Sunday, September 30, 2018

October - 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes

Throughout the month of October I will be joining other bloggers in Five Minute Free Writes based of the prompts above. We will all link-up with Kate Motaung on her blog (link at the bottom of this page).

Five Minute Friday Link-up 

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Three-fold Complete

Relationships based on the lust of the eyes will not withstand the storms of life. Attraction is important but as time goes on and we age looks fade. Material possessions will break, degrade, and become a trash heap in a dump somewhere. Lust of the eyes isn't just about the person we see but can be about the "shiny" things they can give us. Then the storm hits - sickness, financial hardships, differences in opinion and the love that should have held the two together crumbles.

Marriage is sacred in the eyes of God. He wants to be a part of it. He wants to shield and protect us from the storms that will inevitably come. He wants to be that third cord that holds it all together. The cord we hang on to when we can't seem to hang on to each other. 

When my husband and I were going to get married his mom gave us the scripture about the threefold cord. It has stuck with us both throughout the years. It has given me focus when things get hard.  I seek God when I don't know where else to go and He holds us together. I believed getting married was the answer to feeling and being complete but putting God in our marriage is what made it complete.

Every day I want to see my husband as God sees him. A wonderfully, fearfully, beautiful, son of the Most High. A gifted and talented man who is doing his best to live as God is showing him. Every day I want that threefold cord to bind our love together tighter and stronger. 

Will you choose to bring God into your life today? Will you allow Him to complete you?

This post is part of Five Minute Friday's Link-Up 

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Heart Storage

Some of us have storage units, sheds, or rooms in our homes filled with things we have collected over the years. At one point those items represented us in some way or another. They represented what was in our hearts. I have been going through a purge of material possessions. Those things that no longer represent what is in my heart. It has been a hard journey. Sentiment is attached to each item, even those items that remind me of dark days. 

"For his mouth speaks what overflows from his heart." 

I want my heart to be filled with joy, peace, kindness, compassion, love, mercy, grace, understanding, forgiveness, and every good thing from God. I know to have those things I must fill my life and my mind with goodness. Everything from Bible reading, prayer, good music, positive thoughts, good food, exercise, fellowship, and choices that get me closer to the person that Yeshua was when He walked this earth. 

Then Yeshua said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. ~ Matthew 16:14

Denial of self in this society is not the norm and it even looked down upon. Everywhere you turn someone is saying do whatever you want or think of yourself before others. This line of thinking isn't about loving yourself and taking care of yourself, it is more about stepping on others to get what you want. It is about using any means necessary to succeed in the world's eyes. Well, that is not God's way. Yes, scripture says to love yourself. That is so that you can love you others. 

 And a second is similar to it, ‘You are to love your neighbor as yourself.’
 ~Matthew 22:39

Take a moment to think about what this means. Our neighbor is every single person we come in contact with and even those we don't. We are to love everyone. Can you give something you don't have? No. If our hearts are stored with hate for ourselves, that hate will flow out of it in negative words and hateful attitudes. 

Hate stirs up disputes,

    but love covers all kinds of transgressions. 
~Proverbs 10:12

When we hold on to hurt it festers and eats away at us. Eventually it turns into hate and at any moment it can be triggered. I struggled with this for many years. I let the hurt that others caused me to sit in my heart and every time the same person or another person did something that hurt me I brought out that past hate and allowed it to take me into a dark place. A place where love couldn't reach me. A place where I shut out God and anyone who tried to help me. The hurt I held onto got so heavy that I buckled under the weight and one day about 26 years ago I almost let it take me out of this world. Thank God for good friends who cared enough to step up and tell me the truth I didn't want to hear. 

"you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 
~John 8:32

It is a choice. Plain and simple. A choice to love or to hate. A choice to hold on to hurt or let it go. A choice to cry out to God and reach out to someone for help. No matter which road we choose, they will both me hard. We need to choose our hard. Do we want to take the road that will heal or the road that will kill? Either way, it takes one step. Sometimes that step requires a u-turn and a running pace to reach the road to healing. What will you choose? 

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

A Tribute For My Grandpo Sam

I wrote this for my grandpo Sam's memorial service. I want to thank my sister, Germaine for helping me read it on Monday night.

We are here to celebrate the life of my grandfather, Jose Samuel Archuleta. He had an immense love for his family. He cherished his wife, Florida. Their love story is a great example to their family of what commitment to a lifelong marriage is about. I thank them for being an inspiration to me and my husband.  

At the age of 17 he moved to Cheyenne, Wyoming to find work. He would send most of his money to his mom, Escolastica to help her. His dad had already passed away and wanted to provide for his family. Little did he know that back home his mom was saving that money for him. He learned the value of helping his fellow man from the love and example of his mom. He was a hard worker and he was always willing to help anyone whether it be family, friends, or a stranger. One young man he worked with many years ago was one such person. He had just started working with my grandpo at the Las Vegas Medical Center (The Behavioral Health Institute) and he asked to borrow money until paid day. Of course he said yes with no intention of being paid back, but this young man did pay him back and thanked him for helping feed his family. There are many similar stories told by people who knew him.

He had a passion for Spanish music. He begin to play guitar at the age pf 16 with his brother and I believe some cousins of theirs. Later on he played alongside his brother Rafael and his nephews in Los Archuelta’s. He enjoyed those days of playing at quite a few places including The Manhattan and Casino in Las Vegas and Tio’s Bar and Tommy’s Inn in Mora. So many people have told me over the years how much they enjoyed hearing them play. I remember going with my grandma to watch him play. It was a blessing to be able to meet so many relatives and people my family knew during those times.

He also worked as a door greeter at Wal-Mart for many years. He loved people! He made friends everywhere he went. A few of my friends worked with him and all have similar stories – he was always friendly, always had a smile, and sometimes even a joke to tell. Up until recently he would still walk around the store or restaurant we were at to shake hands with people he knew and many people he didn’t know.

Each of his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren have their own special memories with him. We will cherish memories we made.

Over the last 5 years I was able to spend quite a bit more time with my grandparents.  Sunday Worship here, lunch at our favorite restaurant, sitting in the park, cruising, and we can’t forget the ice cream. In that time I observed the special bond they had and the love they had for each other. I thank God that He blessed me with that time to spend with my grandpo.

My mom, Susan, shared a scripture with me that reminded her of her dad. “Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8) Over the years she has share with me about her love for her dad and their close relationship. They had a beautiful bond, one that every daughter should have with their dad. I know she will cherish every moment they spent together – laughing, talking, dancing, singing, and sometimes just sitting in each other’s presence.

Awhile back I came across a quote that reminded me of my dad and I believe that my mom, aunt, and uncles would agree that it rings true for their dad as well.

“A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed, and yet on of the most valuable assets in our society.” ~ Billy Graham
The night before my grandpa passed away, I was unable to sleep for some reason and a scripture kept coming into my head – and Saturday when my mom called me to give me the sad news the scripture that was in my head made sense –  my grandpo had answered the call to rest.

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:23)

So, I ask that you take a moment to honor your father and grandfather. If they are still alive, take time to get to know them better, listen to their stories, create a bond, and make memories to cherish for a lifetime. Don’t wait; life is too short no matter how many years you get.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Days Like Today

Days like today, 
I dread getting older.
Not for the typical reasons.
"Glitter"in your hair,
Laugh lines,
Wrinkled hands.
No, the reason is much deeper.

As I age,
They age.
As I get closer to my
Winter season.
They are living in it.

The sadness of loss,
The emptiness of their seat.
The heart breaking
For their lifetime love.

The cries of desperation
And disbelief.
There is no good answer.
Just and end.
To this life.

Days like today,
I dread getting older,
For fear of more loss.
So I reach out,
To the only One
Who can give me peace,
And assurance of,
"See you on the other side,"
Of this life.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Chaos in the Crowd

A crowd is chaos in my world. Anxiety and panic set in and my flight or fight kicks in, more flight than fight. After a day of grocery shopping in a crowded Wal-Mart, the unfortunate reality is, I need recovery days.

I love people. I love to talk. It just has to be on a one to one basis, text messages, or a very small group. I crave quiet. I crave peace. Living with anxiety, panic disorder, PTSD, ADD, depression makes life just a bit more interesting. Living with fibromyalgia, hypothyroidism, arthritis, along with a few other medical issues makes life a bit harder. Everyday is a new adventure.

A crowd may bring panic. A crowd may keep me behind closed doors in my home. A crowd may make me anxious. A crowd may be chaos for me but time alone in God's presence is priceless.

My mental and medical health may have changed my life and took me out of the working world, but it has given me a blessing. Time to work on myself. Time to get closer to God. Time to write.

This is part of the Five Minute Friday's link-up

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Tossing Out the Junk Part 1

A few days ago the Jewish New Year began. Yom Teruah also called Rosh Hashanah. This is my first year learning about and celebrating the Biblical Feasts. This time of year is for us to reflect on our lives and let go of bad habits and mistakes we have made. It is a time to seek forgiveness from Yah (God) and others. It is a time of prayer and scripture reading. It is a time of celebration and seeing the goodness of Adonai (Lord).

(Going through my cd collection)

Part of my personal reflection had to do with cleaning house. Not in the traditional sense although I am doing that too. This is a spiritual cleaning. I have asked for the Holy Spirit's guidance in what needs to be removed from my home, my life in order to have no stumbling blocks or hindrances on my walk with Yah. At least those I bring on myself.

I love music! I have used music to help me through hard times, enjoy happy times, and remember moments. I have also used music to reflect feelings of loneliness, depression, and hopelessness. These are the songs I have clung to because they spoke the words in my heart during dark times and memories I haven't been able to let go and let Yah help me heal.

Something shifted in my mind and heart on the first day of this new year and it gave me the strength to trash over 100 cds and counting. Yes, you read that right. I haven't listened to most of them in years but they were there taking up space and reminding me that all I had to do was listen to that one song on repeat when I began to feel those same emotions from the darkest times of my life. I finally realized those songs, as much as I love the sound of the guitar, the voices, relate to the words just keep me stuck and don't allow the wounds to mend and heal. It is time to let go.

Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance;but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” - 1 Peter 1:13-16 

Over 100 cds ready for the trash.

More to go through.

I know many people may not understand the need to throw out the cds instead of giving them away or selling them but when God puts it on your heart to do something a certain way, you do it. If I give something that has no place in my life because they aren't in line with God's Word and give it to someone else - that just doesn't seem right.

I will be doing this same thing with movies and books soon. 

Have you ever done anything like this? How did it bless your life?

Friday, September 7, 2018

A Time for Everything

A few days ago, I flipped open my Bible and it landed in Ecclesiastes chapter 3.

I am going to be very transparent here - I refuse to cry. As a child there was a moment when I decided that I wouldn't cry because that showed weakness and I needed to be strong. There were a few reasons for that decision in my almost 5 year old mind. Since that day I haven't cried much over the years. When close people to me passed I had my moment of tears and maybe a handful of times when I couldn't deal with the stresses of life. However, overall I have kept my tears locked up so deep inside myself that this scripture (in the photo) really convicted me.

I laugh, sometimes. I don't dance because I am embarrassed - even in my own home alone with my husband. I learned a behavior of "be strong and serious all the time." People will look at you funny or make fun of you if you laugh too loud, cry a few tears, or dance in joy. I believe I have been stuck in a state of mourning for a long time because I have not allowed myself to feel emotion or truly grieve the loss of many things - people, loss due to illness, and loss of myself to anxiety and depression.

I share this with you to remind you if you deal with something similar you are not alone and also to remomind you that there is a time for everything. God made us to have emotions. To dance with joy! To laugh and enjoy our lives.

Today I will choose to rejoice in all God has made and all that He has given me. Today I will choose to live and enjoy the life I have even with the loss of some things - I have gained others. Today I will choose to began the healing and allow myself to feel emotions. Will you join me?

Today seek out His joy, cleanse your soul with tears if you need to, dance in your kitchen, mourn loss as your rest in His presence.

What are some things that bring you laughter? Are you in a state of mourning? If so, how can I pray for you? Do you dance?

Hear my cry, God; listen to my prayer. - Psalm 61:2 (CJB)

It will burst into flower, will rejoice with joy and singing, will be given the glory of the L’vanon, the splendor of Karmel and the Sharon. They will see the glory of Adonai, the splendor of our God. - Isaiah 35:2 (CJB)

Then David danced and spun around with abandon before Adonai, wearing a linen ritual vest. - 2 Samuel 6:14 (CJB)

For The Love Of Rain

Rain is my favorite type of weather! The cloudier the better!! I am one of those people who lives in a place where we have droughts and fire danger almost every year. Oh! But when it rains it is amazing!!

I love the smell of the wet earth. The way the raindrops feel on my skin. I love that the rain nourishes my plants and flowers and gives us all water to drink.

Our furbabies don't care much for the rain or the thunder and lightning. I on the other hand, love thunder storms! I remember as a child the power went off and my cousin and I couldn't watch whatever cartoon was on so instead we snuck over to the window to watch the lightning show. (I know, not the best idea!) I am just fascinated by it all.

When I saw today's prompt the scripture I shared from Psalms came to mind immediately. It is one of those scriptures that makes me treasure all the wonders that God has made and does for us. It brings to mind a song, "I stand, I stand in awe of You."

By the way when I opened the email today it had just started raining and it is still going!!

This is part of the FMF Link-Up 

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Rest From The Rush

For years I was caught up in the rush of life. I would work way to many hours and be way to busy for the beauty of life. I lost myself in it. I lost who God wanted me to be. I listened to people instead and took on more and more because according to the world that is what makes a person successful. 

Then one November day in 2013 I had the worst panic attack I had ever experienced. (This is something I have dealt with all my life). This one was different. This one made forced me to seek medical help and in doing so I was diagnosed with multiple health issues along with depression, anxiety, and panic disorder. 

That stopped me in my tracks! I slowed down and I finally turned to God and sought out His help, His rest from the rush. In 2014 I had to quit my job and here I am 4 years later still struggling with the rush. One day a friend shared with me something that began to change my life.

ד “Remember the day, Shabbat, to set it apart for God.You have six days to labor and do all your work,but the seventh day is a Shabbat for Adonai your God. On it, you are not to do any kind of work — not you, your son or your daughter, not your male or female slave, not your livestock, and not the foreigner staying with you inside the gates to your property. - Exodus 20:8-10 (CJB)

God had already prescribed the best thing to get out of the rush. His Sabbath. His Holy day of rest. This year I have been keeping the Sabbath and it has blessed me in ways I never thought possible.