Sleep Well

“When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.”

~ Proverbs 3:24

My child taking a nap

For the past week or so, I had been going to sleep pretty late.  I was doing the opposite of what I wanted.  I was going to sleep late every night and as a result, I was waking up late.  Two days ago, I decided to change that.  I went to sleep still somewhat late but I set my alarm to wake up at 7:00 am.  I was a little tired but I still did wake up.  At around 5:00 pm, I started feeling a slight headache.  I was feeling a little tired but I decided that I was not going to take a nap at that time, otherwise I would not be able to go to sleep early.  So I stayed Up and by 9:00 pm I was so sleepy I could no longer keep my eyelids open.  The nice thing is that my child also fell asleep with me. I was able to reset my sleeping time, although I had to force myself to stay up when I wanted to take a nap. 

I understand some people are night owls while others are early risers.  For me waking up early works best.  I get more things done and I enjoy the first hours of the morning to myself before the sun rises.   My goal is to go to bed by 9:00 pm and wake up at 5:00 am.  This will allow me to have the first couple of hours of the morning to myself and to do my writing. 

Why I’m I writing about sleeping well?  Because sleeping well is essential for your health.  Years ago, I used to think that sleeping was not that important.  I used to cut on sleep all the time so that I could have time to do other things.  I even used to think that sleeping for eight hours was a sign of laziness.  So whenever I would sleep eight hours or more, my body felt physically good, but I felt guilty for sleeping that many hours. 

Little did I know at the time, that sleeping as much as your body needs, would make you a better performer at everything you do during the hours that you are awake.  Then I came across Arianna Huffington’s book called Thrive.  In her book she talks about the importance of sleeping and what being sleep deprived did to her.  She also shared stories of top CEOs and high performers who were getting sick due to being sleep deprived.  This was not only eye opening to me, but it made perfect sense.  How the heck did I think I could go on sleeping only 2, 3, 4 hours a day.  It was only a matter of time before my body gave up just like it happened to Arianna when she collapsed while working at her desk and broke her jaw.  I was already giving major signs of being super sleep deprived.  I would fall asleep when watching a movie.  I would fall asleep on the bus.  Even on the subway train, I would fall asleep and if you are a New Yorker, you know you should not fall asleep on the subway train. 

As I started feeling my energy level go down, I still was not associating that it could be due not sleeping enough hours for my body to restore, detoxify and to regenerate its cells.  Yes, eating well is very important, but sleeping well is also very important.  Lately, there are a lot of studies being done about the importance of sleeping well.  As I started to listen to my body, I started paying attention to my sleeping habits.  They were horrible.  I knew that sleeping well was something I needed to work on. 

It improved and then when I had my child and I went back to work, my sleeping patterns got messy again.  At the time, I was in a job where my schedule used to rotate every three months.  Before, having a child, I used to pay little attention to my schedule, but when I became a parent, time really became of the essence. 

I decided that I would not longer continue a rotational schedule where three months I would go to bed about two or three in the morning and three months I would have to wake up at 4:00 in the morning.  That was not conducive for my health and my family.  So I made the decision to leave that job.  Fast forward, I work only the morning shift.  My sleeping habits have improved tremendously but I had to make a conscious decision to make sleeping-well a priority. 

Now, this is not to say that my sleep is perfect all the time.  I have mad tremendous improvement to my sleep but it is not perfect.  During this time that we are in quarantine at home, to my surprise, my sleep got disrupted for the first week that I have been at home.  However, I was able to recognize that and I decided to course correct.  I was falling on the trap of going to sleep very late at night and waking up late.  Sleeping late and waking up late doesn’t work for me.  I want to be up before my child is up.  I also want do my writing early in the morning.  And once the quarantine is over and I have to go back to work, I will just continue waking up early to go to work. 

So since I found myself getting sidetracked with my sleep, I made a conscious assessment about it. Going to bed early and waking up early is sustainable for me; going to bed late and waking up late is not. 

What works for you?  If going to bed early is what works then you know what to do.  If going to bed late is what works, you know what to do.  If you do not know what works best for you, do your own experiment.  Test out going to bed early and waking up early, and going to bed late and waking up late.  Make an assessment of how you feel on either case, then decide which one works best for you. 

This is not about being perfect but about making progress.  My goal is to go to bed by 9:00 pm every night.  I know that being in bed by 9:00 pm every single night may not happen every single night.  But being aware that this is my goal will allow me to make yes or no decisions about events that may have to keep me up past 9:00 pm.  Are they that important that the sleeping pattern that I am creating may be disrupted?  And think about it, it’s not just about a sleeping pattern; this is about living as healthy and well as we can.

I understand that sometimes we have schedules that don’t go in line with our ideal sleeping patterns.  For example when I used to work a rotational schedule, I used to crave a regular day schedule.  As much as I wanted to go to bed early and wake up early consistently, I could not because of my working schedule.  I did not beat myself over it and I did not do anything about it until I had my child.  If I new better at the time, I would not have waited until having my child to make sleeping-well a priority. 

When I had my child, I left my rotational schedule because it was not working with my new lifestyle.  Before my baby, I could sleep until late.  When I had my baby even if I went to sleep late, I had to be up by a certain time; so it’s needless to say that I felt tired when I was supposed to be fully present and energized for my child and my family.  

Find what works for you and adjust your time to it.  If you are in a position that you cannot adjust your time to sleep during the hours that will work best for you, make a plan to change that.  If you have people in your life that play an active and important role in your lifestyle, talk to them about how important sleeping well is for you and share all the benefits that sleeping well will produce in your life (your own life as an individual and your own life as a group).  Do some research of the benefits of sleeping well and have a list of all the benefits to share with the people in your life who will also be impacted by your sleep.    So here is to sleeping well and staying well. 

Sleeping well is not a luxury; it’s a must, if you want to thrive in life.  Don’t worry about being perfect on this, focus on making progress on this.  Find what works for you. 

“When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.”

~ Proverbs 3:24

God bless you & with love,

Querin

Be Kind

“Be Kind to one another, tenderhearted forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave us.”

~Ephesians 4:32

My mom and niece Mia
(Punta Cana, Dominican Republic – Nov. 4th 2019)

Hello there…so today, we will focus on kindness.  Kind people are the coolest people.  You want to work with them.  You want to be friends with them.  They help you become better people.  And the fact that you acknowledge kind people and appreciate them means you too are kind. 

Now, I’m not sure if there is a kindness quotient like there is an emotional intelligent quotient.  But there are people whose kindness is constantly overflowing.    Do you feel you are kind most of the time or do you have times that your kindness got to its pick?  As you reflect on this, consider that being kind is also an every day decision.  We can choose to be kind over being rude. 

Kindness and compassion go hand in hand.  Kindness shows in the way you speak and treat others, and the way you speak and treat yourself .  Therefore being kind to oneself is just as important.  Continue to be kind to others and continue to be kind to yourself.    Let’s continue to support one another.  We are in this together. 

 “Be Kind to one another, tenderhearted forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave us.”

~Ephesians 4:32

God bless you & with love,

Querin

The Power of Forgiveness

“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
~Colossians 3:13 (NIV)


At one point or another in time, someone has hurt your feelings or you may have hurt someone’s. In either case, when such thing happens, something is damaged even if just a little. But when the person hurting finds in their heart the courage to forgive, something miraculous happens. The healing process is activated.


Depending on the situation, it may be hard to forgive. If someone you use to trust betrays you, the trust, not just in that person is damaged, but sometimes even trusting others is damaged. We then have two choices: to forgive or not to forgive. My friend, I say to you, even if it’s super hard, for your own sake, choose to forgive.


When you forgive, you do an act of kindness to someone who may not deserve it. But here is the thing. When you forgive, you are freeing yourself from resentment. Resentment is poison to one’s body; so do whatever you can to let go of it. Choose to forgive, even if it’s hard, and that includes forgiving yourself, which can be the hardest to do. No one is perfect. People make mistakes. Choose to forgive and forgiveness will set you free.


“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
~Colossians 3:13


God bless you & with love,
Querin

Course Correct If You Need To

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

~John 16:33 (NIV)

 Many of us like to plan.  However, no matter how much you plan, sometimes things will happen in life that are out of your control.  An extreme but very real example is what’s happening right now all over the world with this pandemic.  Many of us had plans to do certain things. 

Companies had budget plans to do better this year than the last.  But then this happened.  Now we have to course correct our plan and figure out how we are going to deal with all of this.  What can we learn from what’s happening now?   

As you reflect on this verse from the word of God “…In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart! I have overcome the world.”   Think about what Jesus conveyed in this message.  Thru his word, God has made us aware that difficult things will happen in life, but God also assures us that He has already overcome all of those difficult things.  Course correct if you need to, but do not give up.  God is with you.  You are not alone.  God is with us. 

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

~John 16:33 (NIV)

God bless you, & with love,

Querin

God is with us

“What, then, shall we say in response to these things?  If God is for us, who can be against us?”

~Romans 8:31

Early Morning: View of NYC skyline from Donnelly Park in West New York, NJ
(pic. taken on January 11th 2020)

God is omnipotent.  And what does omnipotent mean?  It means all-powerful, almighty, invincible and supreme.  God has the power and if God is with us we know that we will conquer.  With God we will prevail.  “If God is for us, who can be against us?” What this is saying is that it doesn’t matter who is against us; with God, we will conquer.  We will prevail over this pandemic.

Trust that God is with you.  You are not alone.  God is with us and we are in this together.  Meditate in the word of God.  Develop your communication with God.  Keep growing spiritually.  Continue to look at your gratitude list every day.  We cannot understand everything that is happening right now.  We don’t know exactly how long this will last.  But what I know is that with God, we will conquer.  With God, we will prevail. 

In the meantime, let’s continue to help one another.  Just a kind word to someone who seems in distress can be a way to help.  We are so grateful for the doctors and nurses who are working round the clock during this time.  We can also do small acts of kindness with one another. 

Call your loved ones, and give them words of encouragement.  Call a friend or a family member you haven’t talked to in a while.  And unless you are a doctor, nurse, paramedic, or someone in a similar category, please don’t tell me you are too busy to call.  Acts of kindness is what makes us human.  Acts of kindness is what keeps us going.  Acts of kindness is what keeps us believing that our people, our planet will heal again.  And remember you are not alone.  We are in this together.  God is with us. 

“What, then, shall we say in response to these things?  If God is for us, who can be against us?”

~Romans 8:31

God bless you & with love,

Querin

Eat Well

“Then God said, ‘I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it.  They will be yours for food.” 

~ Genesis 1:29 (NIV)

Carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, garlic, salt, olive oil

It is alleviating to know that making the right decisions in terms of our food choices contribute to our well-being.  Eating well must be a lifestyle choice to live a healthy life. 

When we eat well our body feels better.  When you eat healthy, you build a strong immune system that helps us fight disease.  People with strong immune systems barely feel the symptoms of certain viruses and even if they get sick, they get well more rapidly again because they eat nutritious dense foods. 

God created the seeds and plants for us to eat.  Eat well and take good care of yourself. And remember, we are in this together.

“Then God said, ‘I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it.  They will be yours for food.”

~Genesis 1:29 (NIV)

God bless you & with love,

Querin

A Joyful Heart

“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

~Proverbs 17:22

Company managers outing – January 13, 2020
(before social distancing was activated)

It may be easier said than done…to be joyful when there is chaos going on.  But how about if finding the way to be joyful in the mist of chaos is exactly what we need to help us find healing. 

The word of God says that a joyful heart is good medicine.  There are stories and cases of people who went thru detrimental health issues and were able heal.  I have heard stories of people who were told they would never walk again only to prove those who said such thing wrong.  When they were asked how were they to overcome it, they said it was the mindset they had.  They were determined to overcome their obstacle.  They were determine to NOT be crushed by their current circumstances.  And because of that tenacity and determination, because they had a vision of themselves being well again, they prevailed. 

In this time of crisis, I think of all the things that I am grateful for.  I am grateful for my family.  I am grateful for you.  I am grateful for the love of God.  I am grateful for the love and kindness of the people.  I am grateful for the ability to write this article.  I am grateful for all the nurses and doctors who are working during this pandemic called COVID-19.  My list could go on and on. 

Being grateful helps us to have a joyful heart in the midst of chaos.  Being joyful is medicine.  Having a positive mindset will help us get thru this.  What are some things that you are joyful & grateful for?  Make your list and look at it daily.

“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

~Proverbs 17:22 

God Bless you & with love,

Querin

Let Us Love One Another

“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.”

~ 1 John 4:7 King James Version (KJV)

Social Distancing at Whole Foods – March 26, 2020

Amazing things can happen when we all come together as one.  The love, the kindness, the respect, the compassion, and all of those beautiful things that exist in us as humans, flourish like spring again.  Love is the most powerful force.  God is love.  God is also omnipotent.  Together as one, united by the amazing love of God and compassion for one another, we will conquer this. 

We are all in this together.  And no matter where you are right now, you are not alone.  We are in this together.  I am rooting for you and I know you are rooting for me. 

COVID-19 may have forced us into practicing social distancing, but what it doesn’t know is that it has also unleashed our love for one another.  We are praying for one another.  We are looking out for one another.  You are not alone.    People are praying for you and for the world right now.  I am praying for you.  And we are going to overcome this in the name of Jesus. 

Love is the most powerful force. Let’s love one another, and when all of COVID-19 is a thing of the past, let’s not forget to love one another.

“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.”

~ 1 John 4:7 King James Version (KJV)

God bless you & with love always,

Querin

Let’s Pray Together

“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.  For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

~Matthew 18:19-20 New International Version (NIV)

I fell in love with God when I was just a little girl.  It was my Godmother who planted the seed in me.  I don’t remember exactly at what age, but I know I was very young for I still did not know how to read.  She used to take me to church with her and I could observe with the passion that the people in the church used to praise God and the name of Jesus. 

I could not read the Bible at the time, and I remember asking God to help me to learn to read so that I could read His book.  I don’t recall exactly how long it took between the time that I asked God to help me to learn how to read and the time I actually started reading, but I have a vivid memory of me being in church and being so happy because when the pastor said to open the bible in a specific chapter, I found myself reading along with the pastor and all the members of the church.  I was so happy that I could read.  I could read the word of God.  And of course, I could read anything (in Spanish at the time).

I developed a special love for God since a very early age.  And that love has never leave me.  As a little girl, I developed a communication with God.  As I grew up, I visited my Godmother less often and also church.  But the job was done.  The seed for the love of God had been planted in me and even when I might have gotten myself away from the house of God, God was watching over me.  As time passed, I found myself missing God.  Missing to reconnect with Him again.  I realized that nothing in this world could fill the emptiness I was filling. Only God could.

And to my amazement, God always found a way to remind me of his love.  Sometimes, He reminded me of his love thru a classmate in college.  She would invite me to visit her church.  At another time, it was thru a hair stylist, who told me about an event that would take place at a church near me.  I did not even realize it until I started writing this article.  But God was using people to remind me of his amazing love.  And after many bumps, and ups and down, I made the decision that I did not want to live my life without God.  I accepted Jesus as my savior and allowed God to be my guidance in my life.

I learned to talk to God about everything.  When I would feel upset or frustrated about something I would talk to God about it.  When I need help on something I talk to God about it.  When I am happy, I talk to God about it.  I talk to God daily about everything.  God is with me.    I share with Him my true feelings and emotions even though I know He knows exactly how I feel; I still try to articulate it to Him.  I also meditate on His word.  This spiritual connection with God is life to my soul.

God listens to your prayers.  God listens to you, whether you pray alone or with a group.  But something special happens when two or more people pray together for the same cause.  Let’s you and I all pray together for COVID-19 to stop spreading.  Let’s pray in the name of Jesus Christ for the healing and prompt recovery of those who are sick.  Let’s pray for all humanity, for the healing of the physical body, for the healing of the soul, for the healing of the mind, and for the healing of the spirit.  Let’s pray together.  And remember that you are not alone.  God is with you.  God is with us. 

Here is the verse again:

“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

~Matthew 18:19-20 New International Version (NIV)

God bless you & with love,

Querin

Be Strong & Courageous

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

~Joshua 1:9

NYC Public Library 2020

The whole world is facing a major crisis.  A virus that started in China and was announced in the news towards the end of December of 2019 known as the Coronavirus, has by today’s date (March 24, 2020) taken over the whole world.  EVERYONE, one way or another has been affected by this virus, which has become a pandemic.  And what’s worst, we don’t know how long this is going to last. 

Because of this pandemic, people are dying everywhere.  People have to be isolated and stay in quarantine in order to help stop this virus from spreading.  People are losing their jobs.  We are living a time of uncertainty.  Yes, these are indeed difficult times, and we are all in this together.  And because of that, I started asking myself some questions:  How can I help shine a light in the middle of darkness?  How can I help my fellow humans when I have to stay physically distant from them? 

I thought about the Word of God, which is my companion and strength in the good times and the challenging times.  The Word of God has been so powerful over my life.  It has helped lift me up when I’ve felt most down.  This is why I decided that for the days to come, I will share with you a verse from the Bible every single day for the rest of the year 2020.  I will also include you in my daily prayers.  I will pray for you to stay healthy and if you are not feeling well, I will pray for your health and prompt recovery.  I will pray not just for our country but for our entire world.  This is our planet people.  We all live in it.  And we can see that there are no real frontiers.  There are no real borders. Everyone is feeling this. 

Right below is the verse again. Meditate on it.  And remember that you are not alone.   

 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

~Joshua 1:9

God Bless you & with love,

Querin