Thursday, June 28, 2012

Bloom where you are planted.

An encouragement from a good friend while in worship theology class today. Thank God for new seasons and for new opportunities to be planted and bloom and flourish even more.

Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. (Psalm 92:13)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Daily soul food: The joy and rejoicing of my heart

Jeremiah 15:16. Let His words be the joy and rejoicing of our hearts.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Things I'm thankful for: ekobrew

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"things im thankful for: the ekobrew cup. It makes tight-budgeted people (like me) enjoy my Keurig gift :) #economical #favoritething #ThingsImThankfulFor"

The Instagram Team

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

goodbye addiction. hello heart surgery.

last night i was spending time in prayer asking God to continue to refine and purify me from anything that could possibly be more detrimental to me rather than help me during my time in school of ministry, a lot of things popped up in my head while praying.

a lot of personal things. a lot of heart issues. like removal of pride. and embracing humility. and choosing to love even if you've been hurt. and choosing to believe the best in people and not getting jaded. and choosing to forgive. and being open to learn and relearn everything until you have the faith of a child. and letting my security be in Him. and allowing the extra time i have to spend seeking Him, being with my family and allowing for Him to continue to do major heart surgery to me at this time.

in 2 weeks, He has revealed all that. and i know He will continue to remove more.

but in the midst of all that...the one thing i know is that i have to let go of is facebook... because it is my major time eater. it's really hard for me to do that. coz i feel like facebook is one of the best ways i can have access to my friends and family in LA. i see my sister post pictures of my nephew. i see what my friends and my family are up to. and when i see that, i still feel like i am still in the "know". an extrovert always likes to be in the know. i like to feel like somehow, i still belong. to my family in LA. to my friends in LA.

but at this season...God is calling me not to be in the know. instead He is allowing Himself to be known. that whatever extra time i have aside from the school should be focused towards spending time with Him as He searches my heart and allows me to go through purging and purifying in order for Him to be able to do all He has to do in my life during this season of my life.

so i gotta say goodbye to facebook for now, which is my connection to my extended world. starting 6/21/12 (24 hours) it will be shut down, until God says it's time to resurrect it again.

i will still be blogging for sure. and from time to time, i will still be on twitter (coz how much time does it really take to write a 140 tweet?).  my fb page is now connected to john, so i don't have direct access to it just keeping it up in case you guys still want to get updated with my blog. if you would like to connect with me here is where i will be at for the next few months:
bloggity - (which is here)
twitter and instagram - @imhisfavorite
fb page - ricianne

and for those of you that know my email or number...there's always the old fashion way of communicating. so holla atcha sista if ya need her! =D please be praying for me and my family during this time if God leads you to do so. we really appreciate the prayers and the support.

im out. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

his Hawaiian name and what it means to us. happy daddy's day @jcravalho1

Dear John, 

Thank you for being a wonderful example of how beautiful and selfless our Father's love is for us. You adopted Christian as your very own and took him under your wing. Since then, you have treated him like he came from you, never calling him a step-son, always reaffirming that "he is YOURS".

Over the past few months, I've seen Chrisian fall in love with you in a way that I have never seen him fall in love with anyone before. His eyes light up every time dad is home. He is excited to spend time with you and when he is with you, he loves to just hug you and be there with you. He can't wait for your "dates" and everyday when you go to work, he comes to me and tells me how thankful He is to God that God answered an 11 year prayer request for him to finally have a dad. And God gave him a good dad. He tells me that almost EVERY DAY! He is thankful for you every day.

The bond you both have made me realize that no matter how strong and godly my leadership and godly convictions were in being a single mom, nothing can replace a father in any child's life. Thank you for taking up that role. You didn't need to...but you did it anyway, because you love. Because you know it feels like to grow up in a step-parent home and you know the importance of the need to "belong".

It's beautiful to have seen you grow in love, not just with me, but also with bambam and especially with Christian. I've never seen 2 hearts grafted together so easily, effortlessly and beautifully. Your bond as father & son is definitely something supernatural. It's also fun to see that Christian has imparted life and joy in you. He has opened your heart to love sacrificially in a way you have never loved before.

Everyday, I am so grateful that God has privileged our family to experience a picture of the love of God by seeing how much you love us, how so very patient you are with us, how gentle you are with your words and your touch yet so strong in leadership and conviction.

Thank you for being a father to the fatherless & a defender of the widow (single mom). Thank you for being a refuge and an answer to prayers. Thank you for being our kinsman-redeemer ;) The one who was willing to take this Ruth (and her son) and give us an inheritance, not just spiritually but also physically. Thank you for being my Boaz. My knight (not in shining armor) but in aloha/lacoste shirts and slacks ;) Thank you for being like Jesus in the flesh for us. Thank you for being our "kekoakupaaikealookaku" - the strong leader of your people. Our strong leader. Our godly leader. We love you so much and are so grateful for you. Happy father's day dad. Promise, we will try our best to not ever give you cheesy father's day gifts ;) 

Patricia, Christian and Bambam

Friday, June 15, 2012

thoughts on being a closet introvert, quoting keller, and bladder control (school of ministry: week 1)

foreword: i am going to TRY, to the best of my ability, to post weekly updates about my adventures and things i am learning while attending the school of ministry. because it is an intensive program, it seems that posting my daily thoughts/experiences is something that i cannot do for now. i will try to post daily soul food as much i can just so i don't leave the bloggity empty. 

SoM - week 1: so, we just finished our first week for school of ministry. here are some of the things i learned about the school or about myself this week:
  • this week we had pastor eddie and susan asato of grace bible maui as our teachers. they taught us about the overview of the old and new testament and the correlations of the old testament and new testament and what's going on in present day israel and the jewish culture. pretty interesting stuff. i've always had a hunger to learn more about the jewish culture and i felt like my brain walked into a theme park and i was fed jolly ranchers coz it was like candy to my soul... lots of information to digest. but one important thing i got out of it is the hunger to want to read God's word in a deeper level the way the asato's do. one favorite quote from pastor eddie: "God never gives judgement (or trials) without giving us hope beyond expectation". don't give up on hope!
  • i love meeting new people. =D i love hearing their stories and their journey with God.
  • i realized how long it really has been since i went to school. it's been a LONG TIME! i cant sit in my chair for too long coz i get really antsy. and i notice i use the restroom a lot coz i'm always the first one out during breaks. i have no bladder control. and i cannot for the life of me study in a noisy room anymore.
  • when we had to discuss what we think our "calling" was... i had no answer. after a decade of serving in church and leading smallgroups and moving 2500 miles away to be a missionary... i was dumbfounded in trying to answer the question. my answer was... "i dont know what my calling is right now...all i know is that i love God and i love people and im trying to figure out what that looks like for me right now". i wish i had a more theological answer. i wish i was as sure as my classmates are. but with what has transpired this past year, i am left with a heart that is holding everything open and i'm waiting on God to show me exactly what my calling is.
  • since i started the school...i haven't uttered the words "i want to go back home to LA" to my husband. that's a FIRST! though it's a lot of hard work, i'm really enjoying this time.
  • i have been able to minister to people in prayer and the prophetic once again. three out of the four days i've been, God allowed me to pray and encourage other people. i feel so ALIVE again...coz i love me some prayer and moving in the gifts of the spirit. there's something about an atmosphere full of spirit-filled christians that allow the gifts to flow. i really missed ministering in that way. i'm glad God is using me once again to encourage His children that way. atleast im sure of one thing - part of my calling is praying and encouraging His people.
  • i realized how slow i read now. and how ugly my writing is. and how weird it is that i have described myself as an extrovert all these years, but realized how much of an introvert i really am becoming coz when im in class, i like sitting by myself most of the time.
  • i hate reading the book: how to read the bible for all it's worth. seriously. and the fact that we have to finish the book in a week and write a survey about it annoys me so. BORING!
  • all these ministers and pastors love to quote tim keller. tim keller loves to quote c.s. lewis. because i want to sound more like the genius tim keller is, i will try to quote c. s. lewis more. why quote keller if you can quote lewis? ;)
well, that's about it. if you wanna learn about the information i learned in class, you're gonna have to enroll in the school yourself ;) gonna end this with an appropriate quote from c.s. lewis. lol 

nothing that you have not given away will ever really be yours. - c.s. lewis

give hope. give you. give love. give prayer. give encouragement. give Jesus. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

God forging 2 separate paths into ONE. #oneword365 update - NEW

A mid-year follow up on my #oneword365 - NEW.

He has made ALL THINGS NEW.
"Then He who sat on the throne said, Behold, I make all things NEW. And He said to me, WRITE, for these words are faithful and true. (Revelation 21:5)

I ended my season as a missionary for the church that I moved out here to help last May 31. That church has also been the church where @jcravalho1 has grown, served and lead as a leader, a pastor and a worship director for the past 16 years. Last Sunday was a very emotional day for our family & friends because it was our last Sunday to attend City Gate Church. It was a very enriching time and I will be forever grateful for the relationships I made and the lessons I learned while serving at this church.

I find it to be comically ironic because it's as if God took me from my family and church in LA, removed me from everything familiar and dear to me and brought me to Hawaii to meet and marry John and help the church grow in however way I could during that process. But after 11 months, now God is asking for John to do the same thing He asked for me to do. It seems He is taking John away from his friends & spiritual family and everything that is familiar to him and God is now forging what was once 2 separate paths into one and creating a completely NEW SEASON for us. And that could have never happened had he not made the decision to leave his comfort zone. Though it wasn't the most popular choice, He knew He had to obey and follow God. 

My #oneword365 is NEW. and that is definitely what God is building. A new season for us to build together, make new friends together, attend a new church together, build with a new spiritual family together, grow into our ministry and calling together. We are no longer as two separate individuals with 2 separate dreams but are now ONE - as a couple and as a family. 

We've been networking and attending different churches to find our new spiritual home and for me to find a new church where I can serve in as a missionary. It's both exciting and scary at the same time. The rush of it reminds me exactly how I felt like when I left LA for Hawaii last August. I had no idea what to expect, I had no idea what God was going to do but I trusted God to go before me. And that He did. 

Having to push through the NEW means being put in uncomfortable places. It's often places that stretch you and grow you because it's unfamiliar and uncharted. New seasons mean having to turn back on the old and pressing forward in order to learn new insights and lessons in order for one to grow. 

It's crazy coz our NEW looks completely different for both of us. I am currently attending the Every Nation School of Ministry and he is going to take a sabbatical from ministry and REST for the Summer. It's the first time he has rested in a REALLY really long time (without work and without ministry) and it's the first time I have ever taken the time to study something for me to grow as a person and a leader in a REALLY really long time. and Christian is going to be enrolled in a new school too! LOTS OF NEWNESS! The irony of it all is that in John's rest and in my learning, we are both finding that we are both growing in God together at the same rate. 

In this new season, we know that God is going to go before us and that He will guide us and lead us to the right spiritual family and church where we can be planted and flourish in an even greater measure. If God leads you to, please be praying for us during this time of transition and facing the NEW. Your prayer covering is much appreciated and much needed. 

how's your #oneword365 been treatin' ya? has it been rockin' your socks and turning your world upside down the same way it has mine?"

Saturday, June 9, 2012

It will never be enough, so keep standing.

This is one of the MANY reasons why I love, love, love my best friends. One of them sent this email to me after I was telling her I was ready to quit this whole ministry thing and just get a job at Target or Starbucks or something.

Please don't get me wrong, it's not that working at Target or Starbucks is bad.... But she knows the very things that are brewing in me that drive me with passion to want to change the world for Christ. And working somewhere else means that I probably wouldn't fulfill the purpose God has put me on the earth for since I will just give it all up for a more comfortable lifestyle. (please also understand, she also knows my personality is very extreme and if I say I wanna give up, it means forgetting about everything altogether).

Friends who know the dream God has put on the inside of ur heart & fight for it with you when the going gets tough are rare jewels. Thank you @roserrific for this email and this reminder. My hope is that I also will do the same for you.

And to those that have emailed, texted, prayed or called these past months - you know who you are. you guys have been a breathe of fresh air. I am thankful and grateful and your prayers are moving mountains!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

every move you make, every step you take #dailysoulfood

"Mark well that G-d doesn't miss a move you make; He's aware of every step you take" - Proverbs 5:21 MSG

This verse is very comforting to me. Though the rest of the chapter in Proverbs 5 talks about God knowing our sin, even the secret lusts of our hearts, this verse rings loud in my soul right now. 

If God doesn't miss our sins, then it means He doesn't miss the very things we do out of the good intentions of our hearts either. It means He doesn't miss it when we choose to forgive people that have hurt us. It means He doesn't miss it when we choose to turn the other cheek, even if we want so badly to retaliate to others who have done us wrong. It means He doesn't miss it when we give to others, even if it means sacrificing our own happiness. It means He doesn't miss the prayers we pray, the encouragement we sow, the finances we give. It means He doesn't miss our tears, our cries, and our sighs, even when we think He is far away.

Daily Soul Food: He is a God who sees all and knows all. Even if you feel alone. Even if you feel down in the dumps and can find no encouragement in circumstances and in man, know that you serve a God who sees all and knows all and He is aware of every step you take. He will be faithful to lead you in a way everlasting. (Psalm 139:24)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Emergency room, ear and heart infections, real housewives of Atlanta and getting rest.

One week ago, we made a trip to the ER to bring my son in coz he had severe ear pain. His ear was so swollen that they had to prick something in order for pus to come out. He was in so much in pain that he couldn't even more his head coz he felt the side of his head throbbing. I find it ironic that the same sickness i had battled with when I first got to Hawaii, he is now battling after ending my season as a missionary for the church. The enemy is a punk and he annoys me so.

He was swimming almost everyday enjoying his summer break with his grandma, cousin and auntie and developed swimmers ear in the process. He just wanted to be with family. He just wanted to enjoy every moment with them coz he missed them so much that it makes him cry when he thinks of home. So having them for the week was like heaven for him. But swimming in the waters caused bacteria to form in his ear. What's worst is that the pressure in his ear caused him to have slight vertigo of some sort. And he vomits everything he eats and drinks.

He has been needy and emotional. He is sick and wants my undivided and constant attention. So I give it to him and more. I have to feed him, bathe him, help him with everything coz he cant move. Today, he still lies in bed resting. It's been a week. He has vomited every day since then. My hope is that he will hold everything down so he won't have to hurl at all today. My hope is that he finds enough rest and regains enough strength to be him again. The boy who is passionate, the boy who has so much life, the boy who will find a way to make everyone around him smile just because.

His sickness reminds me of my heart at this season. Lots of factors came into play these past few years and especially in recent months and my heart feels extremely sick. My heart feels lost. My heart feels tired and worn out and confused. I'm dizzy and don't really know which way to go and I feel like I'm being pulled at every direction but i also feel like im stuck in one place. And everything I know and heard and was spoken, I just want to VOMIT it all out of my system in order to get the toxins out of my head. 

The pressure makes me so nauseous that i just want to curl up in a ball and cry. Just like my son, I favor to be in the company of my family so much that my heart breaks just thinking about it. But I also know that God has called us to swim in the waters of these islands and make this place our home. You have to understand that these waters, once you've gone past the "point of aloha", aren't as friendly as people make it out to be. I have yet to talk to a person who moved here but didn't grow up here and not share the same observation that I have. It seems like its more a spiritual battle than a physical one. What can I say, Hawaii loves tourists, just dont come here and stay, coz the vibe completely turns around.

In the process of getting acclimated, i have also gotten jaded.I have been needy and emotional and have been a baby in the arms of my Father who sees all and knows all. I pray my heart doesn't become completely jaded to the point of unbelief. Something happened to me and now the thought of running after the dreams that God has put in my heart doesn't sound like a good idea anymore. After 9 years of struggling and living a hard life, willing to overcome anything to chase after things that God has put in my heart, I told my husband and my friend that I didn't want to do it anymore. Forget wanting to write books, forget wanting to stop sexual abuse and human trafficking. Forget wanting to tell others about the love of Christ. Forget about wanting to help the local churches because churches have more drama in them than the real housewives of Atlanta. And we all know RHOA are a hot mess!

Forget it all. I wanted to give up and quit and just work at my favorite target or starbucks joint. I will probably make more money, not have to live by faith every month and wait for ministry partners to send their donations to support me, not knowing how much i will be receiving that month and face much less drama. And this is coming from me - the big dreamer. that would be the easiest route. But i know God has never called me to do easy.

So today, as i rest in bed with my son, my hope for my son is the same hope i have for my heart. I pray that God would remind me of His dreams inside of me. That He would revive and breathe life into me once again. My hope is that i find enough rest and regain enough strength to be "me" again. The woman who is passionate, the woman who has so much life, the woman who dreams big dreams and wants to help change the world, because her Daddy told her so, the woman who will find a way to make everyone around her smile just because.

For now, I rest in the arms of my Father, just like Christian chose to hold John's hand when the pain was too much... and feed off of his daddy's strength when he had none of his own. For now, for this week, before i start the school of ministry, I am going to rest. I dont want to give anything, I don't even want to move, I don't want to pour out my heart in service and prayer and encouragement. I just want to be in a place to receive His grace and His love, His healing power. I just want to be in a place where I receive more of Him.

Because sometimes being still in His presence is exactly what the Great Physician is ordering for us to do.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Nice girls don't change the world.

"nice girls dont change the world" - lynne hybels :: "Be a righter of wrongs, a force for good, a soul-soother, a world- changer—a dangerous woman!" #books #quotes #bumperstickers #women #willowcreek