Happy Birthday Grandma.

I’d like to imagine that you would read this in heaven. I imagine that in heaven you will somehow understand any language ever spoken. I’d also like to imagine that big smile of yours, as you hold your hands together, and roll your thumbs. I promised to tell your story, and today I will. The eighth of August was by far your favorite day. You loved celebrations, you could not imagine a life without presents, and you in the center was perhaps your happiest place to be.

So today this is my gift to you Sweet Rigo. Por siempre mi consejerita de la vida.

First a wife, then a mother, grandmother, and for me, a forever friend. I will never forget the countless car ride conversations on our way to Dr. Conkeys, Panera, Target, or the mall. As I grew a little bit older each year, you would trust me a little bit further with more of your stories. Now I look back and realize you shared them to teach me lessons on love. Those closest to your heart would know that that the story of your past is not the kind you write on. It’s a past that amongst its beauty carried its sorrow, carried its pain. Yet through the difficult times, and perhaps for you the most trying of times, you held your head up high, and you loved your husband. Perhaps behind that love the dreams that you longed for unseen, but behind that love a genuine one that would last forever until now that you are reunited with your love in heaven.

Lesson one: Love your spouse. Forgive your spouse. Grams I’m still working on this one, ask Miguel. But I promise to look at him when I’m angry, and remember your counsel, and let my heart soften, and my eyes glisten, as I apologize, and love him with genuine, true, deep, love.

As a mother you have given me the greatest example. You have loved, protected, and cared for your five children up until adulthood and more. You have never stopped being a mother. Never did you feel empty nest syndrome, because you were surrounded by your children and their families. There is no perfect parent. Yet your five children have grown up and created my generation of cousins, and to me that simply shows you did a perfect job Grams. Perhaps that role of a mother you took on as a priority when you lost your husband. You knew they would need both a dad and a mom, so you became both.

Lesson two: Care for your children even in their adult years, as throughout their life, they will always need you. Parenting doesn’t end at 18, it is a task for a lifetime.

As a grandmother, you outweigh them all. You are the definition of a grandmother. You have played a unique role in each of your grandchildren’s lives. You have loved each one of them individually, and to the best of your ability. You have filled us with candy, chocolate, and propinita. You have supported us, believed in us, and cheered us on. You have shared stories, and in your bed shared snoring. You have made each one of us feel, as though, we were the best, we were the favorites. You have danced with us, laughed with us, and cried with us. The day before your coma, you danced. Like really danced. You moved your hips to the salsa music, as your granddaughters circled around you dancing with you.

Lesson three: Strive to be the best grandmother ever. Wear the best grandmother sweater from JcPennys, and mean it. Live it. Make your grandchildren’s wishes and dreams come true, and let there always be a magical touch to your words.

Lastly, as my forever friend. You left me a legacy. I believe that above all the lessons that you have engrained in me, lasts the truest, most impacting lesson of all. That lesson is that of prayer. Rigo you listened to me talk about the boy of my dreams, since I knew boys existed. You heard my heartbreak, my crushes, my make believe stories. You, more than anyone had so much patience as I went on and on about boys and marriage. Never once did you stop me from sharing. You simply listened, smiled, paused, and stated, “ Estoy orando por el idoneo (I am praying for the chosen one).”I can hear your words out loud. They are written in my heart. You prayed Rigo. Not just for my dreams, for your children’s dreams, and your grandchildren’s.

Lesson four: May I follow your example always, and become a true prayerful woman. May I believe so firmly in God’s promises for life, that I would proclaim them in my life, and that of others. As we grow, and have children, may I teach them they are loved, cherished, and called to dream.

I know I have my romantic side because of you. You were the original dreamer of our family. Behind your trashy novels was your love for the love story, the unrequited love. You believed in movie moments. With that I know you had your movie moments. You watched your children grow, and become parents. You taught your children how to care, how to bathe, and how to protect their children. You laughed with your granddaughters and spoiled your grandsons. You saw Antu graduate university, saw Luciana announce the birth of her daughter. She named her after you gram. You saw Milly and Lisette become moms. You saw Aley walk down the aisle, and you walked that aisle proudly, and gorgeous by the way. You saw Daniela graduate high school. And grandma, you saw your dream for me come true. You saw me fall in love. You saw me promise forever when Miguel and I married in Peru.

When that day comes, and I walk toward my prince in my beautiful white dress, that you saw me in. I will look up and blow you a kiss. I will know God is opening the windows of heaven and you grams will be watching me. The heavens will sing, and you will dance as you celebrate the answer to your prayer for me.

My dear Brave one. You showed me courage, strength, perseverance, love, life, and friendship. You showed me a love and friendship that I can only wait for heaven to feel again. Because you truly loved grandma.

Your story is not a cancer story, cancer never defined you. Your story is one of love, because love, always defined you. Thank you Rigo.
Happy Birthday. Your Rigo.

Meliza Perales.

 

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Grace. A Mother’s Tears.

Today is just a common day at work. I have two little boys under my watch for the next 12 hours. I’ve been sitting next to one little one and his momma. I have watched them play and laugh together. I’ve seen the smile in her face when he says, “I LUV YOU MOMMA.” I’ve seen her wait expectantly to hear the news. Finally midday the news comes. The doctor walks in and assures the mom that the surgery worked, and that all is well. As soon as the doctor leaves the room, the mother’s eyes fill with tears. “He’s okay,” she says. I watch her as she makes the calls. With each call you see her burden lighten. With each call you see her profound love for what is hers. Her little man.
At the same time I’m sitting here reading Jesus is… by Judah Smith. I’m reading about GRACE. I’ve known about GRACE my entire life. Yet grasping, receiving it for me is a whole other story. Judah illustrates GRACE with the parable of the prodigal son. I remember learning that story in Sunday school. I can visualize the flannel graph of the son with his long beard sitting with the pigs with mud in his mouth. GROSS. This son was a young guy who took all of his Poppa’s inheritance for him, left home, and went on a HUGE shopping spree. He spent everything! Being far from home and with little experience he searched for jobs and must have found none! That’s most likely the reason he was helping out at a farm sitting in the mud with pigs. He was lost, he was hopeless, and he probably just missed the safety of home. So he returns. He heads home to find his Poppa. Maybe if he could just work for his dad, at least he would have a warm meal, and a place to sleep. Little did he know his dad was waiting for him. His dad was like this mother earnestly waiting for the news. Earnestly waiting for his return. When the son returned home, the father sees him from the distance and comes running to him. Running. That father was ready for his son. It’s as though he was running for the finish line, for the prize, for his baby. His son.
Grace is unmerited, undeserved, love. It is the extravagant, amazing, love of a Father who gave us HIS LIFE. A father who waits patiently for us. Jesus is GRACE talking, GRACE walking, and GRACE alive. Like this dad running for his son, like this mother’s tears in earnest waiting, just like that, is his love for us. Every day there are reminders around us of HIS love for us. During Easter we were reminded of his death and resurrection. I think that alone is the greatest reminder of GRACE. Through his death, he gave us life. He ran to give us LIFE, His shed tears to give us LIFE. And in that LIFE…GRACE.

Dearest you…

This may sound cliché but if you are a woman, you need to read and make Proverbs 31 yours. We know it’s the “Woman chapter,” we’ve heard countless messages on it. I’m sure there are books on it. We’ve memorized pieces here and there. Yet is it your own? Have you read it and made it yours? God’s word is there in our hands to lead us, to guide us, to teach us, to inspire, and the list goes on. As women we have sooooooooooooo many emotions. Some of them are a bit predictable at certain times of the month! Some of them are inevitable, as our hearts are tender,and they’re soft. This week, this month, this year has been one full of a huge pot of emotions for me. I’ve reached that age where most girls in my life have become wives, some recently engaged, and some experiencing the richness of motherhood. This awareness of the changes around me, sometimes makes me wonder…was I forgotten? Where the dreams I shared secretly within the most quiet of my thoughts unheard of? When? How? I’m sure I’m not alone on this one. I’m sure many of you can raise your hands to that. Right ladies? In all of this I began to fill with insecurities. That’s what the devil wants to fill our heads with ladies. Insecurities lead to negative behaviors in our lives. I read recently in a health magazine, that we should write down our negative thought on a piece of paper, then throw them out LITERALLY into a trash can. That empowers to throw away the negative thoughts in us. At the same time we should write down the positive ones. Well without thinking too hard…what book is out there filled with passionate, positive, extraordinary thoughts on us? The Bible. His sweet love letters, and love promises, that remind us that we are HIS BELOVED! We are loved. All we have to do is look, and read them. We need to fill our minds with them. That is how I landed on Proverbs 31. So here are my short notes on it. I made it my chapter and personalized it. Personalize it for yourself. It will bring you freedom.
Proverbs 31 for Meliza…
Meliza you are WORTHY. “Worth far more than diamonds.”
Be a generous woman.
“Shops for the best yarns and cottons,” Be wise with your finances, manage them well.
“Enjoys knitting and sewing,” Be skillful and creative with your hands. Dream of new projects, and begin to sew knew ideas together.
“Awakens before dawn, prepares breakfast for her family, organizes her day,” Be a woman that has priorities set. Achieve what you have set to accomplish. Be balanced. Go to the gym!!!
“Buys a field…then plants a garden,” Flourish in what you do. Like Pastor Julia A’ Bell of Hillsong Church…”Do it ten times better!” Be known for bringing color, bringing life, bringing a beautiful, colorful, and radiance to everything you do!
“Dresses for work… rolls up her sleeves,” Be a handworker!
Be quick to assist anyone in needs. Awaken to the needs around you. Listen for those silently screaming for help.
“She’s prepared for the winter,” Be prepared for the seasons. Be ready for everything to come. Fill yourself with wisdom. Godly wisdom.
“When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say,” share your words Mel, share your heart. Speak kindly.
And remember…”Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades, but the woman to be admired and praised …is the woman who lives in the fear of God.
After making this chapter my own…My heavenly Poppa began to write a letter in my heart, and now I write it to you.
A letter to Dear you,
Remember that you are beloved. Remember that you are HIS. Remember that HIS love for you does not relent. His love will not grow tired. His love will never go away. His love for you dear one, is eternally yours. Remember your worth. Remember your calling. Remember your role on this earth. Remember to love loudly. Remember to be generous, be creative, be strong. Remember your worth. Remember your beauty comes from being alive in Him. The joy, the radiance, comes from being in HIS presence. You can’t live without Him. You can’t live without His presence. He is all you need. He is all you seek. He is all.
Love Me!

12 years.

1-2-3

I remembered when it started.

I had finished my time of the month and…

It wouldn’t stop.

There was a pain that came with it, and I just…

Kept bleeding.

I thought it was strange, yet nothing out of the ordinary.

4-5-6

Days turned to weeks

Then weeks to months

And months to YEARS.

And I just kept bleeding.

Stains all over my clothes.

Stains all over the floor.

I was stained, I was marked, I was so, so, far  from ordinary.

7-8-9

Help! No one had answers!

I looked everywhere, I asked the wisest,

YET NOTHING!

No one could fix me.

Weeks, and the pain only grew stronger

Months, and the stains grew heavier, darker.

Years, and my whole body felt faint.

10-11

(Heavy, slow, breathing, almost as if running out of air)

I could hardly breathe

I no longer wanted or could face the world

My face was a white mask

I had no color to my skin. My fingers cold.

My skin and bones frail,

And the pain.

The pain was growing stronger, and I weaker

12.

Helppppppp!!!!!

And then He came.

I had heard the rumors, the stories, of this man.

I had heard of the power that flowed through him.

The wonders in HIS name.

He was it. Maybe He could take this suffering away.

I decided to go. One last try.

I wrapped myself the way I had accustomed to, as to not stain in the presence of others. Though they knew. I could not hide who I was.

Panting…

I saw him from afar. Could I make it to him?

Could I simply touch him?

The multitude was too many.

What if I died right there?

What if I could not make it to him?

I needed too! I needed to just touch him.

TOUCH!

Immediately I felt life in every single portion of my body.

I felt the blood rush to my fingertips, I felt the color return to my face.

I felt that at that instance, I was me again. I was healed.

Cover me.

“There’s no silver or gold
And no treasure untold
That could draw me away from Your heart
Neither love of myself
Or of anyone else will do

Jesus nothing compares
To this grace that rescues me
Savior now and forever
Your face is all I seek

Now all I am
I lay at Your feet
I’m humbled by the wonder of Your majesty
One thing I know
I find all I need
In Your unending love
In Your unending love
Your love, Jesus

Letting go of my pride
I lay down my desires
Just to worship in Spirit and truth
More than all of my dreams
More than fame I will seek You Lord

Jesus nothing compares
To this grace that rescued me
Savior now and forever
Your face is all I seek

Now all I am
I lay at Your feet
I’m humbled by the wonder of Your majesty
One thing I know
I find all I need
In Your unending love
In Your unending love”
Unending Love by Hillsong Live

 
I heard this song today. 
Those that know me know that I am an over thinker. I am a planner, and I map out EVERYTHING in my life. I have a plan for the present, and I have a backup plan for when that fails. I dream, I plan, I map, and I wait. The waiting is the hard part. The trusting in the things unseen is the real challenge. The downfall with the planner in me, is that many times I plan out what I think should be in my life.
How is that wrong?
Planning is a good thing right?
However in my life I have decided to follow Jesus. In my life I have decided to trust in my Lord, with all of my heart, to not lean on my own understanding, but to simply seek Him, and to know that HE will guide my way. I am HIS dreamer. I belong to HIM. 
There are days where loneliness wants to hover over me. The grayness, the quiet, the moments of solitude. When those days come it is so easy to fill my day with distractions. It is so easy to fill those days, even with “good” distractions. But then those distractions only take away from the person I should have gone to from the beginning. Jesus.
HIS UNENDING LOVE.
His love that leaves absolutely no room for loneliness. 
Some may wonder how we hear HIM speak. Today was one of the days HE spoke. One way he speaks to me, is  through song, through melody, through lyrics, through words composed by a writer. Today I was reminded of HIS unfailing love.
My Jesus has a love that is unending, unbelievable, extravagant, passionate, and too crazy at times! It is a love that is truly enough to meet every single need that we have. More than love for myself, more than love from someone else. His love is sufficient. 
As much as I may write about HIS love in blogs, and as much as I may sing of HIS love in songs, I still must stop and remind myself that HIS Love is for me. I have to stop planning and know that HE has planned. I have to surrender into HIS love. I need to run straight into HIS arms, and allow HIS love to work into the gray, the lonely, the doubts, the fears, the rocky moments of my life. 
More than all of my dreams, more than fame, I will seek you Lord.
It’s a gray day at a time. Its a daily decision. Its a daily action. Its an every moment, throughout every second of your day, kind of decision. 
Letting HIS unending love be enough in our life. 
Knowing HE is in control and I am not. 
Accepting that HIS plans and HIS ways are better than any back up plan I may have.
Letting his love cover me. All of me. 
Cover me Lord. 

Sanado

Me empecé a sentir algo cansado, después agotado. Mi cuerpo no se sentía fuerte como solía sentir. Forzadamente tuve que descansar. Pase lo que se sentía días en cama! Sabia que mis hermanas estaban preocupadas. Yo también me sentía así. Ósea…ellas me necesitaban. Yo las ayudaba con todo lo que se necesitaba hacer en casa. Además éramos un equipo nosotros 3. Mis hermanas eran súper divertidas. Nos encantaba estar siempre juntos. Los 3 amigos. Se que Marta estaba preocupada. Esa siempre esta pendiente de todo. Y María… pues la empecé a sentir algo nerviosa también. Los días se sentían mas largos, y yo me empecé a sentir peor. Mas cansado, mas débil, mas agotado, hasta que ya no pude mas.

Muerto.

1-2-3-4 días

Y escuche su voz claramente y fuerte. Esa poderosa, llena de autoridad, pero a la vez dulce, voz. Esa voz la conocía de lejos. Era la voz de mi Rabí. Mi amigo. El que me amaba con un amor, incomprendible. “Lázaro, sal de ahí!”

Mis ojos se abrieron rápido, pero solo podía ver oscuridad.

Estaba envuelto, en algo como envuelven a los… pause. No! Porque estaba cubierto así? Porque ese olor? Que estaba pasando? Mientras sentía las manos de los que me descubrían, escuchaba las voces. Voces de alabanza a Dios, Voces de confusión, porque? Qué?

Voces que me mostraban una sola cosa.

Morí.

Pero ahora vivo!

El me había

Sanado!

 

 

Healed

 I started to feel a little tired, then a little weak. My body wasn’t its strong self, and I was forced to rest. I lay in bed for what seemed TOO many days. I know my sisters were worried. I was worried too. You see…they needed me. They needed me to help around with the manly work around the house. Plus, they were pretty fun to be around. We were a team, three friends. Martha always worries, and I know she was worried at whatever it was that I had caught. Even Mary…I could sense was worried. Days felt longer I grew even more weak, faint, until it was gone. I was gone. Dead.

1-2-3-4 days

I heard His voice strong and clear. That powerful, authorative, yet gentle, reassuring, safe, voice of a man I knew too well. Rabbi! My friend! The one that loved me so much , that at times I couldn’t quite make sense of.

“LAZARUS, COME OUT!”

BLINK!

My eyes opened quickly, I could only see darkness.

I was.. WRAPPED. I  was covered in what seemed cloth upon cloth. Was I DEAD? Why was I covered like this? What was going on? I could hear their voices in the background. Some were crying, some were singing and praising, glorifying God, some could not stop crying out in disbelief, awe, and wonder. As they unwrapped me, I knew.

I was dead.

Now alive.

He had

Healed.

Birthday Girls

   Image

Dear Sweet Little Girl,

I love watching you dance,

I love watching you sing,

I love that joyful laugh of yours, 

I love how you love others.

When I see you, I see a younger version of me.

When my curls bounced freely, and my cheeks rosy pink from playing outside,

wearing heels too big for my little feet, and singing everywhere I went.

Now to you little girl

to you younger version of me,

I want you to always dance. 

No matter what path you take, 

no matter what road you are in,

or whatever the circumstance,

simply dance.

I want you to always sing.

Sing with all of your heart,

allow the music and words to be a melody to a broken heart.

Remember your words are important make them count.

I want you to always laugh.

Whenever there are good moments laugh hard,

whenever there are silly moment roll on the ground laughing!

Whenever there are difficult moments find a way to laugh

because a good Proverbs says, “A Cheerful heart is good medicine.”

 

Lastly little one,

LOVE.

That is the greatest of all.

Love loud,

Love free,

Love passionately.

Love your Mom and Dad, they will be your greatest friends.

Love your brothers and sisters, they will always look out for you.

Love your friends that you are entrusted with.

Love on those around you, sometimes they need the most love.

But most importantly love your Poppa Jesus.

He is your Creator, the one who knows ALL of you!

He is the one that makes sense of you, and all the millions of thoughts in your mind

He is the one that has planned amazing adventures and opportunities for your life. 

He is the one whose love can never go away no matter what happens.

He is the one who will always watch you and protect you.

He will see your tears and he will sit with you, and listen to your butterflies of emotions

He will teach you everything you need to know. 

He has mysteries and secrets to share with you.

Love Him above all.

Happy Birthday my dancing , singling, joyful girl. 

Love always the Older version of you.

 

 

 

 

 

Fearlessly Loved.

I’ve recently began reading Preparing to be a Help Meet. Thanks Ely! It has been a while since I read on future spouses, preparation for it, or understanding the male sex! I was hesitant in reading it, and I’ll share why. Growing up I was known for being the lost romantic, cry in every movie, type of girl. I had my parent’s love story memorized and wanted to be just like them! You see my mom had a crush on my dad when she was 12. He was best friends to my mom’s brother, and so she fell in love with the skinny tall guy wearing big glasses.  Long story short they were meant to be! Now almost 29 years later, they are still best friends and very much in love. Beautiful right? That is why my expectations to future love were always very high. I dreamt of being one of those girls that falls in love with the first young man she meets and marries him. So I prepared. I prayed for my future spouse, made the famous list of attributes I’d hope he’s have. I wrote in a journal made for him to read someday. I read countless books on “Waiting.” I believed strongly that God had a prince somewhere in the universe for me.

Then when I turned 22 I fell in love for my very first time, to a wonderful young guy. We went to church together and had known each other from our past. We both liked hanging out with each other, and began to share the same friendships, and soon after prayer, and much excitement I said yes to my first boyfriend! It was so new to me I referred to him as “friend-boy,” for the longest! Little did we know that a future life together was not what God intended for us. I was so tied to the idea that he would be my future husband, because after all that was my plan right?! I had waited, I had prayed, God had brought me him. But it wasn’t meant to be. If you know me at all, my mom calls me a little bell. I’m always ringing, always laughing, always talking, and always singing. But this heart break had me in pieces. It shook me. It shook my belief in God’s plan for my heart. Anger started growing in my heart, and I thought how stupid (sorry for the strong word) I had been dreaming. How was anyone going to find Mr. Right on the first try?

It took me a long time to get over that heart break. I don’t think it took me long to get over the boy. I knew deep inside we weren’t a fit. It took me a while to get over the idea of the first boy, being “the one.” I was upset at myself for believing in all the books. I left my hurt heart wide open. Maybe if I opened it, someone would come in. I think deep down inside I was sad with God. I had lost that belief of Him writing my love story. I knew He God would be in my future story, just for now I would do things the way “normal girls” did. Meaning I would go out with guys if they asked. If they kissed me, I’d kiss back. Maybe that is okay with some girls, but not for me. You see I held those things, like holding hands, and sharing secrets, as sacred. I had once believed that each time I did anything with another person, it was giving a little portion of my heart. So I did for a while. Until I realized that God did have a plan for me.

I’ve grown up knowing that! I’ve heard it over and over! Jeremiah 29:11 right?! Then what happened? I believe that my heart is so special to God. I believe that the devil hates that! He hates when God’s princesses belong to Him. He hates when their hearts are guarded for their Creator. He hates purity! It doesn’t help that culture and society tells us to date whoever, whenever, and that “far” isn’t far at all. So many young women are falling into that trap. So many young women are losing their precious value. They’ve lost sight of their worth. The sad part being that they do not a Redeeming, Relentless, Amazing, Incomparable, love. A love that knows know guilt, knows no condemnation. A love they simply receive, not earn with favors.

As the years have gone by since that breakup, slowly God has been working in my heart. His work never stopped. I just was too loud to listen, and to busy looking everywhere but up. When I feel lonely, or when I feel ugly, or unwanted (let’s face it girls, we PMS and we feel all of the above if not more) Well there HE is to whisper through another woman’s voice, “Meliza you are Beloved.” Countless time He reminds me through beautiful friends, mentors, families.

So now I’m ready for this book. I’m ready to strengthen my heart again and prepare my heart again for the whole Help Meet. I am ready to believe that my story is already written and my job is to pray for the windows of heaven to be open! All I have to do is pray daily for a man who will one day make me smile everyday just by being who God created him to be. In the meantime satisfaction shouldn’t be found in that hope or quest for love. Satisfaction should be found because I am already being courted, I am already being loved, I am already someone’s Beloved. I am fearlessly, passionately, intimately, loved beyond measure by Him. Jesus.

Eat Jesus.

Deciding to eat healthy and maintain a healthy lifestyle takes discipline and time. First one needs knowledge to begin this lifestyle. I tend to go for SELF magazine which has exercise tips, deals, meal plans, and ideas for easy-to-do anywhere work outs. Even taking a nutrition class could be helpful! Any lifestyle change begins with the DESIRE to change, and then the KNOWLEDGE to make the changes. Then in my case the Trader Joe’s visit comes next! I start with a list of foods for the week, and pick up all the essentials! Meaning that first I had to plan out every meal for each day prior to even beginning the shopping! I had to be INTENTIONAL! Once you’re ready to start, it’s helpful to tell someone else, or to do it with friends. That way you have someone keeping you on check. Then you’re ready to go! Healthy lifestyle here we come!

The first few days can be the harder ones. Getting away from bad habits can be pretty difficult. Everything that you hadn’t craved before, you seem to now crave. You decide you’re not going to get take out, or stop by drive-thru. Now there’s meals to prepare. But after the first week comes the results! You feel lighter, accomplished, and even stronger. Another week passes, then another, until it’s’ a few months that pass. Then a year passes by! You are now considered healthy in the books! Once a change in lifestyle is made, it must last at least a year to be truly considered change.

All this to say eating healthy is not that easy!!!However once it’s mastered, it brings a feeling of accomplishment, strength, and you can reap the results. Eating healthy is proven to help reduce diseases and maintain health, and help one live longer and stronger.

You would think I’m writing an informative paper!

Nah! I’m writing this for a reason. Our series at church is called Eat Jesus. Yes EAT! It’s not a mistake. I didn’t mean Enjoy Jesus. I meant EAT JESUS!!!

Eating Jesus is based on John 6. I do not usually read the Message translation, however in this case I encourage it. I like the clarity and how direct it is. You see John 6 tells us that the disciples were following Jesus and so were huge crowds of people. They had seen him perform miracles, and were amazed by him. Everywhere Jesus went, the crowds went. They had seen him feed multitudes and some simply went for that! They wanted free food and a free show. Jesus knew their hearts. Jesus understood and knew that they wanted temporary belly highs. They wanted full, content, TEMPORARY bellies. The kind of food he offered wasn’t that kind. The kind of food Jesus brought was eternal. He offered them himself. He sacrificed himself and died for our universe, to give a satisfying meal. He gave us the greatest nourishment. His life. His love. His eternity. The crowds wanted to quickly be full. They didn’t want to have a change of lifestyle, and Jesus knew that. He didn’t expect them to do it alone. He was willing to feed them daily and to keep them accountable. The bible says many people left. They simply were not ready for that type of food. They weren’t ready to taste their best life.

We go for the temporary fills, and the temporary belly highs. When there is a bowl of brownies in front of me, I can easily say no, and not ever look at them…OR…I can eat one. But then the one becomes two and three, and wow they are so good, that in comes four and five, and if no one is looking in comes six!!! Then shortly after I feel bloated, I feel full, and I feel sick. I don’t even want to see brownies, smell brownies, or bite into them again! Aside from that I probably consumed more than 200 calories in one slice and they are empty calories. We could say that chocolate has an antioxidant effect, but I haven’t tried too many dark chocolate brownies!

Even though I know this about brownies, I still struggle with wanting more than once, each time I see them. We all have something that we can sink our teeth into. It gives us a temporary fill, a belly high. It taste good to us, however it is simply empty calories. It offers no nutrition value to our bodies.

Can you see where this is heading?

Eat Jesus.

A healthy life in Christ requires DESIRE, KNOWLEDGE (of his word), DISCIPLINE, and being INTENTIONAL.

Desire is first, because you have to desire the change. You desire to become healthy. The crowds desired empty calories; they didn’t want the nutritious fill.

Knowledge. Knowing what to eat matters. You need to know what is beneficial, what is filling, what is tasteful. When you start eating healthy it’s easy to eat the same meals and enjoy them. Bu after a while it gets tiresome and boring. Food needs color and variety. The more you try different recipes, different types of foods, the more enjoyable it is. When we eat Jesus, we need to get to know him. We get stronger, and want more and more of him, the more we eat of him and realize just how filling he is. We realize that the temporary fills cannot measure up to the life lived continuously and daily with Him.

But the brownies are always in our reach. Many time we can become just like the “crowds” and we decide that it is “too hard,” it is “too much work.” We can easily get distracted with all the other food choices around of us. We can easily eat everything in our reach. Just like sin. It may feel good at that instant. It can satisfy for a minute, but its emptiness and its results are long lasting. Just like it’s hard to shed off pounds, let’s face it; it’s hard to shed off our sinful nature. But we can. We have a Jesus that walked before us. He showed us the way. He resisted empty calories, because HE knew the love and the life of the FATHER.

Intentional.

Everything that we eat will either benefit our bodies or destroy them. Diabetes, stroke, cancer, heart disease, can all come from poorly nourished diet. Jesus offered life. He offered a meal that was free and was eternal. The same offer is for me and you. He offers us a more than satisfying meal. He offers us a meal plan for life! We’re set! All we have to do is EAT!

Psalm 34:8 “Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see— how good God is. Blessed are you who run to him. “