This year we gave out our first scholarship to a high school senior. We got a committee together of three women and had two meetings. One to determine the criteria for the scholarship and one to read the applicant’s essays. We three unanimously choose one girl whose letter touched our hearts.

Then the three of us arrived at the high school last Monday night and walked up to the microphone and nervously presented our first annual scholarship. We were so excited! Our winner is Damaris Raluy and I wanted to share our picture with her.

Our Pastor challenged us with a question several years ago. He said, “Do you want to be a small part of something big or a big part of something small?” We all unquestionably answered that we wanted to be a small part of something big. Here is the women’s ministry of our church’s response to that call. Here is a small seed into the education of a young woman, which is a big thing! Praise you Lord that I stand beside these two mighty women of God and together we made a small thing happen that we pray will reap big results. Congratulations Damaris! We will pray diligently for your success!

In this photo left to right: ME, Damaris Raluy, Tracy Jurado, Vikki Grijalva

He Loved Him photos/redcow/

Mark 10:17. As he went out into the street, a man came running up, greeted him with great reverence, and asked, “Good Teacher, what must I do to get eternal life?”
18. Jesus said, “Why are you calling me good? No one is good, only God.
19. You know the commandments: Don’t murder, don’t commit adultery, don’t steal, don’t lie, don’t cheat, honor your father and mother.”
20. He said, “Teacher, I have – from my youth – kept them all!”
21. Jesus looked him hard in the eye – and loved him! He said, “There’s one thing left: Go sell whatever you own and give it to the poor. All your wealth will then be heavenly wealth. And come follow me.”
22. The man’s face clouded over. This was the last thing he expected to hear, and he walked off with a heavy heart. He was holding on tight to a lot of things, and not about to let go.
“The Message”

In verse 21 this passage says, Jesus looked him hard in the eye and loved him! Have you ever loved someone enough to tell him the truth even though it meant you may never see them again as they would walk off? Have you ever loved enough that you had to stand for your faith against the crowd and not compromise your belief?

In our faith we believe gathering together at church on Sunday is an important part of our week. However, I know people who confess this with their mouth but who don’t always follow this. The reason is that guests arrive at their home Sunday morning on a regular basis. I wonder if we could love them enough to bring them to church with us? I wonder if we could love them enough to set the example and excuse ourselves to attend service? What do they think of this compromise?

That is simply one example. There are thousands. What is our faith and how is it lived out? Do we love enough? Do people believe that we are one of those who has sold out and taken up a cross?

There are times in our lives where we are called to stand up for our faith and love Jesus enough to love people enough to live out our faith. What will be our response?

I Can’t Help Myself photos/bluemarla/ 563060515/

I love you and nobody else, Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch……

Just kidding. I want to talk about habits today. Do you know that addictions are habits formed? The other day I realized that when I linked Facebook to my Blackberry that my phone was continually buzzing with a Facebook message and just like Pavlov’s dog, I would reach for my phone to see what new witty thing someone had to say. I would then answer the message and go back to my work but all of those stop and starts throughout my day were cutting into my time at work. Even though I make my own hours doesn’t mean my time isn’t wasted by all of these starts and stops.

So I determined to only check my Blackberry every hour and a half to start. I would answer my text messages, my facebook messages and then head back to work. Those few days were torture and it didn’t work at all. I rationalized well, it could be a text message and if it was, then it might be the office or the store, whichever place I wasn’t at, and they might need me. This message might not wait an hour till the next check. Then I switched the ringtones, one for text messages and one for Facebook. Still didn’t work because I wanted to see what everyone was talking about.

I have developed an addiction that was formed by a bad habit. I’m working on it now. I could have easily made excuses and said I couldn’t help myself, addictive personalities run in my family, my parents are smokers. For that matter if you look at my family tree, I have drug addicts, gamblers, and alcoholics in my lineage so addictions are in my DNA.

Only they’re not. That’s a great excuse but it still comes down to choices I make and places I put myself. It really has nothing to do with what my parents do or don’t do, it’s simply what I decide to do. Do patterns follow families? Sure they do, but it’s more about a thought process than it is a built in mechanism. If a certain behavior is acceptable in your family your mind becomes open to it. If you do not build an aversion to it, you may determine to repeat it.

My husband has a saying, Change Your Mind, Change Your World. That’s really it in a nutshell. Those habits that you are trying to break are done by changing thought pattern. So what are you waiting for? Make some small steps away from those thought processes that take you down the wrong path. Stop making excuses because ultimately you are the only one who can help yourself. Determine that those bad habits end today!

Peter Buffet

Here is a book that is going to the top of my reading list. Peter Buffet the son of Warren Buffet has written a book called Life is What You Make It: Finding Your Own Path to Fulfillment. I will write a review when I read the book but for now, read the Reuters article written by Christine Kearney by clicking here.

There was a quote that grabbed me,

“Economic prosperity may come and go; that’s just how it is,” he writes in the book. “But values are the steady currency that earn us the all-important rewards.”

Peter Buffet sounds like a very wise man who understands money is a tool and not the excuse for not living your purpose and dreams!

Her Children Stand And Bless Her


What a ride! I mean seriously,


This Mother’s Day, I was given a great gift. Casey, my daughter who lives in Los Angeles came home to spend the weekend with me and brought me lots of presents. My husband, bought me the most beautiful bouquet of flowers. The only thing missing was my son, Anthony, who had to work Sunday and couldn’t drive down, but he called first thing in the morning and his girlfriend, Frances, whom we love, came to stand in his place. Steve, who is like my second son, and a man who is like a brother to Anthony, came and gave me a hug in his place.

All of this was perfect already but those of you who read this blog know that as a stepmom, I’ve had some long and hard days blending this family. I’ve stood my ground and loved my children, bio and step and it has finally paid off. I want to share what Lauren, who is 17, and whom I’ve tried to be a mentor and a surrogate mother since she was 9 and her father and I married, wrote in her card to me.

Thanks so much for being my mom. I’m starting to appreciate you more than ever, especially when I see how other girls’ moms are. I realize I’m the one with the greener grass. 🙂 I’m not really sure how to say just how thankful I am for everything you do, and how much you put up with. It makes me so happy to know you consider me one of your own daughters. I can’t say thank you enough. I love you! Lauren

Hang in there stepmoms! Some of you are in the storms right now, and I have that t-shirt, so I know it’s no light thing you are going through. Some of you are struggling to stay in a marriage where it seems you are attacked and vilified because of the kids. Hang in there dear stepmoms, this will pass! If I could hug each of you, I surely would. I understand the loneliness you are feeling and the feeling that no one understands what you are going through but there are more stepfamilies in America than “real” families. Beloved, you are the new normal. I’ve had my battles, I’ve been angry and I’ve felt that I was a bystander in this family, but this letter shows me and YOU that you will make it. Things do turn around and just when you want to get off the roller coaster, things smooth out.

Lauren and I had some serious issues but ultimately I love her, want the best for her, desire for her to fulfill her God-given destiny and whether she recognized that or not, I acted on her behalf as a mom would have. Trust me when I tell you that I know we have some sunny days ahead and I don’t kid myself, we have some dark days ahead too. After all, she’s still a teenager and I’m still standing in the way of her doing as she pleases for a little bit longer. But there’s hope! I have to let you all know that there is hope!

Stay the course, keep praying and keep moving forward in the things you know are right to do!