Sunday, July 31, 2011

Countdown: 11 days - blessings, goodbyes and spiritual family.

Countdown: 11 days before we leave. Today was our last Sunday to attend our LA church (next weekend is family weekend) and it was very emotional for me and my son.

This has been our home church for the past 8.5 years. It was in this church that I grew and matured as a Christian. It was in this church that I learned how to serve, teach, pray, encourage. It was in this church that I was launched into leadership. It was in this church that my dreams began to grow as i started walking out the initial process of my dreams to teach God's Word and counsel women.

Most importantly, it was in this church where I learned the meaning and importance of spiritual family. You see, just like in blood family, spiritual family has its good seasons and bad seasons, its up and downs. For the past 8.5 years this church has seen its share of good and bad and joys and tears ... and i'm glad I listened to God's voice to stick it through with this spiritual family no matter what happened. And trust me this church has been through A LOT and a lot of people have come out victorious! And I'm proud of the people who have stuck it through aand have grown through the seasons. These people have literally become like family to me and my son. My son practically grew up in this church house.

We have received love and care from so many people in the church. They were there when we were homeless and they gave us a roof over our head. They were there when we had no cars and i received 4 free cars. When I had no money, people would treat me out to eat and buy my son things he needed/wanted. When we were going through a rough time, this spiritual family prayed for us, supported me and my son and rallied around us to encourage us to hold on no matter how rough it got. They watched God take me through the season of wildnerness for years and years and they saw God open miraculous doors for me for this next season of my life. In fact, the members of this church are my biggest givers and sowers for my mission trip and ministry in Hawaii.

The people of this church are very excited to bless the church in Hawaii by sowing not only their friend but also their finances to send me and my son out there. I am forever grateful and thankful that God surrounded me and my son with loving faithful people and friends.

Today, the leaders and elders prayed for me and my son to send us off to our mission trip. They covered us in prayer and assured us that they have our backs in prayer.

That is big for me.... because as I had previously mentioned in my other post, I really believe that it's as important to end seasons gracefully because it speaks volumes on how you will begin a new season. And I'm so glad I have the blessing of my spiritual family, my leaders and pastors as my son and I venture into the next season of our lives.

** side note: I was THE FIRST PERSON that received prayer on our new auditorium/stage. The same stage I took a picture of last January when I said I will preach there one day as the stage was being built. I love that I got first dibs on that stage! :) ha! **

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Countdown: 12 days to Hawaii - kiddos.

My baby sister has been sleeping over our place this past week now.she says she plans to sleep over every day and spend time with us until we leave.

Last night she was telling me how much she was gonna miss her nephew (my son). She couldnt help but cry at the thought of not being able to play with him or have him over all the time.

This ofcourse made me cry too. Accckkk the reality of leaving family is becoming more real now.

*tears*

Dear God, only You know why I have to move and be far away from my sisters. I trust that you will make the transition easy for us. I entrust my baby sisters to you. I know you're going to take care of them and you're going to take care of us. Thank you so much for Skype.  Love, Patricia

Friday, July 29, 2011

Countdown: 13 days to Hawaii - family time.

Countdown: 13 more days to Hawaii. Me and my sister went out on a date to watch captain America and my other sister took my son out on a date to watch Harry Potter.

spending time with family always makes my heart smile. Well that and hot superheros. Lol!!!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

countdown: 14 days to hawaii - reeking sweat and garlic.

countdown: 14 days to hawaii. spent the day packing. it was hot as heck in the garage and i was sweating like a pig but me and my son got 4 boxes down - packed and sealed - and now i have 3 more boxes to go!!! woohoo!!

i reek sweat. 

THEN.... i had dinner (don't worry i took a shower first before i went) with really great friends of mine... a couple who has inspired me and supported me and my dreams all through out this time... i absolutely love them. they brought me to the stinking rose in beverly hills coz they heard i have never been....and OH MY GOODNESS...the food was deeeeelish... (except for the garlic ice cream). i am definitely going again.




i reek garlic but i dont care. check out these hot sauces. they will blast your a**. =]

this fertility god in the restroom skuuured me.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Countdown: 15 days to Hawaii and ending seasons properly.

Countdown: 15 days to Hawaii.

I ran errands the wholr day and had food dates with friends. We had dinner with my ex boss. (I've been eating so much I'be gained weight again!) Anywhoo I love that my ex-boss invited me and my son out to eat a late dinner and she and her niece even gave us financial donations to help with our move and our missions trip. She even said that God forbid, if things don't work out in Hawaii, I'm always welcome to come work for her again.... and she even told me that she was gonna come and visit me and my son :)

This put a smile on my face because I love ending seasons properly. I love that i can use my boss as a reference and that we still have a relationship outside of the office. I value my integrity highly and I never like to burn bridges or end seasons with a bitter taste in my mouth and in my heart.

I left work properly and Im leaving my church properly with blessings from figures of authority in my life as well as loved ones (parents, pastors, my boss, family, friends).

I've heard it once said that "how you end a season speaks volumes on how you will begin a new season of your life".

Im glad (with God's grace) that I chose to do make this decision the right way...  with proper prayer covering and support. It means so much to us that we have the blessings of those around us for this next season. We feel like this will propel us to do even greater things for God since we have the support of those we love and care about.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

countdown: 19 days to Hawaii

countdown: 19 days to hawaii. my farewell / fundraiser party. THANK YOU to everyone who made it out to the party and to everyone who donated $.. a big thank you to you. the money will be going to mine and christian's "furniture and appliances and house stuff and grocey fund" as soon as we get out there. 

ya'll made me and christian feel really special and loved. special thanks to my smallgroup who brought food for the party and  BIG thank you to carol, christie, rosie, cathy and my mom for setting up the place  and the levy's for hosting the party. congratulations to those of you who won the prizes...especially to kelly who won the tiffany ring. HOLLA! 

i only had my phone camera (my camera is broken) so i don't have much pics of the party. if you have pics...please send em my way. thanks)





Friday, July 22, 2011

countdown: 20 days to hawaii

countdown: 20 days.

my body is sore from all those roller coaster rides...i think i spoke to soon. maybe im not young enough to enjoy those rides after all ;)

spent the day PACKING and PACKING and PACKING some more. how fun!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

countdown: 21 days to hawaii and coasters.

countdown: 21 days. today my superman turns eleven. and we celebrated his birthday here.....


he was tall enough to ride ALL the rides... so that he did.
and i could still rock the coasters... hands up and everything ;)
i love being able to be "young" enough to still enjoy these things with him
instead of sitting and waiting for them while they have all the fun.


magic mountain conquered.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

countdown: 22 days to hawaii and divorce.

countdown: 22 days to hawaii.

today i spent $1074.00 to ship my car out to the islands. i had to remind myself WHY i was moving 2500 miles away before i clicked "pay". that amount could have already been my dave ramsey emergency fund money!! 

i had to remind myself that obedience always has a price. sometimes the price is leaving loved ones... and sometimes it's a monetary price. im excited though, coz it means that God is going to have to provide miraculously for more finances to come in =]

today was also my parent's final court hearing for their divorce. i absolutely hate the word DIVORCE. this was my mom's second divorce... and you would think that because im 30+ years old, it wouldn't affect me that much.... but it did. you see, my parents' marriage was probably one of the most unhealthiest marriages ever. it was built on adultery, lies, abuse, manipulation, and pride from both sides of the party. but even in the chaos that was their marriage... it still represented family. my family. and it's in that family that partly shaped me to be who i am today. 

and today, that season "officialy" ends. divorce represents death. i once wrote about seeing beauty in death. today i am fighting hard to see the beauty in this...because no matter how ugly their marriage was and no matter how painful the memories were for us children growing up in a home that was extremely dysfunctional... divorce only means the end of a season in our lives and an end of a 21 year relationship and friendship.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Countdown: 23 days to hawaii & a picture that says it all.


Countdown: 26 days and this picture SAYS IT ALL.......


Dear Jesus, please take the wheel and please send me an angel who will sort and weed through our stuff and pack for me. Amen.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Countdown: 24 days to Hawaii and allowing myself to cry.

Countdown: 24 days to Hawaii.

Today I cried about leaving for the first time. I had just come from watching a DVD from my papa's house and bringing my son to his friend's house to sleep over. I was alone in my car and was taking the time to pray about a few things when I suddenly found myself in tears.

I tried to stop it, but it just flowed. I was talking to God and sharing my heart to Him about how sad I feel about leaving family and close friends behind. I am excited for this next season and I can't wait to do what God has called and designed for me to do....

but at that moment, I had to allow myself to cry. Sometimes doing  God's will requires for us to sacrifice things we love the most.... in this case, it's being away from my sisters and my best friends.And ya'll have no clue how close I am with my sisters.

oy vey.

I'm an emotional mess right now. I think it's the hormones. It's PMS galore. Someone pass me some chocolates and ice cream please. (See: http://www.ricianne.com/2008/11/vs-5-pms.html for more info) please check back on me tomorrow to make sure I haven't gained 20lbs. Thanks.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

countdown: 25 days to hawaii and unity in a broken body.

countdown: 25 days to hawaii. clock is ticktocking. i've been gone for the past 2 weeks trying to raise support so i haven't been to church... i went today and some people looked at me as if to say"what you're still here?!?!" someone even thought i had already left. wow. obviously they aren't blog readers/ & or twitter friends. HA! i swear sometimes strangers on twitter know more about my life than my "real" friends. doink. 

today the message at church was unity. using ephesians 4:1-10 as a scripture basis, the speaker made a point to drive in unity within the church. i loved that message, because i think it's so vital for the church to grasp this message. it's even MORE VITAL that the whole body of Christ absolutely gets this.

the body of Christ is so broken. it breaks my heart to see so many churches ripping other churches apart, just because they aren't part of the same ministry. it hurts me when i hear pastors talk down or talk bad about other pastors. some church people think they are better than other church folk coz they think they go to a "better church".

heck to the no. no church is "better". no one person is "better". and you ain't more holy or sanctified that the next person who prays a salvation prayer.

we are all broken. 

the only reason why we are all beautiful anyway is coz of what Christ did on the cross. apart from Him, we are ugly, fallen, sinful, prideful human beings. ALL OF US. apart from Him your church is WHACK. apart from Him, my church is WHACK. [guess what...even with Christ, sometimes we are whack. LOL] your 10,000 member church isn't any better than the 200 member church or 10 person church. 

we are all saved by His grace. we are all sanctified by His grace. and we must continue to trust in His grace as we grow in love. we must fight for His grace to keep us united as a body instead of ripping each other apart. 

i pray that we would begin to walk in unity as a body of Christ.... because Jesus says: "By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. [john13:25] how the heck is the whole world gonna know of His love if we can't even love one another as brothers and sisters in Christ?

this quote says it best: "love is wanting God's best for others" - Eric Ahlstrom. we should always want God's best for everyone, not just for our friends or family but for the whole body of Christ and those who are made in God's image... which is the rest of the world.

let's fight to love each other. let's fight to believe the best in each other. let's fight to keep the body of Christ united. so that we don't shame the name of the ONE who took our place to be broken and bruised for us in order that we may remain united in His love.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Countdown: day 26 to Hawaii + a very happy heart





Countdown: day 26 to Hawaii.

Today was my sister's birthday party. We had family and friends and food and fun the whole day. My heart is so full of joy and love. Seeing kids swimming, hearing adults laughing, and watching friends while they're 'all you can eat' grubbing.

My heart is definitely home. Took advantage of every moment and talked to everyone i could coz I know I am going to miss everyone here.

Happy 30th birthday to my sister C. Hope you enjoyed your party. :)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Countdown: 27 days to Hawaii.

Countdown: 27 days to Hawaii.

Today, I spent my day with my family and really close girl friends. We were getting the house ready to celebrate my sister's birthday party tomorrow. We just spent the afternoon together, doing chores, running errands, cooking, eating, laughing, drinking mojitos, watching TV, etc.

The people that I am with right now are people who know me inside and out... like they know me, my story, my bad habits, my mannerisms, my quirks, my temper, etc and they love me no matter what...

And I realized...when I move, building relationships is something that I am going to start over again... and though that excites me (since I'm ms networking social butterfly) tonight made me realize, its going to be some time before I can truly say I have a friend who truly 'knows' me in Hawaii (and vice versa). I know building relationships is a process that takes time, for me (and for them) to know the positive stuff about me, but as well as the negative. (Yes, I know some of you think I'm perfect but I promise you I got flaws too) LOL!

Anyway, today i just realized that those are some of the things that I'm definitely gonna miss fa'sho..... it's having people around me that know Patricia by heart.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

countdown: 28 days to hawaii and thoughts about being single, celibate & desiring sex.

Countdown: 28 days to Hawaii. So far, all I did today was pack and sort through things so there's not really much to that.... 28 days more then I get to unpack everything I'm packing!!! Woohoo!

I also had coffee with a good friend of mine today and we got to talking about life and the church and stuff... and then we talked about how, when it comes to personal issues that people go through, people don't really talk about it because it's too taboo. (This part is about to be rated pg13 so if you're a kid and you're reading this....stop right now)

I then began to say how I've seen christians talk about marital infidelity, fears, insecurities, abuse, adoption, leadership issues, etc.... but i aint heard a blog post or a sermon out there that talks about being single and choosing to stay celibate yet what are practical things to do when the celibate single christian gets horny. Admit it...we ALL know it happens to us. Maybe to some more than others...but it does happen!

I've chosen to live celibate for about 9 years now... and I would be lying to you if I told you I've never thought about sex in those 9 years. I would be lying to you as well if I say its something I don't miss sometimes. I think its the ONLY time I'm like "God having a husband doesn't sound too bad right now...LOL"). Look, obviously I aint a virgin coz i have a kid, so i know how sex feels like. And to those of us that have been there, we gotta admit it, sex feels good.God designed it that way for a husband and a wife to take pleasure in because its His gift for married people.

But what about the single people who have made the choice to stay celibate and wait till God brings a mate along? What the heck do you do when the desire in you is strong??? (Puh-leaaaase don't pretend like that ain't ever happened to you.) Im sure even virgins struggle with this.

Coz the urge is a desire that comes naturally in our body... but it doesnt mean that because something is itchy, it has to be scratched right?

So...what does a single celibate christian do during those times? Does taking a cold shower work? Does praying work? Or maybe  its better to pretend like you dont feel anything and go on with whatever you are doing? Do you call someone and tell them to pray for you against lustful thoughts? Do you actually think masturbation is okay? Do you read the Word out loud to drive lustful thoughts away?

Personally...what works for me....well....I stuff my face with sweets or food and that USUALLY does the trick LOL!!! But if its a really bad day, I call my girl friends or ask my son to hang out outside of the house.. coz i don't trust myself  for me to stay at home by myself. Im just being real.

I ask because I feel like its not addressed much in most churches and yet its a real issue each single person has to face. I know most people aren't comfortable talking about the issue...but I wanna know people's thoughts on this subject. And if you're married:what's your best advice for the celibate Christian singles who are waiting and have been waiting for years?!?!?!

Inquiring minds want to know :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Countdown: 29 days to Hawaii.

Today wasnt as emotional as yesterday. I think I was uber-emo yesterday coz I had to pay a traffic ticket for $500 and budgeting my really tight finances right now had me stressed out.

But today I had some proper perspective thrown over my way. I had met up and had lunch with a really close friend of mine who just came back from the UAE. She is visiting here for the summer but has to go back to the middle east next month.

During our lunch convo, she told me about how extremely different the culture there can get... and how there's certain luxuries here that they don't have there... and our conversation got me thinking of how incredibly lucky I am that God had called me to be a missionary out in paradise instead nations who are dealing with extreme poverty problems or nations that are closed to the gospel.

So day 29 ends with a good vibe :) plus it's also my baby sister's thirtieth birthday tomorrow.. so my heart is happy because of that!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Countdown: 30 days to Hawaii (my erratic thoughts on moving)

Countdown begins - 30days till Hawaii. ONE MORE MONTH! Yiiiiikes!

My emotions are all over the place with this move. One minute im happy... the next im anxious. So i apologize before hand for the erratic emotions you will experience in my blog this next month!!!

My thoughts right now: why does moving have to be soooooo expensive?!?!?! And why does leaving relationships (family, frienda & church family) have to be so hard?!?! And why does moving to hawaii have to be so HELLA EXPENSIVE! (Oh wait I said that already)

Sometimes I stop and i ask myself "what the heck am I getting into? Why am I moving so far away again??" If this was a marriage then I swear I'm probably getting cold feet.... coz now when I think of how far I'm going and the fact that there's really no turning back now.... I get all choked up. I swear I have commitment issues. THIS IS WHY I AM SINGLE YA'LL. the thought of being tied down scares me. And that's exactly what is going to happen....I am going to be on a rock in the middle of the Pacific ocean.... married to the land and there is no turning back (until God says so anyway).

I know I shouldn't whine coz He is calling me to paradise in america and not some communist country or something. and I know I'm supposed to leave. There is no shadow of a doubt that I know I'm supposed to be in Hawaii... and that Im supposed to be part of the church that I am part of... and I am thankful for the spiritual family that I have there already....  but it doesn't make the process of leaving any easier... coz it is hard to leave loved ones behind no matter where you end up going.

I just need to woooosaaaah... breathe and selah it out. I have no idea what these next 30days will look like in regard to my emotions so good luck to me and to you who are taking the time to read this. It's gonna be a crazy ride!

To all you missionaries, overseas workers, military peeps and everyone else who has left your home / family to pursue your dream or have left loved ones to obey God's call...BIG Kudos to you. *hug*

Sunday, July 10, 2011

underneath the golden gate.


took this shot as our boat passed the golden gate.
we had a nice lil' tour around the coastline of the bay area.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

slipping and bugging.

Kids slip and sliding to beat the Fresno heat coz its hecka hot up in this mug.... while we made some bug bites cookies :) having fun with my relatives!!!

Monday, July 4, 2011

In sickness and in health.

I have a couple of friends who have been praying and believing for God to heal them. I could tell that their hearts were getting a bit discouraged because they weren't seeing instantaneous healing happen in their lives. (And these women are some of the strongest prayer warriors I know). They are dear friends of mine, and my heart was troubled for them. I went home asking God why He wasn't choosing to heal them right away like He did in the Gospels.

As I spent time on the Word, I came across this verse that had my heart pondering: "You know it was because of a bodily ailment that I preached the gospel to you at first" [gal4:13].

Wow. Imagine that... Paul, the greatest missionary who ever lived. the one who's mere presence would drive out demons in one command. if a piece of cloth touched him, that cloth could heal others who were sick. The one who was bitten by a poisonous snake and lived to tell about it... the mr super incredible apostle himself... had a body ailment....and he didn't receive instantaneous healing. Talk about the irony of it all.

Instead of receiving healing... his ailment had caused him to pause on his trip and preach at Galatia. His sickness caused him to spread the good news even more. 

Talk about divine appointment...even when it looks like it's not. Others could have chosen to see the ailment as a curse. He chose to see it as an open door to preach Christ, despite the ailment and the non-instantaneous healing.

Whether in sickness and in health, this man was on fire and determined to preach God's Word.

This verse reminded me of a blog/twitter acquaintance turned real life friend sara [http://gitzengirl.blogspot.com] who has been believing for healing for a really long time. Sara has touched so many lives because of the tenacity of her faith and her love for Jesus, despite the ailment she faces everyday. She's like a modern day Paul, writing epistles on the world wide web while sharing God's love, even with the sickness that she has. Her faith amazes me so. The strength she has to fight her daily battles has caused others to see God in a greater way and people's faith are strengthened because she chooses to praise God no matter how much it hurts her (literally and figuratively).

Paul and Sara's example gave me a proper perspective in regard to my friends & family who are believing for God to heal them (I have a sister who's been praying for a skin condition to be healed for 4yrs now).... sometimes God chooses to heal right away... sometimes God chooses not to, and instead allows the  stories of our pain to be told and shared to bring others to the knowledge of Christ. The result of pain is salvation of souls.

The question that we have to face is... will we choose to be like Paul and keep preaching or will we choose to see the mountain of trials and lose faith?

As His Bride, we must choose to fulfill our vow to love and to cherish Him, in sickness and in health, though rich or poor till death brings us together, where we can rest forever in His arms. It is a beautiful thing to be wed to Jesus.

"choose joy" - Sara :)