Thursday, January 29, 2009

Who Are you Trying to Please?

Being a perfectionist is ruining my life. I think I’m actually hindering my goal of perfection by trying too hard. And the problem is, I don’t know how to stop. Why can’t I just laugh when things are not done correctly? A life’s worth of doing things ‘the right way’ is now exhausting me. I keep hearing my spouse tell me, “It’s okay Liz. Leave it be”. But I can’t. Don’t ask me why I spend an extra minute or two organizing the spoons and separating the smaller ones from the larger ones in the kitchen drawer. Don’t ask me why I must have the basket of diapers in the living room on that designated end table and not any other place. Don’t ask me why I must fold all my son’s underwear & socks, it’s not like he cares! I don’t know why I make my life so difficult.

The other day while I was reading my bible I was reminded about a story that struck me in the core of my being. I can’t get it out of my head it was the story of two women awaiting a visit from Jesus. One woman was hustling and scurrying trying to get everything ready. She lost sight of the true importance of the visit…Not that everything needed to be tidy for Jesus, but that Jesus was actually going to be there with her. What’s more important? I think I do this to myself all too many times. I’ve lost sight of what’s truly important. Why do I burden myself with petty things? I need to keep my eyes on the target; what’s truly important in my life.
I think that sometimes God is asking us, “Who are you trying to please? Me or someone else?”
We need to remind ourselves that our goals should lead us to God’s goals. Not our own or that of someone else. Are you doing that job so that you may gain the praise of others? Or are you trying to please God in your works, silently.
Jesus says, “Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men…But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly…” Matthew 6: 2-4

Let’s keep trying to please Him, and not ourselves or anyone else. As long as He is happy, everyone else will be happy with us too. =)

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Stress has creeped up on my doorstep again and what can I do but listen to it shouting at me. I don’t have to open the door but the screeching voice is sooo loud it haunts me. Anywhere I go, I hear it. What can I do to stop it? I guess we can never get rid of the unwanted but maybe we need to actually listen to it. Listen in order to learn its weakness. I can choose to live by faith or I can choose to let it overwhelm and consume me. I choose to walk by faith.

“Though, I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23: 4

As many times as stress tries to overwhelm us, we must remain strong and confident in our conviction in God. He is our comfort. He knows the burdens we have and knows, even more than we, how to comfort us completely. He provides. Let us not depend on that check we receive every two weeks or on that contact we know to bring us riches…

“…Consider your ways! You have sown much, and bring in little; You eat, but do not have enough; You drink, but you are not filled with drink; You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; And he who earns wages, Earns wages to put into a bag with holes.” Haggai 1:5-6

Let us look above and trust in Him. For only He makes everything else possible. He provides your job. He provides the opportunities to meet those contacts of yours. He makes it all happen. He is the One behind the scenes, letting us encounter blessings. Sometimes we must come to the bottom to even realize that we must lift our faces to the Lord. When everything is going according to your plans, then that is when you must pray for His guidance. Because things are not meant to go according to your plans, but His. Times might be rocky but remember you can walk with dignity and confidence that He is with you. He provides a light to your footsteps, showing you the righteous way; Not leading you to the end of the road. He’s leading you to blessings not seen, but truly awesome. Because He knows all your hearts desires, better than you know yourself. Nothing else in this world can provide a more true or significant relationship.

“Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105

“Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise…” Hebrews 10:35-36

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Financial Struggles

It’s weird to me how the Devil reacts when he feels threatened. Have you ever noticed that when you’re doing something right –or Godly, something always goes wrong or an obstacle arises? Maybe you don’t even notice that you’re actually being attacked because of your decision to do God’s will. When I first got married, Hector and I prayed months before the Big Date…We wanted to put our future marriage in God’s hands and do His will, even if it meant not getting married, or even breaking up. We didn’t know what God had in store for us, but with every day that passed, we received more confirmation from God letting us know that we had found our soul mate.

Once we got married, the problems started. Not between us, because we absolutely loved each other. The problems that arose came from the outside, more like obstacles to our new life together. Hector was laid off work a little over a year after we got married; this was due to the atrocities of 9/11. Suddenly we were struggling financially. We were young and hadn’t made such great decisions on keeping our credit card debt low. We had a lot of credit card bills, yet we were still so defiant on not letting our credit score plunder. Eight months later Hector was called back to work. We were overjoyed and got back to our usual spending. We bought a flat screen TV, cars, furniture, CD’s, you name it. Then a few months later, he was laid off for the second time. We sunk back into the hole we had made for ourselves. We were drowning in bills. Going through this has really taught us about setting priorities and becoming spiritually mature. The time came when we wanted to move out of his parent’s guest house and finally have a home of our own but the real estate market at the time was booming and prices were way out of our range. We couldn’t afford anything. We then started praying about moving out of state. God where do You want us? We prayed and prayed, checked out different cities in four different states. Years passed and the financial ups and downs always lingered. Spiritually God was working with us really hard. We learned about respecting one another, being financially responsible, and about robbing God. We learned to always put every single decision in God’s hands, even the simplest decisions like buying a car or going to school. We started putting God’s will first.

In 2005, our first child was born in September…Jacob. We had even prayed about when it was the best time to have children. Everyone has different opinions on when a couple should have kids. Some say right away! Others say two years, three years, etc. All we heard was blah, blah, blah. We knew that God had a plan for us and only He would put it in our hearts on when the time was perfect for us to responsibly bring a child into this world. We had decided we were financially stable to have a child and had had plenty of alone time with one another that we could finally make some room for a little one to love. After Jacob was born we decided to move to Houston Texas. Never did we ever see ourselves in Texas. Texas! We were able to buy our first home, and I had found a job before even moving out there. Hector would commute from LAX airport every week and the plans were set. After a while of commuting from LA to Houston every week, we found that being apart as a young married couple with a small child was not what God had intended for us for the long haul. We decided to sell our home and invest in a small LA business.

We always knew that through the struggles, God’s plan was working in our lives. He made it all happen and He opened the necessary doors to constantly prove it to us. With all the profit from the sale of our beautiful home in Texas gone to the uprising of the small business, we were again getting lost in financial debt. What are we gonna do now? Then I found out I was pregnant. I was going to bring another child into this world and we hadn’t even prepared for her. We stretched our dollar as far as it could go and through it, God worked miraculously. Every month, when the bills came for the Shop and our living expenses, God provided. Somehow, a car showed up at the Collision Center that needed to be repaired, and every penny earned was just enough to go on to the next month. God still shows us every day that our lives and the struggles we’ve gone through are not in vain. The puzzle to His master plan is slowly coming together. So we’re constantly living by faith, not by sight. Problems arise, but via those problems God always shows His power. Always. I feel that God is constantly telling us to be faithful with our money and He proves Himself to us every single day. He has NEVER let us down, not like man. But then again, He’s shown us that even though we might get disappointed with man, time and time again…God never fails us. We’ve been married now almost 9 years, love each other very much and have grown soooo much…although I know, there’s still so much more to learn. A doctor I use to work for use to describe his life as a Chinese curse once said, ‘May your life be interesting’.

“The LORD your God will make you abound in all the work of your hand, in the fruit of your body, in the increase of your livestock, and in the produce of your land for good. For the LORD will again rejoice over you for good as He rejoiced over your fathers, IF you obey the voice of the LORD your God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this Book of the Law, and if you turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.” Deuteronomy 30: 9-10

“My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor detest His correction; For whom the LORD loves He corrects, Just as a father the son in whom he delights.” Proverbs 3:11-12

Monday, January 12, 2009

Living with Pulmonary Hypertension

Okay, my arm is starting to look like a druggy’s arm. I am going to get my blood drawn AGAIN tomorrow. It started out being twice a week, now I’m at once a week…hopefully soon it’ll be once a month or something. My poor arm is bruised and must hate me by now. I’m on Warfarin, which is a medication that thins out my blood and we’re trying to get it to the right level where the doctor wants it to be. At first, I was taking a single pill every night. Then, we figured out we needed to increase the dosage to a pill every night, except for Friday’s : one and a half of a pill. Every week I get a call from the ‘anti-coagulation clinic’ at Kaiser Permanente which determines how much warfarin I should be taking to get the right levels. We’ve come to the point where I’m taking a pill and a half every night except Mondays and Fridays where I take one single pill. Yes, I know…it’s a little confusing…I’m using one of those long pill boxes with a different compartment for every day of the week. Aside from that, I’m also taking Tracleer twice a day, which is a very expensive medication. Tracleer is for the Pulmonary Hypertension, it’s supposed to better my symptoms of losing my breath and reduce the stress on my enlarged heart. Did I mention having the O2? The Liquid Oxygen tanks just look lovely in my home, too. I use the O2 when I’m going up the stairs, or vacuuming. Basically, it’s there for whenever I do anything too strenuous. But you know, I feel so much better today than I did a few months ago when I first consulted the Pulmonologist. I keep thinking that I hope to take a vacation this year to Hawaii like I use to, pre-kids time. But airlines don’t allow oxygen tanks. I found a portable Oxygen Concentrator that's 'airline friendly' on the internet that doesn’t use O2 tanks but rather concentrates the outside air. It runs on re-chargeable batteries for up to 8 hours! I thought, “How cool, it doesn’t even look medical, just like an ordinary camera case.” Well, then I saw the price…just under $4,000.00. Awww, I can’t afford that! I often think to myself, ‘Why me, LORD?’ But the ease of the situation calms me because I know it could be a lot worse.

“Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, And there be no herd in the stalls- Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my Salvation. The LORD God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet. And He will make me walk on high hills…” -Habakkuk 3:17-19
Bueno, mi brazo está comenzando a parecer como uno de un drogaticto. Mañana me van a sacar sangre OTRA VEZ. Al principio me sacaban sangre cada dos semanas, ahora es cada semana… esperanzadamente espero pronto que sea una vez al mes, por lo menos. Mi pobre brazo esta moreteado y debe odiarme. Estoy tomando Warfarin, que es una medicación que diluyó mi sangre, estamos intentando llegar al nivel correcto donde el doctor quisiera que estuviera. Al principio, tomaba una sola píldora cada noche. Despues, calculamos que era necesario aumentar la dosis a una píldora cada noche, con excepción el viernes: una y una mitad de una píldora. Cada semana consigo una llamada de la clínica de la anticoagulación de Kaiser Permanente quienes determinan cuánto warfarin debo estar tomando para llegar a los niveles correctos. Hemos llegado al punto donde estoy tomando una píldora y una mitad de cada noche excepto lunes y viernes donde tomo una sola píldora. Sí, sé que… es un poco confuso… estoy utilizando una de esas cajitas largas para guardar píldoras que contiene un compartimiento para cada dia de la semana. Aparte de ése, también estoy tomando Tracleer dos veces al día, que es una medicación muy costosa (alrededor del $5.000.00 por mes). Tracleer es para la hipertensión pulmonaria, para mejorar mis síntomas de perder mi respiración y para reducir la tensión en mi corazón agrandado. ¿Mencioné el tener el oxigeno? Los tanques del oxígeno líquido se ven simplemente encantadores en mi hogar. Utilizo el oxigeno cuando escalo las escaleras, o paso la aspiradora. Básicamente, está allí para cada ves que haga cualquier cosa demasiado vigorosa. Pero saben, me siento mejor hoy que hace unos meses atras cuando primero consulté con el Pulmonologo. Me pongo a pensar y sigo con la esperanza de viajar a Hawaii como lo hacia antes, durante el tiempo de pre-hijitos. Pero las aero-líneas no permiten tanques de oxígeno. Encontré en el internet un concentrador portable de oxígeno que es “línea aérea amistosa” que no utiliza los tanques oxigenos iguales, pero concentra el aire exterior. ¡Funciona con baterías recargables hasta 8 horas! Pensé, “Que padre, ni parece un aparato médico, en cambio parece justo como una caja ordinaria para cámaras fotográficas.” Bueno, entonces vi el precio…$4.000.00. ¡Es mucho dinero que no tengo! Pienso a menudo a mi misma, `Porqué yo, SEÑOR?' Pero la facilidad de la situación me calma porque sé que podría ser mucho peor.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

It's In The Little Things

My little girl has gone through such a mile stone...We celebrated her first birthday today. What fun it was to watch her play and have so much fun. It reminds me of all the little things that bring joy to my life. My family. It is truly one of the greatest prides that I have. It comforts me to know of all the people that care and love me so much. Nothing else matters. Not money, not degrees, not what people family matters most to me. And in that family is included friends, too because true friends are family as well.

I give thanks to that everyday and ask that God will keep us healthy and together for many years to come. So many times we think we don't have anything...but we fail to remember the many blessings that God has given us. It's in the little things that He sees how grateful we are when He realizes how much we truly deserve. The support that my family gives me is just a glimpse of the much support and care that I recieve through God. I thank Him and am joyful for His love everyday.

"You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore." Psalm 16:11

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Generation X

What is Generation X? People don’t know what will become of us, I think we’ve proved that Generation X is filled with Intellectuality and knowledge. We have come to a point in time where we know so much and are in tune to a million things all at the same time. We indulge in the humor of ‘inside jokes’ that only other intellectuals can perceive. We’ve become so knowledgeable, and nothing stuns us anymore. We have become immune to shock. So why believe in the unknown like a God? We can’t explain it, we can’t grasp the nonsense we think is in religion, let alone in this Christianity we think is foolish. We believe in what we see and can explain. We’re basically too smart for a higher power.
“The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who dwell in the clefts of the rock, Whose habitation is high; You who say in your heart, ‘Who will bring me down to the ground?’ Though you ascend as high as the eagle, And though you set your nest among the stars, From there I will bring you down, says the LORD.” Obadiah 3-4

We have failed to consider the virtues of humility. Why do we have to be in competition with others? From the doctors that have cable set up in their offices just to set the TV on Bloomberg Television to the kids in High School that have to have the latest popular song as their Ringback tone. We’ve generated such peer pressure that it not only exists in teens, but rather is taking over the adults as well. We feel smart by watching AC360 and including it in the watercooler conversations with our coworkers. And politics? whoa, now there was the top intellectual conversation booster…you knew you were out of the loop if you weren’t well versed in the latest political details. Where is our pride? Where stands our integrity? Humility and the wisdom in knowing when to shut up is being ignored and lost. One of my favorite quotes is:

“It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt”

Some intellectuals are adamant in their ideas as to who’s quote this is, Abraham Lincoln? Mark Twain? King Leonidas of Sparta who died at the
Battle of Thermopylae? Actually, the quote has been derived through the years from the book of
“Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; When he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive.” Proverbs 17:28

I believe that true Wisdom comes to those that honor God, and those that live in constant humility.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Our Lowest Point...The Call of The Voice.

What is God trying to tell us when we’re at our lowest point? Someone once told me that everyone’s problem is worse than everyone else’s. Meaning we each individually think, “My problem is worse than everyone else’s problems”. We drown in what we think is the absolute rock bottom. But remember, there’s always someone else out there going through something a lot more badly than you. This doesn’t mean that you should delight in their misery…it means, delight in knowing that your problem is not as bad as you might think.
I told someone recently that sometimes we have to come to the lowest point in our lives because it is there that God grabs our attention. Close your eyes and let God speak to you. It is in the still of the moment that His voice is the loudest. Why do we have to wait until we’re at the bottom to call upon His name? We put Him on the back burner. He wants to be at the top of our priority list; He wants us to include Him in our daily lives and it is then that nothing will bring us down again. We can become invincible. We can walk with the security of knowing that the best bodyguard out there is walking in front of us, guiding us, and never letting anything harm us. Let’s not give the bad guy any credit! No matter how bad our problem seems, God can still bring a smile to your face and bring light making the situation better. He can bring purpose to our struggles. And He does. There’s a purpose for everything we go through. But remember that you matter; you matter more to Him than you think. So much so that He died for you. He endured so much hatred, criticism, beatings, torture, and embarrassment…all for you! So you wouldn’t have to.

“The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, A refuge in times of trouble. And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You.” Psalm 9:9-10

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:16-17

The Call of the Voice

And as the leaves fall from a tall and enormous tree
A wondrous and strong hand stretches over me.
I hear a voice calling me and it’s telling me that I am loved.
My eyes blink in disbelief
I’m pondering, and trying to make sense of the voice
My legs are telling me to run and leave.
Oh God, "What should I believe?"
Is this really You?
All this time, I thought you were just an invisible ear
One that heard all of my problems,
But would or could not interfere.
I am loved?
Why, until now, am I hearing all of this?
Now all of my past, I am forced to reminisce.
Why did You let me think I was all alone?
Not telling me this until now, that I am all grown?
Could it be that it has just made me a better person?
Wasn’t there a risk that I could have worsened?
And as my eyes blink for the second time,
The seconds have gone, and with them my mind.
And now, with my heart, I realize
There’s no need to question. . .
. . . for You are wise.
Hearing You, until now, has made this moment much better
For no longer am I like a fragile and weak feather.
-Liz Blanco October 10, 1999

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Is there anyone out there that has ever even remotely related at least one bit to those women that you hear of that lock their kids in the closet??? I know, it’s pretty far out there but the other day Jacob was just being so mischievous! I laugh about it now because –of course I’d never do anything to harm my kids! It’s just funny to think that when you’re in the moment and all of a sudden you close your eyes and see everything in s l o w m o t i o n : I looked at the closet door for a minute, contemplating the quietness and calmness of having him in the closet, out of my sight. Then I reminded myself that when he’s sick all I want is to see him running around making a mess with his toys. It was then that I smiled, sighed and hugged my boisterous little Jacob…
I’m sure I’m not the only one… Anyone out there?
It’s amusing to me how we get frustrated with our children and then I think, “Man, God must get frustrated with us as well.” We, as the parents, are able to see the BIG picture and know when something might be harmful to our child, but do they see it? I don’t think so. They cry and scream and simply don’t understand why we’re not letting them have their fun. After all, they’re just having fun. But we see what they don’t. We care so much for them and their wellbeing that we are willing to upset them and even risk them hating us at that moment…just to SAVE them. Sound familiar? I think God sometimes allows our pretty little lives filled with joy to come to a thrilling halt in order to SAVE us from the unseen. He sees the BIG picture, He knows best…why don’t we just trust HIM and let Him take care of us. Let’s stop complaining and ‘be joyful when transgressions come’; because that is when He’s doing His magic. It’s proof that He’s doing something in our midst to keep us from harm.

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, for those who have been trained by it, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace. Hebrews 12:11

Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Year Resolution

This year has to be better than ever! I am proclaiming it from this day forward. I will awake every morning with a positive outlook on life, I'm a determined woman. Last September I was diagnosed with a rare disease called Primary Pulmonary Hypertension, basically I lose my breath whenever exerting myself through simple tasks such as long fast walks or simply climbing a flight of stairs. The concern is in my hearts' capacity to 'take' the extra load since it's not receiving a stable level of Oxygenated blood from my pulmonary arteries. I require an oxygen tank to deliver extra oxygen to my organs and am on medication to slow the progression of my illness. We don't know why I got this, never smoked, never drank nor did any drugs...but I've got it. And now, more than ever, I am living life to the fullest!

Other than God, my husband and kids are what give me the strength to be better everyday. Seeing them smile and hearing them laugh give me fuel to go on and get better. So, not only did I start this blog, but have also started writing a personal journal. One for my son, J who is now 3. And another for my little princess, L who will be turning one in few days. I enjoy writing to them everyday, about all there little struggles and accomplishments. I can't wait to one day give them their books for a special occasion. I'm hoping for their wedding. We'll just have to wait and see.

Much is anticipated for this new year. I hope we reach all our goals and that you do as well. Remember that God has everything under control and that it is better for us to put our lives in His hands everyday. After all, wouldn't you want the Maker of The Universe in charge of your life? It doesn't matter if we don't always know what's going on, as long as He knows what's going on everything should be just fine. Lets live a stress-free life.

"You have shown me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore." -Psalm 16:11

The Happiest Place on Earth

The Happiest Place on Earth

Peaceful Hawaii

Peaceful Hawaii