Coronavirus COVID19

Plans on hold

Dreams deferred

——

We are forced to do what so many have complained they never have the time to do

Have dinners at home

Walks in the park

Talk with our kids

Laugh with our spouses

Call our friends

Catch up on our favorite TV shows

Read our favorite books

Sleep more

Exercise at home or outside 

Check-in on our neighbors 

And yet, all that we have seen on social media is an incredible amount of complaining and desperate anxiety that demonstrates our uneasiness with ourselves.

This should be a time of reflection.

Prayer

Sharing

Rest

Comfort

Hope

Cleanliness

This should have been a time of Thanksgiving.

 a warm bed

food on the table

running water

We are quick to share how much time we don’t have to do the things we want to do

Well, our world has hit the pause button giving us the time!

May we all come out better from this.

May we all experience a change.

May we all recognize what is truly important.

May we all learn the difference between a need and a want

May we all recognize the price you pay for both.

Lesson:

Who will you be after all this is done?

‘Til Tuesday

Sixteen Months in my life…

 

I logged on and there I was.

A virtual classroom with attorneys and legal counsel from all around the world.

Here I was a housewife/mom/blogger/former podcast host gearing up to learn and take in as much information as I could possibly understand about the LAW!!

Who was I kidding?

This was going to prove to be one of the most challenging exercises of my life! There were courses that presented information that seemed way above my pay grade, and as the semesters progressed, the classes became a bit more intense.  There were several times I believed I was in way over my head, and quite frankly, I actually was!

I was determined to learn and keep up with those legal eagles that were my classmates who were better informed.  At times I believed the professors were just gracious, but as I committed to the work, it became clear to them that I was serious.

As the months moved along, and it became apparent that I was going to complete the program, the last semester proved to be the most difficult.  So much so, my advisor called me and asked if I was okay.  I told him I committed to the program and its completion, and I wanted to finish strong and he believed that I would, and I did.

Constitutional Law, dense and tedious.  Not as black or white as proposed.  You see, as I studied Law, there was nothing black or white.  It all began with, “it depends.”

That much I learned.

Then there it was.

The email confirming that I had, in fact, completed my Masters in the Studies of Law successfully, and I was being awarded my degree.  Actually two degrees – Certification in Entertainment Law!

I cried bitterly.  But these tears were different.  I actually recognize what tears of joy truly felt like.

I did it.  I took 16 months of my life and dedicated it to studying something that I thought I wasn’t smart enough to do.  It seemed like a dream. But I did it.

What have you put off that you think would take too much of your time?

What dream have you differed? Do it! Now is the time!!!

Lesson:

Sixteen months goes by fast…get it done!!

‘Til Tuesday

Coincidence…I think not!

Coincidence – the occurrence of events that happen at the same time by accident but seem to have some connection. (Merriam-Webster)

Have you ever thought and said to yourself, wow, that’s such a funny coincidence? Oh my goodness, how crazy is that? Or that can’t be possible? What are the chances? All comments that connect to what we believe are coincidences, serendipity, or synchronicity.

Right?

Wrong!

I am convinced all moments that collide that have some kind of connection are moments quietly orchestrated by God!!!!

He knows who, what, where, and why?

He knows what we need when we need it,  how we need it, and why we need it!

Not too soon and never too late.

In our human nature, we rush the process of the experiences butchering the outcome, ruining relationships and damaging ourselves along the way because we refuse to wait.

In the waiting, which is the season I am right now, comes the revelation.

A few days ago I was feeling sorry for myself, yup, I sure was. With all the beauty that surrounds me, there I was in a pool of self-pity. I decided to go for a walk and listen to a podcast on waiting. It was encouraging and devastating.

No one likes to wait!!!

As I continued in my self-pity party a package was delivered that I was expecting a few weeks prior, but it was delayed. It arrived on the same day as my 1) self-pity party and 2) my “waiting” podcast. I had no idea what was inside. I knew who it was from but not the contents. As I opened it, it literally shook me to my core. Just a few minutes prior I was feeling a certain way and here right in front of me was a gift from a dear friend that spoke directly to my state of mind and heart. It pierced right through everything that was breaking me down.

I cried…no, I wept. 

Coincidence…I think not! It was a GOD orchestrated moment.  I felt the pain of helplessness and in an instant, I felt the soothing balm of comfort that only comes from a God orchestrated moment!!! 

I challenge you to reflect on moments where you thought- oh what a coincidence that was. Sit still enough to process the outcome of that experience- there are no accidents in God’s weaving of our lives. 

So, I will continue to wait. I will continue to listen for God’s whispers and I will continue to be in awe of God’s orchestrated moments. 

It’s the best way to live…living with purpose.

What, where and how have you seen God orchestrate a moment in your life?

Lesson:

Don’t ignore the details of your life. In them, you will find God’s orchestration and his whispers.

‘Til Tuesday

I am no longer asking for permission…

All my life, I’ve made measured decisions.

Is this a good idea?  Will it be disrespectful?  Will I hurt someone’s feelings?  Will I be judged? Will they stop being my friend?  Am I talented enough? Will I be pretty enough?  Will I be smart enough?  Will I be respected?  Will they accept me?

As I’ve grown into my true self, I have come to the horrific realization that I have lived my life seeking permission and approval of everyone around me accept myself.  I have lived with the hope that I am doing the right thing according to the “them”!

Well, I am here to tell you that with kindness, I am no longer doing that!

 I am no longer seeking to be “approved” by those around me.  The role of a woman as a quiet nurturer and caregiver needs to shift, and we have to stop labeling each other.

In this unbelievable culture of disrespect to the role of the woman, we must stop and ask ourselves, are we doing this to each other.  Are we looking at each other judging each other because “we didn’t ask permission” to be a certain way?

That is nonsense, we must rise up to the voice, brilliance, and strength that we were given when we were created.

Yes, there are shy women, quiet women, but by no means are they weak women. Don’t mistake their shyness for weakness, and don’t mistake my boldness for anger.

We each bring a powerful voice to the table.  We each bring a brilliant thought to the conversation.

Sometimes the difference we judge in each other is the desire we have to be that way but are too afraid.

Give yourself permission to be who God intended you to be!

Lesson:

Stop asking for permission…

you’ve already entered the room the minute you were born!  

‘Til Tuesday

Now what…

Here it is –  16 months, of school, completed and now what?

I found myself experiencing a real sense of anxiety. I normally am not one to get anxious.  I’m pretty laid back about things.

I wait and pray and trust.

Yet I found myself panicking and fretting and worrying about what is next? 

What was I to do with this newfound knowledge?  How was I going to use this degree?  Was I even employable? How was I to walk into this new decade with a new degree and hopefully a new focus?  All these questions and so many more swirling in my head.  It’s provided a left-eye twitch along with a tormented mind and an incredible sense of anxiety that has taken my breath away.

Then I read something that blew me out of the water!

“The real test of spiritual focus is being able to bring your mind and thoughts under control.  Is your mind focused on the face of an idol? Is the idol yourself?!* 

OUCH!!!!!!!!

Here I was waiting to soar into the next phase of my life,  and what I encounter was a loud THUMP.  I realized I had made myself the idol!!!

So what’s next –

Well, I am going to begin by taking my eyes off of me! 

(And hopefully, that left eye twitch will settle). 

I realized I do not have all the answers. I will re-focus.  Go back to the drawing board.  Re-visit my reflections and heart’s desires that I know that God so graciously wants to answer.

I will go back to what I know to be true. 

Live authentically.  Live with the knowledge that no matter what my next steps are, they are STEPS, and when you take STEPS, you should be moving forward.  

I will continue to be honest in my relationships, and I will love those before me.

I realized the degree was the privilege provided to me for a purpose that has yet to unfold, and I have to TRUST.

What are you anxious about?  Are you solely focused on yourself? 

Lesson:

Turn your eyes away from yourself and find hope, joy, and fulfillment in what God has called you to be right now.  Be Present..it’s a better place to live in. 

‘Til Tuesday

*Oswald Chambers

The price of silence…

It seemed so innocent.

A post…I left a comment and then… BANG!!!  

Just like that, I was entangled in a thread that left my head spinning.  I offered what I thought was an educated opposing comment to something a relative posted.

What I didn’t know at that moment, that they were not inviting opposing views or anything else for that matter.  What was worse, they misconstrued my post and took it there…all the way there and a heated thread ensued!

And just like that, I was blocked on all their social media platforms and banned from their LIFE!!!!!  A RELATIVE!!! What kind of world are we living in?

This blog isn’t so much about them but more about the experience.  The price of not being silent cost me a relationship. (Not the first time, by the way)

#losingfriends 

The price of silence would have allowed them to believe that I agreed with them.

So there I was wondering to myself…was it worth it?

And I am here to say YES!!!!  What I uncovered during the exchange was a perception of me that was totally false!.

There was an assumption of my faith, family, and my life that was completely misconstrued.

They didn’t know me!!  

They didn’t know the first thing about me, and here I was defending the “who I AM.”  So yes, there was a price to pay for my silence all these years.  For not engaging in what should have been a continuous conversation and not just a social media/snapshot relationship.

At the point of the thread fiasco, it was all too late to clarify…I was silent too long.  I was told just walk away, leave it alone.  I realized that that may be healthy in some instances and horribly detrimental in others.  Sometimes we need to call out things we see are wrong and exercise the right to speak up for ourselves, and we must expect that to be reciprocated on our own posts and be okay with it.   That’s called a constructive dialogue, which I am learning on Social Media is not a popular occurrence.

We have to stop letting social media maintain unhealthy relationships and give us an identity that is false and speak the truth so that the price of silence won’t be so high!

How authentic is your world?

Lesson:

Don’t let someone walk away with your dignity.  

Stand up straight and keep moving forward.

 I did.

“Til Tuesday

 

It’s the little things…that adds up!

Dearest Robert,

Tomorrow, February 5th, we will celebrate our 26th wedding anniversary.  The moment we cried (well I think you cried more than I did) and said I do to each other.

And with that being said I want to say the following…

Thank you for asking me to be your wife.

Thank you for seeing in me what I couldn’t see for myself.

Thank you for teaching me to trust in love again.

Thank you for buying me beautiful clothes… he threw all my old clothes away, long story.

Thank you for buying me my first car – Volvo Wagon…oh how we loved that car!

Thank you for loving our sons unconditionally..the Jeannie Mata way.

Thank you for bringing me coffee in bed…when you are home!

Thank you for always telling me you love me, even when I’m not so lovable..real talk.

Thank you for holding my hand… even when I’m mad.

Thank you for always laughing at my jokes, as ridiculous as they may be!

Thank you for standing by me in all my crazy dreams and projects!

Thank you for being my biggest fan, you love to hear me sing and you love my writings.

Thank you for trusting me with our home and finances…not as easy as many would think.

Thank you for trusting me with running our businesses!

Thank you for always telling me how smart I am…you are truly my biggest cheerleader!

Thank you for always doing the evening dishes, the laundry, setting the table, buying the groceries. (You make your presence count when you are home)!

Thank you for standing in for me when I couldn’t stand up at my mom’s funeral.

Thank you for protecting me and our family from gossip and drama.

Thank you for being the most amazing provider for our sons and me.

Thank you for being my closet confidante and secret keeper…oh the stories you can tell!

Thank you for accepting my friends and my family as your own!

Thank you for putting up with all my Puerto Rican-ness…it can be a lot!

Thank you for just wanting to be around me all the time…we are an awesome team!

Thank you for always thinking about the concerns of our family first before your own.

Thank you for teaching our sons what a man, father, friend, husband looks like.

Thank you for choosing me every day!

Thank you for dreaming with me!

And finally…

Thank you for being the most kindhearted man I have ever met.

Your integrity and loyalty radiate in your work and in our home.

I love you more than you’ll ever know…

but I promise to spend every moment showing you!

Happy 26th Anniversary!

Your Crazy Puerto Rican Wife…

Garage Sale…

“Don’t accumulate possessions; accumulate experiences – Mark Batterson

Have you walked up to a garage sale or estate sale and wondered how much the homeowner must have “loved” these items, and now here they are laid out on a table going for just a few bucks?  I often wonder did these things bring joy, love, and peace? Did these items love them back?

I am asking myself, how many “things” do I truly need.

Are my possessions loving me back? Is that even possible?

A few weeks ago, the fires were in our neighborhood.  The early morning bang on the door.  Awaken by the urgency to get up and get ready, and wait for the “go” of ready, set, go.

As we started packing our cars, I grabbed my waterproof, fireproof briefcase. Thank you, Suze Orman, for my organizer which contains all pertinent documents that identify us as alive and citizens. I grabbed the thumb drives that has all of our sentimental videos and pictures, thank you Legacy Box for that, and the fine jewelry that belonged to my mom, my mother-in-law and my own.  I knew to take a priceless picture off the wall of Robert’s grandma in which she is two years old, my father’s Martin Guitar and several of my brother’s classic guitars and clothes for a few days along with my laptop.

That was it!

I am sure that if I looked around long enough there were “things” that I would have loved to pack, but the urgency was real.

The safety and security of my family were primary and a few irreplaceable items were all that mattered.

I realized at that moment that I didn’t take the “possessions” that couldn’t love me back.  No purses, expensive shoes, clothes, furnishings, or fancy dishes.  What was important were the items that brought me joy (cue Marie Kondo).  The items of which when I looked over at them produced a smile and sweet memories.

As I walk into this new year, a new decade I am challenging myself to take inventory on my stuff. I dare you to do the same. Take inventory on what you hold dear and true to your heart.  Are those things you love capable of loving you back?

Lesson:

Challenge yourself this next decade to create experiences and not accumulate possessions, because somewhere in your future they will be sitting out on a table in a garage sale.

 

‘Til Tuesday

Set three goals…

I challenge you!!!

Set three goals for the next year!

One that is attainable

One that requires a bit of work

One that is so out of your reach will take a miracle!!!

I challenge everyone to put their faith to the test and see what GOD can do through you!

I love writing goals for the year.

I break them up into three months, six months, nine-month and twelve-month goals.

I write them in succession of what I want to see happen for myself, my marriage, my family and, our businesses.

It allows me to see us moving forward and, if we aren’t meeting our goals and moving forward, I can quickly assess why?

Take the challenge…

Write down your dreams, desires, goals, and, ambitions.  Be prepared to open doors that you may have never imagined you’d walk through and sit at tables where you thought you didn’t have a seat!

Lay down what didn’t work for you this year and walk away from the disappointment that may want to take a seat in your heart, mind and, soul. Share your goals with someone you trust.  Someone that will encourage and keep you accountable.

Be prepared to leap forward.

Fall upward and take the Challenge! 

Lesson:

Write down your goals and then leave room for God!

Stillness…

We are surrounded by so much noise that we forget what the sound of silence feels like!

As this season of busyness approaches it’s important to take a moment, day, whatever you can spare and center yourself.

The holidays can be emotionally and physically draining.  Filled with exhilaration or unimaginable sadness for others.

Be present for all of it…and you can only do that if you are still!

No music, radio, internet, texting, emails, phone calls. Just pure silence and stillness. 

Take in your surroundings.  You might look around and be thankful for all that you have or you may look around and be discouraged over your current circumstances.

In all of it just be still.

Find time to pray for guidance and purpose as you walk into a new year, a new decade.

Make your lists of goals for the next months, year! 

Give yourself permission to be quiet and listen to the silence.

Simply be still.

Allow yourself to sit in stillness and reflect on all this year has brought you, what you have walked through, the ups and downs, the unexpected moments.

Give yourself time to take it in and release those things you no longer want to embrace.

In your stillness, you will hear the quiet voice of God. I promise.  I know. I have.

Lesson:

Don’t run from the silence that can heal you.  Be still and know.

‘Til Tuesday