Category: Life Stories


We all have a light within ourselves.

At times we choose to shine it, at times we choose to dim it so low, we almost can’t see it.

The choice to shine is ours, everyday we wake up!

Our light is God given, it is limitless on how bright it can go.

Our brightness is a matter of personal choice. Daily personal choice.

Why do we choose to dim the brightness? It could be fear, doubt, enabling someone else…or just knowing that shining will take you out of your comfort zone.

When we choose to dim our light, there is a price to pay. We live at 1/2 power, we only get to be 1/2 of our potential, and we only get to live at 1/2 joy.

And…there is a price for brightness…We stretch beyond our self imposed limitations, we get to be a lighthouse for those trying to find their way, we get to see people as God sees them – PRICELESS souls on a journey to their sacred self.

 

For the past couple of days I got to serve in jury duty in the United States. You receive a letter in the mail from the county court, you respond, they may or may not respond back, if they do, you are to show up and be part of a group where they will choose a jury from.

I was so excited to serve in the jury duty, I had never done it before. Curious by nature, this was a great opportunity to learn/see how the justice system works. I got picked to be a juror. Almost everyone was disappointed they were picked because of the time consumption and to have to be there instead of wherever they usually are. I was thrilled to be there, to have a bird’s eye view of the whole process.

It is slow, opening statements, evidence, people’s versions of what happened and closing statements. Did you know that the prosecutor gets 2 closing statements in a criminal case? And they have the burden of proving the defendant is guilty? The defendant doesn’t have to testify, they can choose to.

We were given instructions at the beginning and at the end by the judge. Through the trial, the other jurors and I went around the same circle several times. The more evidence and testimonies, the more our views got changed. However, at the end, when the judge instructed us and gave us the laws which we should abide by and the definitions of self-defense (it is a list of definitions, it makes it clear when someone is acting in self-defense and when they are not); we got to go over all the evidence, talk and share notes we took during the trial. We all had different notes, meaning, different parts that jumped out at us. It was interesting, as we sat there, exchanging understanding, laws and facts, we went from one side of the spectrum to the other and back.

However, when all the facts, laws, evidence and testimonies were put together, we all came to the same conclusion. As people, we didn’t want to get to that conclusion. As jurors we had no other choice. It was the result of a series of bad choices, and there was a big consequence for them.

As we sat and talked, we all felt bad, the verdict of guilty was going to change this young man’s life, however, the choices he made that night months ago, brought the consequence of a trial, a verdict and a sentence. Each of us as individuals of the jury didn’t want to give that verdict, yet, the law was clear; therefore we did. It was amazing to me. Putting law, evidence and testimony together, a group of 8 people that never met before, from different backgrounds, put our heads together and went through all the possibilities, all the facts we knew and arrived at a verdict.

The justice system makes it possible for people to have a fair trial and for their choices to bring on the consequences. I was amazed at how things worked. Grateful for the experience, I walked away knowing that the law is there for all, they are there to protect and to punish, by our actions we decide in what end of the spectrum we find ourselves.

Very powerful experience.

 

 

Mind Over Matter

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Yesterday I went on a hike that I haven’t been before…sort of.

We started at a different point and ended up at a beautiful suspended bridge that I’ve gone on before. I knew how it felt to walk on that bridge. It was high and it swayed. Heights + swaying = Sarah’s nightmare!

So, as I saw our destination, I started a mental conversation with myself. “I am fine, I got this, I can and I am walking on this bridge. I feel fine. I am safe…” As I am having this mental conversation, my body decides that the body memory is much stronger than my choice to be fine.

Well…my feet went from under me and I landed on my bottom…really hard!

As I sat on the ground, I was hurting…and laughing at the same time. My mind knew what needed to happen, and my body refused.

So, I dusted myself off and proceeded to walk on the bridge, it was better than the last time I crossed it. Not quite how I wanted it to be, yet, much better (no nausea, dizziness or semi frozen state holding on to the side railings). We went on our hike and then turned around to go back to the car.

Well, when we want to learn something, change a pattern or improve ourselves, the opportunity shows up, every time, sometimes twice in the same day…On our way back as we were walking on the bridge, there comes a biker riding on it. It made it sway even more!

I had two choices; freeze and wait until he was gone or go on and get over it!

Mind over matter won! I just stayed the course and finished the crossing of the bridge with flying colors!

When something is important to you, make it happen!

Your mind is the most powerful thing you own…then again, it is just YOUR mind, and that YOU  can change!

Think better thoughts so you can do greater things.

I am going on and being more, being strong and getting it done!

Join me?

Miracle Workers Show Up

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My life right now is anything but normal.

I think that is a great thing!

In the end of March, beginning of April we got a phone call that was a bit unsettling…our landlord of almost 5 years said that he loved having us as tenants and it was time for him to sell the home we have been living in. for a split second my heart went crazy and then this incredible peace just took over.

I felt impressed not to look for a place yet. For those of you who know me, know that I am a doer…not a ‘waiter’ (meaning, waits for things to happen). To trust and wait…that was no small task to be asked to do. So, I did.

I was told by more than one person that, “Faith without works is dead.” And I would explain that my ‘work’ on this journey was to trust…which for me, has been by far the hardest work…searching and going to look at places would be a walk in the park…yet, I knew what I knew and couldn’t deny the prompting to trust and watch God work in my life.

So, we waited through most of April, telling everyone we knew that we were looking…then the ok to look for a place came.

We were very prayerful about it. Through experiences, we knew we were not going to rent anymore, we were going to purchase a home! What a blessing! We have rented for almost 5 years, our finances were not in the best shape and now we can buy! Wow! What a treat! That is the beginning miracle.

I know many realtors, some are family and some are friends. The impression was specific to use a lady that I got to know in the past few months, first she was a client of mine and now she is a dear friend. So we did. I called her on a thursday and both of us couldn’t get together until the following monday. When we got together, I had chosen a few places to go to and the first one on the list was a townhouse. Not crazy about it, but it had everything we needed in it. We ALMOST skipped it. She said, “Well, it is empty, lets take a quick look anyway.”  When we walked through it, it felt good! It had lots of storage (which I desperately need) and it was in good shape. It had everything on my list. We were both impressed with it. And Carriene (the realtor) doesn’t get impressed easily 🙂

Then we went to see the other places that were in our price range (amazing what you can qualify for and what you can make payments on…we chose to go with what we were comfortable with money wise) did you know the “Joneses” are broke? No sense in trying to keep up with them 🙂 . Every place felt awful! It didn’t have what we needed or it would take an awful lot of work to get it to where we could live with it.

So, Kurt met us at the last place because it looked great on paper and the location was where we would like to be (it was the worse one of all) and we took him to the first place. We walked through it and even though neither of us was crazy about the idea of living in a townhouse, it is where we are supposed to be. That very night we put an offer on it. One day out and the place was found.

Now…we didn’t look for weeks. Had I not listened to the prompting, it wouldn’t have been there.

We had an amazing inspector, Harvey, he knows his stuff, old school and very knowledgeable in his craft. There were several small and some big things that needed fixing, glad Harvey was watchful of that. We had put in the offer according to our due diligence. So, when we went back to the seller, we asked she did the things we thought were needed. So she did (sort of…this is good, it works well at the end).

Our financing of it…there is a program that if you qualify, you can have 2 mortgages and no down payment, the second mortgage is the down payment. We qualified for it, that was a miracle in itself. The loan officer is a good friend of the family, he went the extra mileS that needed to happen to make sure we got the best interest and that everything went smoothly. I had to supply a letter that proved my income from my contractor (I am a contractee, a cartographer that uploads trail maps on Google Earth and then on to a software), well, he was out of town for almost 2 months on to hike Makalu which is near Everest, his son had a car wreck while he was gone and I needed this letter 2 days after he got home. I really didn’t want to bother him. So the thought came to call the gal that trained me and explain the situation…she wrote the letter and paper work kept on going forward. Miracle! Then the underwriter said that if we kept making the same amount of money as we are making right now, we wouldn’t qualify by $50.00 too much income.

Are you serious!?!

Soooooo, my loan officer went to work on figuring out how we could make it happen. Well, the solution was, at the end of 2013, the second half of the month is paid on the January paycheck. So, if you subtract that, it works. I call it another miracle.

The seller lives in Italy, she was stressed out and wanting to sell the property asap. The things needing fixing were not helping, she had no money to do them and they need it done to pass any inspection…so, when she counter back the offer, with a little bit more money to do the fixings, we agreed.

There was a holiday in the way, Memorial Day. We are rushing to close soon, blessedly she was in town from Italy and was able to scramble and get most of the stuff done. The big things got done, some of the little ones didn’t.

Because we got a lower interest, the financial institution had a policy of 2 days waiting period. So, although we could’ve closed a day early, we are closing a day later than expected and not a thing we can do about it. Or so we thought.

We were planning to close on thursday, it would fund on friday and we could start doing the stuff that needed done on Saturday. Kurt wants to sand the counter tops, he is a counter top guy and needed to do that for his own sanity before we moved in, it is a 3-4 hours job; There are shelves in the garage that need to be removed; there is a storage room that has counter tops and cabinets…I need them gone to store all my buckets of grain; I need to clean everything…it is a need, not a want and we need to add a bar to the closet, so we can have more hanging room. Needless to say, closing on Friday, doesn’t fund until Monday (which is when we planned on moving) and it would really mess up our plans.

Remember the seller didn’t get everything done? I called our realtor and asked if we would forgo the fixings they didn’t get done, could we have the keys on Saturday. Because she is the negotiator that she is, we get the keys on Friday after closing! Hallelujah! Another great miracle!

Now, as you read this story, you either saw the hand of God in all of it and all the miracle workers or think we are the luckiest people on the planet. I happen to know luck doesn’t exist. There are no coincidences, there is no by chance…everything happen for a reason or two that we can’t see.

I am grateful that as we exercised faith, the Lord brought His miracle workers to make our impossibilities hiccups on the greater scheme. Yes! Miracles happen every day. We just need to look for them!

 

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Whew! I cannot tell you how much has been going on in my head and heart…it would take years to get it done…

God is working in me and sometimes growing pains are the pits.

Today is the day I am choosing to change to the deepest level I know to.

I have placed myself in God’s hands every day and allowed Him to do some impressive work in my heart, mind and body. For that I am eternally grateful.

Today is different…He has shown me my potential, He has told me what my life’s mission is. And I’ve been living small. I’ve been walking from a place of fear…what if my voice has the volume He said it would? What if I can reach out and make a difference in people’s lives because of the roads I’ve walked and came out better than when I started on them? What if…?

I’ve been irritated with myself because I know I can do more, I can be more and I can help more…haven’t done it because I’ve been afraid of the change it will bring within me…in between my eyeballs (mind).

Well, God brought me to it, He is certainly going to take me through it.

Here goes everything! A new chapter…heck, a whole new book all together!

Writing it as I pray and letting Him guide the pen.

Loving life and living in purpose most of the time…that is going to be a real change. No distractions, no excuses, no fears.

Spring is the season for change…I am going with that!

Diving in, head first.

Praying and knowing…my faith will sustain me and I am going to change fast…it is time 🙂

See you in the doing of things!

 

 

 

 

 

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I’ve been praying for something to happen for a couple of years . This weekend I’ve got the answer to it.

It was not what I expected, not how I’ve expected and yet, it was exactly what I needed!

It made me step up to the plate to bat. “Child, you’ve been sitting along the side lines for long enough, get out there and do what you know how to do…” He said…so I started.

I am very excited to be up to bat. Am I scared? Nah, I know Who is the captain of my team and He’s got my back, my front, whatever is above me and bellow me… and on my sides. 😀

Am I uncomfortable? Absolutely! And…I am learning to love every minute of it!

God has a plan for each of us.

About time we show up for the game of Life!

I am up!

See you out in the field.

Goal Setting

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We have an 11 year old that teaches me all the time. Our little Adrianne has been a teacher and an inspiration in our family. Last year she said she wanted a Tablet. We didn’t want her to get a Tablet at 10, so, Kurt and I told her if she saved up her money, she could get one.

She did the research and found the Tablet she wanted. She visualized, she talked about it, she dreamed about it and she stay focused, not letting anything else get in the way of getting her Tablet.

Her birthday is in May, last year she got birthday moneys, she tithed and saved. Grandma came to visit and gave the grandkids money, she tithed and saved. She did her chores and we paid her, she tithed, saved in savings and then saved her spending for the Tablet. I will have you know that in less than a year, an 11 year old saved enough for the Tablet, a case for it and screen protector.

She had things along the way she really wanted…books which we made multiple trips to the library. Cute clothing…which she decided she could do without because the Tablet was more important…cute shoes…which she decided to go without the cuteness thereof for her goal. We buy her clothing and shoes, but she has an expensive taste for the extras…which if she really wants it, she buys with her own moneys.

She stuck to her goal and was able to accomplish it!

The neatest part is that, she gets it…”Mom, this feels sooooo good to buy my own Tablet! I don’t think kids that have their parents give them everything appreciate it as much as when you buy it yourself what you really want. I worked hard and saved up everything to get it. It feels awesome!”

I am so happy to see her appreciate goal setting, sticking to the course and getting it done.

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My life has been a bit on the fast lane with a slow car…haha

I am getting my fast car soon…working on it daily and my slow car is going a little faster each day.

What I mean is, things have changed and I get to learn to manage time differently. Guilty of wasting a bunch of that precious stuff (time) everyday, I now get to take count of every minute of it. I used to get up and do whatever I wanted or felt prompted to do and then TV, Facebook and phone were a very big distraction.

Now that there is a new job…things had to change. I get up earlier to make sure reading, exercise, shower and journaling are done daily…even before carpool! That is a first. Working from home is awesome, and…it requires that you stick to your schedule…a lot of things can get in the way…did I say A LOT of things can get in the way?

I am grateful to be learning this lesson and taking full advantage of it.

We are each given the same 24 hours in a day. No rollover, advanced withdraw or freezing in time allowed. Time will go and we will do with it as we will.

I am so very grateful to know this! To apply this and to see the change it is bringing in my heart.

Life is fantastic, I just get to enjoy it regularly and constantly, not in spurts.

I found that time managing has made me more productive and happier. No more guilt on wasted time because there is no more waste!

So, writing has to be worked into my schedule…I am getting there. I miss writing here. Watch out…I am coming back!

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I am an only child of divorced parents. My residence is in the United States. I am originally from Brazil. So my parents are still there. They are both remarried. My dad is from Korea and so is his wife. My mom is from Brazil and so is her husband.

My mom married someone her senior by 25 years. My dad married someone younger than him by 20 years.

The health of both of my parents is not the best. Yesterday I got a phone call from my step mom to tell me my dad’s status as far as health goes. Being so far away and being the only child can be frustrating. To help them out is not like you get in the car and go there for the weekend…

After I got off the phone with her, I was telling Kurt what had happened and expressed my frustration on the limitation of what I could do from here and the lack of a sibling to help out.

My sweet Adrianne (11 years old) turned from the computer and told me with a smile on her face, “Mom, you do know you have an Elder Brother, right?” (she meant Jesus Christ). I answered, “Yes.”

Then I said, “I know He can help and He does sweetheart, right now I need someone with a body to be there physically and help out.”

Very quickly, without missing a beat she replied, “Mom, He can send angels from heaven and mortal ones. Where is your faith?”

Yup, I didn’t have an answer to that one. I am praying a lot. Doing my part here in serving others and hopefully it gets there. It has happened in the past. I am so grateful for love notes from heaven. When we get frustrated or discouraged…the Lord is right there with us. We just got to trust and know that everything is working out the very best way for those involved.

I feel blessed and know that my parents will be blessed too. I have enough faith for that.

 

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A while back I wrote about when you hit bottom, the only way out is up.

Someone asked me to write a little bit more about it…So here I am.

I must start by explaining that I was a very negative person. Everything had something bad in it for me and everybody was having a better life than mine. That is how I was raised and how the circumstances around me evolved. Or so I saw them.

If you have a lot of awful things in your life…and there are many that do…it is up to you to drawn in the bad of it or to soar because you have faith. Always a choice; nobody can make anybody do anything. We allow people to change our behavior, how we feel and worse…what we think.

Because there are many people in my life, sometimes I get to see things up close and personal. I have seen people dwell and live for victimhood…and I’ve seen people go through many horrific trials and you would never know they were going through their personal Gethsemane.

Our attitude in life decides where we are in life. When I was a victim that was offended by anything that was said in the room, I had the tendency to look for people, words and events to be my excuse to be where I was. I also allowed things to hurt me deeply…not forgiving for a long time.

That is a great formula for disaster!

I hit the bottom of my barrel when suicide became an option. I am here to tell you, there is no more scary place to be than that one. Where discouragement is so great that you don’t want to wake up in the morning. Even though you have every reason to look forward to waking up (you are healthy, married the love of your life, have 2 beautiful girls to raise, a home…), you are disappointed when you do. I had to take a hard long look at who I was at the age 24. Was my life enough for me to have joy? Was I headed to a good place? At 24 I began to discover myself…for the first time.

To learn who I was and my potential was a painful experience. I had to face the parts of me that are the worse of me, that only God and I know where they exist (sometimes my loved ones get to see them…working on healing those parts, and letting them go)…and I had to recognize that not all of me was made of the worse parts. Once I saw what I had to work with, I had to learn to love myself for who I am right now, not who I was yesterday or who I am becoming tomorrow.

To change my behavior, I had to change my thinking and then be vigilant, old habits are persistent in coming in. When the thought of ‘that was hurtful, they are so mean to me’ came to mind…I replaced it with ‘I wonder why they are hurting. I wonder if I can help them out.’ You see, when things stopped being about me, or how people are so mean, I became much more aware that others hurt too, and what they do is because they are not feeling good about themselves, life or other people. Life becomes awesome when we can see through someone else’s lenses. It ceases to be about ourselves, our issues, our pain, our anger…it becomes fun to serve and help someone else out.

By doing that, we learn to forgive sooner than later, it was not about you anyway…so it is easier to let go.

The baggage we choose to carry around is as heavy as we pack it!

The choice is always ours to what we do, where we go and who we are. If we don’t like what we are experiencing, the power to change is within. It took time to get where we are, so it will take time to change it. When we don’t give up and keep on going strong, we can change from a life of addiction, depression, fear, anger and very negative thoughts to a life of unconditional love, happiness, joy, courage, peace, and most important freedom to be who we are created to be.

How do I know that?

I’ve done it!

Join me on the journey of change?

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