Monthly Archives: April 2013

A Better Picture

A message I heard in church a few years ago was about three kinds of enemies. I’d like to share this insight with you, trusting that it’ll help you the way it did me.

  • HOLDERS – Those that want to hold you back.
  • PULLERS – Those that will pull you away.
  • CLINGERS – Those that keep you behind with them.

We probably all know someone in either category. We may have an idea, a vision, a dream, a desire, or feel passion about something that we may share with somebody, but then that person does not share in our enthusiasm but merely seeks to crush our spirit. Before we know it, we are pulled back, stifled, crushed and beaten down. I’m not saying there won’t be times when we are to make ourselves available in helping others. I am saying there will be times when we need to be around those who care enough to pour something back in us.

I need to be refilled. You need to be refilled.

MEDIOCRITY HATES VISION.

See the bigger picture of something greater and something better.

If we don’t grow, we die. This was me about three years ago. I wanted to grow, move forward and better myself, but only felt squashed and discouraged by those around me. Yet, they were moving forward. So in my prayer time, I sought for guidance and courage. And when I heard my pastor’s message a few days later, it hit me.

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I took a leap of faith and moved on. Why? Because I knew God has something better for me.

I had to make a choice and yes, it was frightening. It took a few months, but it was the best decision I made for me. Still today I am in a much better place and in a much better job position. I am challenged, fulfilled and continue to grow. I am encouraged for doing my best and appreciated in all that I do. I work for a phenomenal boss and some pretty phenomenal people.

Sometimes you have to give up something good to gain something better.

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© M.A. Perez, 2013, All Rights Reserved

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Filed under Career, Devotional

Run Like the Wind

Hadn’t my grandparents always said, “nothing worthwhile comes easy”?

At the track and field events, I earned each of my awards and ribbons. I’d raced along, my eyes on the mark. Momentum building as my arms pumped with energy and my long legs pounded the grassy field. The warmth from the sun’s rays kissed my face, and the breeze caressed my long, flowing hair. My mind, clear and free from worries, centered my concentration one goal: crossing the finish line.

We took our places and lined up in a row, waiting for Coach’s command.

“ON YOUR MARK . . .”

Nerves hit the pit of my stomach.

“GET SET . . .”

I willed my mind to focus, my eyes fixed straight ahead.

“GO!”

We were off. My foot slipped; two of us bumped. I regained momentum, pumping my arms, elbows high. I needed to pace myself or I’d run out of wind. I decided to hold steady at a comfortable third place. I knew that if I stretched myself, I’d pick up speed and pass them one by one. Needed to time it just right.

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Breathe. Keep your eyes on the back of their heads.

Don’t get in too much of a hurry.

Steady . . . Steady . . .

Not yet. Not yet.

Almost . . .

Now!

I passed one girl. Then another. A burst of energy flooded me as I gained a second wind. I closed in on the leader. I heard her breathing. The sound of our feet pounded the ground in unison, inches apart. It was now or never.

We came onto the turn, I moved to the right. Willing my legs to move faster, I passed her up, taking the lead. In record time, I beat her to the finish line!

That was me a hundred years ago. Strong. Perky. Ageless.

If I did it then — perhaps, just maybe — I can do it again, in whatever I set out my mind to do.

(excerpt from Running in Heels – A Memoir of Grit and Grace works in progress)

© M.A. Perez, 2013, All Rights Reserved

1 Comment

Filed under Exercise, Memoir, Race

What Happened?

To “Please” and “Thank You”?
To supper at the table with the family at 5 or 6 PM?

To men holding the door open for women, helping her in her chair, walking on the outside of the curb, closing and opening the car door for her?
To saying, “I’m sorry” after offensives are made?
To picnics at the park?
Hand-written letters, and thank you notes?
In having family devotions? Saying grace?
To walks on the beach?
Random acts of kindness?
A gentle hand? A kind word?
A warm embrace?
To Honesty? Respect?
Truth? Prayer?
Humility?
Commitment in after the “I Do,” and “Til Death Do You Part”?
The Golden Rule?
Morals? Values?
Integrity? Or Honor?
In Saying, “Forgive me.”
Where have they gone? Why did they go?
What has happened …
To Us?

© M.A. Perez, 2013, All Rights Reserved

5 Comments

Filed under Social, Values

For Keeps

ImageToday is our anniversary.

Nineteen years ago, I said “I do” to the most loving and gentle man I know.

And I’m so glad I did.

He came into my world when I was a desperate, single mother of four: ages nine, eleven, twelve, and fourteen. He not only loved me then, but he loved and embraced my children. And they loved him back.

Today, as I fixate on my husband’s face—his eye’s weathered by deep trenches of experience, his hair and beard more gray than brown—a sense of contentment warms me. His gaze still carries the familiar twinkle. They speak of tenderness, honesty and devotion. His eyes say I am a star in his galaxy, and that he will remain by my side through thick and thin. They confirm that together we are one. Moreover, those eyes proclaim that with God, we can weather any storm.

I hadn’t always known this gentleness and steadfastness in a mate. But this one was my second chance at love and happiness, assuring me that my mate and best friend accepts me unconditionally and without reservation. He loves me on my worst days. He loves me on my best days. I don’t feel alone if he’s away.

Yes, we have faced scores of satisfactions and disappointments, victories and losses, accomplishments and failures, heartaches and joys. Some we understand. Some we don’t. But God gives us the grace and peace that exceeds our comprehension.

And life moves on.

© M.A. Perez, 2013, All Rights Reserved

“He’s not perfect. You aren’t either, and the two of you will never be perfect. But if he can make you laugh at least once, causes you to think twice, and if he admits to being human and making mistakes, hold onto him and give him the most you can. He isn’t going to quote poetry, he’s not thinking about you every moment, but he will give you a part of him that he knows you could break. Don’t hurt him, don’t change him, and don’t expect for more than he can give. Don’t analyze. Smile when he makes you happy, yell when he makes you mad, and miss him when he’s not there. Love hard when there is love to be had. Because perfect guys don’t exist, but there’s always one guy that is perfect for you.”
~ Bob Marley

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Filed under Personal, Wedding Anniversary

Time

“I always did love you, just had too many problems.”
Ten words on ink and paper.
Written by her.
Pierces my heart.
Quiet pain.

Does she know I exist? Or care? Or want me?
I love her, look up to her; want to be her.
Unspoken. Forsaken.
Isn’t love also a verb?
Hidden shame.

Grandparents notice. Embrace me. Love me.
They say I am worthy and special.
I am not allow to stay with them.
She said I might become spoil.
Wounded heart.

I leave home. Searching for Mr. Right.
Embraced him at sixteen. Happily ever after.
Young. Naïve. Taken for granted.
Thinks to mold me into his image.
His way or the highway.
Internal screams.

Motherhood. Baby having babies.
Crawl before walk. Stumble. Fall.
Clinging unto a strand, unraveling.
Faded dreams.

Years overlap. Encumbering.
Emotions are numb.
Hubby seeks greener pastures.
Two-timer. Tosses me to the wolves.
Abandon.

Water is not missed until the well is dry.
Alone. They’ve aged. Reaching out.
Across the miles, they call my name.
Vowing eternal devotion.
Hollow words.

Grown children look back.
Open arms. Nostalgic.
Rebuild the fences.
Dying to live.
Forgive.

In times of happiness, embrace your beloved.
In times of calamity, hold them closer.
Love isn’t love until you give it away.
God grants life.
And second chances.

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Me, at three months old with my mom

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Filed under Life, poetry, relationship, Social, Time