An Inspiring Faith

I was prompted to study Hebrews 11 this morning, and it amazes me that the more I study the Bible and think I know some Scripture, I read full chapters and realize, “Whoa, I can’t believe I never read that before.” Most people know Hebrews 11 as the “Faith Chapter.” It describes what faith is in its first verse:

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. – Hebrews 11:1

What I failed to study deeper (and perhaps I’m not alone in this), is the countless stories of people of inspiring faith that are scattered throughout the Bible’s pages. Men like Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses and women like Sarah and Rahab There are accounts of many others, but the same is true: these people had faith, and they accomplished some pretty wild things with God because of their faith. We are called to have trust God, a very difficult feat especially when chaos is around us and we have family and friends who have good intentions giving us different advice, and I’m sure the most notable people of faith above had the same issues. We are to abandon doubt. There are definitely a lot of times where I find it easy to have faith. Life is “good” when the bills are paid, I’m getting sleep, my children are behaving, and the days are productive. I find it the most difficult to trust God when I’m worrying about what meal I’m going to feed my family, when I’m running on 4 hours of sleep, my kids are fighting and there’s just chaos hitting me from all directions. I also have found it hard to have faith in many difficult seasons of my life, including my parent’s divorce, my bout with postpartum depression, dealing with Alopecia/Topical Steroid Withdrawal and a variety of incidents of broken relationships and limbs. I found myself arguing with God quite often, but have learned that He really is faithful. He always shows up when I need him to, not necessarily when I want him to. It took a lot of pruning on my character when I just want to doubt God and his love for me, and He always replaced it with a new found wisdom and discernment on my life’s situations.

Life is precious, and tomorrow is never promised (thank you James for the reminder). If something unfortunate may happen to me in the near future, the legacy I’d like to leave to my children and to family and friends was that I was a woman of faith. Not to say my faith in God is perfect, because it is definitely far from that, but that I strived to live a life that relied on God. When I look over all the names that Hebrews 11 mentioned, I am indeed inspired by their faith. I’m inspired that they probably had their doubts. I’m inspired that despite their doubts, they probably found a way to muster up their faith daily to act in obedience to what God called them to do, and because of that, God blessed them. Perhaps the blessing was isn’t initially what they expected, but it may have been way more than they even imagined.

As I write this post, there have been many unsaid things I have been struggling to have faith with. I want to give up daily. I have family and friends who get on my case that I should give up, and then I have family and friends who continue to pray and encourage me. It’s a daily battle of figuring out what I need to do to focus on what I feel God has called me to do. When all is said and done, no matter what the outcome, my hope is that before God and those who know me, I was inspiring faith to someone who may need encouragement to keep moving forward and get through another day. To me in this season of my life, that is really all that matters.

Posted in In Christ, Kids, Marriage

Like Eagles, Y’all

Remember The Titans is one of my all-time favorite movies (I have a lot, I know – but this one really is a favorite). I did a big college project over 12 years ago on the movie and it was the first time I had to do work with video editing. I got my first taste of having to watch clips over and over (I think I had to go through the movie over 100 times that semester). At church this past Sunday, Pastor Miles did a sermon around Remember The Titans and outlined a lot of things I never thought about. All in all, it brought back good memories of that semester in college. It was a very “interesting” season of life where I had to trust God with some doubtful situations. This morning during my Bible study, this verse came up:

Isaiah 40:30-31 – Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

If you’ve seen the movie, you may recognize the verse. I’ve seen that scene many times and always thought it came from a song, because well, they’re singing it! Today was the first time I’ve read it in text.

Point of this story: I’ve been getting weary for a variety of things lately, and I’m super grateful for the huge outpour of support I’ve been getting from family and friends. At the end of the day, strength ultimately comes from God, and I keep forgetting that. Resting is not one of my strong suits, but I need to get better at staying still once in awhile. I’m trying to make a goal to get back to writing, blogging and becoming more intentional with Bible studies in the morning, and I hope I can stick to it. If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading and welcome back to my blog! It’s time for a revival.

Posted in In Christ

San Diego International Boat Show (June 15-18, 2017)

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I have been planning to go to the San Diego International Boat Show for quite a few weeks now and I was really excited to take my kids! One of my favorite things to do with my dad as a child was fishing and I remember when he used to take me to some boat shows. I knew it would be fun seeing my kids’ reactions to all the boats. I unfortunately broke my tail bone a couple days ago so I could only spent a short time at the show, but we still had a great time. Upon entering the show, there are quite a few vendors (a lot relating to fishing, aquatics, etc) but there are also vendors for the home. My kids especially had fun with the patio swings from the David Frank booth. The boats are located at the west end of Spanish Landing Park, and one thing to keep in mind is that there are a few steep steps so it’s good to keep a close eye and hand while climbing into the boats. Some companies also ask for you to remove your shoes so it would be best to wear some flip flops or shoes that are easy to take on and off.

My kids had a blast checking out all the different features of the boats, especially looking for the cabins, “secret” hideaways and little bathrooms. It was a bit tempting not to push any buttons, which is also one of the first things we were told upon boarding the boat. A good thing to keep in mind if you plan to bring your kids is that all the boats are docked on land. My kids kind of expected them all to be in the water and wanted to go on a boat ride.

The San Diego International Boat Show is happening this weekend (June 15-18) at the Spanish Landing Park which borders the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina and is a great place to take Dad for Father’s Day weekend! Be sure to check out more info online for information about tickets, parking, vendors and more: http://www.sandiegointernationalboatshow.com.

Posted in Family Fun

Quality Over Quantity

I had an epiphany about quality over quantity yesterday. I had every intention of training for 2 hours. The mats were full and I could have easily got in 6-10 rounds. Unfortunately I got sidetracked and I only had one chance to roll, but it was with a Black Belt my size. This is extremely rare folks. I learned so much in that 5 minute roll and in the conversation afterward. I spent the rest of the day contemplating those 20 minutes. Moral of the story: make the time count. I journaled yesterday mentioning I trained 20-24 hours for about a year straight and there were weeks I felt like I wasn’t absorbing anything and couldn’t figure out what was wrong. Burnout is real though and I’m beginning to understand that more now. I’m making a goal to be more intentional when I do have the time to hit the mats. Happy training, everyone!

Posted in Jiu Jitsu

My Two IBJJF Pan Kids Jiu Jitsu 2017 Champions!

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Can’t believe these two have competed at over 50 (seriously, fifty?) tournaments in the past 2 years but this was the BIG one. Third Pan Ams for Jacob (this is his first Pan Am Gold) and first time for Michaela. Kids Pan Ams is the biggest and most prestigious Jiu Jitsu tournament for kids in the world, and even taking the first step in registering shows a huge amount of courage for any competitor (and their parent). The talent and skills get more impressive year after year and it’s crazy that this one has come and gone already. These Golds took about 2-3 years work, and I mention all of the above because even though losses can be a huge blow when your kids have worked so hard, it truly makes them a better competitor in the long run. I’ve taught my kids to never give up, and I hope that after every tournament, they remember I will always say that hard work will eventually pay off. Thank you @CobrinhaCharles for always reminding us this as well! Now it’s back to the lab for the next one because there will always be harder matches and opponents waiting!

Posted in Jiu Jitsu, Kids
About StrongholdMom

Raquel Cusi is a wife, mother of 4, and owns The Stronghold CrossFit & Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with her husband, Mike, and brother Ray. She loves to blog about Marriage, Parenting, Health, Fitness, Christian living and her love for Disney. She's also an aspiring crunchy mom who loves organic and natural products, breastfeeding and babywearing.

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