Mission Work

“Was I called to love and care for the poor? Most definitely. Was I equipped to love and care for Costa Rica’s poor in respectful, sensible ways that went to the root of the problem? Like, not even close. As hard as I tried to apply all the feel-good Christian clichés we use as permission to descend on impoverished communities, I couldn’t keep pretending that it was actually accomplishing significant change.”

― Jamie Wright, The Very Worst Missionary: A Memoir or Whatever

I just finished reading “The Very Worst Missionary: A Memoir or Whatever” and my mind keeps replaying some of the stories the author mentioned in her book.

For most of my Christian life, I imagined myself doing mission work for the Church. I imagined working in very poor areas where the children looked terrible, sad and hungry. I envisioned arriving with food, clothing and aid to then go home with the sense of completing my christian duty. After reading this book, I realized how ignorant I was thinking that I would be successful in this work without any knowledge of the culture, language, need and lack of said country. I felt embarrassed for even assuming that if a country wasn’t living the American dream, they were impoverished.

The writer mentioned how Costa Rica was FILLED with many many missionaries then suddenly she realized that maybe she didn’t need to be there. Costa Rica had their own churches, pastors and even had their own bible seminaries. The community wasn’t in need of more missionaries, clothes, candy or toys. She mentioned that the community needed resources for domestic violence and drug dependence. Kinda like what every city in the United States needs.

I’m not saying mission work isn’t needed. I’m sure it is but in countries that lacks the GOSPEL. Probably in places where a missionary would be martyred.

I knew I was in the wrong when my idea of being a missionary was going to make ME happy and feel fulfilled. But, mission work is not meant for us to feel good. It’s meant for us to be obedient.

The truth became clearer when on my way to the supermarket I see the homeless. Why go to another country when clearly, in my face, the homeless here needs that same missionary energy.

Good Friends Refuse to Mind Their Business

I’m normally that friend that if you’re going through something, I’ll leave you alone about it. I don’t believe in forcing myself in places that I don’t belong. I always care deeply for my friends but I also want to respect others and their personal problems. If someone NEEDED me to know, they’d tell me right off the bat right?

Well, apparently I’m WRONG! I found myself one day breaking down the wall my friend built because I wouldn’t allow her to make me mind my business. “I love you and I NEED to know whats going on”. 2 of my closest friends did this to me recently. “So you think I’m going to sit here and let you figure it out on your own.?” Heckkkkk no!

When I first got married, the adults in my life kept quiet every time there was an issue with my husband and I. They said it wasn’t their place to involve themselves and when I think about it today, I get mad. You could have helped me be a better wife. You could have given me advice. Instead you left us behind to rot.

That memory is what drives me to drive my buddies crazy. I’ll ask my friend, “Why do you seem upset at your husband? What’s going on?”. “Ohhh nothing. I’ll get over it.”

No, you don’t need to just get over it. You don’t need to go through this alone. Let’s discuss. Let’s figure out a way to make it better.

Don’t use this method on people you barely know. This is useful for the strong friendships/ relationships in your life. Be mindful of the people who fight to know your business just to manipulate you. Those are not real friends. Make sure your friend has proven their loyalty and integrity before you decide to trust them with your life.

The main word here is accountability. If I had the solutions to your stress and the experience in your problem, I am completely accountable for the result of your battle. If you lose, I lose.

Learning to Spot Manipulators

The more I try to learn on the topic of manipulation, the more sad I become. I’m almost done listening to a book called “Manipulation. Learning to Spot Manipulative People – Improve Emotional Intelligence Against Persuasion Tactics” by Jeff Tierney. The Author covers many topics including the tactics used by savvy manipulators. What makes me sad is that I’m realizing how many times per day someone attempts to manipulate me. Whats more sad is that these people don’t even know they are doing it.

Are we so prone to get our way that we don’t realize we are being shady to the people that we love? If I’m going to learn something reading this book, I’m choosing to learn on finding way NOT to manipulate people. I find it more stressing to spend my days trying to spot said persuasion tactics. Instead, I plan on working on not being that person. I want to catch myself before I try manipulating someone. I want to find ways to express my ideas/needs/wants without trying to convince someone using their weakness to get it.

I’m noticing that taking this route often leads the other direction. I don’t get what I want and find myself catering to someone else’s desires. In the moment it stinks because you kinda want to go back to your manipulating ways but later I notice that God comes through for me. I get what I initially wanted in one form or another.

I trying to keep myself from having ulterior motives. I’m not 100% good at it but my goal is to keep trying. To keep working on treating people how I want to be treated.

The next book on my queue is: Tactical Influence: A Practical Approach to Increase Your Influence and Leadership Skills.

Space and Time

We cant use an earthly scale to measure God. In fact, He simply cannot be measured. Otherwise, we would need an item bigger than He is. We would need a ruler bigger than Him to get a number like 5 ft 5 in. Yet, He can be small enough to create a grain of sand. Small enough to heal hearts and minds, to cure sickness in the tiniest artery. But, big enough to create the sun and suns greater than the one we see in our horizon. Then, small enough to feed the birds in the air and fill the fields with flowers.

I look into the sky and see endless amounts of stars. I suddenly feel like the galaxy is a lot bigger than God. I measured God by the amount of love He has for me. And I’m just a drop of water in all the waters in the world. I compared His love for me to the sky with no end that He created with His own hands. How could a being that created thousands of galaxies find the time or fit in the space that I’m in.

Then it came to me. God is not subject to time or space. Time and space are subject to Him.

Don’t Manipulate. Try to Negotiate.

I don’t care if you’re religious, spiritual, regular, basic, gender fluid, illegal alien, intragalactic/intergalactic alien or Alien Gonzalez. No one is ever pleased to find out they’ve been manipulated. It’s like trickery or betrayal. I once learned that manipulation is a form of witchcraft. Try not to image someone behind a cauldron chanting Latin phrases, dumping frog toes while stirring slowly in pursuit of controlling you. I’m talking regular people like you and I tricking someone to move in OUR direction. Doesn’t seem much like witchcraft but if you know your victims weak spot enough to use it against them…I’d compare that to stirring the pot, don’t you think?

All types of manipulation is evil. The act involves using tricks, lots of lying and careful deceiving. Wait! I just thought about how I manipulate my son to wash his hands after using the bathroom. “Nate, if you don’t want another eye infection, you have to wash your hands.” Manipulation? Manipulation would tell my son that if he doesn’t wash his hands, his eyeball would get sick and fall out. What I told my son was an order that contained actual facts. But I cant order my peers around the same way I do my son. Therefore, the most appropriate way to try and get my way with someone is to negotiate or compromise.

Negotiate: obtain or bring about by discussion.

If you choose to manipulate while the other party is trying to negotiating, what the heck man?! Aren’t we reading this to be better people? c’mon! The point of this blog post is to awaken the truth behind manipulation. A lot of us do it without trying to be naughty not realizing that manipulation is naughty in itself. What’s wrong with being honest and telling someone exactly what we want? Why must we try to wiggle our way around to get it. You know what else wiggles? Snakes! LOL.

If you want your husband to clean the flippin bathroom, say: “Husband! Can you clean the bathroom?” Why do we have to say things like “Hunnyyyyyy.. the bathroom has been awfully smelly and I just cant bathe the baby in that tub. Ugh, I guess I’ll do it tomorrow.”

That sounds too specific huh? That’s me. I said that! I don’t do bathrooms. I have bathroom phobias. I keep everything in the house tidy every single day. Nothing is ever out of place when I put my head on my pillow every night. Bathroom? Mess! Not me. I don’t touch it.

I guess I started this post cuz I noticed I was manipulating my husband to clean the bathroom. I simply changed my ways. Repentance, if I may. Now, I just ask him to do it. His response is usually, “I’ll do it another day.”. Then 3 months go by and bathroom isn’t cleaned and I have to do it gagging all the way through.

I didn’t say negotiation means you get what you want. But that’s the sacrifice of trying to be honest. I’ll get over it. You’ll get over it.

 

 

 

The Konmarie Method is EVERYTHING

I may have a hint of OCD guys. I HATE MESS with all my heart and soul. YES, I drive my husband and kids crazy but guess what? Being neat and tidy is the secret to saving  money, keeping clothes in tip top shape and keeps general order in the house.

Before reading Tiding Up with Marie Kondo, I did pretty well keeping things in order but I wanted to see what Marie had to say. I wanted that professional touch.

Kenia’s method: Keeping clothes in order by category and neatly folding them flat. also, removing clothes not warn in 1 year or that do not fit.

Konmarie method: Keep clothes by category but fold upright and in thirds. Remove clothes that do not spark joy.

It took me 2 hours to go through 5 people’s drawers and now everything is upright and folded in thirds. This method lets me see all my clothes when I open my drawer. I think that’s the best part of Konmarie method.

Taking care of your clothes saves money and time. Money: because you see everything you have so there is no need to go a buy more and more clothing. Time: because when its time to dress my kids, there is no wondering if something fits or if something is clean. This has been true since 2014 (When my tiny OCD surfaced).

In general, every item in my home is accounted for. The best thing I did was to take inventory of household cleaners, personal care items, food and etc. I try to stick to purchasing the same brands on every item to ensure I’m purchasing at the best prices. For example, I should never pay more than $4 on Tresseme Shampoo. $3.50 is a great sale and when the circulars come in, there is always a 5 off dollar coupon on 2 Tresseme products (Shampoo & Conditioner). Inventory also helps in knowing what is missing so when I’m passing the supermarket, I could go ahead and buy it. We never suddenly run out of toilet paper or bars of soap with this method.

There is a negative side to this. The kids cant keep up. I understand they are children but I take the time to sit and explain where everything goes and practice folding and tyding. Their room is never impeccable but never looks like a jungle. Everything is orderly enough that I could clean it up in 5 minutes.

The point of this post is to encourage tidying. But also read the book to help you with whats keeping your home messy. Once you find the root cause, things get tidier and tidier <3.

 

 

Shadows And Perspective

Shadows equal evil.

Light equals good.

Right?

But we need both shadows and light to determine depth. To determine perspective.

It’s a shadow that lets us see an object; where it sits, it’s dimensions, it’s color. If there were no shadows, we couldn’t see a handmade vase because the light would overexpose it and our simple weak eyes couldn’t interpret its beauty

A baby has to feel irritated by hunger in order for her to start crying. How would a parent know she’s hungry if she didn’t cry? If there wasn’t irritation? Irritation being a shadow? As Christians, we are encouraged to rebuke irritation. But it’s the pain that keeps a baby alive. Otherwise, The baby wouldn’t cry and would therefore die.

FEAR keeps us from the path of a dangerous animal. SURVIVAL

PAIN reminds us not to make the same mistakes. LESSONS

SORROW Makes us more compassionate. HUMILITY

I just KNOW that there is so much I don’t know! This here reminds me of how human I am and how I am so destined to sin that my livelihood relies on what I normally ask God to rid of. Knowing this, my prayers are different. I don’t ask God to remove these things but that His will is done in my life. He knows what’s best for me.

It’s a CONSPIRACY

I told my husband that I needed a deodorant that I didn’t need to scrub too hard to get it off my armpits when I shower. The conspiracy is this: My timeline is FULL of flippin deodorants now. Fine! Facebook ads. You got me. You tricked me. You brought me to the deodorant isle at Walmart. Which should I purchase?

The desired deodorant I saw on Facebook was $12. What a disappointment! Theres no way imma spend 12 bucks on deodorant that doesn’t make my armpits glow like the Queen that I am.

Then I saw a decent looking one. It’s called DesoderanTAY. (Nope. Can’t remember what it’s called.) So I bought it, used it, smells great, cleans off easily.

Does it work? No.

Disappointed that this post had no purpose?

Now you know how I felt about DesoderanTAY.

Issa Rollercoaster

“How’s your spiritual life?”

A good friend asked me this question as I was driving and all I could say was “ISSA ROLLERCOASTER”

I responded:

“I hate how inconsistent my faith is. There are times when I’m super sensitive to God’s word and pretty much any verse I read moves me. Then, there are days when I dont wanna do it anymore. It’s too much pressure to be a certain way and I wonder why I can’t just be me. (Inconsistent, failure, angry, doubtful, annoyed) and be an acceptable Christian. I hate performing but I have no choice but to pretend cuz in the end, people have their negative opinions that if I just “behave” they wont talk.

and when I feel like that, I shut down. I don’t wanna do it anymore. Its all a performance. People act like they don’t fail and stand on the altar with a holier than thou mentality and I’m just over it.

I struggle with paranoia, anxiety, depression and some days, inadequacy. I wish I knew more people like me so we could get through together. But apparently, I’m in this all alone as long as we are all pretending.”

Let me take this time to elaborate:

  • When I look in the mirror, I don’t feel ashamed of my shortcomings. I just wish people could be more accepting so I could feel free to express how God helps me through it
  • My sins might not be one that shows on the outside. They are sins that I commit without anyone knowing. Like wanting to punch people in the face. You wouldnt know about it unless I punched you in the face.
  • I DO worry how I present myself to people because if anyone knew about my anxiety, theyd think I have no faith and that’s not true. I’m just human like everyone else and I don’t want people to stop coming to me because I’m struggling.

I’ve spent so much time on my blog THINKING I knew it all. As I continue to live my life and expierence different things, I realized that I only know from 1 perspective. Mine. I refuse to knock anyone down for speaking or writing their experiences. In fact, I thrive on listening to other people. I have such a huge interest on hearing testimonies and struggles and heartbreaks and failures. Not to judge but to learn and to be a compassionate friend. To say, “You know what? I get it.”. To be a friend I wish I had.

Everyone has their ups and downs. Heck, one day I’m blogging like cray, the next I wanna shut the whole thing down. So, yeah! My life IS a rollercoaster but guess what? People actually pay money to ride those things.

My life, my perspective, my business

Your life, your perspective, mind YOUR business.

But if you wanna share our lives, share our perspectives and not know it all, then let’s ride this rollercoaster together.

 

 

Probably.

While walking down the street, I saw an ice cream wrapper on the ground. Where was the popsicle stick? I could only assume the perpetrator ate the popsicle stick since it wasn’t near the wrapper. Did he unwrap his ice cream, drop the wrapper and eat the ice cream as he walked further away?

Probably.