my every move. This was harder than eating healthy for a solid 6 months.

It was much more different than what I had imagined. He called the following day, he got sweeter as the days passed and on my birthday, a big surprise. He knew I had been looking for over a year and even before I met him. He found it for me. A tea set, but this tea set was not like any other. He bought it from a lady that had originally bought it in London during World War II. This tea set was actually from the 1920's with a tea pot, creamer, sugar bowl, 6 tea cups with 6 saucers. It was the most thoughtful, meaningful and beautiful gift I had received in my life, it literally made me cry. Not so much because it is something I wanted but because he went the distance to get me something that would have meaning to me. What I learned this day, not everyone is ready to say I love you, but saying it first sets the stepping stones towards the journey of receiving more love and opens the door for the person to build the courage to say it.

The Tea pot and tea cup with saucer, part of the tea set.

" For my weakness becomes a portal to God's power"- 2 Corinthians 12:10

Weight off my Shoulders

I feel less restrained now than before I got vulnerable. Before I felt that I shouldn't say anything because I might make him feel uncomfortable. Or that it might put pressure on him. However, if I keep "feeling for him" and keep "thinking for him" doesn't that make it co-dependent? Yes it does. If I am co-dependent to what he needs to say, think or feel then when can I say, think or feel as I want? Well I can't because I am too busy carry the weight on my shoulders and this is where I needed to set a boundary. I need to feel for me, think for me, and do for me, for the rest I need to give to God and he will take control of the situation.  I need to be vulnerable to gain strength in the lord. To be vulnerable is to be courageous. To be guarded an susceptible is to faithless, and shows no trust that God is in control and that I trust God with his plans over my life. 

God is Vulnerable, he gave us his son... 

God has shown greatest vulnerability above all else. He gave up his son to save us all. He put faith on his son that his son would do right by him to save us. God has suffered the most losses throughout history. God has been the bravest when he showed his weakness, his children that have forsaken him time and time again . If God believe all will be well showing a bit of vulnerability why do we as human push to be so guarded and closed up? Beacuse we don't want to show how vulnerable we can really get, yet in our weakness we grown stronger. 

Be vulnerable, be brave

I'm learning to be more vulnerable and more brave each day. It takes time and it takes practice. It sometimes takes speaking out truth or speaking out inquiries that would otherwise go unanswered. Overall, being vulnerable is allowing me to be more faithful in God and trust his timing. 

and this has been my Aha moment... 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Mission Trip- The Internal Journey

Going on this trip did more than I expected. It has almost three weeks since we went on our journey and I am amazed on the many wonderful blessings the Lord provided. Among  those blessings was learning to appreciate the little things in life...

" And you will know the truth and the truth will set you free"-John 8:32

Wow you must be rich if you own a toothbrush" those are words I would have never thought would have been used to describe my financial situation. It literally opened my eyes on how much poverty there is within our our neighboring countries or even in our own neighborhoods. To hear these words out of a child's mouth left me leaving both convicted and ashamed. We were talking near the church that was being built. I was sweating and feeling drained, also feeling a little hungry. Some local children stopped by to say hello. I sat on the dirt road next to the van trying to get some shade, they sat next to me and just started a conversation. They asked where I was from, why I was there, if I had kids. I answered their questions then I started asking questions of my own, who they were, where they lived, if they wanted a granola bar. Of course they said yes, and I reached into my purse. The little boy (Angel) helped me and the little girl (Queen) waited patiently. As Angel helped he noticed a small container with a toothbrush, then he stated "wow you must be rich if you own a toothbrush!" I was shocked at his comment and I asked why he would say that, to which he replied " we can barely afford food we don't get candy unless visitors bring us candy and we don't have money for toothbrushes, that why I say you must be rich."

Angel, Queen and I making sad faces 

Here I was sharing with them a granola bar and here he is letting me know how much more I have than he does. I have a toothbrush, I can take care of my personal hygiene, and he can't. I felt embarrassed and unworthy of how God had blessed me  and in the meantime I had been walking blind waiting for larger miracles to happen. As we broke the granola bar in three parts, I felt that lump in my throat, my eyes watering and my lips trembling, I just wanted to pour on them everything they lacked, but I came to realize that I didn't feel sorry for them, I felt sorry for myself and for not realizing how blessed God had made me at this point on.

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."- Hebrews 13:5 

I lacked many things as a child, mainly my parents guidance towards God and towards being a good person. They weren't bad people, just too focused on trying to make ends-meet on a daily basis that they forgot to instill in us family values and the ability to be happy with what we had. As I have previously blogged, all we heard at home was lack of money and how to make more money, and I grew up thinking that I would be better off being rich, educated and away from my family.

What astonished me even more during this mission trip was that while I had more material than these kids, they had something that I had always wished I had, serenity, joy and happiness. Angel is a child riding his used and scrapped BMX bike. I never learned to ride a bike. He was playing and making memories with his little friend Queen. I grew up isolated and with younger siblings (Most of my school friends had grown in neighborhoods and I grew up next to highway 129). He was happy with what he had, I grew up unhappy feeling like I lacked things in life, and when I gained something I thought it was due to my efforts or my struggle. I never saw things granted to me as blessings from God. Indeed, they had far more than I expected. You can't buy happiness, joy or serenity.  I've lived in anxiety trying to plan my days, my years achieve goals, and they were literally living a day at a time. I was missing out on my days and the moments that can help me grow closer to God.

That was my Aha moment...

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Fundraising for Mission trip to Mexico!

Dear Friends and Family,

Greetings! I pray that this letter finds you and your family well.

On November 10, 2016, I will be departing on a mission trip to the poverty stricken parts of Tecate, Mexico near Tijuana for three days. Since October 1991, Baja Christian Ministries (BCM) has been serving the spiritual and physical needs of the poor through engaging short-term mission teams in Baja, Mexico. This Ministry provides opportunity for active first-hand service in churches and organizations throughout the United States, Mexico and worldwide. In just one weekend my team will experience an opportunity to share the gospel of Jesus Christ and build solid weather proof homes for needy families in these poor communities.
The trip is being funded entirely through donations and by those going on the mission trip. The cost of the trip is $680 per person and it covers all of the supplies to build the houses and to help evangelize. Fundraisers are being held by those going on the trip. Every penny collected will be used to directly benefit the families of Tijuana. Donations for the workers (i.e. gloves, safety, goggles, etc.) and/ or for the children and families in the neighborhood (clothing, candy, toys, etc.) are gladly accepted as well.
I am excited about the opportunity to serve and to minister, and I ask you to join me in ministry. I am seeking your support and prayers for this mission trip. I’m trying to pay 1/3 of the trip out of my own pocket and fundraise the other 2/3’s. My goal to fundraise is $400.00, so far I have fundraised 60% of my goal. If you are able to assist financially with this trip, I would ask that you forward any donation to me with the check or money order payable to “Martha Medina” and “Family Community Church.” In the memo section please write Mexico Mission Trip November 2016.  The address to mail in the donation is: 478 Piercy Road, San Jose, CA 95138.

Or you can contribute to my Go Funding me account at: 

I thank you in advance for your prayers and your financial support.
For more information, feel free to check out this link:

May God Bless you richly.


Martha “Matti” Medina

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Identity Part 3...

How I see myself now... compared to before...

Learning that people leave your life is hard. Learning that you are not who you use to be is a challenge. Sometimes people get stuck on who we were before some major change in our life.  It has been a challenge to move from who I was to who I am becoming. I know there are old friendships I wish would forgive my shortcomings, however the last impression I left was that, a lasting impression that pushed them away from me. Having dealt with my negative character defects has left me at a loss of those friendships. 

Part of the changes is breaking bad habits, overcoming the hurts and sub coming to the process of healing. Some of the hangups that I did not realize I had, include enabling people. To some extent I wanted to become that superhero that everyone can rely on to get answers, address concerns, have resources, provide support and networking. Little did i know that yes I can provide that but to some limitation, it is God who will provide all and not myself. This also includes learning to surrender so that other people don't rely on me but they can rely on God, otherwise I've enabled them to always count on me to solve their every day life issues. 

As I completed my second inventory at my second trial of this 12 step program, I came to realize that the reason I provided so much help and support was because in many points in my life I lacked the help and support I was seeking. I felt rejected, abandoned ,unworthy, ignored, overshadowed and invisible. Yet in the long run I came to see that I matter I have value, and I can still contribute without exhausting my being and as long as I set healthy boundaries with those around me from coworkers, family, friends, ministry, church and relationships. But the only being with whom I cannot and should not set a boundary is with God. Setting a boundary with God is like not wanting oxygen, and we need oxygen to breathe and live daily. 

My weakness can become my strength
Unfortunately, I cannot control how I behaved in the past nor erase the many mistakes that I have made. This inventory helped me to realize that while I know that I matter to God, I had not submitted myself completely to be used by God. What I did in the past has rippled consequences in my life. Not every consequence has taken place at the same time, but whenever I come to a challenge or obstacle in my life, there are triggers that hit specific memories of any wrongdoing I have done and then I realize that I need to brace myself because I might be in for a deep valley where I will need to rely more on God, not only for strength but for him to remind me of his grace and forgiveness. For this reason it is important to make amends not so much to help others clean their side of the street but more for our internal peace with who we are and who we are becoming in Christ. 

How I want to be remembered...
I know that I am not ready to die, nor do I know when this will happen but each day that I wake up is a new opportunity that God has granted me to fulfill the purpose that he has designed me for and to continue working on myself as well as helping others find hope and faith. 

It's interesting that I have never dreamed of a fantasy wedding, the birth of a child, the purchase of a home, the adoption of a pet or the passing of a loved one. However, I have always imagined what my funeral would be like, who will be involved, who will be notified, what songs will be played, what people will say about me, overall how I might have impacted those in my life. I know that not everyone will remember me in the best light or in the best memories. Some will forget about me, some will try to ignore and some will be very impacted on my passing. My hope is that when that time comes, that my life is seen as a lesson what can go wrong, can go right and that people understand that trying to be good and trying to do good are an every day constant battle that take place day after day, hour after hour, minute after minute. The battle of good and evil is more internal than what people expect or realize. It consists of doing good v. our own free will for our own benefit of each and every situation. That is what got Satan kicked out of the kingdom of heaven. Not willing to do God's will and trying to make his own will Godly, and make himself equal to God. When I leave this earth I want to be remember for having developed devotion to God, serving God, and embracing humility on a daily, not for wanting to be better than God as I did in my early adulthood. 

What I want to pass on to others...

Whether we are believer or non-believers, we all have purpose not only in our long term formation, but in our every day life. Our identity will continue to develop, form, change blossom and morph and both attract or push away people. However, bottom line is to always be connected to our higher power which will give us a place to belong, in heaven. While we are here, always give hope to the hopeless, plant a seed of faith to the faithless and grace to those who find themselves lost in the world. 

And this has been my Aha moment... 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Identity Part 2...

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations- Jeremiah 1:5

Our identity shapes daily, it is not a set of labels we get to wear for the rest of our lives. Some labels stick from the moment we are born to our death. Some linger for so long we start believing we are what the world says we are. Sometimes, some of the labels acquired come from our struggles we develop through difficult times.  When this happens, we tend to hold on to these struggles for so long because we have become conditioned to the circumstances in our lives. 


At some point in our lives, we tend to fall into a deep valley, it is so deep that eventually we give up on climbing back out. I know that is where I have found myself in the last couple of years. Falling into deep valleys of my life that I tend to stay there because I feel comfortable with those specific surroundings and the circumstances. The moment that the scenery changes I start to feel uncomfortable and questioning because things start to be unknown.

For the longest time I was comfortable just with an unhealthy relationship that was on and off for almost 7 years. At times it felt like I was single and at times I was doing more than expected to be in the relationship. Half the time I was being cheated on and I always turned a blind eye to the situation. The struggle in this was really big, especially since I had been with him for a long period of time. Every time that I would bring up something for discussion he threatened to leave me or told me that I would not find someone better in my life. That is when I would feel my weakest and would stay because I gave life to his words. Eventually the relationship ended, he had been dating someone for 6 months and told me a week after Valentine's Day. Of course I was crushed and I struggled with loyalty and faithfulness.  He identified me by my other struggle, codependent and that is what I was for the longest time, codependent of his approval, his will, his way disregarding myself throughout the whole time.

Who we want to be

When we forget who we want to be, we often forget what we wanted to do in our lives. Our identity is also composed of our hopes, dreams, goals, aspirations, inspirations, designed purpose, developing purpose, and our willingness to pursue our lives. Not one should outshine the other component of our lives, but very often expected one does outshine the other. I remember that for a long time, because of my work ethic, constant chaotic work places and never ending challenges, I was known to be a workaholic. Every conversation that I had was about work. But of course, why not? If I spent over 40+ hours at work, all I had to talk about is work. On weekends, getting together with my friends, the conversation always went back to work. The struggles, challenges, obstacles, lack of team work, big projects, future goals, etc. all work related. I was not doing other things that would help me grow as a person or my identity. Who I wanted to be was well rounded, who I was being was narrow tracked one lane driven. I didn't want to be the workaholic tied to the computer, checking e-mails on the phone and waking up in the middle of the night to send that last e-mail or thought to a deadline. I wanted to be the career woman, with a social life, inner peace and supportive network, that is who I wanted to be. 

Who we forget to be

Because we sometimes fall in submersion of our struggles and forget who we want to be, we also forget who and what we represent and who we should be. Who we should be is important in terms of our actions, our thoughts, our current and future decision and where we are rooted.

I attend a group on a monthly basis, organized by Christian women (the group does not exclude non-believers, if anything they are always welcome to attend). The group is called Women Rebuilding Women (WRW), their focus is to ignite the passion and dreams of women, by helping them create a healthy, supportive and safe community. During one of these meetings, we discussed the fruit of the spirit and how we are rooted. It was here that I had an epiphany. Sometimes, the fruit that we produce, is rooted from an unhealthy emotion, an emotion which can cause more harm than healing. I was rooted in arrogance and anxiety, where my actions would be done to get some recognition while fearing being rejected. I had forgotten to be authentic to who I was and to let God work on others instead of I working on others. In short, I was trying to do God's job.

I forgot that I was suppose to be me, and not an alternate version of God. I was not placed on this earth to replace him, I was placed on this earth to promote him, represent him and encourage others to find him. Who I am suppose to be is a child of god, seeking her purpose, reaching her dreams and goals but not at the cost if my identity nor taking God's identity. I'm to root myself in love and faith not in anxiety and arrogance, otherwise instead of being Godly and a good representation of a believer, I am being prideful and a representation of idolatry of my own image. 

And this has been my Aha moment... 

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Identity Part 1

My Value comes from God- 2 Corinthians 3:5

I didn't want to rush on this subject matter, it is something that we all struggle with daily. It is something that comes to mind on a regular basis and something that can affect us deeply with time. 

What is our identity? is it defined by society or by time? Is it defined by our culture or family? It is defined by social or economical status?  Our current marital status or lack of? By what we do or what our passion is? Who actually has a say in our identity? Do we have a say in our identity?

Long before I decided to walk (or crawl) with Jesus, I had a huge issue, I didn't know who I was. I always went along with how people described me, I let myself be identified by my surroundings and those who "knew me." But they only knew as much as I would tell them, therefore, my identity was a fraction of who I was overall. 

The dictionary states identity as "the distinguished character or personality of an individual, the condition of being one self"

Being one self is a conundrum on its own, looking into who we are and who we are meant to be can be a lifelong challenge when we don't know our our identity on our own by our own words and not from our public.  

How I use to see myself

I use to see myself as an ugly person. Not worthy of peoples time or effort. Why I saw myself this way was because I took in what others said about me:

-Not tall enough
-Not Mexican enough
-Not American enough
-Not thin enough
-Not pretty enough
-Not athletic enough
-Not smart enough
-Not professional enough
-Not cultured enough
-Not experienced enough
-Not talented enough
-Not Christian enough

The list just continued on what I lacked. There was always something that I seemed to lack that I did not have "enough" of. After so many years of trying to fulfill everyone's expectations and labels, I found myself at an identity crisis. I didn't know if I was Mexican- American or just Mexican. I didn't know if I liked purple or blue, I didn't know what style of music I liked or what my own style was. Trying to fulfill others needs and expectations of who I was and what they wanted me to be was tearing me apart inside, it was like wearing a mask daily. I as trying to be a good daughter, role model for my siblings, great student, grateful granddaughter, loyal friend, romantic woman, and professional career woman all in one. Eventually, someone is bound to feel disappointed on who we are versus who we want to be, but the disappointment shouldn't be for myself and especially not for God. 

Multiple hats on one head...

Part of our make as a person is having multiple roles to play. When we are born, we are just seen as a baby. After a couple of hours, we are someone's child, grandchild, niece or nephew and the list goes on with newly acquired labels. However, instead of taking each label as a blessing and part of our identity, at times we tend to limit our character, abilities, purpose, to one label or a couple of labels we want to apply in our life. I know that for the longest time in my family I was described as the first born or the chubby short one. Wearing these labels was a challenge for me because my sister got the labels of the pretty one and the thin one. It really took a huge toll on my confidence when the label placed on me was something I didn't want to represent but had been forced for the comfort of others. 

Accept one another ,then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God - Romans 15:7

Our identity is not bound by where we came from and who we know, it is bound and designed by God himself.  Part of our identity is our experiences and our background, while another part is not yet developed because we have not yet experienced what will help us develop our identity.

We tend to identify according to the worldly social standards because it makes the world comfortable to put us in a box. Yet for many of us, the box is too small or too limited to who we are and what we are really about. Truthfully I tell you this, as Christians we were never meant to fit in a box, we were meant to break the box and redefine the word identity in this world. 

I got to the point where I refused to wear labels that tie me to limited identity, I am more than what meets the eye and others are more than how they are defined. Through time our labels will continue to change, some labels are temporary and only last for a season of our life. Other labels last a bit longer but only because we allow these labels to have the longevity.  

Our identity continues to grow as long as we continue to grow as people, the moment we decide to stop growing we get stuck in a rut of who we are and what we are here for, or in general what our purpose is. 

And this has been my Aha Moment...