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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Why me?

Why? Why me, Lord? Is a question that most, if not all, of us have found ourselves asking at some time in our lives. 'I'm a good person, I worship you, I don't deserve this, Lord. Why?' Are the common pleas that follow our prayers in these occasions.
Although I believe our trails are for different reasons, I also believe that they all have the same motives behind each of them. And that simply is, for His glory. Follow me on this:
Everyone walks a different path to the Cross. Along the way, we meet people who help us in our journey. The ones who influence us the most, are the ones that can relate to our situations. I am going to call them the 'Why me' Christians.
Here is my perspective. God has commanded his followers to disciple. By allowing some to have a challenging life is His way of equipping us; fishers of men. Even though difficult, it really is a blessing.
I came to this conclusion when I accepted Christ. If I had not been through what I have in my life, how could I help or counsel those with similar predicaments? Those who are hurting; searching for hope and peace. How could I assure them that these things are really tangible? Ah yes, through my own experiences!
Advice given without relation usually falls upon deaf ears. Words of comfort are almost meaningless. So in these moments, these 'why me' moments, consider it a blessing that He has personally chosen you to lead and bring His children back home.
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 1 Peter 5:10
Inspired by a conversation with my sister, who is also a sister in Christ.
By: Melissa Reyes

Saturday, July 27, 2013

I'm taking a different path

I started this blog mainly for an outlet. My plan was to write about children and family stuff; being a mom. But lately the only time I have a desire to write is when it has to do with the Christian life. So going forward, the tone of this blog will change. My goal is to reach out and encourage others, using an environment centered around faith.

Believe me, I am just as shocked! I do not consider myself a leader and most certainly not a know it all. It is just something that has been impressed upon my heart. With that said, let me introduce my new objective for this blog.

I want to expose the Christian life. Hoping to give unbelievers a different perspective of what it is, and what it means to follow Christ. Also, to foster and help revive the hearts of those who are already followers, but need to be uplifted; rejuvenated.

I have learned many things in my short life, most were learned from mistakes I have made. So I will only speak from experience. Honest and true. One element that I love about the journey of my being, is that we never should cease the acquisition of knowledge. Only a fool believes that are too old, or have lived through too much to acquire any more. The need for knowledge will never dissipate.

So in conclusion, I hope this will reach and encourage you. Giving you someone, and some material to relate to. The agenda here is to inspire and to be inspired.  

By: Melissa Reyes

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The heart of my distractions

I have come to notice, that when things start to fall apart and there is much controversy in my life, are the times where I am not as focused on God as I should be.
Satan will use anything that he can to distract us. Busy schedules, hectic deadlines. Leaving us feeling run down and exhausted.
I also believe that these things happen to shift our attention back on the relationship that we are privileged to have with the Lord. He loves us so, even when we are the most undeserving, and still calls to each one. Wanting to help and guide. Reminding us that He is our strength and none other is more powerful.
Here is my prayer:
Dear Heavenly Father,
I am troubled and I am worried. This is my fault, for you have asked me not to do so. If I had not been so caught up in the things of this world, so busy, that I forgot to look up, I know I wouldn't feel this way. Day to day, I would had remembered the promises you have made to me, therefore not worrying. Please forgive me.
Lord I ask that you slow down my mind and restore my heart. Helping me to put on the necklace of your word and suit of armor. I pray for wisdom in my actions and words. Make me your light to shine once again.
I pray for the people reading this. May they seek you and feel the peacefulness that only you can give. Cause them to be still, Lord. I lift them up to you so that they can too, receive your blessings. Be even closer to the brokenhearted at this moment. Wiping the tears from each of them today. Give them the awareness of your presence and merciful, unending grace. It's in Jesus name I pray this, Amen.
By: Melissa Reyes

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Lady on the Corner

An incident that occurred at the beginning of last week, which had left me exceedingly upset, was still lingering. Leading me to look deep inside myself, provoking feelings of inadequacy and a discontentment with certain aspects of my life.

I got dressed quickly, gathered the baby, and headed to the store to pick him up some much needed items. While inside the store he fell asleep. So I decided to slowly cruise the aisles and let him grab a quick nap. Even the smallest of sounds seem to magnify when your child is sleeping, so I became ridiculously annoyed of any and every activity in the store. How dare you stock your shelves, can’t you see I have a sleeping baby here!!

I paid for my things and headed home. As I came to the entrance for the highway, up ahead I seen a pregnant woman on the corner holding a sign. I tried to read her sign, but passed too quickly and wasn’t able to read every word. I caught a glimpse of the words ‘kids and food’.

Remembering I had 5.00 in cash, I immediately turned my car around and handed her the money. As she approached the car, I was able to fully read her sign, ‘I have no job, I need food for two kids, and have no money for rent.’ I did not feel satisfied in giving her such a small amount. I went home rapidly gathering anything I could give her.

I returned and pulled into a parking space beside her car that most certainly had seen better days. I gave her a few bags of food, medicine, personal items, diapers, and formula. I had never met such a thankful soul. She strongly embraced me and whispered, ‘Jesus loves you, you know.’
I shook my head and replied with a smile, ‘Yes, I know.’ We parted ways and the happy feeling that comes from helping someone was not there. Although glad to help, I didn’t give her anything that wasn’t already given to me by the Lord. I was merely a vessel for his service.

What I did take from her was an invaluable lesson. The words spoken to my heart was not the usual tone of comfort and understanding. It was a resonance of reprehension and scolding. These are the words that filled my mind:

How dare you be so selfish. Rolling about in your self pity, losing sight of things I have provided for you. I give you a life of comfort and sufficiency, lacking of nothing and you are feeling dissatisfied? I bless you with two healthy children and a husband who is capable of providing for you all. I allow you to work at home, raising a family, where I assigned you the most important occupation a woman can have, and you feel there is greater job for you elsewhere? There is no better contribution you can give them. Have you forgotten of times past where there was no food or shelter? I give you all these things and you have the audacity to think you need something more. Do you not see this woman, seven months pregnant standing in the hot sun begging for food so that her children may eat?

I have to tell you, I felt ashamed. How could I forget a life of such struggle and strife? How could I forget the very essence of what it means to have a thankful heart? As I sat in the Church pew that following Sunday, my pastor quoted a verse. ‘Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.’ Philippians 4:11. He went on, “Learned. Being content is something that is learned. Sometimes, we have to learn it again and again.” He made the point about how having too many distractions can take our eyes off of what’s really important. He is right. I didn’t need anymore distractions that life can already throw at us. Clouding my vision of God’s everyday presence, and ignoring the purpose for which we were truly created for.

After service, my husband and I drove by to see if she would be there. But the only thing left was an empty water bottle situated on the curb where she had stood the day before. Regretfully, I didn’t get her name. I will probably never see her again. She will never know that in my eyes, she wasn’t the only one gaining something that day. We both fulfilled a need of one another. Watching someone in such a situation and still praising the Lord was truly a magnificent sight. I am thankful to have met such a grateful spirit. I am thankful to have met the lady on the corner.   

Written by: Melissa Reyes

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

My Personal Matter

“Be still, and know that I am God” are the words that kept repeating itself over and over in my head, as I sat silent in the dark rocking the baby to sleep. Then it hit me all at once, my revelation. Let me explain:

I am a very private person about personal matters. My hair could be on fire and when asked if I’m alright, I’ll say ‘I’m just fine.’ But I am going to share with you, about what I have been dealing with these past several weeks. At the end, I will state the reason why I am opening up so publicly. Let’s begin.

Inside myself, I have been battling a war. I have been stressed to the max, irrational, angry, and impatient. I have had feelings of jealousy, depression, and resentment. But Melissa, you are a Christian, you’re supposed to be perfect in Christ at all times, some may think. Almost as if becoming a Christian is a drug you take. Dissolving all of your problems, leaving you floating on one big, white, puffy, smiling cloud. Christian? Yes. Human and fallible? Most certainly! My dad’s words to me ring true, ‘You have just entered the fight of your life.’

Every since I have came to the cross, almost two years ago, I speak with God daily. I think about Him constantly and love Him ever so dearly. I do not call on Him only when I am in need. This is an ongoing relationship.  

Knowing that these thoughts were an impure and ungodly way of dealing with my situation, I still struggled. Here is how I dealt with and overcame it. I prayed. I knocked on His door so many times a day, for several weeks. Confessing my sinful ways, asking for forgiveness. Asking to guide me, begging for Him to protect and take this away from me. Day after day, it stayed the same. I felt the same. No relief, nothing.

Now, I sat here in awe and peace, coming to the realization as to why this had all taken place. You see, through all this, I never wondered if my prayers were heard. I never thought for a second, that He wasn’t going to deliver me. I didn’t question if He was really there. I never doubted His faithfulness or the promises He has made to me.

Here are the two reasons I am sharing this:

The importance of Faith-  Let us start with an understanding that nothing evil comes from God. The fall of man introduced sin into this world, but sometimes God allows things to happen to us. One of these reasons, is to test our faith. It isn’t to prove our faith to Him, being that he knows all, it is to prove the strength of faith to ourselves. Scripture explains what faith means and the importance of faith.

”Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.’’ Hebrews 11:1
What does this mean, exactly? I want to examine this passage. When we go to the Lord in prayer, we know (assurance) that he hears us and will give us the things we ask (hoped) for, even though we cannot see (conviction) it yet. We believe this, because we know that our God is a faithful and trusting God. He has made these promises to us.  Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be open to you. Matthew 7:7 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Mark 11:24

To glorify God-  Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. John 14:13. I am thankful to have received this test. It most certainly was not fun, but the outcome is one to treasure. I know that such things are for my own good. I grew more spiritually. I was made to remember, just how much power our God has and how He controls all things. Drawing myself nearer to him and the feeling of awe struck wonder, as I stood in his presence. Which brings me to why I am so compelled to share this.

Although this test was meant for me and serves a great purpose, I know this is something ultimately bigger than I am. The objective is to glorify Him. Sharing with you my experience, to show His sovereignty, grace, and mercy. His reliability, patience, the absolute righteousness that our God possesses. That among all the afflictions and uncertainty this world has to offer, He is the one who is always certain, unwavering, and never changes. The only one, who never fails to fulfill His promises. A steady ground to rest upon. I want so desperately, for you to feel a peace that surpasses all understanding. He is calling to you, please hear your name.  

By: Melissa Reyes   


Monday, May 20, 2013

My Thirty Lessons

As I am quickly approaching thirty, I have taken the time out to do some reflecting. Looking back on the things I have overcome, the woman I have become,  and awaiting what is to come. I have always been told that life really begins when you’re thirty. I am starting to understand the meaning of this statement.

Life is a gigantic classroom and we are the students. You never cease learning. So, in tribute, I decided to list thirty lessons I have been taught so far in this incredible, awe-inspiring, and often hysterical life of mine.

  1. There can be much noise in silence. Over Thinking can be deafening, destroying the healing that is to be found in its stillness.
  2. Sometimes people do not need to hear the words. They only just need to be hugged.
  3. Pulling the positive out of negative situations, can make you a more grateful person.
  4. Having a sense of humor can get you through most anything.
  5. When you find a man, make sure he is one, in every sense of the definition.
  6. Becoming a mom qualifies you to make one mean grilled cheese sandwich!
  7. It also teaches you how to juggle, carrying ten things at once and a baby. Truly an astonishing circus act that can rival the Ringling brothers.
  8. Forgive. Yourself and others.
  9. Take a deep breath. 1...2...3..OK
  10. Be nice. Be kind, even when it kills you.
  11. It doesn’t matter what they did or how it happened, just do the right thing.
  12. Admit your wrongs and do not choose to be blind to your own faults.
  13. In one way or another, you will reap the actions and words you used out of anger.
  14. You’re never better than anyone, you are just better than what they may choose to do.
  15. Learning to let go of resentment is difficult, but it must be done.
  16. Accept the fact that some things will never change and just change your attitude towards it.
  17. Life has its seasons and this too shall pass.
  18. There is no room for pride in any kind of relationship.
  19. Listen more than you speak.
  20. Be humble when approaching a situation, doing so will most likely result in your favor.
  21. Tell the people you love what your favorite qualities in them are.
  22. Be mindful of how you can make someone feel.
  23. When having an issue or bad day and have to be present in a social setting, smile when you arrive. Do not air your dirty laundry, keep personal matters private.
  24. Regardless of your feelings, never wish someone an ill wellbeing.
  25. Chocolate can solve a lot of problems.
  26. Prayer can solve all problems.
  27. Everyone deserves to be loved.
  28. It’s fine to cry sometimes and let your emotions out. But afterwards, pull yourself together and find a solution or learn to deal the best you can.
  29. Strive to be content and do not put expectations on others.
  30. Life. Take it all in. The people you love, your marriage, children. Cherish it because it is fragile, everyday fleeting, and a gift.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Mommy Bootcamp Update

Here are the results so far on Mommy Bootcamp. In case you missed the original post, you can read about it here.

I have stuck to my word and have had some pleasing results. She has tested me a few times but I stood my ground. Having a consequence for every action and following through. It doesn’t matter if I am in the middle of cooking, cleaning, feeding the baby, etc.. I stop what I’m doing and correct the behavior. She is definitely catching on that I mean business.

This past Sunday was a rainy day. I handed her a bag and told her to pick the foam stickers up off the floor. She started being difficult and wanted to play around. I walked over to her toy bin, grabbed her spider man lunch box and told her I was going to throw it out in the yard if she didn’t pick up the stickers. This gave her some motivation and started to pick up as I asked. Soon, she was playing around again. “If you do not pick up these stickers, you can kiss this lunch box goodbye.” She turned and said, “No, you pick it up!” I walked over to the sliding glass door, opened it, and threw the lunch box over the balcony into the yard. I walked over to her toy bin, picked up another toy and told her if she didn’t pick up like I said, the lunch box will soon have company. Needless to say, she picked up everything in the floor!

Boom! Mom one, toddler zero! I don’t care how many times you tell me ‘I’m not your friend’ little girl! I do not want you to be my friend right now, I want you to be my friend when you’re thirty. Oh yes, I’m pulling out all the mommy classic phrases and also have my very own original ones. ‘Do it because I said so, if I tell you a chicken can pull a train, you better hook him up!’ Another
favorite lately is ‘If you can’t hear me, you can feel me!’ Feel free to use these also. Even if they are not effective, they're fun to say.

So there you have it. I am relieved to finally feel the shift of authority in the house.