Worth The War

Hi friends,

So, let’s start with a #ConfessionSession.

I am behind on life. That’s it.

A couple of weeks ago, we hosted our 3rd quarterly brunch of the year, Mind-Full. And much like every brunch time past, it wiped me out. This time however, I got smart. I got really “good busy” just to make sure I ride right over the wave of darkness that comes immediately after any spiritled outpour.

Wisdom.

I met with friends, attended my movement meetings, went to conferences, worship gatherings, dates and simply put, got really “good busy.” That was the first week.

Fast forward to today, just completing week two, and friends I am behind. I got really “good busy,” got really “good filled,” but then got really good tired. And my heart is stretched. For reasons too unorthodox to try to explain, I am knee deep in my season of waiting well and I only ask that you help me pray over what next looks like.

Next week we begin our last #BibleStudy of the year, “Breathe… Making Room for Sabbath.” Coincidence? Surely, by now you know coincidence is really heighten confidence. Although I may be behind in life, like this blog post, I am not behind in pausing when I need to. I am not behind on checking in on my heart, my health and my mind to ensure I don’t leave room for anything outside of God’s best for me.

So, no; not coincidence. Necessary.

You are valuable and your contribution too, is necessary. You are necessary and your thing is necessary. Ride the wave right over the temptations that set up traps to isolate you and uproot your good seeds. Fill your mind and heart with the Word of God and speak truth into any and every situation. Surround yourself with the squad that can pick you up when you’re down or whisper in your ear,” you are worth the war” when you’re laid out. BE this for your sister too. You are BOTH necessary.

Love and light,

Mo

Go!

By: Mónica R Rodriguez

@daywithmonica

What do you do when you don’t feel like it? So, ok… We know in theory how to combat for our joy, right? We read the Word, we refrain from isolation, we participate in some #ConfessionSessions. If you aren’t familiar, that’s when you find your person or squad and you spill your guts.

But what about those days when absolutely nothing leads you in the direction of having peace. You’re weary, you’re tired, and in some instances, just fed up. What then?

Sisters, allow me to expound on a misconception we frequent often. We sometimes think and are at times full blown convinced that the Jesus Girls we love and respect who scroll up our insta feeds must have this wonderful, untouchable, connection with God and can’t POSSIBLY struggle how we struggle.

Well, here’s a bit of truth. That’s a lie! Lol! Yes, we all have “struggles.”

“We all have thorns to our sides, but it can’t possibly compare to ours,” we say.

We think, that our shame, guilt, sin is too ugly to compare to that of our favorite Jesus Girl. However, babe, you want to know something? No matter what your weakness is in comparison to mine, it all stems from the same place. We all have the same enemy. We are all at war with the same forces on quest for our peace.

Jesus said on the account of the woman caught in the act of adultery, “you with no sin, cast the first stone.” -John 8:7. The moral of the story; her sin was exposed, she was embarrassed and set out to be killed, Yet, Jesus…

My beautiful friend, sometimes we aren’t going to feel like we’ve been delivered or free from our pasts. Sometimes it may feel like we will never measure up or be like our favorite Jesus Girls. At times we will have to fight to get out of bed or be intentional on turning off the comparison button. This is reality, but it isn’t the truth.

No matter what you’ve faced or are facing, I promise you, your favorite Bible teacher is facing hardships of her own, you will never know this side of heaven. I guarantee you, the conclusions we make up in our heads aren’t always what is, because the parts we get to see aren’t all there is. We are ALL facing something.

Truth, is my beautiful one, Christ died to set you free from your past, your present AND your future. He didn’t deliver you than say, “Now, from this moment on, be perfect.” No… He said “Go and sin no more.” Not as a unattainable goal and some fantasy expectation we can never reach, but as a statement of hope. “Go. Sin no more!” He is asking us to take action… Go! Sometimes we find ourselves in messes because we aren’t doing much about it to fight against it.

God desires for us to live in the truth of our deliverance and how beautiful, forgiven and set free we truly are. The action? Go. Walk in this truth.

The promises of the Bible are over 5000. Let’s begin to walk in authority knowing this: not everyday will feel purposeful, but we were created on purpose for a purpose.

This alone is worth fighting for our joy.

Let’s journey together and fight together, beautiful ones. We are all Jesus’ favorite Jesus girls. This too is a truth.

Onward!

Mónica

Disappointment Sucks

By: Sofia Gonzalez @mrsg_p214

Re|Defined Women #BookClub, Love Life Again

I’ll never forget the day, and my long term memory isn’t as sharp as I’d like it to be. I was a freshman in high school: wild, young, and full of teenage angst and energy.


My dad was home earlier than expected. His face somber and pale. I threw my backpack on the floor and headed to the fridge for some afternoon rummaging. He cleared his throat by the counter.


“Hmmhmm, mija I think you need to go sit down with me. There’s something I have to tell you.”


“Ok, is mom cooking? I’m starving.”


He didn’t respond. I looked up from the fridge door, his eyes started to swell with tears. Dad doesn’t cry much. He had my attention.


He sat down first, and patted the couch for me to sit close to him. It immediately spilled out like a sudden knock of a glass of milk from your elbow, as you watch the glass and its liquid splatter everywhere.


“Your mother and I are getting a divorce.”
 I didn’t say anything, I felt the room closing in on me. My brain started to feel pressed, my heart beating quick beats, now poking at my skin.


“Why?”


“The love isn’t there mija, and I’m thinking of taking a job in Washington DC.”


Silence. Raw Silence, and then the dam broke. My father broke down into bite size pieces in front of me. He wept in his hands, as I stood there in a paralyzing shock, as this was too much for my teenage world to absorb. I did what any 14 year old may have done. In a panic, I ran out of the house and ran and ran for blocks as I cried uncontrollably. Over 20 years of marriage shattered in an instant. I become part of the statistic of a Latina who will be raised by a single mother. The road ahead seemed grim. But. God.


In Love Life Again, by Tracy Miles, she had me at one of her opening lines to chapter one when she said, “There came a time I had to accept that my life had not turned out the way I thought it would and no amount of wishing it were different was going to change it.”


Her open door policy with chapter one initiated so much respect for her in my mind’s eye, as she unfolded the culprit of her demise: Adultery and divorce. Those two words are enough to level an open field like Hurricane Maria’s work in Puerto Rico’s terrains.


Dang. She confronts the reader at the onset. Happy, joy has to be a choice. As disappointment sucks…it will literally suck the joy, peace, and happiness from the byways of your soul like a sailing ship on an oceanfront, never to return.


Through the disdain and the classroom of experience, I have learned the same. Loving life again can’t be circumstantial, but a constant posture that we will have to aspire towards everyday. Do we honestly think that our days are limitless? All the more reason we need to reach, grab, and put on joy each and every sunrise.


Because you see, sadness is seductive, almost sexy. We drape it over us like a blanket in the dead of winter nights, pulling it under our chins, wrapping our feet from the bottom so a toe doesn’t wiggle out.
 But happy?
 But joy?


That’s like grasping for straws. Or wind. We try to grab it, and let it go at the reckoning of a snatcher, a circumstance that would care to rob us blind. How easily do we let it flee. We hardly fight for it. Like a lover about to leave the midnight train, and we have one chance to convince them to stay. We let them board. We listen to the whistle blow. Cement blocks stick our feet in. We standby on the platform of life, watching the train pass us by.


Nehemiah said, as they were rebuilding the Jerusalem ruins, “Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength” (8:10).


Happy-joy? That’s a choice. It can exist even inside of grief’s quarters. Going deeper, it has to transform into a mindset, a psychological posture that one must embrace daily. Even if it be gradual, it must be progressive.

Do you know what else? It is proven that sadness, despondency, and depression lead to lethargy, a slowed heart rate, and even suicidal ideation. Yet, joy and happy actually fuse in us strength, clarity, energy, and an actual release of endorphins in our brains. Not unintentional by the Maker.

Choose joy, my dear heart. 
Choose happy today.


Your heart, your soul, your close knits, your Maker will be glad you did.


“For the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
 – Nehemiah 8:10


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Word Girl

By: Mónica R Rodriguez @daywithmonica

Re|Defined Women #BookClub, Love Life Again

“They may forget what you said- but they will never forget how you made them feel.” -Carl W. Buehner, Official in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- Day Saints.

Would you believe me if I told you, I remember a dream I had when I was in kindergarten? I do!

Mrs. Ortiz’ class of 1987. Yes, ma’am, I remember! It was nap time, (seriously!) so when I say kindergarten, I mean literally. We didn’t have the fancy cots kids have now, what we had was a carpet. One big carpet that come to think of it, “how gross!”

ANYWAY…

Mrs. Ortiz had an interesting way of waking us up after nap time. She used her teacher ruler, the really long wooden one (are you familiar?) to poke us. I remember wondering as a child, “Why a ruler? Did she not want to touch us?” I know! Since, like, birth I’ve been in my feelings, it’s crazy. Now that I’m a grown adult, it’s probably because she just didn’t feel like bending down. Hello!

This particular day, when we gathered after nap time on the circular carpet this time, I happened to be sitting right next to Mrs. Ortiz. I can’t remember the context of our group time but I do remember sharing my dream with the class. “I was laying down and the bed was going around in circles. Over and over again, I was going in circles and wouldn’t stop.” That was it! That was the dream. Profound, huh?!

Although it was a simple dream and I was just five years old, Mrs. Ortiz stopped and listened. She asked me questions different from the questions she was asking the rest. To her the dream was interesting. For me, my teacher was ‘seeing’ me.

The reality is, it wasn’t the dream, it’s vastness and depth or lack thereof that I remember. It was how my teacher made me feel when I shared my dream that I remember. She not just heard me, she was listening.

I am a lover of words. It very well could be because I have traits of my Father and Creator. The One who spoke all of life and living into existence with His words. Or possibly because I am a ‘forever student’ captivated by the Word of God itself and hold true it’s every promise as solid gold!

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” – John 1:1

The Word WAS God! The Word IS God! This is gold!! Surely, my love for words stems from knowing the Power they carry!

Interestingly enough, my love for words also stems from the same place my emotions come from; my soul. And when I/we are guilty of speaking unchecked words that then lead to unchecked actions, we run the risk of leaving lifelong impressions on another human; another soul. Words turn into memories and in so many ways become what we believe of ourselves.

This does things to me!

On the journey to ‘loving life again,’ I am reminded by our author, Tracie Miles,”what we say matters,” she says. The words that we say to ourselves and each other, both bountifully good and carelessly reckless, mean something.

What words am I choosing? What words are you?

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue?…” – Proverbs 18:21

My #ConfessionSession is that my words haven’t always aligned with who I aspire to be. The good news is, like any growing mechanism we aren’t designed to stay the same. Whatever isn’t growing is dead. Dead, like that plant sitting in that pot just taking up space in the kitchen or porch. You know the one! Or maybe that’s just my house. Whatevs!

Let’s commit to learn from our mistakes and challenge ourselves to pay attention to our words, my loves.

Much like the joy we’re reading about in “Love Life Again,” the words we choose is exactly that; our choice. Let’s take back our ability to choose and choose well!

Love and light, beauties…

Version 2

A Re|Defined Brunch!

– N E W – S E A S O N – … Spring is upon us and so is YOUR new season, beautiful! Join #ReDefinedWomen at the table for a time of everything nice!

ReDefined Table will be hosting it’s very first potluck brunch/ mini expo and you’re invited! We are a collaboration of women who inspire and look to be inspired. A few of our favorite things are #BreakingBread, #ReadingBooks & #StudyingBible! We believe in supporting small business’ lead by women boss’s “doin the thang!” Got a hustle you’d like to showcase?! Email us! This event is for YOU; for any and ALL of us women!

Join us for brunch and BE inspired to welcome in a new SEASON!

*invite a friend… leave the babies home… share your favorite dish… and pull up a chair! #WeSavedYouASeat || You won’t be disappointed! || RSVP – space is limited || email menu inquires to friends@redefinedtable.com

FAQs

How can I participate in the expo?

Email Mónica at friends@redefinedtable.com // subject: Let’s Connect!

How does the potluck work?

You make (or buy, ha! let’s be real) your fav dish and bring it with you ready to serve! Warmers and trays will be provided.

How can I contact the organizer with any questions?

You can email our team at friends@redefinedtable.com or inbox our Like Page: https://www.facebook.com/ReDefinedTable/