The Things We Do

by: @daywithmonica

The heart… Oh, man. Who can understand it? Right?! We’ve read the words in Jeremiah 17:9 – “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” What?!?! I mean let’s be honest here. If this is what the Bible says, surely, we must operate from confusion all the time, right?

Let’s chat.

Almost three years ago, I went on quest to discover my heart. The REAL, deep and hidden places that lie there. I prayed one of the most audacious prayers I could ever pray: “Lord, show me me.”

Oh. My. Word. Yeah, friends. Yikes!

I believe that most well meaning humans go about life desiring good. They function from a well balanced place and are; well… nice. That’s good! This is good! But is good, enough?!

“Ok, God. I’m ready. Let’s go. Let’s figure me out. Let’s open these closed doors and let’s see what’s inside.” My intention was good.

In the hallways of this place, the organ that pumps passion into my veins, was still beating ferociously. It was warm and functioning from the innate value, most well meaning humans operate from. Good. From this place I was able to still celebrate and feel deep emotion at the birth of my children and amazing happenings of those who I love around me. As well as I could mourn with the loss of a child and broken hearted humans. I was still functioning… good.

As the journey continued, I gleefully open doors of my heart wide, all smiles and in childlike laughter. Beautiful majestic memories and images, stored in my blood pumping organ, life giver. But as I continued at my pace, and with Jesus at my side, goosebumps would begin to infiltrate my warm, good meaning space. Door after door, Jesus the gentleman that He is, would never just barge into a closed room. He’d gently, wait. He’d gently ask me, “Are you ready now?” He’d gently hold my hand and open the door with me, but not after I said to Him first, “I’m ready.”

Here I wasn’t greeted with the aroma’s of my mom’s perfume that brought comfort when being homesick would paralyze all reason, as a child. There wasn’t any scents of the meals my grandmother would make us every summer, back in our homeland. No. Here the scents were different. Smells of old like when you walk into a thrift shop. Smells of garbage that desperately needed to be taken out. And yes… even smells of death; the literal kind. I am almost convinced that if you aren’t familiar with the scent of a rotting rodent, you don’t know hood. *That’s just my opinion, but stay focused, girl!

Moving along.

When we walked through these doors, here is where I knew I needed to spend the most of my time cleaning up. Here is where I was face to face with the realities of pain and epiphanies of sufferings. Here is where Jesus and I took down the slabs of wood blocking both So/un’s from entering in. Here is where I understood that many of my mistakes and grievances, they spent time in these rooms FIRST, before transforming into words that roll off my tongue and out my lips.

The things we do and the words we say stem from someplace. Sometimes we feel there isn’t any logical explanation for the things we do, yet even still, we do things and operate from all the different rooms of our heart; both good and bad.

Why do we do this?

Because beloved, everything flows in and out of the heart. And if we aren’t careful, the same emotions we have chained and locked up in a room, will seep its way into our bloodstream, pump itself into the plumbing of all the rooms of our hearts and out our mouths. Out our actions. Out our intentional withholding. Out our social media posts and tweets. Out our selfish friendships. Out in traffic or out in line at the post office. Out on our growing teens and fickle bosses. And even out on the people who love you the most. Yes, we are given instruction: “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23.

Yes, beautiful; rooms left abandoned and unchecked for leaks, mold or mildew do rot. Rooms left abandoned and unchecked for fits of rage, bitterness and depression those rot too. Unruly tenants such as unforgiveness, slander and jealousy… leave those unattended and they will barge into the safest rooms of your hearts relationships and raise havoc, just so that they could be the center of attention. This. Happens. Otherwise we wouldn’t have been instructed to guard our hearts.

“If you never heal from what hurt you, you’ll bleed on people who didn’t cut you.” – Toby Mac

See… Why Toby gotta be all in my business though? I’ll tell you why. Because when you first read it on your insta feed, it made you feel some kind of way and now that you are reading it again on the blog, it’s confirmation. So, what now, boo?

Close your eyes and take a journey into your heart, beloved. Walk down those cobwebbed hallways and look for those boarded up rooms. If it feels too scary to go through alone, ask Jesus to lead you. Remember, Jesus is a gentleman. He will only go where He is invited. Invite Him into those dark spaces. I promise you, nothing can separate you from His love (Rom. 8:38). Not even your ugliest, ugly.

Happy New Year, friends!

With you and for you,
Mónica

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

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…

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