All Posts By

AngieRosalina

Thoughtfulness

Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mothers in My Life

Happy Mother’s Day to all you mother’s our there! Today, I would like to pay tribute the all the mothers in my life and give thanks to the Lord for placing them in my life.

I have had the pleasure of being surrounded by great moms throughout my life. They have all, in some way, contributed to who I am today. Whether by way of some small token of advise or much needed reprimand, I am a lot better today because of them. I am thankful because they have added much wisdom to my life, both, directly and indirectly.

Recently, I have watched many close friends of mine become mothers and I have seen them grow in the process. I always joke that motherhood adds a whole deeper level of maturity, and I stand by that statement. Sure, my friends and I are close in age but they seem so much wiser than me in almost every way, and this I can only attribute to motherhood.

So much work goes into raising a child; from what should they eat and wear to when they should sleep. From teething to “teening” it is a great responsibility, perhaps even above anything else out there.

When and if you are blessed with the privilege of raising another human being, you have to realize that you are actually playing a major role in the shaping of another individual’s life. That is no simple task and because I merely observe all this work from the outside, I want to continue to encourage all mothers out there. You are doing a terrific job! Do not second guess yourself. I hope you do not feel as if your work counts for nothing. What you do is extremely important and can be done by no one else but you -certainly not to the same extent.

I know that one day you will look back, if you haven’t already, and know it was all worth it. And your children will thank you for it.

Her children rise up and call her blessed” ‭‭

Proverbs‬ ‭31:28‬a ESV‬‬

While I am here thanking all the mothers for their life lessons and hard work, I must also thank my very own mother. I cannot imagine what my life would be like without her.
She is probably the strongest woman I know. She has raised 4 kids, all of which through different ages and life stages (our age gaps are no joke) and I cannot imagine what my life would be like without her. Mami, I thank you for always thinking of me, for the “Good morning, Princess” texts in the morning. I want you to know that I will always be here for your and that you are a real inspiration. I can only hope to one day be half as good a mother as you are. I love you mami!

I know not everyone can relate to how I feel about my mother but I imagine, for many of you, there is or has been that special someone in your life who is or has shown a level of motherly love and affection towards you. Someone that you love and appreciate dearly, even if she is technically not a mother. There are many women who have poured into our lives and even though they may not have children of their own they possess those key motherly characteristics. Therefore, they too should be thanked and shown appreciation.

So I urge you, thank your mother. Thank that special mother or mother-like individual(s) in your life. Thank your friends who are mothers and make sure that they know how much you love them and appreciate them for their tireless labor. Show them you love and appreciate all that they do, not just on Mother’s Day, but everyday.

I will again thank my strong mother, my compassionate mother-in-law, and all of my close friends and sisters in Christ who have continually blessed me by simply honoring the Lord Jesus and exemplifying His love through their parenting. I love you all dearly!

Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.’”

Proverbs 31:29

SDG – “Soli Deo Gloria”

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Pilgrimage

Book Deal: Women of the Word

This is a quick post, I came across this deal for a free eBook titled Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin. I read this book in the past and it is an excellent resource with guidelines on how to study your bible. You can click here, to fill out the survey for this awesome book.

SDG – “Soli Deo Gloria“

Fitness Journey

Getting Back into the Workout Groove: Benefits of Excercise

My favorite “inspirational” video is Shia Labeouf shouting “Do it! Just Do It!” Nothing gets me more pumped to do something, whether it be washing the dishes, cleaning the house, but especially working out, than that!

However, for me, exercise is tough. I find that getting back into my workout routine is one of the hardest things for me to do. It’s so much easier for me to simply come home, start fixing up the apartment, call my mother, prep my lunch, and watch Gilmore Girls. But when it comes to exercise, I have to push myself, and I mean really push myself to get through it.

There are times where I am three minutes into a workout and I think to myself “maybe I’ll stop now and pick this up tomorrow.” On one hand I’d gain some relief from the discomfort, but on the other hand, I’d know that this level of effort will never lead to any satisfactory results. So instead, I listen to my inner Shia Labeouf and “just do it!”

Now, why am I so bent on getting into working out again? Well, I took for granted the years when I was slim, trim, and in. Now I am out of shape and get tired far too easily. When people told me that your body changes with age, they weren’t kidding. So before I age any further, I want to adopt a healthy lifestyle. I may have I have mentioned in a previous post wanting to keep up with the future kids when we’re playing tag in the park.

Still, in addition to striving for your ideal aesthetic.  There are so many reasons why you and I should work out, and regularly. Most people only exercise because they desire to lose weight and/or keep it off (and I will admit, it’s is one of my personal reasons). But again, although that is great, there are many other reasons what we should be working out and in this post, I will go through a few in the hope that I might motivate you to “Just Do It”

Better Sleep

I came across this article in the New York Times that mentioned how studies have shown that exercise can lead to better sleep. There are a few things I noticed changed about me as I aged. The most important one was my sleeping pattern. Increasingly, I began waking up constantly, I mean three to four times a night, often. It was exhausting, as you might imagine not being able to sleep might be. When I began exercising again, I noticed I was sleeping much better and honestly, one of the main reasons I work out is for the great sleep I get. There is no sleep like post-workout sleep. I guarantee it!

A Sharper Mind

There truly is a correlation between exercising the body and reinforcing the brain. Technically they work as one when you think about it. Likewise, working to improve your physical agility will inevitably improve your mental agility, to varying degrees of course. It’s like when your body becomes faster your brain sharpens up too. In relation to my previous point, it has also has been shown that regular sleep can help improve brain functionality. Consider the findings in this article from Harvard Medical School here.

A Boost of Confidence

Lately, because I have been doing primarily H.I.I.T (High-Intensity Interval Training), I find that I really have to push myself. Because of this, most days, I want to give up halfway through it. But, I don’t. I keep pressing on toward the finish. It isn’t easy work but trust me, when you come back to the exercise the next time and notice that you are performing a little bit better, it feels really good. It’s like the moment when you go back to the gym and find that the 55 lbs barbell is too light for you. It’s so encouraging and motivates me, even more, to want to exercise. Not to mention the confidence gained from developing a more toned or lean physique.

You Surge in Energy

In addition to the previously mentioned benefits of exercise, you can tap into a reservoir of energy, formerly suppressed. I’m sure after a few workouts you will notice you are less tired and, possibly, even drinking less coffee -which has been the case even with me (I love coffee by the way). One of the more sequential reasons for this is because when we work out we sleep better. As we sleep, and more particularly, as we sleep well, our body is recovering from the activity we were engaged in and, thus less tiredness overall. I also found an article explaining why this happens, you can check it out here.

*Quick disclosure: The photos for the items below are each linked to Amazon.com. Should you choose to purchase from them, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.*

And Yes…You Can Lose Weight

It may not happen overnight but you can lose weight. However, keep in mind that weight loss may either be optimized or hindered based upon your diet. In order to best reach your weight loss goal(s), you may have to change up your eating habits, depending upon where you are starting from. Drinking an ample amount of water (especially before, during and after your training), incorporating more fruits, veggies and whole grains, and significantly limiting your intake of processed foods (i.e, junk food) and alcohol are some of the primary steps you should take toward reforming your diet and transforming your body. I’m sure you may have heard much of this before, to varying degrees, great. They are tried and true methods. The challenge comes with our willingness to change, make sacrifices, be creative and adjust our perspectives. After a while, your dietary switch may not seem so bad anymore, you might even enjoy eating healthier food. Perhaps, as a reward for your commitment and self-control, you may be inclined to indulge a bit on one of your “cheat days.” Totally fair. I tend to eat healthy throughout the week and then treat myself at the end for a job well done. Last week’s treat was a delectable strawberry cheesecake I picked up at a local bakery. Nonetheless, in order to get the best results, in conjunction with a regular and reasonably challenging exercise routine, the majority of your eating should be clean.

I hope this small list has encouraged you to want to exercise. You don’t need to start doing Beachbody or any high-intensity workout routine right off the bat, you can start small. Cardio and basic calisthenics (body weight exercises) are a great start. Then, as your routine becomes easier, kick it up a notch. You can do this! And if you still think you can’t, don’t take it from me, listen to Shia and “Just do it…make your dreams come true” “Nothing is impossible.”

And consider this: As creatures made in the image of God, let us each appreciate and be good stewards of these bodies He has crafted for us. They are each uniquely fashioned gifts from Him. Even more so, to His children, they are the very dwelling places of the His Holy Spirit. So as you work hard and train, be encouraged!

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”

– 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

SDG – “Soli Deo Gloria”

Pilgrimage

You Will Never Be Perfect (And That’s Ok!)

I remember a couple of years ago, while I sat in the waiting room of a doctors office, there was a morning show on where the host interviewed a woman who had undergone over 50 plastic surgeries.

It was one of the most bizarre stories I had ever heard. I was a teenager at the time. After reviewing a list of the multiple surgeries she had already undergone the host asked the woman what she planned to do next. Her reply was to correct a part of one of her toes.

That was definitely not the response I was expecting. I find it almost insane that she would go through these lengths just to try and achieve a level of beauty that was a construct of her own opinions and society. Prior to this, I had never heard of someone who wanted to fix or correct their toe merely because it didn’t look right. A toe! Let that sink in, she wanted to correct the way her toe looked to suit her ideal beauty standard.

If there was some sort of deformation or abnormality, I would understand but that wasn’t the case. It was just bizarre and, frankly, unbelievable to me.

That is probably the most dramatic example I can use to show how, as humans, we seek to be perfect but guess what, in this life we will never be perfect.

I can go on and on about how society pushes its ideals onto us as women to look like Barbies and Kardashians and even on men to be drop-dead gorgeous and possess a six-pack, but that isn’t exactly the crux of this post.

I understand a great majority of us won’t go through these lengths in order to change our bodies, perhaps because many have neither the time nor the resources, but what about our personalities?

Do we tend to act a certain way in public solely in order to be viewed as nice or reputable? While there is nothing wrong with genuinely possessing those characteristics, we have to ask ourselves, what are the motives behind our actions?

It can pose quite a challenge to uncover precisely why we do the things we do at the exact moment that we do them. It’s often only later on that we can look back and figure it out. Still, a great way to keep tabs on our motives is to ask ourselves: “does this action primarily draw attention to me or to God?” and “does this glorify me or God?” or “How can this best action glorify God?”

At this point in my life I have accepted that I will never be absolutely perfect, neither physically nor spiritually. It’s simply impossible. Sure, I can train towards an appealing physique, layer my face in mascara and maybe even surgically “reshape” my own toes, but if I look to personify this societal ideal of what perfection

I will always fall short -and if not before people, certainly before God. The same applies spiritually. If I live my life toiling to obtain salvation in my own right I will always fall short. There is nothing I can do, in and of myself that will make me look better to God in any way.

We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. -Isaiah 64:6

You see, we may be able to deceive others, perhaps even God’s people, into thinking that we are better than we actually are, but we cannot fool God Himself. We simply can’t because He does not look at us according to the flesh (physically), but rather, according to the state of our souls (spiritually). That is what make the gospel (literally “good news”) so good. God knows that we aren’t perfect, and yet He still called us.

Why did He call us? He called us because He loved us? How can He love us, in spite of our sin and utter disregard for His daily goodness and grace? He can love us because He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, into this world, 100% God and 100% man, to satisfy a debt on our behalf that could never have been satisfied by anyone else.

Roughly 2000 years ago, on the cross where He hung died, and the tomb from which he rose again to life, the sins of all who would believe upon Him and the Father who sent Him were paid for and the christian’s eternal security was sealed.

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”

1 Peter 2:9

It can be easy to fall into the trap of the world, telling ourselves that we need to be a certain way and look a certain way, but at the end of the day, all that matters is that we seek God and glorify Him. At the end of the day, He is all that matters, because while  this life is fleeting, it’s author is eternal.

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.”

Gal 3:13-14

Most everything we know and cherish will pass, just as it has from the dawn of time, but the Lord is forever. His love endures forever and He will be with us until He returns to bring us home. This He has promised.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

Deuteronomy 31:6

SDG – “Soli Deo Gloria”

Pilgrimage, Reading Journey

Book Review: Don’t Waste Your Life – John Piper

This week I decided to do a quick book review/recommendation for John Piper’s Don’t Waste Your Life. This is a book I read a few years ago, my pastor had given it to me as a gift. I was very happy to be receiving a book and let alone one I knew was good because… my pastor gave it to me! At this point in time, I was newly saved and still trying to figure things out. I was still unsure of who’s books I should read or which preachers were solid, so this gift was very much appreciated.

Although the book was a Christmas gift, I didn’t begin to read it until the summer time. Once I began to read it, I couldn’t put it down. In this book, Piper shows us the way Americans seek the American Dream, the comfortable life. Living a comfortable life might seem pretty nice, I must admit, but as Christians called by Christ, this is not our mission. We no longer live to satisfy our own needs or wants, we live to glorify God and make His name known.

There are many ways in which a Christian can make God’s name known; sharing the gospel in the streets, talking to friends and family about the wonderful gift God has given us, and possibly even through the other media such as blogging (see what I did there?).

*Quick disclosure: The photos for the items below are each linked to Amazon.com. Should you choose to purchase from them, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.*

In this book, Piper goes through different topics such as The Beauty of Christ, Magnifying Christ, Making Much of Christ and Sharing Christ. Notice a pattern? The goal of this book is to help us make much of Christ in our everyday life. He ends the book with a plea to missions and this was very well done. He really explains the need to go to different parts of the world to share the Gospel and the importance of doing the Lord’s work and the beauty of it.

After finishing the book, I wanted to go on a missions trip as soon as possible. Unfortunately, even though my church was going on a missions trip to the Dominican Republic that summer, I was too late to be a part of it. I have yet to be able to go on a missions trip due to providential hindrances, but still, hope to go on one someday, Lord willing.

Below you’ll find a few quotes I picked from the book, just so that you can get an idea of what’s in it.

“Desire that your life count for something great! Long for your life to have eternal significance. Want this! Don’t coast through life without a passion.”

“He is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.”

“But whatever you do, find the God-centered, Christ-exalting, Bible-saturated passion of your life, and find your way to say it and live for it and die for it. And you will make a difference that lasts. You will not waste your life.”

“My joy grows with every soul that seeks the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. Remember, you have one life. That’s all. You were made for God. Don’t waste it.”

“You don’t have to know a lot of things for your life to make a lasting difference in the world. But you do have to know the few great things that matter, perhaps just one, and then be willing to live for them and die for them. The people that make a durable difference in the world are not the people who have mastered many things, but who have been mastered by one great thing.”

SDG – “Soli Deo Gloria”

Book Recommendations, Thoughtfulness

Reflections of a Dominican-American

Happy belated Dominican Independence Day!

This past week was Dominican Independence Day and when I think about the Dominican Republic I always come back to the years I lived there as a child. When I lived there I did not appreciate it at all, but now that I’m older I can’t help but feel nostalgic and wish that I could go back to those days. And because I am feeling nostalgic, I thought I’d share with you a bit about my heritage. I am a Dominican-American. I have lived most of my life in the United States but I hold close to my culture.

I didn’t grow up in the fancy or more advanced part of the Dominican Republic, I grew up in a small town by the beach with my dads side of the family. To this day, I have no clue what the nice parts of the Dominican Republic look like but hope to one day find out.

My grandfather had been a fisherman and his sons followed the same route. My grandfather, who we all know as Papa, ran a small pescadería (a fish market) and his sons and others provided the fish to be sold. My whole family lived by this beach, Papa’s beach. I lived with an uncle, his wife, and their children. They took me and my older brother in as if we were one of their own. My older brother always had a much more carefree spirit than me, I was more of a grumpy old troll stomping around, complaining about wanting to return to New York every time I got the chance.

Looking back, I wish I could simply return to those days when I lived by the beach. I wish I could just sit for a whole afternoon staring off beyond the coast and not worry about a thing or listen to the slapping of the palm leaves against each other on a windy day or the rain tapping at our tin roof on a stormy night.

Gone are the nights when we sat on the sidewalk when the light went out and told ghost stories about pepito (who just happened to be the protagonist of all our scary stories). Those are the moments that I cannot regain. I can only look back at them, just as someone looks into a snow globe, wishing that life stood still so that they could revisit those moments that were precious to them.

Nevertheless, I am proud that I can tell stories such as these. Simpler times I experienced as a child, the sweet memories of life on my beautiful island, the Dominican Republic. Maybe the reason I look back at those times with fondness is that, deep down, I regret not appreciating the time I had there. Maybe God had been trying to teach me contentment as a child and here I am, an adult reminiscing about time lost. Every once in a while my nostalgia leads me to write a short story, maybe I’ll share a few with you guys in the future.

I recently came across a book that I am interested in reading, it’s titled Too American to be Dominican. Too Dominican to be American. It’s funny because this is exactly how I feel sometimes. I think it will be a good read and might provide more insight into my beloved culture.

SDG – “Soli Deo Gloria”

Pilgrimage, Reading Journey

Book Recommendations: Part 3 Practical Books for Christian Men

Previously, I recommended books for Christian women and spoke about a few of my favorite fiction series but this week, I decided to have my friend and brother in Christ, Glenroy, recommend some books for Christian men. I figured it would be fitting to have a male perspective on the books since this post is geared toward men.

A little bit about my friend Glen, we have been friends for many years now. He has a such a serving heart, and I cannot count the times he has gone out of his way to pick me up and take me to church for our regular Sunday service and Bible study. That is only one small example of Glen’s help. He also helped a ton when my husband and I were planning our wedding. In fact, he was a groomsman, even though he did not want to be one. He stated he wanted to sit at our main table but didn’t want the groomsmen title. We made him one anyway and cannot picture our wedding without him.

If you read the prior post on how Mike and I started dating, you have my perspective of how things happened but Mike tells me that before he even asked me to date him, he had gone to Glen for advice and to ask about me. At this point, Glen had known me for a few years and gave Mike the thumbs-up. So, Glen has been there from the beginning of my courtship which led to my marriage and even before that. I trust his judgment when it comes to books and any biblical questions I may have. Both Mike and I are very fond of him and thank the Lord for placing him in our lives.

He is currently involved in a podcast titled “Stop and Think about it” that is run by one of the elders of my church along with other members. I will discuss the podcast further in the future but in the meantime, I advise you to check it out here. Glen plans to soon have a website of his own where he will provide resources for Christians.

Well, now that you have an idea of who my dear friend Glen is, here are his book recommendations. Enjoy!

The Ninety-Five Theses and Other Writings


*Quick disclosure: The photos for the items below are each linked to Amazon.com. Should you choose to purchase from them, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.*

Martin Luther.  (by Penguin Group (USA) LLC) When Angie asked me to choose some must-read books for men, I was at a lost as to which to choose. This book quickly came to mind. It is not limited to just men, but I believe there are a lot of truths about biblical manhood in this small classic.  This book includes an eclectic collection of Martin Luther’s writings and sermons starting with the Ninety-Five theses which launched him to historical notoriety. It is one of the best books of its kind because it allows Luther, through his own words, to express what he believed without modern distortions. The best section for me was the chapter on “8 sermon’s in lent” where Martin counsels against the violence of some of is “so called” followers. The main thrust of his argument is a belief in the sovereignty of God and utter reliance on God. Luther came out of hiding, at peril of his life, to courageously counsel for peace. This is just one of many invaluable sections that demonstrate true biblical manhood and sincere theology that is much needed today.

Reset: Living a Grace-Paced Life in a Burnout Culture

Reset. I recently received this book from one of my pastors. It is a small book, but it touched me in a deep way because of its practicality and the depth of its subject. David Murray wrote this book to teach men “how to learn to live grace-paced lives in a burnout culture”. If you or someone you know seems to be burned out in ministry and life, this book could be just what is needed. Murray lays out a clear biblical case for how men can “reset their lives and enjoy the healthy balance of grace motivation and grace moderation.” This not a dry theological book, heavy on data and light on solutions. This book is hands on. Murray lays out a step-by-step method for men to assess where they are in all areas of their lives, what needs to change, and how to create proper routines and biblical mindsets to avoid the burnout that so many of us face today. One of the nicest things about this book is Murray’s use of bible references, personal anecdotes and well-timed quotes from public figures we all know.  

This is a quick read and highly recommended.

SDG – “Soli Deo Gloria”

Love Life, Pilgrimage, Thoughtfulness

The Story of How My Husband and I Began Dating

Hey everyone, in light of Valentines Day, I thought I’d share how my husband and I started dating.

I met Michael at my church back in the late summer of 2013 and upon our first conversation I immediately knew he was ineligible for dating. I learned three things in our first, very brief conversation; He was in a relationship, he went to Continue Reading

Pilgrimage, Thoughtfulness

Resources for Christian Women: Part 2 (and why I won’t call myself a Feminist)

Resources to me come in many different forms. You have websites, books, apps, and podcasts. This week I will be focusing on a particular podcast series, but before I get into the content itself, I first want to share something that has been heavy on my heart. Recently the city of New York Continue Reading

Book Recommendations, Pilgrimage, Reading Journey

Book Recommendations Part 2: Must-Read Books for Christian Women

Last week, I went through some of my favorite fiction series. This week, I wanted to focus on books that can help us ladies in regards to spiritual growth. I have come across a ton of books in my lifetime and at first, when I switched churches, I was very wary about the books I would read. So when I would consider buying a new book, I took to the interwebs and researched the author’s bio to see what they are about, and what they believe. The books I decided to share today, I have Continue Reading

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