"To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven...a time to break down and a time to build up,...a time to cast away stones and a time to gather stones together,...a time to get and a time to lose, a time to keep and a time to cast away." -ECCLESIASTES 3:1-6
I want to share my story and hope it can help someone out there as well. These couple of months have been emotionally and physcially tough. Starting a Master's program, working three jobs, and ending a four year relationship. I couldn't sleep. I was sleeping three hours a night and I was not eating. I lost five pounds just in one week, and the toughest thing was pushing myself in these dark times. During this time my training didn't stop, my endless studying didn't stop, and my life responsibilities didn't stop. I just put one foot in front of the other and kept going. I kept going but I was not at my best. I was racing with a couple of hours of sleep, stressed, and not running my race. I knew I had to change so I recently been sleeping more 10-12 hours a night, I got closer to God, I started eating more, and I'm happy (content). With this experience: I learned with personal struggles that the mental aspect is so crucial especially in performance.
Now about my race this Weekend:
A week before Santa of the Sea half marathon, I couldn't stop thinking about the excruciating pain I will feel for this race. I knew if I did quit and I didn't run the race I train everyday for I would be disappointed in myself. "Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If i quit, however, it lasts forever. -Lance Armstrong
Everyday I am killing myself with the crazy workouts my coach gives me (Andres De LA Cruz) with my training partner ( twin sister.).
Yeah she copies me! ;)
I knew deep down I was able to race fast if only I fight my own demons. I went into this race with a plan. The first four miles will be conservative and not too hard. Mile five and after will be a little faster. After the 10 mile mark I will be racing with heart. I kept saying this over and over to myself before the race and during the race. "When it starts to hurt and your breathing gets heavy, calm yourself and trust you can do some amazing things when you shut your brain off and run with your heart." -Marco Fregoso
Now during the race I stood behind (ran conservative) the first four miles, and ran with my good friends Valerie Sanchez and Juan Paredes, Sabrina Lopez, and other athletes who joined along the way. It was an amazing experience with all of us working together out there and cruising 5:50-5:55 pace. Working through each mile together felt amazing. I didn't feel pain. I just ran, and had fun. After the 11 mile we all seperated and I ended up running the last two miles solo. This was the toughest part for me, and I did not have no one in front of me during this time. Almost to the finish line, there was no one to direct me where to go. I ended up running more, and off the course. My twin sister followed me from behind so we both stopped and tried to figure out how to get back on the course. I saw the course from the distance and got right back on to the course and finished with a time of 1:18:40 and 1:18:46; taking second and third place. We both were disappointed because we race for time, and always racing against the clock. Running off the course added about 40 seconds to our time. We were also happy in the same time because we placed. Who doesn't like placing? Running off the course did not mess up our placing.
Learning Lesson from this race: Sometimes persistence means that you keep moving toward your goals irrespective of problems in the way. You may make mistakes or even fail but you grow and learn from this, only moving you forward. Mistakes and defeats aren't excuses.
True inner strength and growth only comes from life's struggles. Never give up and never give in. I believe that success is not measured but what you've accomplished by what you have encountered and had the courage to overcome.
Sabrina: 1:18:46, Belainesh Gebre: 1:16:10, Regina Lopez: 1:18:40
Pace from the race!
Up Next for us is a much needed break! Our text message from our coach =)
Thank you for reading <3
"God is sooooo using you without you knowing it. Using your talents and beauty and wisdom to encourage so many girls.."
This was the text. Short and sweet. It’s crazy how some words can carry very little weight at one time of your life and could mean the world in another. I don’t know what it was about these words that got me, but I know it was exactly what I needed to hear. I needed the encouragement so much in that moment and God was faithful to use a friend to offer that for me…!
You know, I almost didn’t write this one. And if I didn’t post it would be out of fear and result in people-pleasing. The purpose has always been to share the raw, uncut and real parts of this walk with the Lord from the perspective of a fallible, young woman that loves the Lord who desires to seek His truth and share it with you. So here we go.
Recently, I’ve had some honest conversations with the Lord regarding the issue of how common it is to witness and experience family, friends and random people including social media putting each other down. And this entire post is going to be a conversation with God. I’m going to share this with you truly desiring to be real and transparent, and trusting that you understand I’m not intending to imply that my thought process at times is necessarily the most righteous, but it’s transparent and real. And it’s not until I’m honest with the Lord and myself with where I’m at, that I'm able to allow Him to speak and direct me into a thought process that is honoring to Him.
Here I am questioning You again.
Lord, this life gets so ridiculously rough at times. We have an enemy waiting for us to fall and a world constantly trying to pull us down, but now this? If we are called to encourage each other than tell me why are we some of the worst critics?
I’ll speak for myself.
And if hardship has touched my life, they say I must of deserved it somehow. God, you have reminded me over and over that I need to let you be my Defender, but sometimes I just want to call people out like, REALLY?!
Never satisfied with what I’m doing, what I’m saying, what I’m not, where I am or where I’m headed.
Trying to figure me out, while questioning my motives and tracking my every move. Some have belatedly made things up to fill in the missing gaps of their version of my story. It seems to make them too uncomfortable not to have answers, yet they aren’t brave enough to just ask me for them.
Never truly caring enough to seek out the truth for the purpose of understanding, but simply desiring information to satisfy their own flesh.
This kind of stuff you expect from the world, but how much deeper is the wound when it comes from people on the same side? Your side.
Little do they know they can’t challenge me in this. The position of “my worst critic” has been filled by Yours Truly and I don’t need any help. But then, sometimes the people-pleaser in me wants to give them what they want. If they want to criticize everything from the clothes I wear, to the posts and images I put up, to the quote I shared, to the friends I keep, then I will just give em what they want.
Would they feel better if I did? Would they be happier if I just quit fighting the good fight? What if I really did fall away from the faith? What if the weight of this world grew too heavy for me and what if I did forsake everything I know to be true and stopped trusting in You to save me daily? Would they finally be satisfied?
I don’t think they would.
I’ve seen this happen to other people around me. They are judged, condemned and criticized by others and it ends up being too much to carry. It’s all fun and games to slander and look down on another person until someone actually walks away from their faith. When it comes down to it, I think it would be heartbreaking to hear that
anyone has lost their hope.
Lord, if we aren’t encouraging each other, then what are we doing? I’ve seen friends and family get mocked for doing too much and slandered for not doing enough.
And I know I’ve been at fault for this at some point, Lord forgive me. We put each other down out of pure insecurity. Maybe if we’re honest it’s because we either see their fruits and know we aren’t doing all that we’ve been called to do, or we don’t see them doing anything and it makes us feel better about where we’re at.
It’s heartbreaking when I see so many people being crushed by the weight of the world and then get angry thinking about how selfish we can be by hindering a person’s ability to do God’s work by breaking them down rather than building them up.
Ok, help me to renew my mind to the truth (Romans 12:2). Help us in our humanity. Remind us of Your word. I pray that you create pure hearts in us (Psalm 51:10). Give us the eyes to see people with compassion, give us hearts able to empathize, give us the words to encourage, and give us the wisdom to see that we are being used as a tool for evil when we slander instead of tools of Love (John 13:34). Give us the willingness to stand in the gap for a brother or sister in need (Ezekiel 22:30). Lord teach us to love each other. Teach us to assess for the purpose of wisdom without passing judgement (Matthew 7:2). Redirect our hatred towards sin and darkness. Help us to reject people-pleasing when others contradict what You have called us to do or say. Be our strength as our feeble legs continue down this narrow path.
And I pray that you take our weaknesses, mistakes, sins and failures to mold, refine, and mature us in the faith. I pray for my brothers and sisters struggling with sin and for those so far deep that they can’t see it getting better. I pray and we only speak kind words about each other. Lord, I pray against hopelessness. For those that can’t see the light at the end of a tunnel of darkness, help them to understand that You are right there with them if they would just turn around. I pray that as we continue in this walk with you, we learn to become more like You and less like the world.
I thank you for designing each of us with a unique set of traits, desires, abilities, and passions. I pray that you first teach us who we are in You, then allow us to fully, boldly, passionately, and unapologetically live out our calling by using our gifts and talents for the purpose of Your glory. Unceasingly remind us that our calling is to love people around us with the Love we have experienced. Lord, be my brothers and sisters strength, because I understand all too well how cunning the enemy can be. Remind us of Ephesians 6:12 when we are tempted to believe that this spiritual battle is against flesh and blood. Teach us to build up each other because it pleases You. We love you. Thank you for Your truth, your patience, Your plan and Your love for us.
In Jesus name I pray.
Do not be fooled, bad company corrupts good morals.”
1 C o r i n t h i a n s 1 3 : 3 3
It is important to be prudent when choosing our closest friendships, because the truth is we can’t afford to invest in the ones that end up hindering our emotional and spiritual health. Don’t misunderstand the purpose of this blog. We are very much called to love all people and to share the love of God with those that have not yet experienced it yet, but I want to remind you of the one thing that all relationships need: boundaries.
If your relationships:
1. cause you to fall into a sinful lifestyle
2. threaten your emotional health
3. keep you from being the woman (or man) God has called you to be
4. drive you away from the Lord
5. never make you better, but worse
6. cause you to be brought down more than you are able to lift others up
7. take the place of God (i.e. they become an idol in your life)
Learn from my mistakes
As I have mentioned before, I have this incredible gratitude for the close-knit community that I have been blessed with in my life. I have a few extremely close friends that I know God has put in my life to bless, sharpen, help, support, encourage, laugh with and enjoy life with (at least in this season). I have also had friendships that ended up tearing me down and were very much the opposite of a blessing. Let’s call these toxic. I failed to set proper boundaries even when God revealed just how much He wasn’t blessing them. If I would have been obedient to take His word as truth and discontinue my efforts to invest in relationships that were just not going to change, it would have kept me from a lot of sin and let down. This is why it is always best to be obedient the first time we hear Him, because we will end up paying the consequences. And He tried to warn us in the first place! Also, we must remember that we are not victims here. We have the decision to set boundaries that keep us from sin and dysfunction. We must choose these on our own, and if not, we are choosing to remain connected to those that will unquestionably corrupt our best intentions to please the Lord.
Thank you for reading
She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.
So, what does God’s word say about beauty? How is beauty meant to be defined? This takes us back to 1 Peter 3:3-4.
Thankfully, God understands that a girl’s got needs. I love getting dressed up once in awhile, doing my hair/makeup and wearing a cute outfit. And in moderation, that is not a bad thing at all! God’s word says: “do not let your beauty merely outward.” As in, do not let your sole focus be external, because one day that beauty will fade. But most importantly, let it “be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.”
Something that I have been learning and realizing a lot lately is that the ability to remain meek in circumstances where you have been wronged, reveals great strength and dignity; it is simply beautiful. This characteristic can be called gentleness (which is beautiful in His sight). Jesus demonstrated this when He stood in front of His murderers. He, God, stood in front of Pilot, a man, who believed that he had the power to kill Jesus. And even though Jesus could have rightfully struck this man down right then in a blink of an eye along with his soldiers, He demonstrated gentleness, humility, strength and love as He remained silent. And by doing so, His character is so plainly revealed to us. He would rather selflessly humble Himself before man, endure the shame and pain, and wait patiently for His time of glory in order to save someone like you and me. How beautiful it that?
You know, it’s obvious when you come across a beautiful person. A truly beautiful being. They have a heart of gold that could not be compared to any physical beauty out there. Their value is evident, not because of their looks (which are so fleeting), but by their character which speaks volumes of the love, selflessness, care, gentleness and integrity that is ingrained in them. And why are these people so beautiful? Because they carry characteristics of the Lord. He is our great example. You want to be beautiful? Look to, learn from, follow, know HIM. I promise the more time you spend with Him, the more you will begin to inherit His good looks.
LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, GENTLENESS, FAITHFULNESS, SELF-CONTROL.
These characteristics are from the Lord. This is what truly makes a person beautiful. People who carry this kind of beauty, they stand out. They positively impact and bless people around them just by being themselves. How crazy is that to think about? The beauty that they carry with them is so rare and valuable that it makes others look to them as something special. And ironically, all this good comes from the Lord. It has everything to do with Him and not a whole lot to do with us.
So when it comes down to it, what kind of beauty should we be seeking? What truly matters? As for me, I am so attracted to people who selflessly love others. And I’m not going to lie, I have some pretty amazing friends in my life. I truly feel blessed by them. God’s love shines through them in a way that brings peace to my soul to even be close with them. They are beautiful to me. I see their value. These people are willing to pray, speak life, encourage, rebuke, help and have a good time. Those are my kind of beautiful people. And they make me want to grow more beautiful too. And in order to do that, I must first look to the Lord to purify my heart in order to make it beautiful.
So, although we each have our own subjective opinion of what external beauty looks like, which we are so free to desire, we must never forget that inner beauty comes from the Lord. We must look to Him… desiring His beauty first in order to even recognize what true beauty really looks like. And we seek that out by getting into His word and learning more about Him, His character and how much He truly loves us by His actions. When desiring to be beautiful, look to Him who is the definition of it.
Realize how blessed you are! Happy to live another day and spend it with my lovely friend and friends! <3💕❤️
Everyone can get out there and train hard. It's in the details, the mindsets and the small decisions that game-changers are made.Pay attention to how you speak to yourself today and observe the compromises you allow. Moving into this week lets let our excellence in the small things take us to the next level, Amen.
Everyday before workouts, races, and easy runs I've been listening to a lot of motivational speakers on my mini Ipod. It gives me that drive to not quit.
I'm becoming more stronger everyday. I DON"T QUIT! I'M FEARLESS!!
I go after it and I give it all I have. If I lost it, at least I tried. “I failed” is ten times better than someone saying “What if?” Because “What if?” Never went to the trails, never succeeded their dreams. That’s called courage. Now that’s what I want to be known for. I want to be known as never quitting and always giving it all I have. I choose to rise, not fall! I choose to live, not die.
Today is that day and everyday that I will work hard.
We all fall down in life. The question is: Who gets back up and fights back!
Work ethic will always be based off of desire to succeed. Failure is just apart of life so get use to it. Anyone successful knows in order to rise we must fall it's just this roller coaster we call life. When you find your passion success will always follow. So stay true, stay strong and always get up when you fall it's a gift that is called a LESSON👊🏼
I'm a twin and no I don't hate my twin. No evil twin or all these misconceptions people have. Whether you know a set of twins, are having twins or just curious. Here are seven reasons why being a twin is amazing and it should help you understand the relationship between twins and it may even open your eyes to some of those twin quirks you can't figure out.
1. Built In Best Friend
Remember those days when you clashed with someone at school or someone didn't like you? Well, if you had a twin, you'd have someone to keep you company and have your back no matter what. When nothing else grows right, my twin sister is always there to commiserate with, from the time we were kids and even now. We have eachothers back. haha just find it funny when someone doesn't like my sister they end up not liking me and verse visa. ohh well :)
That's my top reason why being a twin is awesome. We've been best friends since before birth and we'll never STOP!!
2. Its Fun To Trick People
My twin sister and I are technically fraternal(Like Mary Kate and Ashley), but we can pass for identical. We use to have great fun with this when we were younger and okay I'll be honest we still trick people. Loved when we would trick our teachers, and friends. My mom and dad would also dress us alike just for no reason at all and buy us the same things so we don't feel they had a favorite between my twin sister and me(what I love about my parents). We could never get our parents messed up between us :/
3. We Can Laugh At Misconceptions
No, my twin and I can't read each other's minds. But people always make that assumption and it's a good time to laugh about it when we can.
4. We Like the Same Things
We grew up together and we still enjoy the same leisure actitivies. Twins always have someone to play with and even like the same hobbies, movies or outings and its nice to know that no matter what crazy idea I have, there's someone who is on board. We grew up playing soccer,baseball, basketball, football, and volleyball. Together we found the love for Running!! :)
5. It Increases Competition
This might not sound awesome, but stay with me here. As I was growing up with my twin, we spurred each other to do our best because we each wanted to be the best. Twins often compete to be noticed and recognized as a separate person, so this competitveness works as a great motivator to get each other to be the best. No way my twin sister is getting a better grade or a starting position or faster time if I wasn't too, so I never slacked off.
6. We Have The Same Memories
For the last 25 years of our life, my twin and I sleep together and even though we have different bedrooms. We also share outfits and food. That means we have loads and loads of memories that are ours alone.
7. We Always Stick Up For Each Other
It's the age-old double standard. I can be mad at her and say snotty things, but betide the person who attempts to do the same. No matter which one was being picked on, the other will, and still is, there to put a stop to it. Oh how I recall the vivid memory of a classmate who dared to say something mean to me.
Do you know twins? I don't know what I'd do without my twin sister and I bet all twins feel the same. These are seven reasons why I think it's amazing being a twin. Share why you think being a twin is amazing!! :)