Wednesday Recap 2

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How awesome was it to have Melissa on the blog this past Friday?! It was COMPLETELY AWESOME! If you didn’t know this, Melissa has been a dear friend of mine for almost 19 years (#MCforlife), and she is definitely one of the women in my life that I can depend on to give me solid perspective and truth-filled insight, and a really good laugh. She can also be a great source for adventurous stories. For instance, we were once on a road trip and narrowly escaped a purple and green circular cloud filled with lightening and rain while driving through Nebraska. True story-for another time of course:).

Melissa was able to put into words how many of us feel while walking through transition: excited, scared, adventurous…and all the emotions in between. She shared seamlessly about how transitions can come with a bundle of circumstances and emotions at the same time. We can all relate to that fact for sure. This message stood out to me: everyone’s transition will look different and though circumstances may be difficult, our transitions do not have feel perfect. Such a beautiful reminder that God does things in His own way, in His own time, for our own good and our growth. What a relieving truth to know deep down that our transitions will not all look the same, and we don’t have to try and measure ourselves up against anyone else’s season.

Why? Because there is a season for everything.

“There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

Can you imagine if every crop in the world looked the same, grew the same, ripened at the same time, was harvested at the same time, or tasted the same? It wouldn’t give much room for variety, or for uniqueness. We’d be stuck with a whole lot of the same stuff everywhere. Thankfully, we don’t live with identical crops…or identical transitions.

This process of walking through transition comes with many opportunities to grow and see things differently. For real; a huge chunk of walking through transition is leaning into Jesus and praying through tears of both joy and heartache, but growth happens when lean into Jesus in prayer and put one foot in front of the other, living out our faith in Him day by day. We’ve got to walk it out, no matter the season.

Friend, your transition may feel exciting, or scary, or somewhere in between, but let’s remember Melissa’s reminder to us:

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It may not feel perfect or look perfect in the process, but do not lose hope friend- this adventure that you are walking though has beautiful lessons and blessings in store for you and for those journeying with you. Keep getting up, and keep moving forward friend!

As we close out our second recap in this series, let’s be challenged and encouraged by this verse in Proverbs:

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Let’s commit to trusting in Our Almighty God, and keep trusting in His perfect plans for our lives. He is beyond faithful and is working things out even when we can’t feel it or see it.

Again, a huge thank you to Melissa Colmenero for sharing her thoughtful words with us on the blog!!! I can’t wait to have her back! I can’t wait to have fro-yo with her again! It was kind of our thing:)

peace-liz

P.S.- Melissa and her hubby are now in their new home! Congrats to the Colmeneros and may God continue to bless them as they continue their transition!

Here’s a song for ya: This particular message from Melissa has me in the mood for a little U2, so be encouraged by this favorite of mine. Walk On!

Transitions: A Season for Everyone

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Why is it that when I think of transition, The Byrds melody “to everything (turn, turn, turn), there is a season (turn, turn, turn)” plays in my head? Actually, I have this quirky habit of associating a song or movie quote to nearly every situation in my life.

Transition can be fun, adventurous, scary, difficult, and all of the above all at once.  Let me tell you, I have experienced all of these feelings at any given moment since October 2015. That is when I agreed to a crazy idea to take out equity from my home to finish the basement. Since then, there was not a single day where change did not occur. Sounds of power tools filled the home for several months and then abruptly stopped as the contractor bailed on the job. Deadlines were pressing and money was dwindling when the man who would soon become my husband came to the rescue (along with my brother) and finished my basement. Literally the day after the city gave the final stamp of approval for the completed basement, I began planning a wedding. The venue was a popular place so I had one date to work with in 2017. I became very resourceful putting a wedding together in about 3 months with pennies in my pocket. There was a new basement, a new husband, two new children, and a rearranged house to accommodate us all. I told God and my husband, please no more change for at least a year; I need a break…. and then we were presented with an unexpected opportunity to move to a small town two hours south of our home in the Denver Metro area.  Thus began the journey of prepping our house for sale. That journey also included my husband unexpectedly having to quit his job, find a new one, and a basement flood and remodel yet again.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 states:design (7)

I imagine if Solomon were alive today, he would be writing these words in a blog wrestling with all of the feelings that transition can bring. Take a moment to continue reading the verses in this chapter as he elaborates through his troubled heart about transition.

I think we have that feeling whether we want to admit it or not, that if things are going to change and if it is not going to be fun we want it done quickly, smoothly and right now so that our lives are not disrupted any more than they need to be. Other times we expect our transition to be the same as someone else’s transition. For example, my friend Liz’s family moved around the same time we did; she got a house the day she arrived in her new town but as I type this, I still sit on my parents’ couch where I have been staying the last 4 months (my husband and I are now a week away from moving into our new home!).

It is often said that we need to pray that God will open doors that need to be opened and will close doors that need to be closed. But many times we misinterpret the waiting, the frustrations, and the uncertainties as not being “God’s will” and we back away from the transition. But God does not cookie-cut our lives. He uniquely chooses our individual situations to grow us and grow others around us. And that alone should give us comfort during both the good and hard times in transition. So be encouraged! Transition does not have to feel perfect for God to take us on one of the greatest adventures of our lives.

-mpc 

 

Melissa Atencio-Colmenero blog pic

Go The Extra Mile: Check out this song pick from Melissa (and me too-hehe). This song is faith-strengthening and this video…a beautiful reminder of adventuring with God (and filmed in my favorite city on earth, nonetheless!).

Transitions: Wednesday Recap

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Friends, Nina Aguirre absolutely brought a real glimpse of life in transition on Monday! What a brilliant reminder to us, that Jesus Himself lived in the midst of transition. Our Savior, left all that was perfect to spend His earthly life in the in-between of humanity; growing, maturing, learning, teaching, living, breathing, dying, and resurrecting because He committed to that which He had willingly chose to do- to provide eternal life for all who believed in Him (John 3:16). He didn’t give up or call angels to come and whisk Him away even when He was overwhelmed to the point of death.

Transitions have a way of making us experience the weight of decisions and change. Circumstances can arise and can make us want to throw in the towel and throw our arms up in surrender…

But, we have a choice.

We can choose to grow or give up.

We can choose to have hope or operate in hopelessness.

We can choose between placing our trust in God’s plan or withhold our trust from Him during the process.

God, help us choose wisely. Help our hearts to want to choose Your very best.

As we continue to dig through this subject of transitions, let’s remember we have a choice. I know the situations we are discussing might be hitting the nail on the head for some of us, while others might be at the beginning of some major life changes. Others still, might just be searching for some wisdom or advice. Whatever the case, know that I see you…we see you. It’s been a huge joy for me to share my thoughts on the subject, but also to introduce you to people in my tribe of writers- people I share life with whether near or far. People who have lived it, or are currently living through it. Friends and colleagues I would trust to tell me the truth about what they’ve experienced. Our hope through this series is that you would know you are not alone, and that you would feel encouraged by what we’ve experienced and know that you too, can experience beautiful growth in and through Christ during times of transition.

Wednesday Recap:

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A huge Mahalo to Nina Aguirre for such an awesome contribution to this series! And thank you to every single reader who is walking with us on this journey through Transitions! Be encouraged friends, our God is faithful and will walk with us through every bit of our transitions in this life. As we close out this recap tonight, let’s be hopeful for what is ahead in our journey:

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peace-liz

Here’s a song for ya: Check out this awesome song from Brooke Ligertwood of Hillsong. May it become the meditation of our hearts during Transitions!

Transformed by Transition

It is an honor to introduce you to a new friend of mine all the way from Hawaii! Nina Aguirre is a Wife, Mom, Pastor, Health Coach and Writer who can be found at www.mountainstomakai.com and trust me, you’ll want to read every post. Nina’s is one of those writers that is just completely honest and relatable, as well as encouraging. I hope you are as encouraged and challenged as I have been reading this post today! peace-liz

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Our lives are full of transition. We transition as infants from milk to baby food, then as toddlers to use the toilet (I mention this as I just watched my two year old pee in the yard). We go to school so that we can transition into the workforce, we get engaged as a transition period for marriage, the 9 months of being pregnant before becoming parents, so on and so forth. Its funny when I look at my life for periods of transitions, there are way too many to count. Some overlapping and intersecting. Some are filled with joy and anticipation and some with sorrow and hardship.

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This past season of transition has proven to be all of these feelings and more. My family and I recently moved to Hawaii for ministry. We left beautiful Colorado, the place I vowed to never leave, for the bug-ridden paradise that has me stuck in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. You can tell by my tone and word choice that this is a tumultuous relationship, yes?

When we first moved here we lived with our friends for two months. We have four kids, they have two, there was ONE bathroom. That’s a 10:1 ratio if you needed the math help. Ten people, one bathroom. While I won’t elaborate on the bathroom sitch, I will say we experienced God’s grace all over us and that entire living situation. But it wasn’t easy.

In those two months, I doubted every reason why I agreed to move. Our family unit was seemingly no longer intact as we spread our total of ten bodies around a table for dinner each night. We were a weird blended four parent home for sixty days. I remember as we looked for a home feeling like nothing was ever going to work out. When the home I thought was “it” fell through I snot cried to my husband. You know the kind that you have to blow every second just in order to breath?!  I remember telling him I was going to look for flights back to Denver and that I was not okay. Although I think my swollen pink eyes, moco faucet, and desperate whimpers would have relayed that same information without me saying it. The season was filled with so many difficult and trying days.

Jesus’ whole life was a transition. He came to be a man (John 6:38), for only a season knowing He would return to His Father. Even as Jesus knew the bigger picture of His purpose on earth, it was still not easy. This transition period was so full of purpose and life for His people. Yet, even as Christ knew laying down His life would mean eternal life for all who believed, He was reluctant and afraid. He prayed to God before his crucifixion. “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine” Like 22:42. Even the Savior of the world Who knew the glorious things that would happen after His death begged God to take away this mission of His.

I begged God to take that transition period from me. Here I am “on the other side” of my transition, seeing the fruit from that season now grow. See my four daughters learn and grow in our little busy island. I am personally a much different person. The person I was then looks nothing like the person I am now. I was transformed physically —I’ve lost 70 pounds and let go of unhealthy emotional eating. Additionally, transformed spiritually—I trust God like never before. My relationship with Him is so much more intimate and real. I was also transformed emotionally as I am able to handle life’s disappointments and downturns in a whole new way.

If you are about to embark on a season of transition or smack dab in the middle, I encourage you to hold on tightly to the One Who will get you through the tough times. I am so excited because God will use the time to not only teach you about His heart and character but to transform your life! ~NinaNina_ May2018-43

Go the Extra Mile: Check out this amazing song choice by Nina- it has been an anthem of courage and strength for her and I’m not gonna lie..me too. Enjoy and be encouraged today!

3 Houses & 6 Months In

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In 2017, my family and I lived in 3 different houses. Yep, 3.

We prepped our first house in the Denver area to sell in the summer of 2016, but it didn’t sell until January of 2017. We then made a move in February to another house in the area after much scraping of wallpaper and painting to make the new house a home. Then, right before Christmas time, our family packed up a Penske truck, a little blue Chevy, and my SUV and moved to the Western Slope of Colorado. Another house became a home, and a new adventure started as we 5 Trujillo’s just kept putting one foot in front of the other:).

From the description above, the journey through those moments sounds pretty seamless and easy. But within those sentences, I can find moments of both excitement and restlessness, days and nights spent in prayer, early mornings filled with lists of things to get done before each move, and late nights filled with tears as we got ready to say, “see you later” to many friends, family members, and familiar places.

This first post in our new series isn’t going to be about the why of our big move to another city; it’s going to be about the who...

Those who selflessly and sacrificially showed up to pack boxes, load trucks, and drive hundreds of miles with us,

Those who sent and still send cards and letters and little dinosaurs and bracelets in the mail reminding us of sweet friendship,

Those who brought meals, who brought copious amounts of coffee and donuts,

Those who prayed with us over coffee, those who prayed over us at farewell parties, those who blessed us at final services at church,

Those who helped unload trucks and cars, those who filled our fridge, and brought over dollies and tool boxes, and who unpacked boxes so we could feel settled,

Those who welcomed us with open arms, with invites for coffee (ya’ll know me so well), or invites to lunch,

Those who befriended my kiddos-those who opened their classrooms to my kids when they needed a place to go for lunch, those who made their transition easier with smiles and hugs and sleep-overs and fun outings,

Those who messaged and said, “Hey! We are coming for a visit!”, and those who message or call us still to remind us of continued thoughts and prayers…you don’t even know how much those visits and messages have meant to us.

Thank You…to all of you:).

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You see, I’m a huge believer in sharing life with others. Mostly in part because everywhere we have lived, we haven’t lived in the same town as family (until now:). So since our early days of living in South Carolina, we’ve really tried to build up our circle of friends; a support system to surround us and that we could surround. Our hope is to also teach our children to foster the friendships they are blessed with. Timeless friendship is what we call it; no matter how far away in miles we may be, or how many years go by between visits, our hope is that all of our friends know that we will pick right up where we left off.

I can’t begin to tell you how much more I’ve come to value and appreciate friends and family. The ones who walk with you in the deep waters and pray for you, and encourage you in the difficult times of uncertainty. The people who are excited for your journey, even when it involves the reality of not being able to share everyday life together on the regular. It’s like having cheerleaders who pump you up for the next big game and cheer you on as you live each moment, whether on the sidelines or in the heat of the game. They put smiles on your faces and shout loud so you know that you have their support.

That’s what it feels like to be 6 months into this new journey.

That’s what it should feel like to live in true community with others.

Friend, as we dive into this new series of Transitions, we are going to talk about all kinds of subjects, the funny and the gut-wrenching. Why? Because that is real life. We won’t shy away from the truth of what each moment has felt like at every point in the journey. I hope you’ll join us.  I want you to know that if you are currently making some life changes or in the middle of a big transition, you are not adventuring alone. I’m so thankful that you are part of my journey and I’m honored to share this time with you:).

Let’s Pray:

Dear Heavenly Father, as we begin to discuss this topic of transition, be our guide and our focus. We want to live lives that direct attention to You- Our Great and Mighty God. We are so thankful for the assignments that you have given each and every one of us, and we want to do our best to walk hand in hand with You as we learn to listen for Your voice and Your leading in our lives. Lord, with each week, help us to walk in gratitude because You promised to be with us. Help us to remember that You’ve placed supportive friends and family around us, be it few or many, but You have surrounded us with love and support for the tasks at hand. And even in the times of uncertainty that may lie before us, help us to continue to trust You, and to find You in those quiet times of prayer. Thank You Lord for Your great love towards us and for Your plans filled with purpose for our lives. May all that we do and say be a pleasing in Your sight and may we live loving, serving, and supporting others along the way. Amen.

peace-liz

Go The Extra Mile: Check out these songs by 2 of my favorite groups! NEEDTOBREATHE is phenomenal in concert, and I was blown away by the precision of Kingdom Choir under the directorship of Karen Gibson. Plus, the words of each song are so powerful when it comes to relationships.

 

True Story: In the first few weeks living on the Western Slope, I made an entire shopping list for a store that isn’t even in a 100 mile radius to my current home! I didn’t realize I wasn’t near this particular store because I was still getting used to be here! Yes, these things still happen to me and yes, you will hear some more funny stories with each new post in this new series.-liz

 

New Series: Transitions

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Good Morning Everyone! I’m so excited to share this new series with you and even more excited to introduce you to some new guests on the blog this month! We are going to get into some deep discussion about the transitions we have walked through, both personally and within the context of, you guessed it, community:). So be on the lookout for new posts! First up: Me…with coffee in hand:).

As some of you know, my family and I have been walking through transition for a few months now. 6 months to be exact. I’m going to be sharing a good bit about:

-what it looks like to be in the prep process of a transition

-being patient in the middle as you embrace the unknown

-sharing the journey as a family

-and why a supportive community matters in transition

Friend, if you or someone you know is currently walking through some life changes, please know that you are not alone. These decision-making-days of our lives can be difficult and sometimes come with lots of uncertainty. But take heart: God promised that He would be with us until the very end of the age (Matthew 28:20 NIV). Another huge plus is that there are so many others who have had to walk through very similar situations, who can give us wisdom along the journey, and even some funny stories to assure us we aren’t the only ones who have done crazy things in the process:).

I hope you’ll make plans to check back on the blog for the new stories of lives in transition this month! My hope is that as we share about the transitions we have walked through or are currently walking through, that you’ll be encouraged in your own journey:). No matter if you are at the very beginning stages of change, smack-dab in the middle, or on the other side of it all, may you know that every season of this life comes with beautiful lessons to be learned and powerful reminders of God’s great love for us.

peace-liz

 

Celebrate Well Part 2: Loving People

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Happy Summer Everyone! Can you believe we are in July already?!

May and June came and went with many celebrations for Moms and Dads, graduates, newly weds, and new babies who entered the world. These last two months for me have even included a Luau with dear friends in my backyard (JCC!), along with lots of friends and family who came to visit us. Ceremonies were held, gifts were given, pigs were roasted (and tasty thanks to Michael V!), and people near and far gathered to celebrate. It was a beautiful sight to see balloons of every shade and color lining gazebos in parks and backyards as families welcomed guests to their celebrations.

The bright McDonald’s marquee near my neighborhood that congratulated all of their employees who graduated this year blew me away; others may not have noticed, but my heart was happy for those who graduated.  I saw managers who were proud of their staff’s accomplishments and weren’t afraid to let them know in a big way. My new small town definitely has a BIG heart.

But celebrating isn’t just about the decorations, or big signs of congrats. Celebrating in community is about people.

The ones with the cap and gown,

the ones off to bootcamp,

the ones with shiny rings on their fingers,

the ones with sweet babies in their arms,

the ones who we dedicate special days to,

the ones who overcame obstacles and still lived to tell the story,

it’s about those who’ve faced adversity and persevered through it,

it’s about those who cheered from the bleachers and sidelines and church pews,

it’s about those who traveled far and wide to blast air horns and throw confetti and decorate,

it’s about those who load up in cars to spend the days ahead prepping and the days after cleaning up.

Celebrating is about you and me. Celebrating is about us.

Friends, too often we ( I really mean, me), get sidetracked and think celebrating life and  events are just things on the To-Do List. Fact: Celebrating others isn’t about packing out a calendar to keep ourselves busy. We GET to celebrate the little victories and huge accomplishments because we have been given opportunities to love and encourage each other. Plain & Simple. It’s a way to mark the moments of time we’ve been given with the beautiful people we know and love. Be it days, months, or years, we have reason to cheer and reason to demonstrate love. If you’ve read up to this point, I guarantee that you are feeling the same as me friend. I want us to live lives that remembers this often; this life is more than just about the events listed on the calendar or the stuff around us-it’s about the people who surround us and those that we get to surround. This life is about how we can utilize the gifts we’ve been given to bless and uplift those within our community, so that we can make lasting change in this world that is motivated by love.

As we head into more celebrations this week, let’s remember those who we get to share life with. Let’s remember those who have walked in deep waters with us and who show up every time to celebrate with us. Let’s remember those who we can count on for those late night phone calls, and those who pour so much wisdom into our lives and into the lives of our loved ones. Let’s offer thanks for those who chose to serve and protect us-without even knowing us- and for those who sacrifice so we can live in peace. Yes, the celebrations are wonderful, but the people we share them with are remarkable, and we can’t forget to be grateful for their presence in our lives.

 

Let’s pray:

Dear Heavenly Father, You are so good. You are so kind to us by giving us a new day to live out and amazing people to share it with. Lord, we are so thankful today for Your great love and for Your presence in our lives. God, You commanded us to love others as You have loved us (John 15:12 NIV). Unconditionally, wholeheartedly, compassionately. This is the goal we choose to strive for today. We desire to live lives that demonstrate your love to others whether it be in simple daily life or in times of great celebration. Lord, help us to make the most of every opportunity that you give us-to love others and serve others, and to share our gratitude with them when we have the chance. We don’t want to squander the time You’ve given us and the opportunities You provide for us to show true love. Help us Lord, to remember that this life is about more than the daily grind and busy schedules- this life is about loving others as You dreamed us to – in the times of celebration, in the times that are tough, and all the times inbetween. Thank You Lord for reminding us of this truth in Your Word:

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Amen.

 

peace-liz

Go The Extra Mile:

Check out this song from Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors. It’s one of my favorites! If you ever get the chance to see them live, do it! You won’t be disappointed!