The Golden Rule

Hello everyone! Welcome back to my blog, I’ve been caught up in the mommy whirl wind, but I’m back now!

I was at my local everything store with a very short list of things that I needed to get in a very short amount of time. It was so packed! This particular store has low prices, so there’s always a lot of people shopping there and milling about up and down the isles. There are not enough words for me to describe to you how absolutely RUDE some people are!! I have now lived in quite a few different places and I can tell yo that southern hospitality is no myth!!

I have to say, I travel with a large group; however, we try to be mindful of walking to one side, or moving out of the way, you know we try to practice good manners. We don’t practice good manners because we’re trying to impress others or to win an award. We do this because I truly believe in treating others the way that I would want to be treated. Where did I get this from you ask? Matthew 7:12. This is what Jesus said and He himself was quoting the law. Some people referee to this as the golden rule.

What I’m trying to say to you is that we can not separate the Word of God from good morals. It’s impossible to treat people with loving kindness if you do not know real true love that comes from God. It frustrates me that people think you can separate God and Kindness. If you think that you can be polite, kind, and loving, without knowing the Christ, I am here to say that you can not. How can we show love to others if we ourselves have not accepted real love that comes from God the Father?

It seems like a new age trend is sweeping the world, the doctrine of kindness. That sounds nice when you first hear it, but I ask you to go deeper. How can someone, who does not know the one true God who loved us when we were unlovable? In Christ, we have been shown the perfect example of what it means to have compassion and mercy for someone, all while compelling them to be the best version of themselves.

One of my most favorite Christian movies is about a man who travels to the future to see what can happen to a society who tries to remove the principals of God, while keeping the moral code that a Christian lifestyle creates. Friends you can’t do it, it’s like trying to stop water from being wet!  You can not ask someone to simply be kind to others without also asking them to commit themselves to living a life that is acceptable unto God.

Ask yourself this; who told you that it was wrong to tell a lie? Now that you have answered that question where did they get it from? I have so much more that I can say about how I think our world has eroded the foundation of moral soundness by leaving behind the principles of the Word of God. Now, I was talking to my husband and he pointed out that plenty of people are kind to others and show generosity and respect and their not Christians. Many of them follow the teachings of other faiths and I agree with that, some people are kind to others and I get that. I just truly feel that we can not separate the doctrine of Christ from the genuine love and strong morality that comes along with the Christian faith.

Nevertheless, I want to hear from you, the readers! tell me your thoughts on this subject. I’m thinking of doing a video talking more about this and posting it to my blog. Let me know what’s on your minds.

What a time to be alive

Honestly, even for those of us who try very hard not to pay attention to all the news, and Facebook post, it’s very hard to escape what’s going on in our world right now. I get so overwhelmed just hearing all the news updates! I’m to the point where I don’t want to hear another new report, read another politically charged rant, or see another meme!

It’s not that I don’t have an opinion, it’s that I have realized when you constantly consume negativity it makes your thoughts toxic. Your thoughts become more negative and fearful, and then your thoughts become your words and before too long, your words become your actions! Before too long, those unchecked thoughts of hopelessness become words that we speak and unknowingly curse ourselves.

Which brings me to what I want to talk about with you today. In the book of Numbers chapters22-25 we read about Balaam and Balak. You guys are probably familiar with the names and even the talking donkey! As with most allegories that we read in the bible there is so much in these chapters that we can take away, but I want to focus on the obvious. Balak, the king of Moab, was distressed by the presence of the Israelites because he’d heard what happen to the Egyptians. He thought the best plan would be to go to someone who could curse the Israelites and get rid of them for him. However, it turns out that Balaam could not curse what God had blessed! Balaam actually ended up blessing the Israelites three times!

Friends, if God has blessed you, no one can curse you! There is nothing that anyone can say that can stand against what our God already said about us. If you read the first few verses of chapter 25 it tells you that the Israelites, “began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab.”(Num.25:2-3) They began to worship other Gods and eventually the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel. What actually cursed them or caused them to move out of Gods favor was their own actions. What I’m trying to say is just like the Israelites we must be mindful of our own words and our own actions.  Because they have a much greater impact on who we are and what we can accomplish than what others may do to us or say about us.

While it’s true that the decisions made by our government and those in positions of authority do have an affect on us, they do not and should not govern our spiritual lives. The minute you start confessing what you see on tv or read on the internet over your own life, that’s when you start having problems. Don’t take it in, don’t allow what others are saying or pushing your way to cause you to curse yourself. The real enemy of your soul is not after your hose, bank account, or your 401k, he wants your soul, mind, will and your emotions!

When you click on the news and all of that negativity starts pouring into your home don’t think that it just goes away when you turn off the tv. You have to make spiritual deposits, grab your bible and read out loud so that you can hear the words. Faith does come by hearing by the word of God. You have to set the atmosphere in your home.  You have to remember that you are in the world, but we must labor not to become of this world. We have to fight and pray to keep ourselves in the light. It’s so easy to think that the darkness is winning, but it’s going to be okay Friends. The bible says that the word of the Lord is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path.(Psalm119:105)

No matter what we may be struggling with, or what news reports has got us feeling  like we’re living in the very last minutes of the last day! God has already called you blessed, and what God has blessed no man can curse. I can not stress this enough, we have to feast on the WORD of God. This is a time like never before and we must bombard heaven with our prayers and fill our hearts with faith.

No matter what this situation is, no matter how bad things look, let’s remember who’s in control. I pray that we always hear the words that Jesus spoke to the disciples,” Peace I leave with you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (Jh.14:27)

Have you been fighting off the same feeling of hopelessness and darkness that I’m describing? If so, what are you doing to combat the Spirit of despair that seems to be consuming so many people in our world right now? What are yo doing to spread good news? More than anything people need to hear the good news right now. I want to hear about it in the comments!

Misplaced Identity

When I was a little girl I couldn’t wait to grow up, there was nothing that I wanted more than to be an adult. I knew exactly who I would be, and what I would like to do with my life.  I thought being an adult meant I could have fun doing whatever I wanted to do. I didn’t seem to factor in the parts about working, or being completely responsible for myself, and let’s not forget the part about paying my own bills!

As a kid I only imagined having fun as an adult, going to cool places and having nice things. However, it didn’t take me long to discover that my dreams need a financier and that was going to be me! If I wanted nice things I was going to have to work hard to pay for them and if I wanted to travel to cool places I had to pay for them.

So, I did what most people do after high school, I went to college and I chose a major that I thought would be a good fit for me. I majored in secondary English education and I loved every moment of teaching and being in the classroom. I really truly enjoyed teaching and I loved working with my students. And yet, here I am not doing that! My life went in a whole other direction, and I can’t say that I’m upset about that.

If someone would have asked me six weeks ago if I still wanted to teach some day I would have said, “Of course!” I actually still planned to get a job teaching in a few years. Partially because I thought that I had to teach because that’s what my degree was in and I kind of felt like I had no other options. However, I recently started thinking about other things that I want to try and the thought of doing something so totally different from what I originally wanted actually gave me butterflies and scared me at the same time. I was excited about reinventing myself, but then I immediately thought, “What if it’s too late to try something so new? Am I too old to learn new things?”

I don’t know how a person can be excited and afraid to try at the same time but I definitely was. I don’t know if you guys are like this, but I sometimes have to hurry up and do something, otherwise I might talk myself out of it! I have to sit myself down sometimes and give myself a good old fashion pep talk and encourage myself. I told myself that I have grown and matured and that I’m allowed to want something different. People can change. They can reinvent themselves as often as they want to, there’s no age limit on growth. It’s hard to imagine stepping outside of the walls that I built for myself, but I’m ready for a change in my life.

I won’t be doing anything wild and crazy, but for me this is still a surprise. I even shocked my husband, which is hard to do by the way. I feel like I’ve been stuck in a momma rut and all my days just run together. I do the same thing day in and day out. I am such a predictable person, I shop at the same stores, I wear the same clothes, my favorite lipstick hasn’t changed in years! I have to get some freshness back into my routine. I feel like a person who has lost their joy for living. Don’t get me wrong I’m not depressed, just boring!

Somewhere along the way between getting married and having children I lost my fire. I’ve fallen into a very comfortable existence and I just can’t live another second in my beige world anymore. I was beginning to think of myself as only my children’s mother or my husband’s wife, until I finally couldn’t take it anymore and my inner adventurous self shouted out, “Your name is TORRE!!!” I was tired of being one dimensional.

That’s when I woke up and said to myself, ” I gotta get outa here!” I realized that I had buried myself in a box labeled old me! I literally woke up one day and said I want to have interest and hobbies besides taking long walks through Costco and changing a diaper without getting my seat dirty in the truck! I finally see that I can’t completely blot out my own desires and still be a great Mom. I actually need to have joy that is separate from being a wife and mother.

I honestly feel like the last person in the world to get this concept, but I want to hear from you! How long did it take you Ladies to realize that Mother and Wife should not, and could not, be all that you are? Tell me about it in the comment section!

Family Fun

We probably all have memories of the time we spent together with our family, no matter if it was good or bad. My Mother came from a very large family, she had nineteen brothers and sisters! I know that puts my five in different light doesn’t it? Needless to say, any family event that they had, my mom’s family, was huge and filled with food, music, laughter and plenty of cousins! My Mom was a very family oriented person, she absolutely loved entertaining and doing things with her sisters and brothers. All of my memories of being with my family when I was younger just bring tears of joy to my eyes. I get all warm and fuzzy inside when I reminisce on my childhood memories of spending time with my family.

I never knew that while I was running around at those family barbecues, playing, getting dirty, eating and  having the time of my life, that someone had planed that and made everything come together.

Behind every great family event there is a whole committee of volunteers. Those same Aunts and Uncles had cooked the food, brought items like paper plates, and napkins. Then there where ones that volunteered to stay late and clean up after everyone, giving us kids time to play in the sunset.

It’s only natural that I would want this to be the goal whenever my children think of our family time together. However, the reality is often full of to-do list, plans, and schedules. I wonder how many times my Mom and Aunts worried over food preparations, or what time the family would arrive? I’m curious to know exactly all the headaches they cured while entertaining a small army?  I seem to get so stuck on all the details of our trips, fun family outings, that it spoils all the fun that I set out to have. I wish I could snap my fingers and just enjoy myself like I did when I was a kid, but I can’t. Now I’m the adult and I have to learn how to balance planning family time with enjoying family time. I can’t think of anything worse than taking a well deserved vacation so that you can relax and enjoy your family, and then working the whole time to have FUN!

I drive my husband crazy with my list and my schedules, but I do it with good intentions. No matter where we’re going I have a schedule and a list of places we should, “squeeze in.”  In the name of, Family time and Family Memories, I have rushed us to several places settling for a quick pic or a fun filled afternoon! We end up coming home tired and worn out, and exhausted from all of our fun family time. What I enjoyed so much as a kid about being with my family was how easy and relaxing it was. Now that I’m an adult I realize how important vacations, family trips, family outings and time together are for the health of your family. We all need balance, even our children, but it’s imperative to remember what’s most important about vacations and trips. Spending time together with the people you love most should not be about scheduling  every second of your time away.

I decided that this year that I would unwind a little bit and stop forcing the fun. I want to enjoy myself just as much as everyone else. I promised myself that I would stop and smell the roses. I can get a little obsessive about the perfect picture or eating at a particular restaurant. I look forward to what can happen when you throw away the to-do list and just go with the flow. I’m a little bit embarrassed to say that I’m the Mom with a whistle on vacation telling everyone ,”If we leave right now we can make it to the bridge for our sunset picture!” I am making this vow right now to loosen up a bit for 2017!

How do you plan to make going on vacation easier for you and your family this year? Let me hear ’em in the comments.

Rain, Rain, Here to Stay

Here in Northern California where I live it has been raining for a week now, and it’s supposed to continue well into the next week as well. I personally have always liked rainy days, as long as I don’t have to be out in the rain. I love to read a good book, or watch a good romantic comedy.

The abundance of rain in a short amount of time is not that great for our area though, because we’ve been in a severe drought for the past five years. Which means we are now on alert for flooding. It’s like the old saying too much of a good thing can be bad for you. Isn’t it funny how that works? If you’ve been without the proper amount of rain for a long period of time, you would think that getting a lot of rain would thrill and delight you.

That’s not the case though, when you’re forced to live without the very thing that you need you find ways to adapt and to live without it. Here in Northern California we have what they call fire season, that’s when we have the perfect conditions for wildfires that occur naturally or man made. The past two years that I was here we had some pretty bad wildfires and they did a lot of damage and destroyed a lot of trees and homes. With all this rain that we’ve been getting, now we have a mudslide advisory in addition to flooding.

All of this has made me think about my own life. It’s made me question how adversity has made me adjust my life, my level of expectations and even how I perceive certain things. When you lack something that you really need or someone who you really depend on, you learn to live without them. That’s essential for survival, but how do you adjust to life when God starts to bless you and you feel like it’s more than you can handle?

Have you ever had a bunch of really good things happen to you and it made you feel like something bad must be waiting for you just around the corner? I don’t know how it happened to me, but that’s something that I struggle with now. If a string of really good things happen or a huge blessing happens to me I get really nervous that something bad will happen next. I think I know how this unrealistic fear came about, but I’m curious to know does anyone else deal with this unrealistic fear?  I think that this will be something that I try to work on this year.

Fear is so paralyzing and it’s a real thief in my life and I definitely want to be free of that. What are your thoughts? Do you have any fears of being blessed too much? Does good news make you afraid that something bad is going to happen next? Let me hear it in the comments.

Happy New Year

Hello Friends,

I thank God that you all were blessed to see another year! What a true blessing it is to know that we get another year to start over, reinvent ourselves, or continue down the path that we have already chosen. I have had a super busy holiday season and honestly I kind of feel relieved that it’s over! I know that’s such a cray thing to say, but when it comes to the holidays I tend to stretch myself a little thin.

One thing that I had to keep telling myself was, “This is not about you, it’s about Jesus.”

I kept wanting to get the perfect gift and the perfect ugly sweater,(which I ended up not even going to the ugly sweater party by the way.) I wanted to cook the perfect holiday meal and I was putting a lot of unnecessary stress on myself. Even though I seem to know that the holidays should be a time for us, my family and I, to spend together just enjoying one another’s company, I always seem to get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of getting things that I get bogged down.

I had to sit my self down and have a little talk with the woman in the mirror. I told her she was being crazy and she needed to take a step back. I had to try and re-center myself before I completely lost sight of what the holidays were truly about. I know I can’t be the only one out there who goes overboard with the holiday hoopla…right? I decided that this next Christmas season, 2017, I will do a much better job remembering the real reason for the season.

I know some people truly dislike making new year’s resolution, but I am not one of them! I would like to hear what you guys are resolving to do differently or what you want to keep doing in 2017. I’ll go first. This year I plan to focus more of my time and energy on taking better care of myself. I put all six family members before myself so much that I don’t even know if I can stop! I admit that I have not been doing things for myself that I really should be doing on a daily basis like working out, eating more healthfully and the list goes on and on.

Alright now that I have told you one of mine I want to hear yours. Just leave me one thing that you would like to try or continue in this new year. Thanks for stopping by and welcome back to my blog. I pray that 2017 be a prosperous and blessed year for you and your family!

Happy Holidays

I would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving, a very Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year. I have been debating back and forth on if I will write during the busy holiday season and I think the answer is I’m not sure.

I know I don’t have to explain how busy I am to you all, but I am a very busy momma of five and a busy wife as well. I have very little time to do several things at one, let alone do them well. I think I will take this time to focus on my family and I will be back with fresh new material in January.

Thank you guys so much for all of your support and love that you have shown me, your readership has changed my life. I now have friends in places that I have never even seen before. May God Bless you and cause his grace to shine upon you.  Don’t be surprised if I post a few pictures or cool quotes over my holiday break! I still want to connect with you guys!

See ya in 2017!

A Trip Down Memory Lane

Today is my third child, who is my second son’s birthday! I can not believe it has been seven years already since the day he was born. I remember I was so excited because my husband and I had decided to find out the gender when the baby was born. I was sure that the baby was a girl though, so I made a deal with my husband that if the baby was a girl that I could name her and if it was a boy he could name him.

It was a bogus deal though because, I thought that I was surely having a girl. All the old wives tale told me so; I was carrying the baby high, I was smaller  just like with my oldest daughter, I had no morning sickness at all, I could eat everything that I wanted, and most of all I wanted it to be a girl. I had already had a little girl two years prior to getting pregnant with Daniel and I thought this will be great, I’ll have tons of clothes and shoes. I won’t need to buy anything!

Perhaps the most exciting thing about November 20, 2009 though, was my birthing experience. I had been praying and believing God for some specific things in relation to my birth plan  one of them was that my water would break, and the other major thing was that I would have a drug-free delivery. One out of two of those things actually happen that day.

I was at home with my kids and I had just had an appointment with my midwife the day before and I had her strip my membranes, to get things started in there. I had a history of going way past my due date, so I didn’t want that to happen a third time. I was at home making lunch because my husband was getting ready to come home for lunch, when I felt liquid come out of me! I immediately thought that I accidently peed on myself, in true shock I went to the bathroom and cleaned myself up and changed my clothes. Then I went back to the kitchen and thought nothing of it, then all of a sudden I wet myself again, but even more that time. I started to get a little suspicious that maybe my water had broken, so I hopped on the phone and called my neighbor, who’s water broke when she had her daughter, and told her what I was experiencing and she told me to go to the hospital.

I can’t remember if I called my husband or if he just came home, but the first thing he said was, “But I haven’t ate yet!” I called our friend and my sister and they said they were on their way, and little did I know it would be another seven hours before I actually went into labor and gave birth. You see, even though my water broke I did not start dilating on my own. They had to give me a drug to make me dilate and then after that I asked for the epidural and well then I had the baby! You know the rest, it was a boy and we named him Daniel Joshua.

I look back on that day now and I smile, and I cry a little bit too, because I’m starting to understand more and more just how quickly the days go by. Honestly, being a parent can make for some pretty long days and nights. It can be hard to see just how fleeting time is. We get weighed down by the day to day chores, and routines and we miss the moments. We forget to enjoy the little things in life and folks…those moments are not on repeat. Once you miss them their gone for good. It’s not like I want to scare you and make you think that we will never have another opportunity to make memories with our children, but I do want you to stop and smell the roses.

I’m so glad you guys stopped by and join me for a trip down memory lane. I hope you take the time this week to cherish the time that you have with your loved ones and make some good memories. Even the bad memories won’t seem so bad if you live a bit longer.(wink,wink) Have a good day and leave me a comment and let me know how you cherish the moments.

Have You Ever

I have a question for you all this Monday (it’s still Monday here for fifteen more minutes.)

Have you ever done something that you weren’t completely comfortable with to further your career? I’m not talking about something illegal or unethical, but something that takes you out of your comfort zone nonetheless. Please feel free to leave a comment and let’s talk about it together.

Life Goes On

By now the whole world knows that we, America, have a new President. Now, I certainly don’t want to get too deep into how I feel about it or the President-Elect, but I can tell you guys that I was very disappointed after the election. I think more importantly I was disappointed that what I wanted didn’t happen. Honestly, I’ve been disappointed with the whole election season and I’m glad it’s over!

However, I heard the President’s speech about how life goes on and you know what…he’s right. Life does go on, it may be more complicated, it may be more unpleasant at first, but life goes on and so, we must go on as well. I will not try to convince you or myself that everything is going to be just fine, because with change comes uncertainty. What I will offer you is that we serve a God who has withstood the test of time, and he has not changed. We can trust God.

I was reminded by my lovely husband that God is the one who sets up kings and removes them. (Dan.2:21.) That is what I would like to leave you all with right now. Let’s remember to pray for all of our leaders and pray for our country. We need Godly leaders, but surley we can not make it without people who are willing to sacrifice their time and pray for others.

Amen and God bless!