Friday, November 1, 2013

Game Changer

Chase Oaks Pastor Jack Warren gave an insightful, thought provoking sermon and the topic was Game Changing Events.  He spoke about an event in his life that involved his kids who were involved in a car accident.  Thankfully they were fine and no one was badly injured but it definitely served as a reminder to him about how precious life is.  He asked us to define our own game changing moment.  Here's mine....

Raj and I were married about 5 years before we had children.  I have to admit I was pretty selfish and had no idea what having kids was like.  If there's one thing I can do is be honest with myself and I can honestly say I was immature and self-centered at that time.  Then came the day I found out I was pregnant.  I experienced dizziness one morning and told Raj, "I feel dizzy and nauseous.  I think I have vertigo." Raj laughed and said, "Are you sure you're not pregnant?"  I laughed and said, "No. Wait...maybe?!" I quickly did a pregnancy test and low and behold there it was that cross sign on the test stick telling me it wasn't vertigo.
Having my 2 girls has been my life changing event.  No longer was it just Raj and me.  I went from worrying about silly stuff like my clothes and hair (well I still fret about my hair) and instead cared more about what kind of Mom I was going to be and what lessons and values I wanted my kids to learn.  I finally, by the Grace of God, knew what true love is and what it is to put others before myself.  What's your game changer?

Thanks for reading my post this month and May God illuminate your heart.  One last thing I'll leave you with is the new prescription for life my friends and I have been playing around with.
To enjoy your life more, you should:
1. Relax - take time for yourself, wether it's getting a massage, having a glass of wine, or taking 10 minutes to just close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.
2. Enjoy - spend more time with your friends or spouse on a date night, take a weekend trip to get away, or as my friend Martin Ortega advocates "Go to more concerts!!" :)
3. Sleep - we need to get enough sleep and quality sleep so we can take on our days at full strength.  In the future I'll be writing a few posts about sleep since it's a critical topic in health and so many have problems with sleep.

Hugs and love,

Friday, October 4, 2013

Hope and Humanity

If you watch as things occur around you, you see and sense all that is good and wrong with this world.  You see trajedies unfolding.  Your heart breaks causing doubt to stir up within.  On the other side, you can also see the beauty that still exists and is very much alive.  Such is life.  It's bittersweet.  But, something in my heart tells me that this is not all there is.  I will not lose hope for a better tomorrow or even a better today.  There have been times when my life seemed to be falling apart.  Times when my faith may have been shaken.  God always saw me through each trial.  I can't and won't give up or give in.  You mustn't lose hope either.  We all need encouragement and we need to raise each other up as much as possible.  

Psalm 31:24
"Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord."

Psalm 33:20-22
"We wait in hope for the Lord; He is our help and our shield.  In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in His holy name.  May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you."

Romans 15:4-6
"For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.  May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 3:11-12 says:
"And if what was transitory came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts!  Therefore, since we have such a hope we are very bold."

By the Grace of God, let us keep our faith and hope alive.  Let us be bold.  


Gungor, Beautiful Things


Sunday, September 1, 2013


I had the pleasure of hearing Seth Godin speak at a Leadership Conference at my Church a few years ago.  He is the master of reinventing one’s self.  I remember him saying that a person reinvents themselves an average of five times in their lifetime.  At the time I hadn’t really thought much about it before.  Although listening to his lecture, it made perfect sense.  Why not reinvent yourself?  Whether it is personally or in business, reinventing one's self could be healthy and much needed.  Some people are quite content with their current lives and that’s great.  But some are always searching to learn more, understand more about others and themselves, and to discover more truth and knowledge.  I have been reading Seth’s blog and recently he published a manuscript called, Brainwashed.  You can download it for free.  I’ll post the link at the end.  He talks about 7 ways to help reinvent yourself.  I’ll talk on each point briefly.

  1. Connect – He makes a great point reminding us that today we’re able to connect to anyone in the world.  When I was a little girl, there were no cell phones till I was in middle school and I only knew one person who had one.  My cousin looked like he was holding a brick to his ear.  Today, technology has us connected through social media (facebook, twitter, linkedin, etc.)  You have the ability to not only connect with your friends and family, but to connect with others in the world and to have a greater impact than you’ve ever had before. 
  2. Be Generous – Being generous is not only about donating to charity (although that is important also).  It’s about being generous to those who ask you for help.  Helping a fellow colleague, being a mentor, giving your gift of knowledge, compassion or help to someone else and not expecting anything in return.  Godin says, “The generosity economy rewards people who create and participate in circles of gifts. Not the direct I-gave-you-this-you-give-me-that giving and get of a traditional economy, but instead the tribal economy of individuals supporting one another."  I couldn't agree more.
  3. Create Art- The art he’s talking about is not traditional art as we know it.  He is talking about making something new, ideas, relationships, connections.  It’s art because it is a new creation and may or may not be enjoyed by everyone.  It’s risky, but it’s art. 
  4. Acknowledge the Lizard – He is referring to the prehistoric brain stem we have.  The human brain stem has evolved over millions of years but it is much like the reptilian lizard brain.  I never knew that until I read his article.  But he also goes on to say, that acknowledging the lizard means that we all have the underlying fear of being laughed at.  Again, since creating something new is risky, some may not understand, ridicule or insult it.  We must get beyond that fear and realize risk is there regardless, and creating something new is integral and important. 
  5. Ship– This is another way to say that humans loves convenience and simplicity.  So in business, if you’re able to create something that’s a commodity and can ship it out the door almost effortlessly, then you’re on to something very successful. So many will pay for convenience.  So don't let opportunities pass you by in your career or business to attract more customers by making your products available very easily. 
  6. Fail – Failing is a part of life.  In order to take risks, failure is inevitable sometimes.  Don’t be afraid to fail.  We’ve all done it.  Keep going.  Rewards are there for those willing to take risks.  
  7. Learn – This is probably the most important of all the steps because it makes the other steps possible.  We must learn, keep open minds and pursue knowledge at every stage of life.  Learning is essential to life, and life is essential to learning.   
Thanks for reading my post and here's the link to Seth's manuscript: 

Love and hugs,

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Work in Progress

This month I am recuperating from a surgery I had last week.  I had a tummy tuck and yes, I am happy to have done it.  I am after all all about reinventing one's self.  So, this month I will simply post a video of one my favorite songs by Big Daddy Weave.  I had wanted to write a more thought provoking post about the act of reinventing yourself but I'll finish it and save it for next month.

Have a great rest of this hot summer month.  Hugs and peace,

Redeemed by Big Daddy Weave

Monday, June 3, 2013


We live in such a broken world.
My heart breaks again and again.
How much more can the heart endure?
I don't know.
What I do know is - God is everything.
I know He saves and transforms lives.
I know He loves me.
I am made new by Him.
I am His.
He is love.
I must remember, everyday, this life is not mine, it's His.

Thanks and peace and love to you!
Now check out Brit Nicole's "Gold" on YouTube below.  Like she says, remember you're worth more than gold! 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Since I have my hands full this month I thought I would keep it simple and post something uplifting that is helping me right now.

As rough as things become, love always seems to carry me through. Love from God. Love from my husband and kids. Love from my extended family. Love from my friends in the US and around the globe. I wake up every day and thank God for this new day I'm given.

You can never have to much love and light in your world. Here are some songs that I've been listening to that have lyrics to remind us that as much as we want to be in control, God is the One in control.

Peace and love,

Monday, April 1, 2013


Resurrection can be defined as a revival or rising up from the dead.  The idea of something coming back to life after being dead is truly amazing, a miracle.  Yet, this is exactly what happened!  God sent his only Son to Earth so that he would be among us to show us the way to God.  He then paid the ultimate price for our sins.  He died for us, then He rose again!  We remember this sacrifice and praise Him.  I am forever grateful to God for sending His Son to die for us. 

Matthew 28:1-20 NIV
"After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.” So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.” While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day. Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”"

Friday, March 1, 2013


I'm going to share something that happened to me recently. I mentioned in the past that there can be misunderstandings in email. Well, I received a ranting, raging email from someone a few months ago. At first, I didn't know what to think because I never knew this person had such animosity towards me. But this email, said things I would never tell a worst enemy.  That's how cruel it was. It was filled with hate and lies. I was so angry when I received it that I wanted to send a blasted email back and dispute every false allegation made against me.  But instead, I restrained myself and sent a simple reply telling her she was wrong in her accusations and that she should be more careful in what she writes to me or to anyone for that matter, that her words should be truthful and factual. No one likes to be falsely accused or to read wretched words slathered about themselves. Unfortunately, my response or lack thereof, brought about more angry and belligerent rantings from her in her next email. I finally just sent another short reply stating how I wasn't going to participate in an "email feud" and that she shouldn't contact me unless she was apologizing. Needless to say I haven't heard a word from her since then.
I tell you this because I heard someone talking about avoiding distractions recently. I started thinking about what distractions really are. They are diversions, things that prevent someone from giving full attention to something else. I realized....People like her are distractions. They may be someone who you can't befriend, someone who doesn't like you, or maybe doesn't want to see you happy.  Don't give them any power over you. You can't control them. But you can control how you react to them.

The first few days after this incident happened, I was so angry. Partly, because I felt betrayed.  I couldn't believe someone could be so hurtful, and for her to do this a month after my Mom passed. Why are people so mean, I thought. I spent a day in self doubt, wondering if anything she said about me might be true. But after reflecting and praying, I realized that day spent in self doubt, was a wasted day. Never again will I allow her or anyone to make me second guess myself like that. I think we all have had someone who has tried to bring us down at sometime or another.  I encourage you to not let that person tear you down. Many times, what's being said to you is more of a reflection of the other person and their insecurities and not really about you at all. Focus on the truth, who you are and what you stand for.  Surround yourself with positive people and don't let these small things worry you. I call it seeing the big picture. What is the big picture? Well, for me, I remember the Bible passage, Matthew 22:36-40. The Pharisees asked,
"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied, "Love the Lord, your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it. Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and Prophets hang on these two commandments." 

I need to focus more on these two commandments.  Let go of any anxieties or worry and just live according to these two principles.  If you offer love and peace, but it's not well received or returned, it's ok.  Keep focusing on the big picture, and everything falls into place.  When you are confronted with insults or lies, you'll get better at disregarding the distractions, instead of reacting to it.  As for my situation, I know I need to forgive her.  Knowing life is short and precious, I just want a peaceful life.  But I'm learning and forgiveness is something I'm still working on.  But, yes, I will forgive.

Friday, February 1, 2013


I've become more interested in poetry recently. Such a wonderful way to express yourself artistically.  You can write about past experiences, dreams you may have for your future, or write about the feelings you're having right now, anything you want.  When I was in high school I enjoyed writing poems but lost that as I got older and life got busy.  But we tend to reflect more I suppose as time goes on, and its healthy to get those feelings out. I encourage you to do something that lets you express yourself and how you're feeling, whether it be journaling, blogging, writing, new hobbies, counseling, whatever. 
One of Oprah's favorite poems was Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou. I can see why she loved it so much, very powerful.  See it below. 

Phenomenal Woman
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size   
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,   
The stride of my step,   
The curl of my lips.   
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,   
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,   
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.   
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.   
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,   
And the flash of my teeth,   
The swing in my waist,   
And the joy in my feet.   
I’m a woman

Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered   
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,   
They say they still can’t see.   
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,   
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.   
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.   
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,   
The bend of my hair,   
the palm of my hand,   
The need for my care.   
’Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I'd like to share a poem that I wrote a few weeks after my Mother passed away.  Now, don't expect the level of poetry as you just read in Ms. Angelou's poem. I'm merely an amateur at the art of poetry writing, but a poet all the same. :)

By Laura Garcia Kakar
I heard her today.
Her voice was clear.
"Vamanos, mija!"
And her laugh I could hear, but I turned to reply
And nothing.

I saw her in a dream.
She whispered, "I'm with you",
And hugged me close.
And I awoke wanting more of her embrace,
But nothing.

I smelled her scent in the air today.
It filled my eyes with tears.
I know only time can keep us apart.
But she is near, she is always with me.

Thanks, readers for your support and always looking forward to tomorrow.

Lots of hugs and love,

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Power of Words

Power of Words

Recently on Facebook, I updated a status of, "There is such power in words. Best to keep them few and well chosen." I think this resonates with so many of us.  With words, we can bring to life a story from our childhood. We can make someone feel so much happiness with just simple praise or we can tear apart a relationship with hurtful, cutting words like a sword. It's so easy to let your mouth run away but when words are out of your mouth, they're out there. You can't take them back. Sometimes, a person may be so deeply wounded by hurtful words, it takes years to repair the damage.

For this reason, think before speaking. Don't let anger or rage get the best of you. In a heated situation, give yourself time to cool off and then speak to the person with a cooler head. Remember, the bigger picture, which is to have a resolution, not necessarily to make the other person cower. A couple of years ago when I first started attending Chase Oaks Church, one of the first sermons I heard from Jeff Jones was about word power. I kept notes and he spoke about how lying takes away trust and how gossip leads to trouble. At the conclusion, he said that you should only speak words that are True, Helpful, Inspiring, Necessary, and Kind.

These days, many conversations are had through email which can be very tricky because there can be major misunderstandings in an email. If you do find yourself in "email argument" choose your words wisely. Some say give yourself 24 hours before sending a reply to a nasty email to someone.

Another way to use words is when speaking to yourself. Joyce Meyer's book, Change Your Words, Change Your Life, talks about speaking faith and not fear. She quotes scripture, "The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?" Psalm 118:6. A book I'm reading currently by Joel Osteen called, I Declare, has a positive declaration to speak over your life daily. Day Three says, "I DECLARE I have the grace I need for today. I am full of power, strength, and determination. Nothing I face will be too much for me. I will overcome every obstacle, outlast every challenge, and come through every difficulty better off than I was before. This is my declaration." Wow, after reading that, I'm excited. I'm fired up!

In the morning, speak words of truth and love to yourself. With the world being as hard as it is, why should we be any harder on ourselves? Instead, lets start each day with words like, "Today is a new day and it will be great!" And, "Thank you, Lord, for another day with my family. Thank you for giving me a job to go to so I can provide for my family. Thank you for giving me another day to live."