Through My Lens

Picture1As I reflect upon my vacation this year, I center on the glitter to the glue of my family. The stuff that makes them glow through difficult circumstances, yet, not fall apart. It is the Strength in their sails,
the Laughter through the tears, the Lightanchornew in the darkness. The waves may beat on the boat called Life, but their faith in God is the anchor that
keeps them from drifting afar.

Through my lens, I observed how one remains playful and young at heart, can laugh at themselves and enjoy the simple things in life.
14923_10204703715180608_5675463751065842269_n 10600375_10204703715860625_6913583592732597383_nThrough my lens, I saw how one so small can love so big; remain warm and engaging, loveable without reservations.10556236_10204728125950862_5977327558787419493_n

Through my lens, I noticed that when the going gets tough, the tough gets going! They refuse to sit down, roll over or give up on life. They know tomorrow is on the horizon, another day for new beginnings.10374430_10204728701285245_6597456912167368273_n

10559740_10204703690339987_8489302758064957017_nThrough my lens, I observed that age is just a number; it doesn’t mean that one ceases to exist, to learn, or to do.10606108_10204704812728046_6739570265579190164_n

 

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Through my lens, I got to witness such amazing selfless love. The sacrifices and serving of others: putting themselves last, while thinking of others first.

10436271_10204678200342753_1091761609782845600_nI heard the cry of their heartbeat. Thump. Thump. Compassion. Thump. Thump. Forgiveness. Thump. Thump. Passion. Thump. Thump. Sincerity. Thump. Thump. Tenacity. Thump. Thump. Love. Thump. Thump. Puerto Rican heritage.

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What did I learn in my ten days of vacation? If I can be just one example of what it means to love and to be loved, I’ll overcome what life may throw at me. I’ll face each trial with a certainty that God is still God of the ages and He continues to work on our behalf. No matter what.

Plans don’t always work the way we think. Situations may take a different turn than what we planned. We aren’t always prepared for the what-ifs. We aren’t perfect. But we are family. And the greatest gift of all is family.

1939720_10204703715020604_4119621491714830039_n© M.A. Perez 2014, All Rights Reserved

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Filed under familia, family, Uncategorized, Vacation

Fun In the Sun!

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August 11, 2014 · 1:28 PM

RIH Book Project

Many of you have encouraged me over the years in my writing endeavors.

Positive feedback on my Word Press blog has inspired me to continue pursuing my dream of becoming a published author.

Visit my new Book Project page – Running In Heels

http://maryaperez.com/running-in-heels-a-memoir-of-grit-and-grace-2/

 

 

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A Moment Today

I had a moment today,
A revelation that came my way.
Right from the start,
I felt a prompting in my heart.

I had a moment today.
I soaked it all in so it wouldn’t stray.
It gave me a new perspective and insight,
To see you in a different light.

I had a moment today,
Of a new found truth after I prayed.
I no longer see or call you dysfunctional,
Although back then the times were in turmoil.

But you see, I had a moment today,
And I realized come what may:
In your weakness is God’s strength.
Your flaws, an opportunity for His success.

Yes, I had a moment today,
And I’m no longer afraid.
I can smile and stand in awe.
Because I know you were and still are a gift from God!

© M.A. Perez 2014, All Rights Reserved

Photo Credit: jessmegale via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: jessmegale via Compfight cc

 

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Filed under Personal, poetry

Birthday Boy

 

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Celebrated hubby’s birthday.

Cooked him a nice lasagna meal with the family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hard to believe that this good-looking boy

would waltz into my life one day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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As an added bonus, gave hubby a surprised party with friends the next day.

 

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He completes me.

He had a rugged, but kind, short-bearded face

Happy Birthday, Mark.

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“Dun You Forget.”

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Into my pre-teen years—although I tried to hide my true feelings—I became self-conscious that developed into a guarded inferiority complex. While not shy as my mother had been, I felt like an outcast: I came from a broken home, my family was poor, and I was still on the school’s free lunch program. My clothes were hand-me-downs. We didn’t own a car. I didn’t even own a bike, although I always wanted one. We didn’t go on vacations like to Disney World the other kids bragged about, nor could we afford the latest trends or luxuries as others.

As I wrestled with these feelings of mediocrity, I became ashamed of my Puerto Rican heritage. I didn’t play the blame-game, but felt second-rate, forever on the outside looking in. I determined not to let anyone see through my brittle exterior to see a weakling. In school, because I didn’t feel part of the “in” crowd, I enviously watched as the popular kids were voted for class president, vice-president, or secretary. In my mind, I believed the ritzy kids went to summer camps, swimming lessons, and Girl Scout meetings. After all, they paid for their school lunches, not the state. They wore the latest fashions, not hand-me-downs. Their straight pearly whites glistened when they smiled. They even pronounced their words perfectly. They lived in big houses whose parents had “nest eggs.”

“Some are more privileged than others,” Grandma explained to me. “But we are all the same in God’s eyes.”

I wasn’t about to argue with Grandma’s statement. All I knew was that there never seemed to be enough funds to do anything extra. My grandparents were extremely frugal. They didn’t believe in splurging or in keeping up with the Joneses.

In the early seventies, several public schools were still racially unbalanced, so the federal courts stepped in. Miami’s school districts bused students from one neighborhood to another to achieve integration.

Busing made my life plummet from bad to worse. I attended Miami Shores Middle School, a predominantly white school where kids commonly called Hispanics “spics.”

Because I was Puerto Rican descent, I was the target of their taunting. “You spic English?” they scoffed, using their favorite line. They even gave me grief about my naturally full-sized lips (something others now pay money to have done).

To make matters worse for me, my grandma—unpretentious and a bit old-fashioned— insisted I wear dresses to school past my knees, even though other girls wore the trendy mini-skirts and mini-dresses. Almost all my clothes were second-hand, and at eleven years old—going on twelve—that bothered me.

“Grandma, this isn’t what the girls wear nowadays!” I groaned.

“Dis is what you’re wearin’, and you shouldn’t be ashamed. Your clothes are clean and pressed,” she said with finality in her usual accent.

I threw up my hands. “Grandma, you’re gonna make me get into fights!”

“You are a Christian girl,” she retorted, her eyes wide and fierce. “Dun you forget that.”

* * * *

Thanks to you, Grandma, I haven’t forgotten.

I’ll always remember my beloved grandma who passed away in the eighties, whose birthday would have been July 26th . In her simplicity, she impacted my life and instilled in me values and principles I shall never forget.

© M.A. Perez 2014, All Rights Reserved

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UnMask

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All through my life, I’ve dealt with feelings of low self-esteem and self-worth. I felt undone, incomplete, or insignificant. Along the way, I realized this stemmed from my childhood. I did not ask for it. I certainly did not want it. But with an undeniably painful past and a seemingly questionable future, I muddled through life. I thought a man could save me, but he only tried to make me into his own image! I became his shadow, worshiped the ground he walked on, subservient to his every whim. I was truly lost, with no identity, no voice – no me. Yet I held on, not wanting to lose him then. By the way, that’s a perfect example of insecurity: the more easily threatened we are, the more insecure we are.

Beth Moore says: “Insecurity lives in constant terror of loss.” As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been reading Beth Moore’s So Long, Insecurity with the subtitle you’ve been a bad friend to us. Wish she wrote this book 40 years ago! She says that insecurity is not only a woman’s battle. She identifies insecurity as a “profound sense of self-doubt – a deep feeling of uncertainty about our basic worth and our place in the world. The insecure man or woman lives in constant fear of rejection and a deep uncertainty about whether his or her own feelings and desires are legitimate.”

I thought about myself as a Christian, why from time to time do I still struggle with insecurities? Why does rejection crush me so? Why do I second guess everything? Beth reveals an interesting point about herself in her book: “I not only lack security, I also lack faith. I don’t just doubt myself, I also doubt God about myself. I don’t know about you, but that struck me to the core!

She goes on to say how some of us never seek healing from God for our insecurities because we feel like we don’t fit the profile. But insecurity’s best cover is perfectionism. Now there’s a mask for you!

What masks are you prone to wear? Looking back, I recall hiding the pain behind my smile.

A woman who has no self-worth or a low self-esteem tends to hide behind a mask.

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July 6, 2014 · 6:30 PM