Mind Set on Christ and Victory Over Mental Health

I have made it part of my journey to fight for my mind. Especially being someone who’s lived with PTSD since the age of 5 years old: from vivid demonic dreams, to fighting to decipher if my thoughts are reality or just part of a symptom (but a post on specifications for another day).   This year has been challenging for the obvious reason, but this year I have also experienced the most victorious mental health moments of my life. I want to share that I have been experiencing so much joy in the mist of chaos. When the pandemic hit I found myself in a hopeful and blissful state […]

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Interview with an Indian-American Christian Woman: Part 2

My conversation with Anu Skariah became very honest very quickly… I asked Anu, “How does religion influence your culture and marriage?” Anu: “Christ is at the foundation of my marriage; however, I wasn’t raised that way. There were some traditional things that my husband and I bypassed because we saw that they were rooted in the Hindu religion. Although we did have a traditional Orthodox Christian wedding, some of the elements of the wedding had a Hindu tracing. When our children were born there were things that our families expected us to do, but that we declined because we saw that they were rooted in the Hindu religion. One such practice is that the […]

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Dominant Influences of My Cultural Shaping Part 4: External Influences

I didn’t have a complete picture of my racial identity until I became a Christian, I was twenty-one years old. I don’t remember anyone taking me by the hand and mentoring me until the age of twenty-three, when I met my pastor Ismael Vargas. He modelled for me how he takes his Puerto-Rican American culture and roots it in Christ. I once shared with him I didn’t feel adequate because I’m Hispanic and a woman. His response blew my mind. He said, “Yes, you are Hispanic and a woman, but you are a Hispanic woman of God. You belong to God and any door is closed or opened by God. […]

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Dominant Influences of My Cultural Shaping Part 5: Light at the End of the Tunnel

The cultural values I currently hold from my Mexican ethnicity include family closeness and responsibility, attending church regularly, attending all family functions, cooking, food, and celebration, as well as dressing up, and lastly being a hard and persevering worker. On the other hand, the values that I carry from my American culture include being punctual to events, as mentioned above freedom of expression, education, and growing as an individual. My basic human nature is to be loving, kind, a fighter, having a child-like spirit, and holding up healthy boundaries; these in conjunction with service, community, and faith I can attribute to the intersectionality of both cultures. I have had conversations […]

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Dominant Influences of My Cultural Shaping Part 3: My Racial Identity Formation

My process in racial identity development was not fully clear as I grew up, there might have been some aspects that were unknown, such as, I was not consciously aware of my Spaniard heritage. I blended the Mexican and Spaniard cultures into one. I grew up loving flamenco and it is still a favorite dance and music genre, but I used to think it was just Mexican. I however, was very aware that I was different since the age of five years old because my mom’s boyfriend would make distinctions between us and others (This is the way in which most of us learn that we have a racial/ethnic identity. […]

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Dominant Influences of My Cultural Shaping Part 2: The Horrid Pain Behind the Truth

The horrendous and abusive language I’d hear from my mom’s boyfriend led me to believe that Hispanic people are weak, needy, and unloyal people. He’d also say horrible things about white people and blacks, so naturally I developed a twisted belief system that white people with blond hair and blues eyes are to be feared and African Americans are abusive. My mother’s boyfriend never explicitly said I could not play with black kids, but I intrinsically knew I should not. The only neighborhood children I’d play with were the Polish kids or the white kids with darker features, mainly the Italian kids. These belief systems were reinforced in elementary school […]

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Dominant Influences of My Cultural Shaping Part 1

My ethnic and cultural background comes from my Mexican, Spanish, and American cultures. My Mexican and Spanish ethnicities gave me the ability to call myself Aztec/European princess since I am a descendant of both the Aztecs and those who conquered them, the Spaniards; both my Mexican and Spanish cultures gave me the gift of my romantic Spanish language. Its somewhat odd to me that I often find myself checking the “white” box when the “Hispanic” option is not present; odd because I do not consider myself white, nor do I look white. Yet, I often hear the expressions “white Hispanic” or “non-Hispanic whites” and both have a completely different connotation. I […]

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Messy Like a Child in the Father’s Presence

It is soooo much easier to be messy than to be on point. That’s why I’m learning to rest in God’s grace and love in the mist of my short comings, fears, doubts, faithlessness, and weaknesses. Me talking to myself, “It’s ok. It’s ok babe.” I was feeling weird one morning. I didn’t know why. I wasn’t feeling sad nor negative, nor discontentment, nor tired. Just weird. But I was desiring love from the Father. I got on my knees and rested my head against the edge of my bed. As I listened to the song “I Surrender,” YHWH encountered me. His loving arms came and hugged me. His face […]

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Can You Perceive What God Has Begun to Do?

I find myself here, now, attuned to the present. I am trying to create new memories, memories that will one day bring me joy. I am done thinking about past pain. As I live in the present, I find that the chaos of the world has not affected my mental status; all because my mind is focused on God, my dreams, and the goodness that is present now.  I know that there is a temptation to live in the past–whether good or bad–especially because this season has been hard. I once had such an amazing experience! So much so that when it ended I tried so hard to replicate those three […]

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Like the Demanding Reach of the Peaking Pines

My entire life I’ve felt inadequate and powerless, which led me to comparison. These have touched on my most basic need of worth and safety. I want my worth to be noticed. I want my worth to be appreciated. I want my worth to be celebrated. I want stability. I want to have inner and outer peace. Inadequacy has told me I am not beautiful enough, or smart enough, or loved enough. Or that I’m not lovable. Powerlessness has told me that everything evil will overpower or that I will always be in a dark hole. These have led me to break friendships with amazing people because I unconsciously felt […]

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