You Are the One

 

Lord, I come to You because I want to learn more about You. You are the Bread of Life. I want to eat Your words. You are the Water of Life. I want to drink up Your goodness. You are Life and this is Your heart. You are the One who sees everything in it. You are the One who cleans it pure and restores it, the One who shapes it, the One who pours love into it, who makes it beat, guards it, and protects it. You are the One who created it. Take this heart my Lord, I confess it’s all Yours. Help me go out into this world and portray the beauty of this heart You have molded. I want to show others how beautiful my heart is because You give so much just to reveal Yourself in it. I commit to Your will Father God. How I respect Your plans for me! I give in to Your will, Your purpose for my life, because You know what You are doing. I know I need Your help and God You know I also want it. I want Your help like I want Your peace. Your guidance is the best kind of wisdom I could ever have. I cannot part from Your grace because Your love abounds so perfectly. I love Your Truth.

By His Grace, Sheela (via sheelaleigh.com)

 

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My Birthday Adventure

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My boyfriend, David flew in from L.A. last Thursday. We bowled that night with his older brother Robert Jr.. We went to Suncoast casino, where we used to watch movies on Tuesdays for $5, then afterwards go bowling because it was a free round if we showed our ticket stubs. There’s always something to do in Vegas other than watch shows and gamble on the Strip, but I’m assuming not many people know that. So we brought our own shoes and we did alright. I practiced my curved throw, which is best described as throwing a football underhand. I threw more gutter-balls than curved ones, but I didn’t care. The best I ever did at bowling was with a 7 pounder. I can’t get away with doing that again because the guys working there said I’d have to be a kid to borrow it. We stayed up pretty late, then the following morning we headed over to our friends’ house. They live 40 minutes away from the nearest ski/snowboarding resort, Mt. Charleston. It was my 4th time snowboarding and the time before that was embarrassing because I ended up landing on my face a few times and eating a lot of snow. I remember when David took me for my third time a little over 2 years ago. It was my first chance to impress him with some sporty moves and the fact that I told him I’d gone twice before, he expected that I would do just fine. To his surprise I was better staying behind on the bunny slopes. I ended up landing on my face a good number of times again and eating a bunch of snow. He and his brother were patient and kind enough to give me some lessons. I tried my best to learn but I guess I just don’t know how to follow instructions. This time around however, I had better balance. A good friend told me before that snowboarding is like learning how to ride a bike. Once you learn it, you’ll never forget, even if you haven’t done it in quite a while. For me, it took 3 trips to the mountains to finally be consistent at keeping my balance. Being up there for nearly 5 hours, I only fell about 10 times. He was impressed and he made sure I heard him say it a few more times. I still have yet to learn toe carving but maybe next year I’ll be ready. We finished the day with all-you-can-eat sushi at China town and I’ve never been so sleepy at a restaurant. I have to mention that snowboarding can be very expensive. Not my gear though. I like to have fun and l like to save money. I found my bargain at the juniors’ clearance section in Big 5, Cerritos, California. My jacket, pants, gloves, and goggles all came at just under $100. The fact that it was on sale was great, and the fact that I was daring enough to ask if I could get a discount for purchasing over $100 worth of merchandise saved me $50. 🙂 My boots were also ridiculously discounted because of a defect, which works just perfectly fine with me. I picked them up from a table at REI Sporting Goods here in Vegas on a day they had a huge sale that extended out to the very front of the building. $14 can you believe?! My board was given to me by an ex who used to work for a man that owned a bar by the beach in Mission Bay, San Diego. He had a collection of all kinds of boards, skates, and bikes in his garage. Anyway, he was able to claim the board for free, and I didn’t even have to ask for it.

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On Saturday, we spent the afternoon helping his brother move into his new house. My muscles were so sore from the day before but lifting furniture and always being on the move was also the cure. We finished that day with a great meal of Filipino food treated to us by their dad. The brothers geared up for their shooting match on Sunday. These guys have been playing with guns since before they turned teenagers. It’s much funner shooting with them than watching a match that lasts for hours, so I opted to stay home. That evening, they took me out to meet with a couple friends at GameWorks. It was the most fun 5 hours I’ve ever had in an arcade, so much fun that I ended up getting sick. I remember eating a really sweet lollipop, which then gave me a mean sore throat. As a kid I would always get sick the day after Halloween. Bacteria loves sugar. It’s such a simple knowledge. I may also have gotten some germs from all the buttons I was pressing that night. The following day, my sore throat led to some ridiculous coughing. Did this snowball come down from the mountain to chase me to the end of the Strip? Tuesday, the 23rd rolled in, I waited 3 long hours at the DMV to get my ID renewed. I should have brought a book to keep my mind off of my body aches and chills. This is how I spent my actual birthday. From a distance I saw the oriental girl that took 15 minutes with our lunch oder at Burger King after the brothers’ shooting match. I wanted to Snapchat about it, but God told me not to. Wednesday came, my cough persisted, and it was a sleepless night because I had the worst asthma attack of my life. I woke my parents nearly midnight and we drove to the nearest drugstore that we were hoping sold OTC inhalers, because mine were out of puffs. They said they didn’t sell those anymore so I wound up taking tablets instead, which were of very little help to my lungs. Thursday morning, we take a family trip to nearest Urgent Care clinic. It took 3 hours of waiting, just as long as I had waited in line to get my ID. All I wanted was an inhaler!!! I finally get in a room with my mom and brother. I gave him my virus apparently. I told the doctor how I was feeling, that my asthma was a lot worse earlier but it finally subsided after the long wait, that I rarely get attacks, only once or twice a year. But my mom insisted I get an injection. So next thing I know a male assistant comes in and makes my mom and brother leave so he could tell me to pull my pants down and give me a steroid shot on my right cheek, which he then explained was going to feel like a stinging punch to my butt’s bone. It was the most painful 15 minutes of my life. I don’t understand why the doctor couldn’t have done it herself and not leave me alone with him. I felt so awkward. Happy Birthday to me. It was worth it though. I could breath again. I’m so thankful for air.

By His Grace, Sheela (via sheelaleigh.com)

 

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Open The Eyes Of My Heart

Lord, Your will says to keep my heart focused on You. I’ve invited You in, so now open the eyes of my heart and help me to meditate on Your vision. I desire everything that aligns with Your plan for me. Your purpose for me is why my heart beats. Please allow my mind to keep comprehending what that vision is You’ve set before me. I want my whole being to obey and glorify Your will for in it I pray. Amen.

Ephesians 1:18 – I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people.

By His Grace, Sheela (via sheelaleigh.com)

 

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What’s Your Zodiac Sign?

Astrology, horoscopes, zodiac signs. For 15 years, I was all about that. I actually became somewhat of an expert at it that whenever anyone told me their birthdate, I would know what their sign was right away. I believed in God, but my actions spoke louder and my attitude didn’t care much for a day to day relationship with Him. In the attempt to help me get over my low self esteem and insecurities, my soul searching led me to the occult, magic, superstition, palmistry…that kind of stuff. I wanted to better myself because I struggled so much with confidence. I may have laughed and looked happy all the time, but as much as I tried hiding things I didn’t want people to see, the more my denials showed its big face to me. I looked to astrology because it was interesting, and so it got me hooked. It slowly made me into a person that wasn’t really me. The more I read about my sun sign, the more I believed also everything negative said about it. I justified my actions on a sign that had a great hold on me. I took everything personally and I became highly sensitive. I kept telling myself over and over again what my sign’s good qualities were in hopes of transforming into the most self-assured person I knew. Eventually, it made me overthink things and I was never diagnosed with social anxiety but I was absolutely convinced I had it. Things really do start in the mind! And for me I chose my reality. I would behave in ways that astrology said was true about me, but it only hurt people and pushed them away. I justified peoples’ attitudes and personalities according to their signs and if they were Christians, I believed that it didn’t matter. It made me judge others so easily and I became so critical and new friends would only be friends for a short period of time, and I made more enemies because I didn’t know I pushed them away. I was in conflict with myself and I started to have what I would say a double life. I felt like I was bipolar. I realized that I was relying too much on my sign to make up for my lack of confidence. I was desperate, and reading about my moon sign especially would get me all excited again, but it never lasted. Astrology for me was fun until it became an addiction. If anyone out there can relate to this, I care so much because confidence is so important. It is the value of your integrity and that’s a big thing in this world. Confidence says a lot about a person’s overall worth, and how much you can trust them. Success, love, relationships has a big thing to do with it. Everyday, people measure your worth by your confidence whether or not you are aware of it and whether or not they are aware of it as well. I believe that astrology has its way of putting the focus on the reader, so much so that it actually becomes dangerous and unhealthy especially if they are easily entertained. We are called by the Lord to be selfless because in surrendering to Him we have freedom.

I made a decision never to believe in astrology again but it was easier said than done. Satan was unhappy I knew the Truth. God became so persistent about a daily relationship with me that He made it possible for me never to fall into the nonsense again. I discovered a more powerful, genuine kind of confidence with His help, the One who created the stars, the whole Universe. It made sense when He made me realize I shouldn’t be worshiping anything He created but only Himself. I found my true identity in Him and the wholeness and oneness that I was longing for. He gave me His confidence. Today, I get nervous for practical reasons, but social anxiety doesn’t exist in my mind or body because God overcame it for me. The more I worshipped Him, the more He worked on my heart and changed me and transformed me into a person that has all the great qualities I wanted, better than anything my zodiac sign ever said about me. I truly care about people who are looking to the wrong things to gain self-confidence. You may or may not be into astrology but if you are looking to other things to gain that confidence then you’ll always feel like you’re chasing after something you lack. God offers abundance, so much goodness, and freedom through His kind of confidence. His assuring help and guidance abounds. And by asking Him daily to have more faith to believe in Him more than anything else, He truly does break down all other limiting beliefs that a person has developed due to worldly influences on them. A genuine desire to know Christ is the only requirement. Astrology proved to me personality is so important. But God proved to me character is the ultimate winner, and only He has the hand on that. As believable as astrology can be, it can never help you reach your full potential. The Lord knows your future and if you’re relying on anything other than/but Himself, then you will never experience His great and prosperous plan for your life. Any habit, addiction, activity you make more important than God takes the place of your worship to Him. You are so much more than what your zodiac sign says about you. You are so much more than what you let the world define/label you as. You are so much more than any opinion you believe become your reality. You are so much more than all the fun psych survey questions or personality tests say about you. You are so much more in God because He knows the truth about you, the person He intended you to be, and if you care enough to get to know Him, you’ll discover how much of a lovely, beautiful, amazing, great, and wonderful person you are! He says don’t limit yourself to personality because character overall is the one that sums up your confidence.

Deuteronomy 4:19 And when you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon and the stars–all the heavenly array–do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshiping things the LORD your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven.

Leviticus 19:31 “‘Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God.

By His Grace, Sheela (via sheelaleigh.com)

 

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Take It All

I see a change in the way my day goes. I see change in my attitude. I see change in the way I pray. And it’s all good. All that is true because I’ve been  doing the best I can to seek Your face. It is amazing how good habits can transform lives. I see now why time with You is so precious. When I go the distance to meet with You and meditate on You, I am in awe how much it feels like it’s all new again. Today is the start of a fresh beginning because You created it. This heart sings praises to Your name. You are majestic. You are phenomenal. You are the great King with an even greater heart. You are ready to create in me a new sense of wonder for the day ahead. I will embrace it with confidence to spread Your love. Have Your way with me as my self-control. I live in You as You take it all.

By His Grace, Sheela (via sheelaleigh.com)

 

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Your Grace is Amazing

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Your grace is perfect, just like Your love. It’s amazing. I am alive only because of Your grace. I am alive so I can understand it and know that it comes from You. It was done that I might be here today to find peace in Your grace, to be rest assured that Your love is real, is enough, is all that I’ll ever need in this life. I want to thank You for being so big and sufficient. I don’t deserve to be pardoned for all the wrong I do, but I must be a fool if I can’t accept the beauty of Your grace. I must be a fool not to find that in Your perfect love. Thank You for Your amazing grace.

*This will be a future vlog series and/or devotional.

By His Grace, Sheela (via sheelaleigh.com)

 

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GET UP!

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Reminders on my bedroom ceiling.

The first 10-20 minutes of your morning sets the tone for the rest of your day. I’ll be honest, I don’t read my Bible everyday, but I still try to fill my head with positive things so it’s actually a joy getting up out of bed. Looking through Tumblr is sometimes a distraction, so I change things up. I don’t know about you but this one’s a must for me. How do you spend the first few minutes of your day?

*This will be a future vlog series and/or devotional.

By His Grace, Sheela (via sheelaleigh.com)

 

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Take my Heart

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Thank You for this heart Lord. It keeps returning to You. It acknowledges I have a relationship with You. Your perfect love never fails to fill me up with assurance when I speak to You praises of how wonderful You are. Oh Lord my God, save me from possessing my own heart through self-righteousness. You made my heart and continue to shape it. I can’t do it on my own if I really want to change. Remove my pride that discourages me from surrendering completely. Take all of me, the good and the bad. Penetrate me with Your truth and teach me to live it out for You. Amen.

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.

By His Grace, Sheela (via sheelaleigh.com)

 

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Sing Praises

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Lord, Father, King of all kings, show/teach me the songs I should be singing. The mainstream beats and tunes are so catchy and it’s hard to get them off my mind. They are instant gratification to my ears but the words don’t really feed what my soul needs. I sense that it makes You unhappy when my soul is not nurtured. Father, fill my mind with resounding music that lifts my soul only because it lifts up Your name first. Let those songs worship and adore You. And if I can magnify You through praise, let my choice of songs always begin with You. Renew my mind with Your will because I want my heart to sing the same words. Amen.

Psalm 104: 33 I will sing to the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.

Romans 12: 2 Do not conform any longer to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what’s God will is, His good, pleasing, and perfect will.

By His Grace, Sheela (via sheelaleigh.com)

 

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Florante

adobe-spark-post (9)I was bedridden a little over a year ago. I caught a fever. My temperature fluctuated for a week. I recall waking up at 2 am because of such an urgency to start praying. I would say it was an almost audible voice I heard. I would never have woken up on my own if I never sensed the words telling me to wake up and start praying. I knew it was time. 266 miles away from my home, my uncle in Los Angeles was slipping in to his eternal sleep. His name was Florante and he was diagnosed with 4th stage lung cancer. In my meditation, I remember feeling at peace. I affirmed out loud as if he was in my bedroom and said that everything will be alright. Then I said my goodbye. I quickly fell back asleep and had three dreams within a dream about myself waking up from each dream. I finally woke up to an asthma attack. I medicated myself, then back to sleep I drifted. I was not completely aware of the time, but it seemed just a few minutes later, when I sensed the lights turn on in the hallway outside my room. My door opened and I quickly sat up as if I never slept. It was my mom. She told me that my uncle had just passed away. Before she could complete her sentence, I said “I know.”

How did I know? I don’t know. I just knew. It was the most chilling night I have ever had.

Sometime before that evening my dad had partly opened my window to air out my room of stubborn bugs that were keeping me ill. I didn’t realize they were opened the entire night, until it was near dawn after my uncle passed away. A very strong gust of wind came into my room. I can’t forget how beautiful the neighbor’s wind chimes sounded. Though the chills kept coming, I had a calm and peaceful feeling over me.

5 days before his passing, he celebrated his 64th birthday in California. My family attended and my parents were able to reach him with God’s gift of salvation. I caught a cold during the time of his birthday, and when we returned home it had only gotten worse. I remember an afternoon when I was driving home after picking up my brother from school. There was a dove that flew across from our driveway as I was turning to park. I had never seen one so close just a few feet from the windshield. In my uncle’s last month when he was diagnosed with cancer, my brother and I would see this dove almost everyday he had school. It would be on the neighbor’s lawn with a group of pigeons. It had never crossed our path until that afternoon. It was also the last time I was outside of the house and not long before the night of his passing.

22528_4994176138624_602577133_nI remember my first few steps after landing America in 1993. My uncle’s face was the second familiar face I saw when I was reunited with my dad. He was the father of my cousin who came with us to board the plane en route USA. Christmas was just around the corner. He and his wife brought us over to a party at his workplace where my sister and I were showered with many gifts. I’ve never had that many presents in one year. He was a good citizen. He worked for the Los Angeles Metrolink as a bus driver. During a very challenging time of my life (2008) when I lived apart from my family because of an adversity between me and my dad, I hid from everyone and lived with a good friend. I recall stepping into a bus for work one day. I had never known my uncle’s daily route until I looked up and saw his familiar face. We smiled and he was glad to see that I was alright. I readied to give my fare, but he refused it and told me to take a seat instead. I said “Thank you”, and strangers on the bus must’ve thought I was nuts when I leaned in to kiss him on the cheek. 🙂

He was laid to rest one year ago today. I love you and miss you Tito (Uncle) Flor!

By His Grace, Sheela (via sheelaleigh.com)

 

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