I had my first pumpkin spice latte of the year today! Funny how something so little can brighten your spirit. I love knowing that the season is about to change. The weather is still stuck in summer here in Cali, but I have hope for those blustery, crisp, sunny mornings. I’m looking forward to apple picking in the orchards of Oak Glen. I can’t wait to start making hot cocoa and apple cider. My favorite part of colder weather is the cuddling though (:
Throughout the past month, I have been trying to re-evaluate my emotions; what stirs them and how to have more control over them. As a woman, this can prove very difficult. I am a very emotionally driven individual. I have my heart on my sleeve more often times than not. Sometimes I trust too easily, and sometimes not nearly enough. I’ve begun steering myself into a more conscious state of feeling. I realize that I need to focus on where I would like to spend my psychological and spiritual energy. Most days, I feel completely worn out in every way possible. I feel like I’m spread too thin, but in reality, it’s because I’m investing my emotions in the wrong aspects of my day to day life.
If you take a few moments to quietly contemplate how your attitude has correlated with things that happen throughout your day, you can find areas which may have been filled with more worry or stress than necessary. Today I have been without my anxiety and depression medications for twenty-one days. It’s been a struggle getting here, but through all the obstacles, God has really taught me how to appreciate the little things and not to get caught up in a few short moments that won’t last.
I was focusing so much on losing weight and seeing the number decrease on the scale that I forgot about nurturing my mental health as well. Whenever I saw that I wasn’t losing weight, I was immediately getting down about that and everything else in my life. I’ve really had to take a step back and acknowledge that I’ve been abusing my time! We’re here to make something of our lives, more specifically to bring God the glory, and I refuse to take away from that focus any longer than I already have.
So with autumn coming, a new, beautiful season, a new outlook on my present and future days is also arising. I’ve felt this motivation before and I’ve talked about making similar changes as well, but it’s underway now. Moving on up and the only way to move is forward. I’ll need prayer. I’ll need encouragement. I’ll need all the mental, physical, and spiritual help that I can get! No going back now though! I see a light at the end of the tunnel and I’m following it.
There is never a day that I don’t think about how things would’ve been if our precious baby didn’t go to heaven. Our first pregnancy wasn’t planned. It was a blessed surprise and we don’t regret it happening because one day, we will get to meet our tiny one in heaven. Rafa and I both trust that God has a bigger plan and in the mean time, He will be taking care our angel baby.
As we have been healing from our traumatic experience on September 10th, 2011, we have grown even closer in our marriage. The things that we both endured in the hospital and the days after were a nightmare, but him and I made it through. If it weren’t for our faith in the Lord and love towards each other, our marriage and lives would have crumbled to ruins. You just never understand how bad things can actually be until you’re in the actual situation. It is after the storm that you decide what kind of road you will take; the upward climb toward acceptance and peace or the downward spiral leading to self-pity and hopelessness.
I had my strong bouts of depression and eventually had to seek professional help with the encouragement and positive support of my loving hubby. Even now however, some days are better than others. I work in an OB/GYN and I’m constantly surrounded by new life in the form of growing bellies and newborn babies. That can take a toll on someone who has suffered a miscarriage, but with time and plenty of prayer, it stops hurting as bad. It took a few months, but one year after the miscarriage, things finally started to adjust and we were able to start rebuilding our goals as husband and wife.
Rafa and I are now at the point when friends and family are beginning to ask us about having a baby more often than not. We’re coming up on our two-year wedding anniversary, even though it feels like it’s been at least ten years (in a good way). It’s understandable for people to be curious, but I thought I would put the current answer on blast so the question doesn’t need to be asked as much.
We are not planning to conceive again any time soon. Rafa will be finishing community college, God willing, this Fall semester. We know that surprises can obviously pop up, but we are currently taking precautions to limit those at least until he graduates. There are so many friends and family in our lives, whether they be the same age or a little bit older, having kids. That is so amazing to see and we couldn’t be happier for everyone in that boat. Right now, that just isn’t our ship to sail. We know from our personal experiences that you should never wait for things to be perfect because well, they NEVER will be, but right now, in our own marriage and walk with Christ, we’re choosing to plan as much in advance as possible.
We are currently enjoying our freedoms without children and are looking forward to fit in some special husband and wife time before we start expanding our family of two. We want to do some road trips and small vacations together. We’d like to be able to stay out as late as we can before there has to be a parent curfew. We’re also working towards practical things, such as getting our own place again and getting healthy. I definitely do NOT want to be at my current weight when I get pregnant again! My future babies deserve to have a fit mom who can chase them while playing tag and who also sets a good example of health and wellness. Overall, there are just so many moments and fun times that are waiting for us. It isn’t selfish or unwise to want to experience them while they’re here now.
So, there’s my ramble about life and planning. I just felt like I needed to get that out there before I explode at the next person who asks me if I’m pregnant. I’m just a little extra fluffy right now, OK? Haha…
“We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature”—Abraham Lincoln
So I recently made a list of topics I wanted to blog about. Homosexuality was towards the bottom, but today I’m in the mood to discuss it, so now I’ve moved this particular subject to the top. I think the main reason why is because this weekend, I was listening to some old CD’s of mine and I came across Jennifer Knapp’s greatest hits. I decided to google her and see what she’s been up to. I was already aware that she had come out of the closet a few years ago, but I hadn’t really read up on it until now. It disappointed me the way some “Christians” reacted to her finally revealing her personal choice, struggles, and current state. Some so-called, Christ-following people bashed her to no end and swore off her music, past, present and future. A lot of individuals were horrified and disgusted that they had ever owned a CD of hers. I think that is ridiculous, and I’m not just talking in terms of this particular artist.
As I have already made clear in previous posts, I believe in God and He rules my heart. At a point in my younger years, I dated and hooked up with more than necessary individuals, male AND female. I don’t expect to go to hell for those decisions because I know my Lord has unending love for me. I wouldn’t choose a same-sex relationship for myself now because I found my soulmate, but what if I felt the EXACT same way I feel about Rafa towards a woman? My feelings would be completely genuine and deserving of marital credit, just as they are now. I personally believe that real and unconditional love should not be denied to anyone.
For “Christians”, or anyone for that matter, to judge and shun those who cannot help whom they love is completely hypocritical and selfish. Its hypocritical because the Bible tells us to love even our enemies, yet we can’t even acknowledge same-sex couples? Just because a man is with another man or a woman finds herself in love with another woman doesn’t mean they’re evil, sexually-disturbed, orgy-obsessed predators. They can have goals, aspirations, and their own respectful convictions. Homosexuals can also have a relationship with God, sometimes an even stronger one than most self-proclaimed “Jesus freaks”. What should matter more than their sexual orientation is the merit of their character. It may sound cliche, but seriously, don’t judge a book by it’s cover. Walk the path you’re preachin’ about, man.
Another reason why I think it hypocritical to hate same-sex couples is because America’s own Constitution says that there is supposed to be “separation of church and state”. Honestly, the main reason why gay marriage has not been legalized in the U.S. is because it is still considered “unnatural” in God’s eyes. If we are supposed to keep our religious inclinations and political rules apart, why hasn’t gay marriage been legalized yet? So you choose to marry a different sex or not marry at all, that’s your personal and private business. Don’t force it on anyone else. I wouldn’t force my belief in God on anyone, nor would I tell another person that they are wrong for loving the person that they love. That is just so wrong and disrespectful.
Secondly, I say that hating homosexuality is selfish because it completely disregards a group of peoples’ feelings and choice of living. It’s not like they’re hurting anyone else. The majority of gay couples have lasted longer, without being married, than some of today’s celebrity’s fake and pointless marriages. How is it that we can consider Kim Kardashian’s immature marriage to Kris Humphries real, but not a same-sex couples’ that has lasted twice as long and been filled with ten times more genuine adornment? I think we should focus more of our frustrations and energy into getting dangerous drugs, pimps, killers, or robbers off the street. That seems like a much more meaningful and positive action than fighting a prejudice battle against helpless homosexuals, who deserve the same consideration as any other person in the world.
I don’t like the thought of children being raised in a world that teaches unconditional love, but with a few conditions. If you’re going to love, do it fully, without pointing fingers or choosing which group of people deserve your respect. You feel it, spread it, express it, all within a mature, courteous manner. If that concept was grasped more firmly, I think we would all be a lot happier.
This blog post is not to spit my opinions in anybody’s face. I rarely discuss this topic, unless asked, because I understand it is a touchy one for some people. You probably won’t find me at a gay pride parade or waving a rainbow flag anywhere, but I also would never picket at a gay-friendly event, condemning homosexuals to hell. No one has that power accept God, so why should anyone else act as a judge? This topic is important to acknowledge because it has an affect on this world’s future and today’s society. Those who have legitimate reasons behind supporting gays need to make there voices audible for those who are not being given the opportunity to speak at all.
I do realize that my personal stance on gay rights may offend some people, but I won’t apologize because we are all entitled to our own beliefs. No one can say that I’m going about my projection in a disrespectful way. I know that for whatever reason, I was compelled to write this entry today and I highly doubt I’ll regret it. If anyone thinks I should feel differently, you’re always welcome to let me know, but don’t expect to sway me. I don’t talk out of my ass. I think about topics for a long time before I choose a side, if any. I also try to put myself in others’ shoes and can take into account personal experiences. This mindset may be difficult for some, but it doesn’t have to be.￼
sorry it cut me off! and I got asked a bunch of times if I was pregnant. I was so hurt, upset and angry. It made my relationship with food even more unhealthy as I just viewed it as the enemy. I obviously don't know what position you are in, but I just wanted to say that you don't have to punish yourself for the way you look. You are beautiful no matter what!! Please always remember that. You will get to where you want to be eventually through love towards yourself. Thanks again for the adds xo
Thank you, thank you, thank you! That means so much! You’re a great encouragement (: I appreciate your words more than you know <3
I’m a huge believer in meditating. My personal meditation style is completely my own however. When you hear the word “meditation” I’m sure the first thing that comes to mind is someone sitting indian-style, repeatedly “omming” themself nearly into sleep. This works for plenty of people, I’m sure, but it isn’t for everyone, including myself.
My favorite way to meditate is by simply sitting on my bed, (not always indian-style), closing my eyes, and telling myself a few times to relax and breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth. It takes me a few moments to release my worries and stresses of that day, but eventually I start feeling more at ease and comfortable with being alone and quiet (for once). I always end up praying to God and giving Him my fears or anxieties. When I mentally release my thoughts in order to relax, I find myself offering them up to Him for help and comfort. I only feel completely relieved or at peace after praying. Sometimes I even write in a journal or read my daily devo before meditating because it helps me wind down.
Just because this particular way works for me, doesn’t make it the best. I think that everyone needs to find their own individual method because we’re all our own person and can’t expect to form our habits or styles into another person’s box. Some people don’t even consider themselves meditating, but they are. The actual definition of meditation is, “a practice in which an individual trains the mind or induces a mode of consciousness, either to realize some benefit or as an end in itself”. This means that it can be done while listening to music, showering, driving to work, while running (or walking in my case) and so on.
Does it make sense? I hope so. Meditation helps to us know oneself. It increases mental strength and awareness because it forces you to listen to your spirit without being influenced or distracted by the constant buzz around you. For beginners, you could even follow Yoda’s example in the picture above. This jedi knows what he’s talking about. Take baby steps, that’s how everything in life should be reached.