What happens at LATISM….gets spread all over Social Media

There are no secrets here, cause I mean hey that’s what LATISM is about right?

LATISM was beyond AWESOME!!! And I’m not saying that just to say it. I really do think it was one of the best all around 2 day conference I’ve ever been too. I’ve attended a variety of conferences with work and church, but this one had the most participation, the most fun activities, awesome sponsors, and the people were Great!! That’s saying a lot since I ended up missing out on a lot of the key events.

Friday I arrived and got straight to work helping registration. I’ve had the opportunity to work at registration for several events, and like most, this one had a couple of kinks, but the team made it so much easier. Something that would have been drama for some people were a breeze for these guys. They totally rolled with the punches. It helped that not that many people were upset about the kinks, so if you have drama free people, you’ll have a drama free registration. After helping for a couple of hours I embarked in my first session, which was Creative Uses for Education. I ended up missing the first half, but the half that I did see was pretty good. We had someone from the S.A.T board in the audience and she brought up some interesting statistics. I really liked the open concept and dialogue between the panel and the audience. I felt like we could have kept talking for hours about the different advantages/disadvantages of technology.

Lunch was next, and we got to learn about the awesome programs Johnson and Johnson sponsor. It’s always great to hear how people and especially companies as big as theirs give back to the community. I had never known they were so involved with things. I also got to meet some women from the National Hispana Leadership Institute. I didn’t even know that existed (I’ll definitely be looking into them more).

It was then on to Blogging 101, another fabulous panel giving out great tips. If you want to read some of them you can go to twitter and search #LATISMblog and you’ll see the ones I posted, since LATISM didn’t have an official hashtag for the newbies track. Then it was on the Successful Hispanic Social Media Campaigns, another pretty cool panel here.

Then I was done for the day. I had wanted to attend the Gala but there was just to much stuff I needed to do that night and decided to stay home, but from the Instagram and FB pictures it looks like I missed out on one great party! Saturday morning I was back at registration til about 11ish and I got to meet this really cool UT student named Pedro. We discussed immigration, education and zombies! So yea that was fun. Its also one of the reasons why I enjoy being at registration, I get to see so many faces from the beginning so when I’m walking around, I recognize people and I don’t feel like such a loser for not knowing anyone.

There was just so much stuff going on at LATISM that I wish I would have had 3 clones of myself so I could do everything! I think perhaps the most inspiring for me was the Adelante movement. When Nelly spoke I was just inspired! Then Sandra came on and i was like WHOA!!!

LATISM, above anything else, reminded me about the importance of being true to myself. People will always try to change me, manipulate me, or try to buy me off, but in the end I am me and my decisions in life need to reflect the person I want to be. By aligning myself with certain companies or people I am saying that I am like those people or think the way they do.

Anyway here are some of the pics from my LATISM experience. If you didn’t go, I really hope you’ll get to go next year.

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Not giving up on your ministry/ mission/job

Often times there’s an unsettling in your spirit and you have no idea where it’s coming from or how it got there…. you just know you don’t like it and want it gone. Then all of a sudden God reveals everything to you and you realize all the areas of your life that has been affected by this thing and you feel relieved. He reveals what could’ve happened and demonstrates what will happen. He strengthens you and encourages you to keep going. You might not always understand why your going through the struggle, but stay faithful, lean on Him, remember He is your guiding light.

I know because this was something i just experienced. I had been feeling an unrest for sometime and prayed to figure out where it was coming from. Today I discovered what it was, and it was a relief. Earlier today i had thought about giving up on something that God gifted me because i was frustrated and wanted to teach “those”  people a lesson. I was ready to quit on something that I could’ve never achieved on my own but had been able to through Gods grace. Once i had made up my mind on quiting i made a timeline on when would be the most convenient time to quit. Then tonight happened. God told me how can I quit on something He had given me. Something accomplished not through my knowledge or skills but purely as a result of His goodness. He gave me this job/mission because there is something I need to do there. The only one who can say when I’m done is God.

Is there something in your life you’re wanting to quit but struggling with the decision? Don’t worry we’ve all been there and your not alone. Just know that God is working through you as we speak, but when you feel you cant go any further remember he’s really the one doing all the work.  Turn to Him let Him encourage you and strengthen you, don’t believe that you can do it on your own because we didn’t get to where we are on our own.

LATISM 2012

So I’m making my checklist for tomorrow just to make sure I don’t forget anything. I tend to be one of those prepare for anything type ppl.

1. Chargers
2. Phone and tablet
3. Pens and paper
4. Contact solution ( in case they get dry)
5. Sweater ( in case it gets cold)
6. Dress ( in case i go to the gala)
7.  Caramelo book (in case i meet Sandra Cisneros)
8. Heels (for gala dress)
9. bobby pins, hair spray and comb (for gala hair)
10. Water bottle
11. Purse to carry everything
12. Kleenexfor (in case of sniffles)
13. Glasses (in case i loose a contact, it has happened before)

Again i tend to be an over packers so I might rethink some of these or add more.

The storm

During the storm, always remember to close your eyes and envision Jesus raising his hands and calming the wind and water. By remembering that you’ll remember that only He can do what is impossible, and your storm will no longer seem so frightening. – Isabel’s words to live by

An old quote I wrote a little over a year ago.

Let me start by saying I am not perfect. I have fallen time and time again. I have lied, cheated, stole, and done so many other things. I had been stranded in the pit of darkness within my own mind. When God pulled me out of that I choose to live to my life by certain standards. No one has forced me, or brainwashed me to live this way. I choose to live this way because of MY commitment/promise to God. He had done so much for me, there was nothing I could do to repay Him other than commit myself to Him. On that note, there used to be a time when many held similar standards/commitments on clothes, drinking, hair, music and so on. Yet now I’ve noticed more and more of my friends start to draw away from the promises they made and I wonder why.

I remember this one friend who had suddenly been blessed by an awesome gift, it was one she had never expected. She told me that when she got that gift she promised God that she would never cut her hair again. I was like “That’s awesome!” I was more excited by what God had done in her life than her promise to Him.

I also remember this one young person who would criticize those around him/her for listening to certain kind of music, he/she stated that he/she would NEVER listen to music like that. Again I just was like wow!   During that time I was just beginning to understand what it was to walk with God. I must have been like 19 or 20. I was half way in the world and halfway in the church. I heard all these promises people were making after camps or youth services, and I would just stay quiet. In my prayer time I would say to God that there was nothing I could promise Him because I knew that there was no way I could keep my promises to him living the way I was. When God changed my life 5 years later I promised that I would live my life in a way that was pleasing to Him. I promised that He could take who I was and change whatever needed to be changed. I promised to make Him my everything. It was in that time that God started to change me, things about my personality, and what I enjoyed were no longer the same.

When I think about all the places I have failed God I cry. I cry because I think of all the promises He made me, and the fact that He has not broken a single one. I think about how everything I have and where I am at now is a direct result of what He has promised me; to never leave me or forsake me (Heb 13:5); His plans to prosper me (Jer 29:11); to give me strength in my weakness (Is. 40:29) and many many more. Some of us even go as far as repeating those promises to ourselves in our difficult times, reminding God what He promised us, as if He forgot. Then I’m reminded about my own promise to Him. How I had promised to live for Him and commit my life to Him.

So I live my life in that way, but when my old friends see me, and I remind them of the promises they made to God (b/c often we’re the ones who forget), or they see my life and feel that i’m being too “religious” and they think I’m judging them. Trust me friend, that is the last thing I’m doing. I remind you because I remember what I felt like when I broke my promise. I remember the tears I cried because I had failed Him yet again. I thank God that He is not like us and forgets the promises He’s made to us. Or take away the gifts He’s poured out on us. He’s not like an ex-boyfriend who at the end of the relationship wants all “his” stuff back. When He gives us something, and when He makes a promise. he doesn’t go back on it. Yet we live our lives throwing what he’s done for us in His face. We make promises to never cut our hair because of the miracle or gift he’s given us, only to 3-5 years later say, OK well that was good, but I’ve gotten what I needed so I don’t need to keep my promise anymore. Or to say well back then I promised to not listen or do that, but now I’ve got a stronger relationship with God so I can pretty much do what I want to anyway because i won’t be affected by it.

When I think of broken promises I think of Ananias and how he had promised to give a certain amount of money and in the end he did not give all that was owed. No one was asking him to do that, or forcing him to give, but he had decided to say he gave all the money but only gave a portion. He purposely broke his promise to God. You can read what happened to him in Acts 5.

God never said we needed to promise Him anything, He said that if we loved Him we needed to keep His commandment (John 14:23). Yet when we promise to do something for Him we commit our lives to that. We say for as along as I breath I will DO this or NOT Do that. Yet how often do we follow through?

Have there been promises that you’ve made to God that you’ve “forgotten” or chosen to not complete for one reason or another?

God doesn’t want your promises, He wants your life. But if you have made a promise to Him you have committed yourself, you owe it to Him to keep that promise.

promises, commitments, and living for God

So much to do

This last couple of weeks in October are going to be BUSY!!! I knew it was going to happen, but it still caught me off guard. 

I’m going out of town for a conference with friends this weekend which is great! I guess that’s more of a mini vacay but what makes it stressful is the book report I need to submit before I leave. I need to turn it in a day before everyone else simply because i don’t know if there’s going to be internet access where I’m going. I’m also getting ready to join my church in recording a live CD at the beginning of November. Which means 2-3 choir practices a week, that along with classes, papers, work, DVAM and home responsibilities has made October a very stressful month. 

Perhaps the most exciting thing that is going to happen so far is LATISM12, I’m really excited to be attending  the conference. I think what gets me more excited is that two of my sorority sisters will be there to enjoy it with me. I’m most looking forward to the Education and Technology presentations but even some of the business presentations are looking really interesting. For some reason it reminds me of when I volunteered at Nuestra Palabra and the Latin@ Career day during my undergrad years. Surrounded by my “raza” and hearing all these great influential Latin@s sharing their wisdom with people like me. Growing up I had never seen Latin@s who were educated, or motivated to change the community. I lived surrounded by stereotypes. We stayed in middle to low income families, have about 10 kids, and fit them all into 1 car. We either cleaned houses, did yard work or worked as receptionist for doctors or lawyers. Everyone around me did just enough to get by. Then I got to college and this whole new world opened up. I think that’s what LATISM is doing. Its allowing the Latin community to keep in pace with everyone else. Yes Latin@s can be bloggers, yes they can be business owners, yes they can be involved in technology. We don’t have to fit a stereotype. We can do all this and more!