The Best Is Yet To Come

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Happy New Year! My first day of the year started with, “Hey! Will you take a look at this? Does it supposed to look like that?!” My patient was showing me her stinky toilet full of poop! Out with the old, in with the new! This is the time of year that everyone reflects on the past year and sets new goals for the new year. Colleagues and clients kept asking me what my new year resolutions are, which got me to thinking and reflecting…

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

2 Corinthians 5:17

2014 was quite a year for me. So much happened, and so much didn’t happen, that I don’t even want to reflect on it much more. It was a blessed year and that’s all that really matters. I started last year off with 21 days of doing the Daniel Fast with my church. I loved it so much that I am going to do it again. I also had a lot of doctor appointments medically clearing and diagnosing me. Just last week I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. So another plan for 2015 is to stay active and live with this pain.

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Romans 8:18

Starting on January 4th, the following 21 days are going to be tough. With the strength given to me through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit I will get through it. I’ll be participating in the Daniel Fast which removes all processed foods, including dairy, meats and breads from my diet. This diet is spiritually symbolic of moving past a processed faith. These next three weeks are more than just changing my diet; It is a time of prayer, expressing my love to God through worship, and hearing from God in new ways.

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Because of my health, I will be upping my game with my work outs. Right now I’m just a runner. I stopped weight training and cycling due to the excruciating pain I’ve been in, but knowing it’s fibromyalgia, I will be pushing past the pain. Professionals do not know what causes fibro, but they do know that exercise and medications help to reduce the pain and make it tolerable.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 29:11

I always tell my friends if they don’t like the life they have, change it! Those are my two major plans for this new year and I’m excited to see what the it hold in store for me! As my senior pastor says, “The best is yet to come!” What do you plan to do with your new year?

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They Keep It Run Hundred

Every Monday I see my friend Jessi and she asks me the same thing, “are you working tonight?” And for the first time in a long time, I said no. With my new free Monday night, I joined her with her community running team. This is a group that runs the streets of LA at night. Even when it’s freezing cold, they still show up and run. While running all I could see was steam clouds all around our heads from everyone’s breaths.

I am so glad I joined her last night! It was such a wonderful experience! This running group was full of so much energy, and the artistic experience was so satisfying! Every week they run to a different artistic mural, sculpture, building and such! It’s so intriguing to learn about the local up and coming artists and really see what their personally putting out there!

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While out running the streets, I learned a few things about running at night that I don’t think I would have ever guessed without experiencing this specific run myself. The first thing I learned was, how beautiful the city of Los Angeles is. When I think LA, I think of crazy people in the streets of Hollywood, tall buildings, and crowded highways. With the help of Eric and BlackListLA, I saw the art in the streets. I witnessed the power of positivity and self expressions! It was amazing!

“Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.”

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

The second thing I learned was the person wearing too much Bengay was actually a genius! When we arrived at the Disney Concert Hall to get ready to start our run I noticed a few people were completely surrounded by the aroma of minty tingly-ness. While I passed certain sour smelling corners of the route, I realized the over powering smell of Bengay or Icy Hot would have been much nicer. Plus, my muscles probably would not have any objections.

The third thing I learned actually left me with a new goal for 2015. I learned that headlamps aren’t just good for spotting cracks in the concrete, but also for spotting homeless people sleeping in the way. As sad as it was, it’s the truth. We were running through downtown Los Angeles where the population of homeless is very high. The streets are lined with tents and what looks like piled up blankets. These are their homes, and as much as the group does run through the area, they are still very respectable of them.

Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him.

Proverbs 14:31

I enjoyed joining them so much that for now on, if I’m not working on Monday nights, I’ll join her and the rest of her crazy running team! I plan to show up with plenty of Bengay lathered on, warm clothes, and a backpack full of food for the people we run past. It’s one thing to feel sorry for all the children in other countries who don’t have food, but how about feeding the people in our own backyards when we can. So for now on, I will bring food, not just in my car, but along with me when I run with BlackListLA!

My Merry Little Christmas

14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Isaiah 7:14

Merry merry merry merry Christmas! So every year I spend Christmas Eve with my family at church and then my aunt and uncles house. Then on Christmas Day, everyone goes to my parents house for early dinner. Well, this year was a little different for me… While my family continued their warm Christmas tradition, I joined my best friend on a road trip to frozen Arizona. We drove there to see her Pop Pop and Grandma who live in 30 degrees and under weather. It was such a long drive but very much worth it! We heard it snowed a little last week but melted away within the day. I was really hoping for a white Christmas, but one filled with loving friends would have been just as great!

On our way there, we stopped at the Colorado river for a picture and then continued on the long, empty road ahead. The air was cold and the sky was clear. I couldn’t believe how many stars I could see once away from the city lights! It was so wonderful!

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Come Christmas morning I was comfortably sleeping in the guest room. I opened my eyes, wipes away the sandy dream dust, looked out the window and saw something amazing! It was snowing outside!! I jumped out of my bed and ran down the hall to my best friends room. To my surprise, she was already in the shower. I couldn’t wait any longer to run outside, so I did just that without her! Ha! When she finished washing up and getting ready, I broke the exciting news to her and we ran out there together! Falling snow on Christmas morning! Our prayers were answered!! This was such a wonderful treat!

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30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus.
32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

Luke 1:30-35

It was a fantastic Christmas trip! We listened to Christmas music all week, stayed in our PJs until 1 and then started our celebration of Jesus’s life on Christmas Day! A neighbor was out of town for the holidays so we did them the favor of making sure all their bird feeders were full every day. The four of us were dressed very nice and had a feast for our Lord and Savior. It was so different than my normal, yet still so graceful and warm!

Some people couldn’t understand why I would offer to drive 8 hours to spend Christmas in the freezing cold with someone else’s family. But like my coffee cup said, “friendship makes the season merry!” and that it did! It wasn’t about gifts, it was about the love of Jesus, and I felt plenty of that this past week!

Nerve-Wracking First Words

So we’ve all been in the position of meeting new people and feeling the heart-racing fear of making a good first impression. Do I hug the person or do I shake their hand? I know I’m a big hugger, but what if they aren’t? Really, it depends who you’re meeting, because let’s be honest here, there’s a time and a place for everything!

If I’m interviewing for a new volunteer program, for a job, or even meeting someone new classmates, I will be the first to stick my hand out and pray the other person knows I’m gesturing for a handshake! With that being said, I’ve experienced the floating-hand look that quickly turns into “oh, what is this on the back of my hand?” Now, if it is a dates’ family member, or someone special that I really want to impress and coax into liking me, I always try for a hug. So here’s to you, social media! *cyber hug*

Maybe it’s just me, but I want to know everything about the people I just meet. What do they do? Why do they do that? Who supports them in these decisions, whether it be in a positive way or negative. What do they believe and live by? What are they thinking right now? Do they know that when I was in forth grade my art project won first prize at the Los Angeles County Fair? Do they think that’s impressive? Maybe I should tell them, because if it were me, I’d want to know! …well guess what? There’s a time and a place.

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

Matthew 7:12

So in this place (my blog) we’re going to take our time! I’m just going to write, and you will slowly get to know me! Through comments, I’ll get to know you, and our relationships will be able to actually thrive! I think it’s more fun to put things together anyways, don’t you?