Tuesday, November 24, 2015


Eu e meu marido em 2007, a última vez que fomos no Rio.

Eu moro nos Estados Unidas há 17 anos. Eu morei no Brasil há 17 também. Muita coisa mudou nos dois países, mas também em mim. Uma das coisas que as pessoas mais notam é o meu sotaque. 
Por exemplo, quando eu conheço brasileiros aqui na cidade, eu os saúdo em Português. Os comentários que me dão é: "pensei que você fosse Angolana" ou "você perdeu o seu sotaque. Você fala como se fosse uma americana que mora no Brasil faz tempo." 

Eu converso mais com brasileiros que vão na minha igreja. Quando ouço português na rua eu geralmente não falo com a pessoa, porque com 17 anos de Estados Unidos eu me cansei do racismo de Brasileiros aqui no Estados Unidos. Infelizmente, na cabeça deles, a cor da minha pele tem um significado ruim. Eu aprendi a evitar isso e realmente ficar na minha em vez de bater papo com todo mundo. Racismo tem em todo lugar: no Brasil toda vez que eu vou algo racista acontece e aqui também. Em vez de ter que aturar racismo de Brasileiro aqui, eu prefiro ficar na minha e não bater papo ao menos que seja com alguém que esteja visitando minha igreja ou alguém que queira conversar comigo. Triste, mas é parte da vida aqui. 

Outra coisa infeliz é quando ouvem o meu sotaque e começam a criticá-lo. Claro que o sotaque muda depois de 17 anos. Quando eu cheguei aqui, eu resolvi aprender o inglês bem, de forma que todo mundo me entenda. Por isso eu tentei melhorar muito a minha pronúncia. Eu ainda tenho sotaque quando falo inglês, mas nem tanto como eu tinha 17 anos atrás. O sotaque no Português muda porque minha vida toda (bem, a maioria) é em inglês. A faculdade, o mestrado, o trabalho, a escola, igreja, etc. O meu marido fala inglês e a família dele toda. Apesar de eu me comunicar sempre em Português, a grande maioria é em inglês. 

O sotaque mudou sim porque resolvi honrar a bênção de Deus que é de morar legalmente nesse país. O sotaque mudou sim porque moro nos Estados Unidos e aqui se fala inglês. O sotaque mudou sim porque eu também mudei e pra melhor. O sotaque mudou sim e com ele veio a aquisição de 3 idiomas que domino com muita alegria. 

Eu sei que não posso mudar os comentário bobos de gente que não me conhece (ou o racismo deles). Eu sei que sou responsável pela minha vida interior e escolho a paz de saber que Deus me trouxe aqui e sou muito agradecida por isso. Pode criticar o meu sotaque sim. O fato é que criticar o que não se tem responsabilidade não é certo. 

Monday, November 23, 2015

2016 Goals You can Reach

Think about your greatest achievements in life. They were not an accident, correct? It took hard work, persistence and determination. I dare to say, it all started with a goal. You and I have 37 days left in 2015 my friend. Today I want to help you reach your goals through these 3 questions:

• What do I most want to be thankful for one year from now? - this week we are counting and naming our blessings. I challenge you to look further and decide how will you insert certitude in your goals. When you answer the question I just gave you, you make a decision to put some boundaries in your living. Isn’t it what goals do so well? They help us establish our margin and they solidify our path towards a better future. Name your blessings now and start working towards them as you set your goal.

• Which activities in my schedule aren’t delivering the results I want? - I am fascinated with this concept. I read about a man who reviews his previous year and makes decisions on what he won’t do in the upcoming year. He just doesn’t quit the things he hates; he quits the things that aren’t delivering the results he wants. In other words, he kills his darlings. It’s not easy but it is freeing and I have found that rectification brings affirmation towards the path you really should go. In a gardening sense, when you trim a tree or a bush, you are setting that plant up for success. The pruning will cause more growth. The same thing happens when we choose to kill the activities that aren’t delivering results we want. We are really freeing our lives for successful activities.

• Are you buying what you’re selling? - every time we woke up for the past 327 days, we were selling something. We sell that “something” through the way we live what we believe. This past year I tried to sell the fact that putting my family first is a good deal. I tried to sell the fact that resting must be included in one’s daily schedule. I also sold long distance running, reading the Bible in one year, being a friend who connects offline often. My immediate family and close friends also know about the bad sales deals I tried to give them. My lack of patience, my shortcomings and lack of wisdom in some areas were bad deals no one should dare to buy. What did you sell this year? Would you buy it? Get rich quick schemes and shortcuts won’t do. The way of integrity is the way to go. I challenge you to think of yourself as a salesperson and evaluate what you sold to others this year.

My friend, let’s make time to answer these 3 questions and write our 2016 goals. I pray that as you reflect on these questions your heart is filled with hope and excitement. You have a world of possibilities inside of you. Establishing your 2016 Goals will help you get them out.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Sunday Seven

7 tips for caring for a sick spouse... when you have small kids 

My husband was sick with pink eye and strep for 8 days. He has recovered and I learned a few things about caring for my dreamy husband as well as my sweet kids (plus work and home). I hope you never have to go through what I went through but just in case you find yourself in a similar situation, here's how to make it through:

H - hidden strength will appear • every time I think about all that's in my plate, I find that my limitations are many. As a believer in Jesus Christ, I find that hidden strength appears when I need it the most. God didn't let me down and I am so thankful for that. Strength I didn't know I had appeared as God helped us day by day.
U - use your resources • I didn't call a lot of people and broadcasted what was going on but our church family heard about it and a few friends offered help. A sweet, sweet friend brought us dinner one night, which meant the world to us. I learned that if people offer help, I should use that resource. I pray that God will bless our sweet friend a million times over for being there for us when we needed the most. 
S - spend time with God • My lifeline was spiritual discipline. I made time to pray and read the Bible, even if for a few minutes each day. The kids and I prayed for my husband each day and we believe God heard our prayers. I also prayed for endurance and to be loving throughout the whole time my husband was sick. I am encouraged to stay in touch with God at all times, not just in times of need. 
B - be organized • organization was a must. I had to get the kids to school, go to work and get the household stuff going. Organization is not my spiritual gift but it has been a vessel of sanity. Being organized in different areas really helped me establish some normalcy for the kids and it allowed my husband to rest well and recover. Even if all you can do is get lunches packed the night before, it is satisfying to be organized. 
A - accept change • there is a new normal that happens when a family member is recovering from sickness. I had to accept that fact. A lot of my schedule had to change and the quickest I accepted that, the easier it was. Other people were also accepting of the fact that I couldn't keep my commitments because I was putting my family first. Accepting change meant saying "this is where we are for now."  
N - niceness wins • Opportunities to get nasty with random people were plenty but I decided to let niceness win. I was tempted to go off and have a public pity party. I decided not to be a downer but instead, be pleasant. I am the master of my attitude therefore, niceness wins.
D - don't defer rest • You can't put rest in a pill: you just have to do it. If you do not rest, you are more likely to get sick as well. I took the opportunity to get a few extra hours of sleep per night. It really helped me to wake up recharged and ready to go. Rest is God's way to give the body a chance to regenerate, relax and renew. I'm not saying that you need to move in to a spa, I am saying that you shouldn't stay up late browsing the internet mindlessly or worrying. Rest in God and in the natural. 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Vegan Banana Muffin Recipe

Remember my Vegan for 23 days experiment? I really wanted banana bread but I never had time to bake a vegan version. Well, today was the day! And just in time for Thanksgiving! Here's the recipe I used. These Vegan Banana Muffins with Coconut Oil are moist and delish!

Vegan Banana Muffins 

• ¼ c plain, unsweetened vegan milk
• ½ tsp apple cider vinegar
• ½ c Coconut Oil
• 1 cup sugar
• 3 very ripe medium bananas, mashed
• 1 tsp vanilla
• 2 c flour
• 1 tsp baking powder
• ½ tsp baking soda
• ¼ tsp nutmeg
• ¼ tsp salt
• ¾ c walnuts, toasted and chopped (optional)

I basically mixed everything together and put it in the muffin pans. There you go people, great recipe for a rainy (or any) afternoon. You're welcome. 

40 days

89% Of this year is gone. While we can't do anything about it, we can live the next 40 days with purpose and passion. I want to encourage you to set aside time to write down your 2016 goals. I also want to encourage you to come up with a list of things you can do in order to put purpose into the end of 2015. Here is my list:

  1. Finish reading the Bible in one year (I use the YouVersion App)
  2. Call family who lives far away
  3. Connect with friends I haven't talked to in a long time 
  4. Write in my journal 
  5. Write down my goals for 2016 
  6. Review my goals for 2015 
  7. Find daily ways to be Thankful to God and others 
  8. Organize that space that's driving me nuts!
  9. Write Christmas letters to my children
  10. Take a family photo
  11. Send Christmas cards to friends and family 
  12. Bake a for my family
  13. Get lemons out of the lemon tree 
  14. Volunteer for a charity near my heart 
  15. Run
  16. Teach my kids a new Christmas hymn or two 
  17. Have a great attitude when others are stressed out 
  18. Put a smile on someone's face 
  19. Give out sincere compliments to others 
  20. Encourage my husband and children
  21. Rest 
  22. Pray for those who are suffering in this happy season
  23. Get to know my city better
  24. Listen to someone closely 
  25. Call an elderly family member and connect with them 
  26. Tell my children stories of my childhood
  27. Honor family traditions with my immediate family 
  28. Forgive those who have wronged me and let go of that pain
  29. Help friend
  30. Practice generosity with my time 
  31. Laugh a lot 
  32. Let go of frustrations from the past 
  33. Encourage a young person with my words 
  34. Honor and obey my husband 
  35. Bless my children 
  36. Practice creativity 
  37. Never lose hope 
  38. Spend less time starring at a screen 
  39. Invest in my health by eating the best nutrition for my calories 
  40. Live what I believe 
 • How will you put purpose into these last 40 days of 2015?

Friday, November 20, 2015

GA or BA? You Choose!

I was digging through my notes from earlier this summer when I had a great preschool teacher training with a lady called Melissa McKensie. It seems that no matter what we do in life, we can choose which attitude we will have about it: good (GA) or bad (BA). It really helped me when she broke down the characteristics of both good and bad attitude. Today I want to share my notes with you. 

Characteristics of a Good Attitude (GA)

  • Things don't always go as expected - being flexible is a must. I try my best to train myself in this very thought that I need to be flexible because in life, things don't always go as expected. Flexibility is a jewel in the hands of a person with a GA. 
  • Tolerates less than ideal but wants to improve it - I believe that this is where character takes shape and improves. When we tolerate less than ideal but want to bring improvement it is a sign that we have hope. Happy is the person who has hope in less than ideal circumstances. 
  • Generally happy, in spite of circumstances - Life doesn't always go my way but that should not dictate my level of joy. I choose to believe that the joy of the Lord Jesus is my strength. This does not mean that I immediately become a professional faker carrying around a false happiness in time of distress. Joy is deeper than happiness and my relationship with Jesus gives me the joy I need for times of trial. My happiness comes from the fact that God has my back, no matter what's happening. 
  • Helps without being asked - this is a learned behavior worth having. Having a helpful attitude out of passion and compassion is great. People will actually find you to be a treasure if you practice that from a heart of generosity.
  • Accepts responsibility when things go wrong - (insert deep breath here) if you are a leader, I have learned that you have to do that whether you are right or wrong. It takes humility and a sense of purpose in order to be good at accepting responsibility. 
  • Enjoys working hard - I think that "enjoys" is the key word here. If you love what you do or if you find a sense of purpose, you will enjoy working hard, which is another key of a GA. 
Characteristics of a Bad Attitude (BA)

  • Sees a crisis in every situation (or creates one) - I believe that the vision of a person with a BA is really skewed so they are visually trained to bring mess into any situation. 
  • Feel as she is doing all the work - I can agree that when you have a BA it feels super heavy, therefore, you have the impression that you are doing all the work. Being emotionally drained by a BA makes every area of life unbearable. 
  • Finds everything wrong with everything or everyone - have you met anyone like that? They probably have a BA. If you're the one in that position, try to get out of that mental attitude as soon as possible. 
  • Monopolizes the conversations - No one enjoys being on the other side of a conversation like that, especially when the person with the topic monopoly has a BA. 
  • Doesn't listen well - I believe the person spends so much time dumping that they don't have time (or maybe energy and patience) to listen well. I was just reading in the book of James this morning that we need to be quick to listen and slow to speak and slow to get angry. 
  • Needs lots of affirmation - the issue here is, sometimes "lots of affirmation" might not be enough. It doesn't matter how much you affirm, appreciate and encourage a person with a BA, it will never fill their void. The BA is currently impeding the person from receiving a healthy amount of affirmation and encouragement. 
  • Won't admit being wrong - Okay, that's a tough one. Because you are the wiser person with a great attitude, you will understand that it may be difficult for them to accept a mistake and ask for forgiveness. A bad attitude affects so many areas of our lives. I also want you to be compassionate because if we can be honest, we have all held on to our BA and we could be in the shoes of that person who won't admit that they are wrong. 
  • Hard to get along with but sees others as problem - when someone has a BA, it immediately makes them unpleasant to be around. The trick is, they don't see it. The negativity they carry because of the BA makes them see everyone else as the problem. 
Today I am challenged to choose my attitude carefully. Having a Bad Attitude hurts everything I do. My goal is to find and keep a Good Attitude about everything God has asked me to do this season. 
* Question: how was your attitude this week?