Tag Archives: reflection

I Will Never Forget


Sometimes an event occurs and time stands still.

I know I shall never forget …

September 2001:

I had worked two years for a reputable high-end floor and textile cleaning company. I started out as a receptionist, and then promoted to inside sales. I sported around in a Jeep Grand Cherokee and I’d been married for seven wonderful years. Mark had become a devoted Christian, and we attended church as a close-knit family. In April, we purchased our home southwest of Houston in Fort Bend County. Five months later, while driving to work, my tranquil life was interrupted by distress and unexpected terror.

On September 11th, around 7:50 in the morning, I heard on the radio that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center in New York. As soon as I arrived at the office, I flicked on the TV to see the live broadcast of a massive hole in one tower caused by the plane’s impact. Co-workers gathered around and we couldn’t peel our eyes away from the screen. Black smoke billowed out the building, soon engulfed by flames.

We heard what we didn’t want to hear and continued to see unbelievable images that will forever be etched in our minds. My heart plummeted as I saw a second plane hit the other tower. Buildings collapsed minutes later and we all gasped in horror knowing that hundreds—thousands—lost their lives.

That night, President Bush spoke powerful words: “Freedom itself was attacked this morning by a faceless coward, and freedom will be defended.”

Freedom isn’t free, I thought, and freedom is worth any cost.

I thought about the word “freedom.” For the first time, within my own life I truly felt free.

Free from my own past … Free from the clutches of loneliness. Free from wondering where the next meal was coming from. Free from being a prisoner in my own mind, a failing marriage, a broken home.

But I also knew that in a split second, a life could be gone. I experienced that harsh truth the day I lost my baby sister by a hit-and-run driver. I lived through that stark reality from nearly drowning twice as a youngster. I re-lived that nightmare every time my former husband abused me, and again, on the day he shot at me.

An excerpt of “Running in Heels: A Memoir of Grit and Grace” –  Chapter 43

Your turn:

We ALL have a story. We each have our own memories.

What is your memory on that fateful day?

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Filed under 911, Memorial

Another Glorious Birthday

 

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Hello faithful followers and fellow bloggers!

I just celebrated another birthday. As I mature, although not always pain-free, I am thankful to God for my health and for surrounding me with great friends and loved ones. My family continues to grow as my son recently married and I embrace my new daughter-in-love. I know in God’s perfect timing, a new little addition will be added…ah yeah!

Mostly, I am thankful to the Lord for restoring unto me the years the locust had eaten. For those of you who don’t know my story, I was once a neglected and lonely little girl. Life didn’t become easier for me as a teenager and when I thought I had met my Prince Charming, I imagined he would whisk me away into a happily ever after. He hadn’t sown all his wild oats. He was an abusive man twice my age. Before I knew it, I felt trapped and was a 22-year old with 4 children, the oldest then only 5 years old!

So yeah, I endured some hardships but I learned a lot of lessons along the way. I am stronger today because of them. No matter what life has dealt, I have always strived to become better instead of bitter. I believe we can turn stumbling blocks of defeat and difficulties, into stepping-stones of  purpose and peace. I came across a quote that said: “Pain is inevitable, but misery is optional.” Let that sink in. Some of us remain miserable all our lives. I don’t want to be that person, do you?

Take one day at a time. No grit, no grace. If you have a pulse, you have a purpose! Hold onto faith and keep on smiling. Have a grateful heart. Be thankful for the little things. Believe the best is yet to come. You ain’t seen nothing yet!

 

 

 

 

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Filed under birthday celebration, perspective

Mary’s Reflection

When she looks back on her life, she sees a faded memory of a girl unsure about herself, frighten, lost, and insecure. She can’t help but to see sheer pain, disappointments, mistakes and heartaches.

She thinks about the roads she’s traveled: Roads filled with quick sand like the dry Sahara desert and potholes the size of Texas that tried to swallow her whole!

She thinks about the battles she’s fought for her marriage, her sanity, and her four small children:

She thinks about the struggles she’s endured from abandonment as a child and then again as an adult, along with the failures, and the low self-esteem:

She thinks about the sacrifices she’s made in walking away from an education, the letting go of a special-needs child for the child’s best interest, and in putting her dreams on hold,

She thinks about the love she’s lost in saying goodbye to her baby sister, her beloved grandparents, and her 15 years of marriage:

She thinks about the tears she’s shed in her loneliness, with emptied promises, shame and pain:

But as she looks back on her life, she also sees the lessons that she’s learned:

She sees a girl …

Not one who scratched and clawed her way to the top. But a girl who had just enough grit to float to prevent from sinking when life tried to weigh her down. Who walked on pebbles and used them as her stepping-stones to get to higher ground. Who’s childlike faith in the God above would blossom into something much greater than herself. While she may have had a father figure missing in action, she’d come to know her Heavenly Father who never left her side.

When she looks in the mirror and what does she see?

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A girl once dejected and rejected. She no longer is that sad, little girl. So don’t you feel sorry for her. Applaud her, because it was during the dry seasons that she discovered an oasis. Rejoice with her, because in the darkness is where she found a beacon of light. Admire her for rising above her crisis in spite of her circumstances.

She may have started out in the valley, pecking along like a chicken digging for worms. But then the Ancient of Days taught her to spread her wings like an eagle, and soar into the heavens over the mountaintop.

Don’t cry for her, feel sad for her, or grieve for her.

If you’re looking for a lost and lonely child, she is not here. Misunderstood, she may be; a wonder to many she may be. If you’re looking for perfection, she is not that girl; she still has flaws. If you expect to see sophistication or to hear profound eloquence, you may be disappointed.

Her past may even want to dictate her future, the voices in her head play a broken song, her name may even mean “bitter” — but she refuses to be that girl anymore.

What kind of girl is she?

A simple girl.

A grateful girl.

A blessed girl.

She believes in second chances & new beginnings.

She is stronger today for everything she endured. Her scars serve to remind her that she is a survivor. She appreciates the beauty of living life one day at a time. She surrounds herself by those who encourage and genuinely care for her. She clothes herself with a garment of praise, amazed by the wonders of God’s grace.

When she looks in the mirror, what does she see?

She sees a girl turned woman.

If wrinkles must be written upon her brows, she refuses to let them be written upon the heart.

She is more than a conqueror.

She sees strength, learned lessons, and pride in herself.

Sad? No. Alone? No. Afraid? No.

Not that girl anymore.

© M.A. Pérez 2018, All Rights Reserved

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Filed under Memoir, reflection, reminiscence

Face to Face

Happy New Year!

f4694e59b0e6749e2d892b2a6899e728Some of you have been wondering if I am still around. Oh yes, very much so. But due to personal reasons, after life threw us a curve-ball back in November, I had indeed taken a little sabbatical from blogging. I am happy to report that bit by bit I am getting back on tract with writing, etc. I’ve also joined a Toastmasters’ group and will give my Ice Breaker speech to them this week. I will share the outcome with you at a later date.

Meanwhile, let’s all do a little self-examining and reflection. Let’s get to know one another. Please add your thoughts and complete this sentence:

When I look in the mirror I tend to focus on my ______________.

 

© M.A. Pérez, 2017, All Rights Reserved

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Thy Will Be Done

I know you hear me
I know you see me, Lord …

 

I’m so confused
I know I heard you loud and clear
So, I followed through
Somehow I ended up here
I don’t wanna think
I may never understand
That my broken heart is a part of your plan
When I try to pray
All I’ve got is hurt and these four words

Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
I know you’re good
But this don’t feel good right now
And I know you think
Of things I could never think about
It’s hard to count it all joy
Distracted by the noise
Just trying to make sense
Of all your promises
Sometimes I gotta stop
Remember that you’re God
And I am not
So

Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Like a child on my knees all that comes to me is
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will

I know you see me
I know you hear me, Lord
Your plans are for me
Goodness you have in store
I know you hear me
I know you see me, Lord
Your plans are for me
Good news you have in store

So, thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Like a child on my knees all that comes to me is
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
I know you see me
I know you hear me, Lord

Isaiah 65:24 “And it shall come to pass, that before they call,
I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.”

8 Comments

September 15, 2016 · 9:05 PM

Damn the Torpedoes! Full Speed Ahead!

You ever been excited about something and somebody who you love and admire shoot it down? Let me tell you, it stings. Bites. Deflates you, doesn’t it? Yeah, but don’t allow anyone to steal your dream!

They may have meant well, but they just couldn’t see what you envisioned. They didn’t grasp your concept or idea. Then what? Your resolve wavers, your hard work and steadfastness quakes.

So what do you do? Do you throw in the towel and just give up? No, for crying out loud! Perseverance is a virtue. Where’s your stick-to-it-iveness? You have it. Haven’t you burned the midnight oil long enough to come this far? Okay, so maybe they didn’t get it. Time to regroup; dig a little deeper. Re-examine your goal and ask yourself what is it that you feel? What is the message that you’re trying to convey?

I guess with me, I tend to say a prayer, asking God to continue to guide me to express the message closest to my heart to share with others. Listen, I’ve come too far to give up! And so have you! Sure, it may be a little scary, but so what? Acronym of FEAR: Face Everything and  Run, or Face Everything and Rise. I chose the latter.

I know this is not always the case. At times, it does good to cry and let out emotions. Yes, I too, have meltdowns on occasion. But if you can stick to your goal, doing all you know to do with a determination second to none, when oppositions come (and they usually will), you won’t easily break. Time to reflect, is all. Plant where you’re rooted. Bend like a palm tree, change directions if you must. If you feel you are to do a thing, whether people get you or not, stay the course. Don’t let others defeat you by their words or the looks on their faces! What am I saying? Face your giant! (But don’t forget your slingshot.)

BE encouraged.

“Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!”

How determined are you?

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© M.A. Pérez, 2016, All Rights Reserved

About "Running in Heels: A Memoir of Grit & Grace"

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Filed under Perseverance

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 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. Pérez 2014, All Rights Reserved

Photo Credit: jessmegale via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: jessmegale via Compfight cc

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Filed under Personal, poetry

Faded Roses?

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Age. Aging. Ageless.

I rarely think about my age but the body has a way of reminding me whenever I throw my back out or my knee pops. And yes, in the mirror I sometimes notice an extra line here, another wrinkle there, and as I gaze upon certain areas of my physique I find myself wondering, where did “it” go and when did “that” change?

From time to time I muse about my early years in having to grow up so fast, and then in my teens and young adulthood in raising four children. Next thing I knew my twenties were gone, and my marriage was deteriorating. Divorced in my thirties (I felt like a failure but the world did not end), and remarried by my mid-thirties (thank God for new beginnings). I can shout from the rooftop that no marriage is so good that it can’t be made better! (You see, I’ve been married most of my life.) Then when I approached my early forties, the seasons changed again for me, this time, embracing the wonders of grand-parenting.

So, in my fifties, as I reflect on this aging process—knowing I certainly don’t have all the answers—I’ve learned a thing or two about what life has dealt me.

I read in Psalms 90:12: So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.”  This passage speaks to me and tells me to make each day count. I must remember to live in the present, not in the yesterdays or in the tomorrows. I must laugh often, love deeply, pray sincerely, and believe that my best days are before me.

As my birthday quickly approaches around the corner, I can’t help but think: have I done all I ever wanted to do? Of course, the answer is a resounding: Not even close. Am I running out of time? That’s God’s business. I believe life is a gift from God and I’ll take each day and cherish the moment. He is the reason for every good thing, every heartbeat, and every second chance.

I love the lyrics to “Every Good Thing” by The Afters:

I tend to be busier than I should be
I tend to think that time is going to wait for me
Sometimes I forget and take for granted
That it’s a beautiful life we live
I don’t want to miss the moments like this
This is a beautiful life You give

You’re the reason for every good thing, every heartbeat
Every day we get to breathe
You’re the reason for anything that lasts, every second chance
Every laugh
Life is so sweet
You’re the reason for every good thing

There will be days that give me more than I can take
But I know that You always make beauty from my heartache
Don’t want to forget or take for granted
That it’s a beautiful life we live
I’m not going to miss the moments like this
This is a beautiful life You give

It’s our family, it’s our friends
It’s the feeling that I get when I see my children smile
You’re the reason for this life, everything we love
It’s You alive in us
You’re alive in us

You are here in every moment, and I know that You’re every good thing
You are here in every moment, and I know that You’re the reason for
You are every good thing

For the love I still see in my children’s eyes, the laughter in my grandchildren’s voices, the warmth of my husband’s embrace, the scent of rain lingering in the air, and the taste of grateful tears streaming down my cheeks, I am thankful for the goodness of God in granting me another year.

Someone said that age is a myth and beauty is a state of mind. I like that.

Faded roses? No. May I grow old gracefully, forever blooming where I am planted, one petal at a time.

A heartfelt thanks to my lovely daughter, Anna, for putting this video together

A heartfelt thanks to my lovely daughter, Anna, for putting this video together

 

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

 

22 Comments

August 24, 2013 · 9:04 PM