Holy Spirit whispers

As I was driving my kids to school this morning my daughter asked if she could tell me a story. Now, at 7 years old there’s only so far these stories normally go and they usually end the same however, this morning I felt a whisper from the Holy Spirit to really hear. As I listened to her story I was well aware that this story was exactly what God wanted me to hear today. I would love to share this with you!

A story from my Leilani:
“There was a little girl and she was really great at a lot of things. People always told her she was great and she liked it. She could sing, dance, act and was great at anything she did. One day she decided she wanted to do a show for her family and friends because she was so wonderful at so many things. She practiced and worked really hard. On the day of the show she did everything amazing and was so excited at the end when she took a bow for her friends and family but she didn’t hear a single applause or cheer. She didn’t understand and was confused until she looked up and looked to see why and then she noticed that during her entire show she forgot one single thing…..to open the curtain!”

Isn’t it funny how we all get caught up into thinking we are skilled, gifted or purposed at something when others applaud us? If we don’t keep our focus on God we begin to think it’s all about us and that we don’t need anyone’s help! How great would it have been if this little girl allowed her friends and family to be part of the show and depend on someone she trusted to open up that curtain!

The great works we do are nothing if we do not include others in the progress and if we forget to open the curtain what is it all for? Do you have people in your life helping you improve your story? People that hold the crucial role of opening up the windows and doors of your life for others to see the wonders God has done? God created us for community and one talented person will never go as far as a group of talented people! So invite your friends to the beautiful story you are writing and make it a beautiful show for all to see!

Thank you to my little Leilani for the story that opened my heart today! And thank you Holy Spirit for your quiet prompting whispers!!!

"I can do all things through CHRIST who strengthens me!" ..so run!!

Hello friend,

This is a letter to you. Yes, you. I want to remind you that you can do everything you want. Maybe someone, something, somewhere in the past told you that you couldn't and you started believing it. I did. Well friend, they lied to you! The devil is a liar! (John 8:44)

A true friend will always tell you the truth out of love. One of my biggest desires is to see all my friends fulfill the dreams God gave them long ago. Why? Simply because someone did it for me a long time ago and my life has been forever changed!

Maybe you're a student with a full load, a stay-at-home mom caring for your family, a working woman learning the ropes, a successful career focused chick, a young girl lost & searching for the right purpose, a hard working mom or a single mom just trying to do it all. The truth is, I have all of these ladies in my life and I LOVE it!!!

Here's a brief list of some of my friends:
  • SHE lay her career down to raise her baby & help her husband with his business.
  • SHE followed her husband across the ocean to be closer to him as he serves our country.
  • SHE just had her second baby and loves them dearly but can't wait to get back to work.
  • SHE had her third baby and stepped back into a busy career caring for others.
  • SHE is a full time Doctorate student, employee & encourager...all while taking the bus!
  • SHE is a busy ER nurse and uses her testimony to witness to many.
  • SHE is a single mom working a demanding career and raising her kids alone.
  • SHE is lost and searching but determined to stay connected with healthy women.
  • SHE left to Africa to become a missionary in her 40s.
  • SHE refused to let her addiction overtake her & now coaches young women.
  • SHE dedicates her life to loving the homeless and marginalized.
  • SHE refuses to let the past keep her chained & chooses freedom on a daily basis.
  • SHE refuses to be broken and continues to search for purpose and calling.
  • SHE works full time, takes care of her family and is determined to make a difference.  
  • SHE is single but does not worry and focuses on her purpose & career. 
  • SHE homeschools and sets her family up for a win while leading other moms to health.
  • SHE refuses to let cancer define her life even in the midst of chemotherapy.
  • SHE runs the good race! (1 Corin 9:24)
Maybe you see yourself in this list or in several of these women. Congratulations my friend, you are doing it all through CHRIST who strengthens you. The lie from the past has no hold on you. The truth is friend, you can do what you choose to do. The question is, are YOU choosing to do it

I would love to challenge you. The question does not rest on your "capacity" but on your focus and determination to just DO IT. Is something holding you back from just going for it? Is it fear of failure? If you at least give it a shot then you stand a chance!

The difference between what I could have become and what I am was all weaved through choices. I grew up in East Los Angeles, child of immigrant parents, abused and with addictive tendencies. I had to set my focal point high and run! There were no mentors, coaches or leaders that took me under their wing but I knew there was a need for them and that one day I would bridge that gap.

So today, when you see me busy with a full time ministry, a mom of triplets, a wife, a friend, a student, a mentor and a pretty darn good cook....don't compare, don't judge and don't suppose that it's a front. I am no better than you, I don't have a larger "capacity" (whatever that's suppose to mean), I didn't have more means than you, it's not a facade. All I did friend, was choose to believe the word of God and not the enemy that I could do it all and I ran! You can too! Your "all" may look different than mine and at the end of the day, only you and God can judge what lane you choose. So look up my friend AND RUN!!!

One last piece of advise that I'll share that a wise person once told me.... "you can do it all but that doesn't mean you have to do it all....right now." ....Of course the latina comes out of me wanting to ask... "Right now, right now? or just right now." (this is only funny if you know George Lopez or any members of my Cervantes family!) and there you have it, another little crazy side of me!

See you on the journey!

****THANK YOU to all my beautiful friends represented in this post. your example and friendship fuels my soul! I live vicariously through the stay-at-home mom, the single girl searching for purpose and the women in the midst of the battle but choosing to fight the good fight! My life is full because of you!*****

This is the BEST LIFE!

 "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."  Jeremiah 29:11

During the holiday seasons we all need a little reminder of the great plans God has for each one of us. Whether you're on a beautiful mountain peak or a lonely valley remember, HIS plans for you never change! The enemy is an expert on confusion but you my friend...are an expert on how HE loves you!


Even this in-love wife, mother, friend, sister, daughter and Pastor can use a reminder once in a while!

What's In Your Suitcase?

My husband is such a hassle-free kind of guy and it shows in all he does.

One day we were traveling for a holiday with our then 4 year old triplets and he really disliked having to lug around tons of suitcases. On our previous trips I always packed:
  • 1 large suitcase for Mom & 2 girls
  • 1 large suitcase for dad & son (since it's half empty I'd throw in some favorite snacks & pool toys here)
  • Each kid would have their own rolling pack with toys & entertainment for the plane
  • 1 backpack for mom
  • 1 backpack for dad
  • 1 extra carry on with emergency clothes
I think that load is pretty reasonable for a family of 5 traveling for 10 days! He disagreed and considering poor dad was left to drag them all around airports and hotels while I herded kids and got us where we needed to be I decided to let him have it his way!

On the following trip we decided to head back to our honeymoon spot of Jamaica! Oh, how excited I was to be back and to share it with my then 5 year old kids! My loving husband reminded me about the horrible suitcase situation and challenged me to only use 1 large suitcase for the ENTIRE family!  It is here that God reminded me of the strain my poor husband went through with those bags! Ugh, so with a "smile" I said yes to both of them!

First things first! What do we NOT need to take!? I started taking out snacks (triplets are big enough to eat whatever is available), floaties (they knew how to swim now), blankies (big kids, no more need for those) & books (downloaded on ipads). Ok that's as good as it gets baby!!! Once I took these things off the list and realized that all I needed to pack was clothes....MY LIFE CHANGED!!!!!

No more carrying around loads of "things" that I may or may not need. "Things" that somehow brought a false sense of comfort. "Things" that caused distractions. "Things" that hindered us from moving freely. "Things" that tied us down. "Things" we held onto because of  dependency. What freedom!!!!!!

Once I sat there and stared at the empty suitcase on the floor and the mounds of clothes still to pack I realized.....we don't even "need" these mounds of clothes! 5 sundresses per girl, 2 bathing suits and tons of underwear! 4 shorts for boys, 5 shirts, 2 pool shorts and tons of underwear! There, we were packed!! AND GUESS WHAT....HALF THE SUITCASE WAS STILL EMPTY!

What a perspective on my life! Given the right direction, challenge and vision we can all leave "things" behind that no longer serve us! Matthew 11:30 tells us "For my yoke is easy and burden is LIGHT." So how many years, detours, frustrations and tears have these "things" caused us? My friends, how easily we get fooled into believing that we need anything other than God with us. We need to stop and inspect our suitcases!

These "things" we carry with us slow us on our JOURNEY because of their weight and keep us from our PURPOSE because of the fatigue caused by the weight. So why do we insist on lugging around  unforgiveness, hurts, bitterness, resentment and hate? Who is truly choosing to pack these things in our suitcase AND on top of that who is sitting on them to make it all fit?  The answer is us! We have the power to speak to that which we choose not to carry any longer!  

So take a moment today, inspect your suitcase and throw out what is not serving you on your journey! If it does not propel you forward it holds you back! SO GO UNPACK & TRAVEL LIGHT!!!!!!

Isaiah 58:8 “Then your salvation will come like the dawn and your wounds will quickly heal. Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind."

Psalm 30:2
O Lord my God, I cried to You and You have healed me.

Three Minutes...to change your life.

A few months ago we were challenged by our Pastor to share our lives testimony in three minutes or less. The prayer was to share our story and impact others through the journey we had each been on.
Though I had been doing it on a daily basis with individuals it took on a new life as I carefully crafted what God wanted me to share. You see, the devil had been after me since I was three years old and I spent most of my life pretending nothing was wrong. I had the world convinced but the world within me was crushed.

My life took so many twists and turns that there really was no real place to start. How do you bring someone in on a roller coaster ride that's already started? But that's just what God did. 12 years ago He stepped into my roller coaster and changed the course of my life. Not only did He free me from a past but prepared me for a future with a strength I had never known.

Two years after becoming a Christian my husband and I experienced the biggest blow yet. The difference this time was that the wind was knocked out of me but not the life! I knew the promises over my life and this was most definitely not the end! When I couldn't breath He breathed life into me! As I peel back all the layers.... I see the impact each layer has to those around me and the freedom in knowing they are not alone. And sometimes knowing that you are not alone is all that it takes.

 So today I freely share my "Three minute Testimony" and the intro goes something like this:

"Hi, my name is Bonnie and I'm a grateful believer in Jesus Christ. I am a survivor abuse, 12 years sober of chemical dependency and recovering from food addiction."
Of all the amazing and wonderful things we plan to do, say and risk in our lives this has been the most impactful in mine. Shedding light into what the enemy had wanted to keep in the dark and claiming freedom from a past that has nothing to do with my future.

What layer are you working on?

Genesis 50:20
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.