Sunday, August 30, 2015
1. God must come first - seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness is what the Bible says and this I believe. Things just go better when I give God the first place in my day. For me, it means that I give Him my first thought and devotion. This week, I got on my knees and asked for His grace to face the day. God is faithful and I pray that I am more available to Him daily.
2. I'm second - I can't give what I don't have so I believe that I come second. Once I'm filled with God's goodness, I get to take care of me. It means exercise, it means food. It means a Bible verse or two so that I can have something to give. When I fly, I'm told to put on my oxygen mask first before I help someone else. I think I practice this principle by submitting myself to God and exercising before I face the day.
3. My morning begins the night before - I pushed myself to prep lunch boxes (4 of them), backpacks and other things the night before. I loaded the washing machine the night before. In the morning as I was drinking my coffee I noticed something was missing: morning stress! I was calmly drinking my coffee and enjoying a peaceful morning with the kids. Thank God for preparation! I did hear that preparing the night before guarantees a successful morning for all of us. I pray that I will keep preparing for my morning the night before. It sure makes life easier!
4. Use this four-letter Word Daily - REST. This four-letter word is the key to an easier week for everyone. I understand that adult nap rooms will not open for business just because I wish it would. It is up to me to respect my limits and rest well daily. I am more productive, peaceful and effective when I get enough rest. I all you can do is go to bed at a decent time, it will make a big difference. I'm a witness.
5. Fight Stress - this week I was reminded that my fight against stress is not over. I had to recognize I was stressed and reach in my tool box and do something about it. I prayed about it. I talked about it. I got enough rest and I made sure that I wasn't giving stress a place in my life. This stuff is lethal and it does not belong in my life. I'm trusting God that I will continue to fight and win against stress.
6. Laugh More - in the midst of business and transition, I noticed all the laughter around me. I eased myself into it. I often look at my life and ask "What would Jesus do?" I believe He'd be in the midst of the laughter and fun my children constantly enjoy. The joy of the Lord is my strength, so I need to dwell in joy this season of life.
7. My Husband is Amazing - Zeke has always been there for me, in every season of life. This season he has been a constant supporter and encourager. He teachers me so much about God just by being a godly husband and father. I don't think this week (my whole life!) would be as successful without Zeke by my side. I love him more than words can say and I am so honored to be his.
I pray you had a great week. God's always there for you. I'm a witness He will give you all the wisdom, strength and grace you need to be all He has called you to be. Happy Sunday!
Friday, August 28, 2015
I once met a person who had an anonymous blog. She would write the good, bad and ugly about her life while her friends and families were oblivious to it. I’m not sure if she still does it anonymously but I found the concept intriguing. Don’t worry, I don’t have an anonymous blog but I wonder what I would blog about if I could spill all my guts online.
I can’t help but think that I still would like to be helpful to you. I think I would talk about how to manage a good relationship with people I necessarily don’t like. Yes, I’m required to love people but I’m not required to like every person on the planet. And yes, liking someone makes it easier to love them. At the same time, I’m yet to meet someone who likes EVERYONE in the world.
I think I would blog about my latest rant. I’m not known to rant on social media, so that would be interesting. In order to be helpful, I think I would talk about my decision making process on “to rant or not to rant.”
I would talk about my hair. Sigh. I would talk about different reactions different people have to it. I might talk about the process of getting it presentable to the world. If the deal is to be helpful this might not be a good subject because there are a million natural hair experts out there. Oh, I would also talk about the time I organized a natural hair event when I was perming my hair.
Here is another thing I would probably talk about: my latest business idea. I keep a file of different ideas that actually would help humanity. In the spirit of having a box delivered to our door each month with product samples, I’d talk about a service that would deliver a great dose of attitude adjustment to the person of your choosing. It would deliver a trial size of kindness, patience, joy, modesty and self-control. I would also like to see a monthly supply of hope in that box. I know, crazy but you have no idea how many times I woke up and I wish I had that stuff automatically going for me.
Last but not least, I would talk about the challenges I face in friendships. I do blog about this subject often and I try to only talk about it in a redeeming way. I choose not to talk about current challenges because I feel that I am still living it out and learning from it.
The main reason I keep stuff unsaid, it’s my choice to live a transparent life. I choose to believe that through my transparency, Christ’s light can shine brighter. Like most human beings I face many challenges but my choice of processing them in a helpful and productive way can serve the purpose of helping others.
Vomiting my complaints online will never help anyone. Sharing them in a safe, trustful atmosphere is the way to go.
I guess I might never say a lot of things but I’ll pay that price in exchange for greater significance.
Thursday, August 27, 2015
"But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine." Isaiah 43:1 (ESV)
I am fascinated by stories of people who find their call in life by accident. I have a sister in Christ who is a wife, mother and teacher and found her calling after she got off work and took care of her family. Through helping others, God opened the doors for Creation Living Center to begin. My sister in Christ and her family are still in the business of helping others, but in a much greater measure.
I heard someone call this kind of thing going "from a fall to a call." You just so happen to fall into a different career and it becomes your call. While being immersed in the world of Early Childhood Education I have heard many other people talk about the same concept. The interesting thing is that God is not surprised with such life altering moves. I believe He plans it all along.
I know for sure that God calls us by name for a purpose. Our callings might be different but I believe our purpose is to glorify Him through serving others. I am thankful that God doesn't waste His purposes for us. Everything He allows us to experience can build our confidence in His calling and preparation to serve Him well.
The trick for me is not to be so concerned about my future assignment that I forsake my current one. There is great wealth in being content and satisfied with our current assignment. Actually, there is "great gain" in having the correct attitude about it.
This morning I woke up and I told myself I will attain great gain by being content where I am. I have been really encouraged by my sister in Christ who shared her testimony of going from a fall to a call. I see God's faithfulness in her life and it makes me smile.
Friend, God has called you, there is no doubt about it. I wonder if like me, you are often tempted to skip the current class you are taking thinking about the next one. I wonder if like me, you wonder why in the world must I go through certain challenges in life. Because we belong to God, His ownership includes the direction of our lives. Let's give Him our complete trust.
I encourage you and I do put a smile on our faces that comes from a content and thankful heart. Our assurance comes from a God who has the master plan for our lives. Our hope is to glorify Him and represent Him well in every season or circumstance in life.
It's gonna be a great day. Go out there and exercise your calling with a joyful attitude. I certainly will!
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Last Saturday I tagged along with my Fall Marathon super hero friends and I hung around for 14.5 miles. This is me at mile 8:
|Let's say I was feeling good about the mileage|
These past two weeks have been times of transition for me. It's back to school week and I started teaching today. I have been taking every chance I get to run and I am enjoying the longer mileage. I think I haven't ran this much in over 2 months. I still haven't decided how much I'll run Saturday but I might go for a good 13 (we'll see). This is a photo of the seminar we have after our long runs.
|The best running group in the galaxy!|
I finally picked up my running group tech shirt for the year and I'm happy to say the printer did NOT misspell my last name! Last year they thought it was a nickname :) The runners passing us were highly entertained. Can't wait to hear the comments we get this year.
If like me you want a deal in running shoes, I can recommend two websites. The trick is to know your size before you buy it. Two years ago I went to the running store and they measured my shoe size. I also helped myself to several brands and models to see what I liked. Once I found out what I liked, I went to these great places:
• Holabird Sports - I purchased two Asics for $120 and the shipping was FREE. Usually you pay this much for one pair, so to purchase a whole year's supply of running shoes for the price of one was an amazing blessing.
• 6pm.com - My running buddies buy previous year's models from them. I purchased a simple running shoe to wear at work. That's right, I'll take comfort over glam any day. I am planning on purchasing my next shoe from these folks pretty soon. Oh, have I mention they also have free shipping?
Trust me, these people don't know I exist (except for my purchases) so this is not an ad, this is an honest tip from a runner to another.
We have 143 days till the Chevron Houston Marathon. There is still time to register for the Full marathon or to run the half for charity. Go to their website for more info.
This year the marathon is in my 10-year wedding anniversary. Thank God for my running husband who wants to celebrate our marriage by running through Houston. Let the training continue.
• Week 8
- Cintia Listenbee is a Journalist, Preschool Music Teacher but more importantly, she is the wife of Pastor Zeke Listenbee and the mother of 3 amazing children. This SimplyCintia.com is the bilingual (English/Português) blog where she spreads hope one post at the time. Cintia enjoys running marathons and listening to audio books. She was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
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