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.

Regards,

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. 

Struggles

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... 

Friday, June 24, 2016

Success and Failure, which is worse? Or are they about the same?


1 Samuel 18:14 " And David had success in all his undertakings,  for the Lord was with him" 

One of the most challenging parts of life, is learning to deal with success and failure. Learning to accept that success and failure test faith and character, especially with an alert audience, but most importantly with God that is present at all times day and night.

Writing this blog entry was somewhat stressful. Not sure if I will succeed or fail, because I wanted to deliver a powerful and useful message to many who struggle with their past and current success or past and current failures. Somehow, instead of being able to rejoice in our success, there are times we face envy and jealousy, and instead of accepting failure we face humiliation and damnation from our public, and we tend to forget about our reliance on God. Therefore, if you get anything out of this entry, remember that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13), and all things include success and failure.  

The most challenging part of success is retaining the humility that once drove a person to their goals and desires. With success, it is difficult to stay grounded and to remember that the same way one goes up can easily come back down, and can go crashing down deeper than before. Success drives people further into their personal goals and ambitions, and away from the familiar and comfort. Eventually success can develop a mentality of "no one matches me" syndrome, where the success is being celebrated alone, and it gets really lonely and quiet when the wealth is not being shared.

Feeling like failure is always tying me down
The most challenging part of failure is releasing the insecurity that can break one's character, and falling away from the success spectrum, as well as obtaining the desire and drive that once fueled the fire of success. Trying to ignite that fire is a challenge and one only hopes that the embers which remain may rekindle the soul. Failure ties a person down to the ground, disabling the ability to stand back up and try again, with failure a person feels defeated, weak alone and away from God's grace, because failure has mastered the person's ability and hope.

A challenge of  character... 

Success and failure have some things in common, they test our faith, our hope, our drive. Both can make or break a person,  success and failure can either drive someone to accept God's blessings and glory with humility, or deny their circumstances with wrath and resentment. Success and failure can impact our character flaws and the people that surround us. The challenge is not success or failure itself, it is learning to walk in balance with both. It's like a pendulum, swing too far to one side, and all of a sudden the feeling of power and might take place like being on an altar, swing too far to the other side, and suddenly one may be laying on the floor face down eating dirt. It takes strong character to remember to be proud but not arrogant and be humble but not shameful, and to trust in God and his will of why things don't work out or, work out extremely well that it might be a challenge to share the blessing because we want to remain humble and like-able.

Successful? Me? All the time! Well not really...

I had never really thought of myself as a successful person, I was told that I was a success, at first it was a challenge for me to accept it. I didn't want to accept it because I was wounded in the past from other fears and rejections and feared not knowing how to handle  my own success, I feared my own wrath. I was afraid that I was not pretty enough or attractive enough, and was also afraid of being too successful and what success could truly do to me, corrupt me, make me vain or selfish. Sure enough my fear was confirmed, with each goal attained, I felt invincible, and with each recognition and award collected I felt superior. My humility was gone and my ego had taken a drive on the fast lane to self satisfaction and lack of modesty, disregarding all who had helped me along the way. To some extent, I felt better than the rest and was condescending judging others for their "lack of drive."

Matthew 7:3- Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brothers eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?

Truthfully, in my adolescence I was a nerdy, drama geek who did extra curricular activities and spent a lot of alone time during my middle school and high school years. I was socially awkward and did not know how to connect with teens my age, therefore being academically successful was my escape. I only had two close friends in middle school, one moved away midways through 7th grade, and the other went to another high school after our 8th grade graduation. In high school I spent time with only one friend. This of course was difficult because between her and me, she was the pretty girl all guys wanted to talk to and I was the DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend).
Me, during my middle school and high school years, as the DUFF
Me, current time 2016


Any time a guy would come and talk to me, it was about my friend, so I ended up being the chubby humorous sidekick. This drove me to succeed academically, because at least in academics I did not need to be pretty just intelligent and willing to learn. I never learned to fail until I got out in the real world. This was devastating as I saw failure(s) as a sign of weakness, underachievement and total humiliation. Feeling ugly and feeling stupid, not a good combination for a broken person, with each step I took I felt that parts of me were breaking off and leaving  me with nothing but my guilt for lack of humility.

Failing in public...

My biggest failure by far have been with my health. I never really took care of my eating habits, and my way of coping with fear, loneliness and rejection was with food. On August 4, 2008, I was diagnosed with  type 2 diabetes and I felt that I had failed myself.  I had to change my habits and went from 277 lbs down to 147 lbs, which for my body it was extreme. It was not the best way to lose the weight, but the way I did it was eating less and less each day, overworking my body, and lastly, restricting myself excessively.

The end result, I lost all the weight, but in a matter of 5-6 months, I gained 25-30 lbs back. I had failed to keep the weight off. It was depressing, embarrassing and humiliating, because after the success I literally felt like I was better than the rest of my friends who were heavier.  The failing part was not that I gained some weight, it was that I had not learned to live a healthier lifestyle, because as a diabetic, I should have focused on healthy eating habits and physical activity for a better quality of life, over trying to lose weight to look better. While family and friends understood that I had a medical condition, they did not understand what it takes to control the medical condition, and that made me feel more alone and like a bigger failure.


Romans 5:3-5
More than that, we rejoice in our suffering, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. 

Success doesn't mean we did it on our own, sometimes we have people that help along the way. However, God is always with us each and every step of the way. The glory should go to him  always, for answering our prayers, delivering blessings and performing miracles on a daily basis. Success is not designed  for us to pull away from Christ, it is  designed so we come closer to Christ. Nothing we do or have should inflate our ego, resentment, wrath or pride. It should deepen and extend our faith and inspire both believers and non-believers in the power of faith and hope. Giving thanks to our Lord gives others an opportunity to reflect on their walk (or crawl) with the Lord. 

Failure doesn't mean we are not worthy, it means it is not the right time, we have something to learn or we are growing deeper in our faith and communication with God. Lack of success does not equal failure, in my case  it has equaled to me learning to see failure as part of my growth process. I lacked so much failure in the past  (or failure to see failure itself when I had failed) and focused so much on success, that the pendulum of my life came swinging back hard crashing in almost every area of my life. If you have seen the movie "Inside Out" where the  characters personality islands fall apart, well my life felt like that portion of the movie.  The pendulum came back ans crashed into demolishing my health, love life, family affairs, friendships, finances, and career. Every area where I felt was untouchable was very vulnerable and fragile. 

Our savior is a God of second chances

Success in private...

 The purpose of failure is to learn to rely not on our own understanding but to understand that God prepares pearls of wisdom with each experience and these are the true jewels that I can hold on to. My experiences of failing have served me to recognize when I am walking away from God, steering back into pride, or when I see others heading down the same road I took. When I see others struggling in same areas that I have struggled, I do not tell them what to do, I just tell them where I went wrong. It is not  up to me to fix them, it is up to me to plant that seed of hope, so that desperation and ambition do not overtake their character or faith. In a way, it is like sharing a testimony of God's love and grace for us.  Failure is God's way to give us more of what he has in-stored for us,  but when he sees the time is right and at his timing.  Just  how seeds  are planted and cannot be re-potted until a certain point of time, God will not re-pot us until we start showing sprouts of grow in our faith and love. 


This has been my Aha moment...






Thursday, June 9, 2016

Serving my vice and the reaping

1 John 2:16 

For all that is in the world- the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions- is not from the Father but is from the world. 


Sometimes we expect blessings to be tangible, when in really it comes as wisdom and experience.

Falling, falling can't get up, trying to buy my way out of it...

The challenging part  as a Christian, is to leave addictions which make me fall on a regular basis. My addiction does not consists of drugs, alcohol, prescribed medications, or need of attention. My addiction is shopping. The general practice of every female from puberty to menopause here in America. The excuse of every lady to go spend some cash (or on someone's credit card if our own is in bad shape!)

I had not realized how bad my addiction to retail was until I started to wonder where my money was actually going. I know we (women) tend to think it's okay to get a little something when we feel depressed, rejected, upset, angry, bitter, competitive, frustrated, you name the emotion, it doesn't matter what "feeling" kicks in, we justify it by saying we deserve to feel better, but even after leaving the store and with the receipt at hand the emotion(s) linger.
My thought every time I saved some money...
I didn't realize I had a problem until the day I moved out from my parents home, It was here I realized I was a hoarder. I own numerous purses, shoes, office supplies (colorful pens, girly notebooks), self help books, you name it I had it. I could have easily put together a Yard Sale, but I didn't, everything was MINE. I found some items which I had not even opened and clothes with the price tag still on them! I had two sweaters of the same brand, price and size as well as two dresses equally intact. And despite this revelation, I still denied my issue.

Immediate satisfaction, broken guarantee...

Everything in that room was a quick fix, not an actual solution. I've done this so many times, I feel a bit upset, stressed, tired, bored go to the mall and buy something on sale, something new, something in a flattering color.  When I knew (and know) I was limited on my budget, I wouldn't go to the mall, I would go to the Dollar Tree, or worse online shopping on Amazon and put things on my "wish list," then after a day or two (or payday) I would purchase.These actions and circumstances were driving me to put more power and attachment to material and monetary things over God.

My behavior was that of a victim that was trying to justify lack of material or of being part of the mundane society. It was like a subliminal message engraved in my brain. The more I gave in, the more debt I developed...

Finding the roots, pulling them like weeds...

Matthew 6:24 
No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. 

I blamed God  constantly for my circumstances like any addict.I was worshiping money and elevating it in the place where I should have been elevating and worshiping God, this action can easily turns to love or attachment, even an obsession. I blamed God for the lack of material in my life as a child.  My craving was to have everything that I had lacked growing up. This was the root of my issues, that I felt deprived and loved having something new, shiny, something that made me feel unbroken. This is how I grew up, wanting more money, because I constantly heard my parents fight over money and how they couldn't afford things for their four children. The more material I had, the happier I would feel because I would have fulfilled my need. Every time I got a new job the first question was "Will you get paid more?" and not "Is it your passion?" "Do you feel that your career will grow"? the emphasis in our family was, we need to stand out from our cousins and other relatives, we need to be on top and making more than all of them, otherwise we are just like the rest of the poor people.
Misleading illusions 

To thicken the plot, yes I was teased, bullied and not welcomed into social cliques. This affected me deeply, I had no self esteem, from my adolescence through my early adulthood. I got involved with credit cards  like all young adults in my early twenties, and going into a private online school that costed more than I could ever afford.My program was modified half ways and I ended up wrapping it in 48 months with $100,000 in student loans debt. To this day I am still paying that debt which affects my overall monthly budget.

The wound is and has been deeper than I expected. Part of it was trying to nurture myself, as well as  my wanting to show to the world that I was not struggling. I felt like I was living a double life.

Overall Aftermath...penny pinching, and gaining true wealth 

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

The social norm says you get a bonus, you get a raise, go spend indulge YOU DESERVE IT, God says I'm all you need I will always be with you, I will not forget you, I will not forsake, I will always love you. God never leaves us, we are the ones that leave God, we leave him in our past, the back burner, behind the credit card we learned to worship for the frequent flier miles we are racking up. We leave him like an old item and then glorify the new shine item we just purchased, until we feel empty again.
Learning to save daily, a challenge overall but was able to stick it out for a year

The things we do to have emergency money at hand

I was tired of feeling empty, tired of feeling alone. I learned through Christian friends the best thing to do is to pray,  and read my bible and to give up the material things. Giving up material things has been a challenge yet a freeing decision. I was learning to be content with what I had and learn to not forsake God because he never forsake me. The whole financial experience was teaching me that my wealth was not in my purse or bank account but in my experience and gained wisdom on finances. I am not an accountant but I am gradually learning to not have shame for what I lack in material. My true friends love me regardless of what brand my purse is.

"I don't need money in my pocket that will make me partial, I need God in my heart who will make me whole"

Overall, I'm learning to take it a purchase at a time. It sounds funny, but I literally alot myself a specific amount for groceries, gas, bills and additional expenses trying to not deplete my limited amount. I've been tithing at my church, I had never given to a church before. There are times that I do not have the 10% as the bible states we should give (Numbers 18:21-28), however I know that God is still pleased that I give as long as I give willingly and from the heart (2 Corinthian 9:6-7, Luke 21:1-4) The same way that God gives to me he can take away, and I don't have control over that. I do have control over how I choose to spend my money, and daily it is a continual struggle that I face between buying something I see on sale or just letting my money stay in my purse. I have been blessed by taking the latter decision, since I have found ways to help other and at times I feel the holy spirit saying "this money is not for you, it's for what lies in front of you" and I find myself giving it away.
Gradual steps towards blessing others


Learning to have little when at one point I had a lot, it's a challenge, but it's worth it as I find myself feeling thankful that I am gradually walking away from my vice.

This has been my Aha moment...




Friday, May 27, 2016

Learning to Breathe a breath at a time...

  Be still and know that I am God- Psalm 46:10

It's been awhile since my last entry,  these couple of days were a roller coaster, many ups and downs. These last couple of months have been heavy in reflection on learning to be still. While there were blessings coming in my life, there were some moments where hope was nothing more than a concept in my mind trying to reassure myself that there was logic to God and his blessings or miracles of which I had heard. Yet, that mere thought was insulting to God's power, as he can make many things happen in our lives. The things that he can make happen take time and patience, his time and our need to develop patience. 


I found myself about three months ago questioning my job, my second twelve step from Celebrate Recovery, my relationship with my boyfriend and some of my close friendships that I've had for years. I was getting up and going to work, lacking enthusiasm, lacking energy and just wanting to do what I needed to do and leave as soon as the day was over.  However, it all left me questioning why I was so perplexed with my staggering situation, why did I feel so disconnected, so alone, lacking growth and lacking zest for life.   

I knew for sure my passion for work was over, I was a vendor on-site with the #1 high tech company of Silicon Valley, and yet I managed to plateau. This was interesting to me, that I managed to plateau where I thought I would grow more as a professional. I was not challenged as a professional, or in the personal, and I had reached out numerous times to my manager asking for challenging and complex projects. My work became very routine, I could do certain volumes by a given point, process things knowing the procedures by heart and be done with most of my workload before noon time. I knew early this year that I was plateauing, and I knew this was going to be a challenge because I dislike not growing and not being able to go to the next level. I started to realized that I would need to start talking to God about this uncertainty.

Sure enough within a couple of weeks after the new year, my work started changing, but for the worse. Since I was able to do high volume, my employer was giving me high volume work, not complex just more work. More work meant more hours, and more hours meant I was more tired. I started to lag in my 12 step, was disconnected in my relationship and completely fell off sight with old friendships. My new Christian friendships understood, they would pray with me (and continued to do so to this day), that these challenges were arising for some reason and purpose. Bottom line, I started to see a blur of boundaries between my personal and professional life, I had no work life balance. 

I was not living, I was just existing. I had forgotten to live my life, and was just focused on making the client happy and it was costing a heavy price. During these last months, I enrolled into two bible studies which I was unable to complete, for one I never showed up and for the second one I was only able to show up once. In my relationship I was not connected I was always "busy" or "tired" , in my 12 step I was just going through the motions. I had not journaled, was not painting, or creating. I stopped going to the gym or doing my walks at lunch at work. The pressure was getting to me, how could I not be happy with the #1 company in Silicon Valley, this is and was the company that inspired the area, and the most challenging place to get in to develop a career. But the reality was hitting me, it was possible that I was not meant to be here all along. After all I prayed for what I wanted, not for what God's will was for me.

With all the stress and challenges, I felt that I might need something a little slow pace (I've always been into working out heavy cardio, so I'm use to fast pace). I sat and prayed to God for some enlightenment, and found therapeutic yoga classes, and decided to enroll. That first class was very memorable as the instructor pointed out something to me that was real and was alas very Godly "You've never slowed down before, right? You're deep breathing is off, you are breathing heavily, try to breathe deep and slow, this is not a heavy cardio class." At that moment I knew what she meant and why I was there, I was learning to be still, to slow down, to breathe.

Breathe, I learned how to breathe, how to take a deep breath and slowly but surely exhale letting all my worries and frustrations out with that one exhale, feeling my lungs expand and shrink. Learning to breathe allowed me to also learn to not put so much on myself, but to be still and learn to be patient as God develops at his own timing his will for my life and not my own will anymore. 

"The biggest challenge within our human life is to learn to be patient and wait for God's timing in everything and anything on which we have developed  our hope. The next challenge is to ask God willingly to do his will in our life not our own, and that is where I found myself, asking for his will in my life, specifically in my career path." 

In the past when I found myself ending an assignment or plateauing, I would sit on my laptop, and submit applications everywhere, trying to ensure that I would have a new job lined up. I would sometimes stay up all night till 2 or 3am, ensuring to fill out the application entirely. This time, I did not want to do that, I did not have the energy. I did have the will to ask God for guidance, and for his will not my own. I was learning to be still and allowing God to do his job instead of me doing it for him.

Be still, learn to see the clouds again coming apart like cotton candy, to capture the vivid colors of the blood red roses in bloom, to close my eyes and just listen to the sound of the birds chirping as they have a conversation,  or listening to the squirrel running on the dirt collecting fruits and nuts. Live the moment and see the sun set leaving the sky on fire with blazing colors of fuchsia, amber, red, violet and twilight blue. Be still and know that God is in the works, all I need to do is ask him for favor and his will on my life and not my own desires but his and his designed purpose(s) for my life.

About a month ago, I got contacted by a recruiter from a staffing agency. I was a bit surprised because I had applied with the staffing agency more than once, and was never placed in an assignment or regular position. I was contacted based on my previous work experience (food processing) and my current skills. At first I was not sure whether or not to move forward with interviews, but after much reflection (and prayer), I figured I had nothing to lose. I went through the first interview, second interview and a final interview, with the CEO. This left me memorized because during our interview I realized something, God had opened a door for me, and he had answered my prayer. The CEO said something that struck me inside, she said "How long have you been praying for this job?" I knew there that this was God's work, and all I needed to do is be still and know that he was doing his will for my future.

The best feeling in the world is knowing you are doing your job, trying to live your life realizing you can do more but instead of jumping off the walls, learning for once to be still and know that HE is God and HE knows best. Then suddenly things change because prayers are being answered. I was literally minding my business, and someone knocked on my door because they saw my potential and talent, for once I was not the one banging on the door trying to get in, the door was opened for me for opportunity of professional growth, personal change and to make a difference. 

This has been my Aha moment...

Friday, May 13, 2016

Grace to Katrina...

1 John 4:20 -21
Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. And he was given us a command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sisters

Disclosure: The names of the businesses and people have been changed to protect their identities.  This is a experience being share by a dear friend which illustrates the strength and hope found at the end of the situation.

Situation

I was in a situation once at a previous work place, there was this one co-worker who I could not get along with. However it did not start that way, it took time for the animosity to develop...

The first time I recall meeting Katrina was after she had returned from her leave of absence to Raptor Affiliated Co. She was suppose to be back a week prior to train me  in  my new role, but ended up arriving a week and a half later. But once she arrived she seemed sweet, friendly, and helpful, at least that was the first impression.

Our first interactions were quite friendly and she was very welcoming. Gradually with time, Katrina became verbally abusive and less cordial. I had take a position which one of her close friends had left, and one which Katrina had fulfilled a few years prior, and I was able to manage the pressure better than she had (that was the feedback I got from co-workers and management). With time she became passive aggressive, making comments about my appearance, the way I talked, and even the food I ate. One comment that stayed with me, was when I was eating a burger, and she said "What is that smell, it smells like dog food!", mind you, I was eating Burger King, therefore it was beyond my understanding why she would make suck remark.

I felt unsupported. I stayed strong and focused. I continued with the verbal abuse for a year, tried talking to my manager and she had some talks with her but nothing changed.

The Incidents 

It was June 11, 2010 a hot summer afternoon during the peak of harvest season. Many employees were arriving to the office, collecting their weekly paycheck amongst other requests. The phone was ringing constantly and I had to answer phone calls and greet people.

The phone started ringing, two different calls, one from a partner for the business and another from an employee. I had put both calls on hold, each wanting something different, the partner wanted to talk to my manger who was in a meeting, but he was willing to wait, the employee wanted to talk to my manager as well, but he wanted to talk ASAP. Then came a group of 5 employees, collecting checks for the week, I helped them out, came back to the calls, and one had hung up, the other was waiting. However, I had forgotten who was on the line, when I answered it was the partner, and he just didn't hold back. He stated "You need to learn how to do your job better, you are incompetent, and it shouldn't take you this long to transfer me to your manager!" Then he hung up.

I turned to Katrina and asked for help, to which she stated "Five years ago when I was working that position, I did everything on my own, I never had help" with this statement I knew two things, she was not going to lift a finger, and the partner was livid with me. I blanked out, walked out of the office and started to hyperventilate, cry, gasping for air, and couldn't form a sentence or say a word, I kept looking around and continued crying. I was having my first panic attack.


After my panic attack I talked to my manager, she asked what happened, and I denied the tension. I already knew that she would take Katrina's side, and I didn't want more tension. I put up a good fight,  still did my best and put a strong face. It would be a temporary fix to the situation.  I filed for worker compensation  for work related stress in December 20, 2010, and returned until February 14, 2011. I went through therapy for 4 months, and developed anxiety and depression as well as lack of confidence. Every time that my manager wanted to have a meeting I felt panic because I knew it was negative feedback.

Root of the Issues

At the time I did not know it was a panic attack, but what I did know was that Katrina did not like me nor could she stand me. During the time that I was working with her (3.5 years), I found out the following:

  • Insecurities- Katrina was always comparing herself to others, wearing Juicy Couture, carrying Coach purses, Louis Vitton, and Michael Kors to make up for her lack of confidence. 
  • Unhappy- She was unhappy with her circumstances, she married young (she was 29.5 years old when I met her, she married at 23), childless, her husband was a harvester worker (she thought it was a low job), and she never saw the blessings she had in her life.
  • Bitter- When someone would announce that they were expecting, getting married, or having a life changing event, venom would be spilling out of her, trying to belittle the events and those being blessed around her. 
  • Resentful- Always wanting to be on top and would hate anyone that did better than her. Katrina was very competitive to obtaining attention (even though she was married, she wanted to be the fairest of them all!). Could not stand someone complimenting her co-workers. 
  • Prideful- Would talk down to harvester workers and to other co-workers. Always putting herself above others and in her world only her feelings and needs mattered. Anyone that would make her feel inferior she would try to break their spirit. At one point it became an issue to her that I was trying to earn my degree and she felt challenged. 
Overall, Katrina was hurting, and people that hurt go around hurting others such as family friends or people at close proximity. Of course, I was extremely close since I was the new kid on the block taking on her old job and working with her on a daily basis.

With all the incidents, backstabbing, lack of support, I hated her, I would ponder on how to hurt her, and ways to make her feel worse (because I was made feel like I was nothing). There were times that the thought of breaking her windshield or slashing her tires came to mind. I never acted upon it, but wow the power I felt just thinking and plotting on it.

Door is Wide Open, and I'm pushed out...

After so much tension, I left my position with the company, I felt very resentful and hurt. After 3.5 years of service, Katrina found a way to get me out of the office. There was not true grounds to terminate me, and I was caught in a place where I had no support.

I had lost my focus and forgot my worth. I had been broken down and pulled apart, and finally I was shown the door. On August 24, 2012 I left with severance pay, a box with some belongings and the humiliation of being escorted out of the office passing by my co-workers. Some looking at me with disbelief, some feeling sorry for me and some looking down because they felt embarrassed for me. They knew that my feud with Katrina was what pushed me out of there. 


Grace...

Looking back I see why I was removed from there, after my departure politics, feuds and differences tore the business apart. Partners started leaving and the supporting sister company pulled away looking for new investors. I was still bitter, and anytime I would think of my then co-worker, I felt my blood boil. I hated her and wished for her to suffer the worse type of inferno that  could be imagined. There were times that I considered sending a private eye to find dirt on her, going back to slash her tires or sending compromising evidence of her infidelity to her husband. But I did nothing.

It wasn't until I took the Altar Ego class at my church that I came to a chapter that brought the verse of 1 John 4:20-21. First time I read this verse, I was ashamed. I knew that I loved God and I hated Katrina, I despised her. I wanted to see her rot in hell. However, the end of the verse states "whoever loves God must love their brothers and sisters," whether I liked it or not, she was a child of God.

This is when I had to learn to see her not for her sin, but for her hurts and hangups. Where I had to image her as a helpless child searching for her guidance. The moment I started to think of her as a helpless child, weak, abandoned, rejected, ignored and casted out was the moment i realized that I did not hate her, just everything she had done.

A person that hurts will act on those feeling of hurt towards their surroundings because that person wants understanding. That person wants others to understand where they currently stand in life, and is desperately seeking for some help and compassion. It is not the healthiest way to reach out, yet it might be the only way they know how to reach out. Overall, this was not a wasted experience, every time I face a Katrina incident I remember this:

-Are they hurting?
-How are they hurting?
-what is causing their pain/ unhappiness?

If I find answers to these questions, I pray for the person and myself. I especially pray to be able to give grace, and to give myself grace (if I started behaving in a non-Christian way).

Even if I don't find answers to these questions, I pray. It is not up to me to fix it, but it is up to me to ask God to fix it and for me to not be in the way of his work.

This has been my Aha moment...

















Monday, May 9, 2016

Standing on a Weak Foundation, Broken Down by Temptation...


So if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall- 1Corinthians 10:12

I've read this bible verse many times. Especially having done a 12 step and going on to doing a second 12 step (I highly recommend all to do a 12 step at some point in their life). This is also one of my sponsors favorite bible verses.

It may seem like a simple statement or even a fair warning. To think that one is standing firm but could easily fall, there are many other expressions that connect to this verse:

  • Pride comes before the fall (Proverbs 16:18)-
    • Interpretation-If you are egotistical or wrapped up in yourself, you can fall (failure, humiliation, embarrassment, loss,abandonment, rejection, arrogance) and lose sight of what is really important or what really matters 
  • Vanity is the quicksand of reason -
    • Interpretation-Putting importance to the wrong things (money, material, power) that one forgets the important things (God, family, friends, life)
  • You can't build a great building on a weak foundation- 
    • Interpretation- If the core of a person is not solid, then the person will discombobulate in the future
A weak foundation is no place for greatness 
It doesn't matter how it is said or written out, the bottom line is knowing what our foundation is, and what is our core of the foundation as well as knowing what are our temptations. The following verse in 1Corinthians states: "No temptation has overtake you except what is common to mankind"

In the past I have fallen victim to my pride, ego, arrogance and weak foundation, my foundation was my ego and my core was my arrogance, my inability to accept that I needed help or was in need of correction in areas that I needed improvement. Temptation lurked in every corner of my foundation and core. 
Bottom line, the reality is we will continue to fall, there are temptations and shortcomings everywhere. But our focus should not be whether or not we will fall but learning to get back up and on firmer ground, learning to rely on our Higher Power and being God-dependent.
The biggest fall I have taken so far was leaving home thinking that I was better than anyone, that I can do it all alone(total ego). I took a job in Morgan Hill where I would be paid double what I was making in the prior workplace. Not once did it occur to me that I was standing on the quicksand of my ego and that it would be my downfall. 

I felt inadequate to take on any other job after I was terminated, and the reason was because I fell into the temptation of lies and arrogance. It was during this time that I had to break down my ego and pride and go back to the basics, demolish who I was, I had to make Faith my foundation for the new me I was building in Christ (I baptized myself during this time). 

During this time period of my life I was praying almost every day. Half of the time they were liquid prayers. At the time I didn't know that I should try to be prayer specific, 90% of my prayers just said "God help me."

After two months of being unemployed and having filled out over 149 applications for different positions from file clerk to Administrative Assistant, my foundation was none existent in my ego, but in my anxiety instead of Faith. As I rebuild myself it was no longer on my pride, however my core was my fear. 

Finally, I was called by a temp agency. It was for a coordinator position, and it would be on a temporary basis. I definitely felt that it was a blessing and took the job. It was here that I had to demolishing myself once more, and start rebuilding who I was. 

This new opportunity was a blessing, I ended up working in a place where the managers gave me advise and support. I was challenged, and when I struggled they would ask me to ask for help, because the expectation was that I needed to break the habit of putting it all on me. I was being sharpened and was feeling a new sense of hope. I gradually started building my foundation once again this time on optimism with my core being joy. 

They supported me through my last day, working with business partners to give me additional projects (this was the only way to extend my stay until I moved on to the next job). Towards the end of my last week, I came to find that two of the managers were actually Christian and they found as their purpose to help me get back on my feet on firm ground once again. 

There will be many falls in our lives, that is inevitable. Getting back up is the challenge, as well as rebuilding our foundation to be firm once again to not fall into temptation. 1Corinthians 10: 13 ends with letting us know that when we are tempted God is faithful and will not let us be tempted, he will provide a way out to endure. 

This is my third time finding my way out (of temptation), this time I am building my foundation on Faith and my core on Christ. I won't rush rebuilding myself, just like a house, it take time, the right materials, tools and Godly people. Rushing to rebuild myself could result in another fall from the foundation. Taking the time, will help me see the areas of my building that need improvement and modification as I continue to grow. 

This has been my Aha moment...