Wednesday, November 14, 2018

An honest look at my Goals

This is the time of year I take a realistic look at my 2018 goals and I set my 2019 goals.
I often have mixed feelings about my results.
One thing is for sure: if I aim at nothing, I will hit it every time.

I have learned to be more realistic about the things I can accomplish.
I simplified my goals for 2018 and that was wise.
I also know that giving up on difficult goals does not match my personality.

I divided my goals into the following categories:

Faith - Family - Fitness - Business - Other

My Faith goals help me with the "discipline" part of 'spiritual discipline." I admit that spiritual discipline doesn't happen magically. I have to set goals and persevere in my daily habit of seeking God as a priority.

My Family goals help me to put quality in the time I have with my family. The years I have with the kids are short. They grow up quickly and they launch sooner than I realize. These years must matter. I also have goals for my marriage. I see marriage as the most precious relationship in my life. A lot of work goes into it and I'm glad about it.

My Fitness goals help me make progress in an area that isn't too difficult for me. It hasn't always been like this. I remember dreaming about running 11 years ago. I remember saying that one day, I would run and be active. Well, here I am so I can't coast now.

My Business goals help me make advances in an area that is challenging. This whole journey hasn't been easy. I knew it wouldn't be easy, yet, I am thinking about totally giving up on this pursuit. If failure is part of the process, I might need a trophy. The only joy I have is that I honestly tried. It hurts to think about it too much so I am choosing to move on. I appreciate your prayers in this area. I would give you more details but my frustration level is high.

"Other" is a category I created so I can add goals that do not fit in the previous four. I only have one item there. I said that in 2018 I would like to "keep the good friends I have." Rejection has been part of the friendship journey for me. It comes in different forms. There isn't enough time for me to explain what I've learned from being rejected over the years. I decided to focus on the positive. I also decided that God has graciously given me good friends. I decided to give my time to those friendships. I am pretty sure I will experience more rejection (ugh!) in the future. I just needed one year to remind myself that a few good friends in the journey of life are more important than a massive amount.

2018 has taught me that writing down goals is only part of the process. A lot of hard work goes into living my daily life. I have learned to leverage my strength so that I have the energy for what's important: my interactions with my family.

Oh, I never even told you about my professional life. It's been an amazing year, glory be to God! Life is multifaceted and my goals help me make multiple areas work well.

I know I can't win in every front. As long as my priorities are in order, I'll call it a good year.

I challenge you to take an honest look at your 2018 goals before you launch into 2019. No matter the results, remember, you have what it takes to reach your goals. 

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Episode 9: Maximize your Life with Connie Gomez

Episode 9: Maximize your life with Connie Gomez

"How does she do it all?" is a question Connie Gomez, co-founder of Houston Latina Bloggers and creator of the Mama of Dos website hears a lot.
She stops by and tells us that we can maximize our lives by using her principles for productivity.

Here are a few things we covered in our conversation:

• FOMO is real. How do we say "no for now" graciously;
• Learn what your limits are;
• Tips for blogging and social media;
Blog Elevated website

Here is how to keep in touch with Connie!
Mama of Dos
Houston Latina Bloggers website

You can support me by listening to the Podcast, giving me a 5-star review, spreading the word and making a donation. Thank you!

• Subscribe on iTunes
• Subscribe on Google Play

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Life Questions

Not every question will be answered in life. It doesn't mean we can't ask them. Here are a few of the questions I have thus far this year.

  • Will this (insert difficult situation) ever pass?
  • Why can't we all be loved for who we are instead of wanted for what we can offer?
  • I don't have tattoos. Will God use me?
  • I don't mix my faith with other faiths. Will God still use me?
  • I'm a woman who lives in America. Will God still use me? 
  • These people are clearly throwing me under the bus. Is it time to let go of this shallow friendship?
  • This person is clearly against me. How can I live what I believe and repay evil with good?
  • They meant it for evil. Will God work it out for good?
  • This person only speaks with me because they want access to a key relationship in my life. How can I maintain a clean heart anyhow?
  • It is not popular to stand in my confidence but I've been called to do so. How can I remain in that space?
  • I have nothing to prove. How can I thrive among people who feel like they have a lot to prove?
There are many more questions. We all have multiple questions in our minds. They might not be all answered. It doesn't mean we can't ask them. God is certainly listening and He is full of wisdom.

Fashion Daily

I'm amazed at how my sense of fashion changes every year.
During my stay-at-home mom years, I lived in exercise clothes but I dressed up on weekends (because, church).
Once I became a working mom, I retired my tights and business casual was the way to go.

Each job I had required a different type of dress code. I'm thankful there was always room for creativity and comfort.

This year, I was blessed with a new job and I realized that again, I had a chance to establish my sense of fashion.

I enjoy being comfortable. I also enjoy dressing up on occasion. My fashion choices for 2018 have reflected these two facts.

Another thing I've enjoyed in 2018 are trips to the thrift store. My job changed allowed me to find a new area of shops. It's been great finding frugal treasures there.

Last weekend, I found a bunch of clothes on clearance for $2. I couldn't be happier. I also found comfy shoes. Thrifting has been great. Oh, I also maintain the one in one out rule. If one piece of clothing comes in, we need to donate (or sell) something else.

My fashion goal is to represent my God and my family well. I will never be a fashion model but I model my Lord Jesus everywhere I go. Okay, I am a model for my kids. They watch me and we often talk about fashion.

The most important fashion accessory I have is a confident and modest heart. 

Peace is ours

If life was a University, I decided to major in Peace 13 years ago. Life was good yet, I went through many changes. The lack of peace was catching up with me and was affecting my health.
God taught me valuable lessons I still practice today. Year after year, I've used these principles in order to have peace and to live in peace.

Peace starts on the inside

You can't give what you don't have. I can't be a peaceful person if I don't have peace on the inside. For years, I thought that peace was going to fall on my lap. I couldn't be more wrong. I learned that my journey to peace started with surrendering to God and allowing Him to change me from the inside out.

Jesus is the Prince of peace

I read the Bible because I wanted to know what God thinks about the topic of peace. It turns out, Jesus is the Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 is a prophecy announcing the birth of Jesus. In it, we learn that Jesus will be called Prince of Peace. I have learned to take this title seriously. I can't find peace outside of its very Prince. Jesus spoke about peace. One of my favorite verses is John 14:27:

"Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

I meditate a lot on this scripture. I learned that I play a part. I can't let my heart be troubled or afraid.

We are to pursue peace

I really thought that peace was going to fall on my lap. Psalm 34:14 proved me wrong.

"Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it."

I developed the habit of seeking peace and pursuing it. I can say that my life improved because of it. To keep it simple, I seek God first. I physically rest and recharge. I pay attention to my thought life. I guard what enters my mind and I make sure that God's word has the priority in my mind. There's more but these simple steps have made a difference in my life. I'm thankful.

We are to live in peace with others

"If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." Romans 12:18
I appreciate the brilliance of God's word. The verse clearly states, "if it is possible, as far as it depends on you." We can only do our part. We can't change others. We are only responsible for ourselves.
This can be complicated but trust me, I've been there. Following God's wisdom is worth the initial discomfort. He doesn't want you to be mistreated. He wants you to be free. When we live with peace with others, as far as it depends on us, we are free.

Peace is ours. It is ours for the taking. Jesus is the Prince of peace and He wants you to pursue Him. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Holiday season calendar control

Now is the time to make one of the most important decisions of the holiday season: what goes on your calendar. 

Remember: You decide what goes on your schedule. No one forces you to manually write down 15 events in one weekend (slight exaggeration but you get my point). You are in control of your schedule.

You are also in control of the type of answer to invitations. You have two options: yes or no. Use these options wisely and to your advantage.

You made your schedule last year so think about how exhausted you were for extra motivation. If your answer to "how are you?" during the holiday was "tired" or "crazy busy" followed by a grunt, let those arousing feelings motivate you to include a lot more downtime in your schedule. I know you don't want to disappoint folk. The truth is, a rested you is a better you.

You will make your schedule so include margin and downtime in it. Stick with your resolution to declutter your schedule. Start with the end in mind. During the holidays, my goal is to attend X amount of events per week.

Be brave and decide what is your main goal for the holidays. Is it to run around like a chicken with the head cut off (I've seen this in real life. Story for another day) or is it to enjoy family and friends? You can’t please everyone but you can please Christ by focusing on what's important.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Bloom where you are

I was going through a tough assignment in life. There was no running from it, I just had to stay. Day after day, I decided to seek help from God.

One day, I walked outside and I saw a green plant growing in the middle of the asphalt. I took a photo and I wrote "bloom where you are planted" as a caption. I had a visual of what "bloom where you are planted" means. I was like that plant, stuck in a situation where I could shrivel or bloom. I decided to bloom.

Plants don't choose where they are planted. I've seen beautiful wild flowers in ditches. Still, they choose to bloom. That plant in the middle of the asphalt could have looked fabulous in a botanical garden. Blooming is what that plant decided to do because plants were made to flourish.

I believe you and I were made to flourish. We don't often choose where we are planted but God created us to flourish.

The key is to be planted in the right place. How can you guarantee that you flourish? Make sure God is the one who planted you.

Joseph didn't choose to be planted in a ditch. Still he flourished. God was in control of every detail of his life. Joseph flourished and God was glorified through his life. Just because you're planted in a ditch right now it doesn't mean you will stay there. Trust God and flourish where you are.

I deeply believe what Psalm 92:13 says. "Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God." It is important to be planted in church. If you keep transplanting yourself, you might not flourish as those who decide to put roots in the house of the Lord. Decided to be planted. God can direct you where you need to go.

Some assignments are challenging. I know this by first-hand experience. I also know that the God who planted you there can cause you to grow.

Trust His brilliance.