Thursday, November 21, 2013

13 Lessons learned in 2013

What have YOU learned so far this year?
13 - I will not force you to be my friend - I went through the disillusion of failed friendships a few times this year. I don't believe friendship should be forced and my mistake was to insist in relationships that were one-way: I was the only one keeping in touch. For example, I was the only one texting. I was constantly sending invitations to get together and 98% of the time I was told No or I wasn't given an answer to my invitations at all. I guess the good thing was that I learned to recognize when people are not interested in having a significant friendship with me. The bottom line is: you and I make time for the people who are important to us. 
12 - I will embrace the No - I heard the word No a lot this year. In my opinion my ideas were good but for some reason beyond my control, I was told No. My comfort was to know that God has a purpose for my life which sometimes includes the word No. My wise husband often reminds me not to take the answer No personally but to know that even there a lesson can be learned. I do know that No is a complete sentence. Also, No might mean 'bad timing Cintia.' No may also mean 'this culture is not open to your idea.' Ultimately, No might mean 'go back to the drawing board Cintia.'
11- I will forgive again - I thought I knew what forgiveness meant until I had to forgive again and again. Jesus commands me to forgive several times and this heart was open to this application this year. I had a chance to brush up on all the teaching I received on forgiveness and practice it all over again. The biggest thing was to know that Forgiveness is a decision. When faced with an offense or hurt, the choice is Yes to forgiveness. 
10 - I will make the decision to love - I read a book a few years ago that informed me that love is a decision. As each year goes by I realize how true that is. The longer I live the more I see that some things need to be decided regardless of the situations I face. The decision to love needs to be established firmly especially because God is love and He commands us to love one another. My family highly benefits when I make the decision to love.
9 - I will dream big - I have observed my father living this out and I think this is something great to apply. I think that dreams bring hope to the fabric of life. Without dreams and aspirations life becomes unbearably small and without much sense. I learned that God wants us to dream because He is the initiator of our dreams. He formed and fashioned us in unique ways and placed those dreams inside of us. It's important to dream and dream big. 
8 - I will take small steps - the big picture is exciting but the limitations of life require small steps. The PhD was once a kindergartener. The marathoner had to learn how to walk and took small steps which led him to all the medals he carries in his chest. I choose to take small steps because that's how I am going to achieve my goal. 
7 - I will be positive - for some reason I realized that I can't depend on random outside sources to make me be positive. I am the master of my will and I choose to be proactively positive. My positivity has a Christian foundation which means that my source of positivity comes from a God who is passionate about my mind being renewed. I train my mind to be positive thorough the things I listen to, meditate on, read and ultimately speak all day. I am held accountable to others as far as being positive. If something unhealthy is coming out of my heart, I am gently reminded to change the inside chatter by renewing my mind. 
6 - I will use my influence wisely - Once you open your eyes to the possibility that you have a sphere of influence, you will see how wise you need to be in your particular area. Everyone is influential: as a mother I have great influence over my children. My impact will be lived out for a long time. I am also influential in other areas. I will use my influence wisely because only God an help me use my influence for good. The majority of the time when I pray God tells me to be loving and encouraging towards people. Using true Love and encouragement are the best ways to be influential. 
5 - I will fight for my family - this year I realized that it's not enough to say that my family comes first but I need to fight to make that a priority. How? Mainly by not overcommitting myself to the point that my family is not enjoying being together for meals and different activities. I also learned how to say No to good things so that my best is available for my family. 
4 - I will learn from my mistakes - I'm not afraid to admit that I make mistakes. This year I learned that I am not to dwell in them and harvest guilt but I am to learn from them and gain wisdom. Any area of life is up for grabs when it comes to this learning. The other week for example I made the mistake of putting too much stress in my lower body with weights which hurt my goal of training for the Houston Marathon. I learned from that mistake in a way that now I still work on my lower body but in ways that do not put stress on my joints. Everyone makes mistake, wisdom happens when we learn from them and make progress in life.  
3 - I will not pretend I am perfect - one of the best things I learned in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina through the life of my mentors is that I have nothing to prove. I am loved for who I am because God created me with a purpose. It's not smart to pretend that I am perfect because of the sins I have committed in the past and the forgiveness I constantly need from God and others. I will not pretend that I am perfect for perfection is an illusion we keep to hide the parts of ourselves we dislike. My heart matters to God, not outside appearances. What you see is pretty much what you get folks.
2 - I will embrace bad days - I am living sad days as I am writing this. I know I haven't experienced a lot of bad but now that I am an adult I have come to see bad days. I still believe I shouldn't dwell in the bad for it passes but I find that there is a gift in embracing bad days. I find that when I give up the pop psychology and just say "this really sucks" I am more human. When I am overwhelmed by sadness and I cry, only then I am able to relate to most human beings for we all experience bad days. Sadness is a universal feeling and I am not to run away from it. I am not to dwell in it, but only as I experience the bad I can look for The Divine good which is always on the horizon. Some days are not good and the best thing I find is the hope that there are better tomorrows. I will embrace the bad and quickly exchange it go for the good that God has stored for me. 
1 - I will honor God always - my number one lesson of 2013 is to "keep my nose on the Bible." If it wasn't for the help of God I would not have made it thus far. We had many challenges but thank God for His goodness and mercy over us. I will honor God always. I feel like I honor Him by putting Him first in my life. I don't hide my relationship with Him because it is simply the best thing that ever happen to this human being. I honor God because I am enjoying learning more about Him and walking in His ways. I'm become a better person the more I honor God. I will pray, I will sing praises, I will keep my nose in the Bible and I will honor the One who is outstanding in wisdom and abundant in love. 

QUESTION: What are some of the lessons you learned so far in 2013?

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