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No "one" journey is the same...

Ohhhhh how the comments can bother me sometimes. How is it that ONE person can just frustrate you enough to write a blog about them? I am not talking about people who just say mean things. I can usually put those aside. I feel confident in who I am and the journey I am on… my biggest issue usually comes from fellow “Christians” who constantly feel the need to correct everyone. Instead of being a light and trying to lift people up… they try to find the fault in your journey and criticize your every move. Gosh it can be so disheartening. 

I want to make something clear… Everyone will have their own journey with their faith. The goal is to constantly be growing. We will be tested… we will fail… but we CAN and WILL get back up again. Is anyone perfect? Nope. Only one was and is… Christ. And the journey is to follow Him in all our ways. But that is much easier said than done! I have to constantly give myself over to God several times a day. 

(Example)                                                                                                                                        “God please work on my heart. Clear my mind. Help me lead with the Spirit and not my soul. I repent for and release anything that I am holding on to that is not of you. Purify my thoughts in Jesus name.”

Now, I understand where fellow Christians are coming from. We are to hold each other accountable… we are to be honest with one another… But I also think there is a FINE line to this (especially when it comes to faceless comments that anyone can post online.)

I have this friend… We were having a conversation just yesterday about faith. He is someone who is curious about Who Jesus is and what it means to follow Him. One of the things he said to me was this :                                                                                                                                                 “ I just have a problem with how people have explained to me what being a “Christian” is. I feel like everyone who talks to me about it just sits on the pedestal like they are better than me and judge everything I have done and do. It just makes me want to stay away from it. It just seems like a bunch of arrogant finger pointing people.” 

YIKES!!! YIKES!!! YIKES!!!

Oh boy. Okay, I am fifty fifty on this and heres why… Sometimes when people hear about things that need to be changed in their lives it’s easy to become defensive and overly sensitive to what they are hearing. Now, the other side is this… there is a fine line between trying to be helpful and loving with someone and just flat out judging them and being prideful. THESE are the people holding the crazy picket signs, ranting on Facebook, blog posts, twitter etc… and being hateful instead of loving. If the point is to live as Christ-like as possible “Where is the love?”. Now, not all Christians are like this… there are extremists in every religion, culture, workplace, family etc… but unfortunately it’s usually the ones that misrepresent the “belief” the most that get the attention!

Now, to bring it back to my friend. He is genuinely curious and interested. He sees the journey that my husband and I are on and wants to know why we are happy. Why we live life the way we do. Why do we love the Lord. Thank God he is still curious and asking questions. All it takes is one person to turn you away. One person! . 

I just want to live life to it’s fullest! And I believe that is in Christ. But I am never going to put people down who don’t believe what I believe and who don’t have the same walk that I do. All I can do is be loving and the best example that I can be. And maybe… just maybe that affects people in a positive way. I am so tired of bullies. Especially when it comes to beliefs. It is such a sensitive area in peoples lives. It is not an easy journey but it is the most fulfilling journey we can have. So to be encouraged is so important!! As opposed to being told what you're doing wrong or how you need to live.

I write whats on my mind and on my heart. Please try to understand the points I am trying to make as opposed to dissecting what I am writing. I just want to be loving in all ways. EVEN (if not ESPECIALLY) to the people who frustrate me. 

I love all of you and thank you for your continued support and love! 

May God shine his wonderful light into your lives! 

xoxo

-Lex  

 

Photo by Izak Rappaport 

Photo by Izak Rappaport 

Did I win?

The last few days have been ALL about the power the ball! Just about every person I know played! It was every discussion and constantly on everyone’s minds! 1.5 billion dollars… just up for grabs. ANYONE can win. SOMEONE has to win, eventually. Now during all of this… I found some of the most amazing conversations. Strangely this “Power Ball” excitement allowed me to get to know people a little better. Hearing what they would do with the money was so fun and exciting! People basically spilling their dreams and plans if they weren’t in the restraints of their lives. (We are going to get back to this). It was always so fun to watch the dream! The What if!!!! But the one thing I found with SO many people was this… after the dreaming… after the fun talk and excitement… they followed up with the words “It will never happen” or how “impossible” it would be to win. What an interesting thought… you play the power ball in hopes of winning… but you have no real belief that you COULD indeed win. Firstly, SOMEONE has to win eventually… And in some cases (Like this one) more than one person gets a share of this insane blessing! So I guess what I want to talk about is “the power of your words” and the “mindset” that this “power ball” got us all in to!

Let’s start with the mindset. It was so exciting talking about having no restraints as to what you could or couldn’t do financially. With 1.5 billion dollars you could really do just about anything you want. But it’s that mind set that I find so interesting!!! Why is it that it takes having all this money to allow your dreams to be bigger? Or to feel confident and better about yourself?

I learned such a valuable (if not the MOST valuable) lesson over these last few days. WE HAVE ALREADY WON! Question, how would you walk in to work tomorrow… or walk through your neighborhood… or deal with the people around you if you just won 1.5 billion dollars? (Let’s presume that you are keeping it a secret as you don’t want people to hound you for cash and you are still figuring out how to claim your winnings). When people treat you like crap or don’t give you the respect you wished they would give you… it kinda doesn’t matter anymore, right? You are sitting on all this money… they have no idea and nothing they do can mess with how insanely amazing your life is going right now. THAT is the mindset. The I am “untouchable” mind set! You suddenly feel like you have this power and this confidence… but that is all completely within YOU. It has nothing to do with anyone else around you or how they treat you. 

I believe that THAT is how God wants His children to view life! We are sitting on the most incredible gift that could have ever been given! Christ. And you can truly have anything and ALL that you ask for! I believe that whole heartedly. So why don’t we use it? Why is it that we have to look at a power ball and hope to win all this money when at any second God can allow one of your dreams to come to pass? Am I saying pray for a Lambo and one might appear? No (Although, who knows lol). But what I am saying is this… If you have a dream … don’t approach it like it’s so far away. Start planning for it like you already have the finances and opportunity to make it happen. 

(example)                                                                                                                                                I really want to start a Church/Bible study facility. Los and I have been talking about it for so long… but we just keep saying “When we have more money lets do this.”, but then we just leave it at that. I think that’s the totally wrong approach. WE have to start planning like we already have the finances for it. Where do we want it? What do we want it to look like? How big do we want it to be? Who is going to be on our team to help us run it? What programs will we offer?  ALL of the planning needs to happen now! And we need to be in prayer about it constantly! I wanna show God that I believe HE will provide and that I can and will put the work into my faith. 

James 2:17 - Faith without works is dead.

So we can say that we believe that God will provide all we want… but what our we doing on our end to prove that we really mean that? Are we planning? Are we allowing God to guide our hearts? When you have a God centered heart, more often than not, your goals line up with God’s plan for you… and prayers get answered! 

(The Holy Spirit can help guide you with this.)

There was an interesting question during our AskLexLos. Someone wanted to know if we had prayers that God didn’t answer only to find that there was something better waiting for us. Listen, God answers ALL of your prayers :) He just might not do it how you want Him to. Haha. You can say “I want this” but His response may be “I won’t give you that now… because I have something better for you… but you have to wait a year.” 

IF we knew God’s timeline for us I feel like we would live so differently. So much more at peace. If you knew that on that after 10 no’s the 11th no would be a yes… you would almost be looking forward to the no’s. haha… Get them out of the way! My yes is coming!!! 

How do we stay consistent in THAT mindset. That billion dollar mindset where you can do anything and everything and have no limits to your dreams! Faith, works, and prayer. Believe it… work towards it… and pray that you are on the right path and that God will bless your vision!     God will always provide! 

Okay, now on to your words. THIS is huge. I think mindset is huge but I feel like we don’t realize how often we speak defeat over ourselves and I want to change the way we speak.             Proverbs 18:21 - Life and death are in the power of the tongue.

So, we read that, we've heard it… buuuuuuuttttt we don’t REALLY believe it. IF we did we would speak so differently! 

How often do you say (whether you mean it or not) “I’m so stupid” or “I’m fat” or “That will never happen”. ALL of these things are holding you back!!!

I repeat You are holding yourself back with how you speak!!!!

Stay positive. No matter how horrible your situation is… no matter how much the odds are stacked against you… speak LIFE into your situation. 

When everyone was talking about the Power Ball… instead of saying how impossible it was to win they should’ve said “Why not me?”.

When you stay positive (especially during the tough times) you gain so much more. God knows and see’s it all. He knows your heart. He knows how hard things can be for you. But when you stay in faith and continue to be a shining light for His kingdom… GREAT BLESSINGS WILL COME!!!

Look at Job. He was this guy who had incredibly great faith. He had everything he needed in life and was so happy. Then he was tested. He lost everything he had. Family, finances, his health… It could not have been any harder for Job… yet he stayed in faith… knowing that God was always there (whether he “felt” Him or not) and he knew that God would provide. His faith showed the love in his heart for the Kingdom. After years of difficulties and hardships God saw that his heart was still unchanged and that Job truly loved God and had Faith that He would always provide no matter the circumstances. Job was then given double the blessings in everything that he had lost. His life was BEYOND better than before. Better than he could've ever imagined!!! 

Do you see? Everything is a test of our character. Who we are during difficult times shows truly where our faith lies. Start looking at everything as a great test. Look at it as an opportunity to prove your love! 

(My prayer when dealing with people)                                                                                          “Okay God… this person is really hurting my feelings with how they are handling this situation… but I am going to keep being graceful and loving and kind. I forgive them for their actions and I ask You to forgive me for any negative thoughts I may have had. Please just give me the strength to over come any feelings that I know aren’t true. How they see me is not what is important… it is how You see me. Who I am through You defines me.”

I know this was long and maybe kind of loaded but I hope it was helpful. It was on my heart and I wanted to share it with you :)

I do believe we can strengthen one another and lift each other up. So I hope this sharpened you and strengthened you!

 

As iron Sharpens Iron, so one man sharpens another.

Proverbs 27:17

 

This is my "winning" face. Cuz, you know, popcorn. :D 

2015...

2015… Wow! What a year. I don’t even really know where to begin. It was a year filled with so many seasons for me personally. Saying Goodbye to some friendships and allowing those seasons to pass… but opening the doors to new ones. There were some growing pains that were necessary and only stretched and strengthened me. 2015 was a year of growth. So much growth. I feel stronger… I feel more courageous… I feel more confident in who God made me to be… I let big walls down… All in all… the blessings that God poured in to both Los and I help us shed things that were holding us back and allowed a new light to shine within us! 

There wasn’t that one “aha” moment… I think there were hundreds. So many eye opening moments last year! 

One thing in particular that stands out is the “Adventurers” trip that we took. Holy wow! Talk about a change of perspective. I came back from that trip changed. I think we all did. Being away from the busy-ness of life allowed us to listen… to really see… to really take in and enjoy where God had us. We would all sit out on the net at night and have mini Bible studies and encourage one another. Then we would just fall asleep out there! Under the most incredible stars. You would hear the ocean and it was just so peaceful and amazing. My heart get so full thinking about it. 

(I want to go into every detail about that trip… but that may be better served on separate blog! So many things to write about!)

Now, there were many amazing events after this trip… but the biggest one would be joining “Dancing With the Stars”. Talk about life changing! You have no idea what you are signing up for. You think you know… but you don’t. 

I remember when Los and I first got the phone call. It was not something we ever thought we would be a part of… but we kept feeling this tug on our hearts that we needed to do this. The more we prayed on it and thought about it… It just became clear that this was where God wanted us. WOW WOW WOW! 

This was an experience unlike anything I have ever had before. It was tough… it was scary… It stretched us… But it was the biggest blessing we could've ever asked for! For Los and I… we are so thankful for the journey that we were able to have on this show. We really feel like we were able to use that platform to share so many things about our Faith… our strong and beautiful marriage and who WE are as individuals. 

Something I love about “DWTS” is how positive the show is. There are so many reality shows that focus on the drama and the negativity that is happening… but this show is about the journey UP! And lifting people and growing people. It is one of the rare shows that does that. This was the first time I really realized that there weren't many positive marriages on display for america to see. What you hear about in the news and media are the “divorces” and the marriages on “the rocks”. It wasn’t until couples started writing in and telling us about how our marriage helped renew a spark in theirs… or how seeing that our love for Jesus was affecting them to search and seek out God did I even realize the impact that God was allowing us to have. It was the most fulfilling thing for us to have. To know that we were being used as a light for peoples lives. For Los and I… our faith is everything. And we are excited about it. And I think sometimes for people to see that… they don’t really know what to do with it. Sometimes they think it’s weird… sometimes people think you're crazy… but sometimes people get inspired! Here is the best way I can describe my excitement for Jesus…

When you go to the movies and you watch something that is so awesome and blows your mind… you tell people right? But you don’t just say it in a “Yah, this movie was cool.”(Monotone voice) kind of way. You are pumped… you are telling people “Seriously, that movie was awesome… YOU HAVE TO SEE IT. IT WILL BLOW YOUR MIND!!!!” 

THAT is how I feel. It excites me… It pumps me up! It’s like I am at a Miami Heat (favorite!) game and I am cheering them on!!! 

So to be able to have that experience with my husband and for people to be able to see our excitement for God and each other… I couldn’t have asked for anything greater. God provided in such a great way… and we didn’t even realize it right away!!!

So… 2015 put a new light within me. A spark that will never die out. And I hope it did the same for you! I hope and pray that as you enter this new year it will be filled with seasons of great growth… great understanding of who you are in God’s eyes and who you are called to be. We are all so incredibly special and each of us has the potential to be great… will you step out in your faith this year and be BOLD enough to do what you were created to do? To be Bold enough to believe that you have purpose? 

Los and I want this year to be our BOLDEST year yet…. Our most successful year yet… A Year where we strengthened one another and gained so much knowledge that it’s pouring out to everyone! 

 

So here is to our Boldest year yet (2016)! 

- Lex

 

 



Hey guys!

Sorry I haven’t written in a while. Los and I decided to do a little social media fast to help us focus and spend more time with God.

Let me just say… WOW!

Not having the mindless scrolling everyday taking up your time… so much more opened up. It was as if my mind was clear for the first time in a while. I didn’t realize how consumed and programed we are to just open our phones every time we get a little bored. Think about it… 

As soon as we have to do any little bit of waiting what do we do? Grab our phones… waiting in line to pay… phone. Waiting in an elevator… Phone. Lounging around at home… Phone.

We aren’t giving our minds the chance to just RELAX. Once we started the fast it quickly turned in more than just no social media… We didn’t really have our phones at all! It strangely felt like freedom… but why? When did we make these gadgets and “things" like chains? Don’t get me wrong… there is a lot of good that comes out of our gadgets and phones and what not. I wouldn’t be writing to you now if we didn’t have it… But I think we could all use a healthier balance. We get so consumed with the things that don’t matter. Scrolling and comparing and then judging ourselves according to what we are seeing on our screens!

One thing I struggle with (Los always gets on to me about it and I have been working on it lol…) is putting myself down. I think we all naturally are our toughest critics… but we have to remember who we are in God’s eyes! Not through "worldly" eyes. I know it’s easier said than done. But we just have to remind ourselves that most of what we see on tv/movies/internet/magazines AREN”T real!!! So Why compare yourself to something that isn’t real?!

Okay, enough of that! Lol… I am literally typing all of this while eating rice krizzle treats (Fruity pebble rice crispy treats). They are most definitely NOT on my healthy foods list!

 

I have been trying to be a little bit more clean with my eating. It isn’t for diet purposes… I just want a lifestyle change of putting “good” things into my body that are beneficial… not things that could hurt me. I used to eat so much candy! Sugar is really not great for your body. lol One day I just woke up and decided “You know what? I don’t need to eat this stuff.” I have so much more energy! I don’t have the crazy sugar crashes anymore. Don’t get me wrong… I still have my little treats here and there… but it is so different from the way I used to live!

So what’s up guys? Are there things you WANT me to write about? I usually just write about what’s on my mind… but if there are any questions that you guys have… I could always try to incorporate it into our blogs :)

Love you mucho and I will be sure to write more later! 

God Bless

APV

Going In!

“I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
—Genesis 28:15

What a perfect verse for today. God is with us through all!!! Through every obstacle through every celebration. He is right there with us looking on adoringly at His children. We are His beautiful creations! I know sometimes it's hard to feel worthy enough for His blessings... But His undying love for us should radiate within us! If only we could see ourselves the way God sees us. Beautiful in and out and ALWAYS forgiven. ;) 

We are currently driving to the dentist to get my wisdom teeth removed! I have butterflies. I'm not sure what this feeling is. Lol. It's not quite scared... Just a little jumpy. I go back to the verse above that God is with me. :) So I know I have nothing to fear!
As we were getting into the car this morning Los comes running into the garage with a BUNCH of camera gear. Bahahhahahah ... I think he's really anticipating some "video worthy" craziness. Lol 
Hopefully nothing too embarrassing happens. Everyone reacts differently to the surgery... So we shall see how this goes. 

Love you guys lots and I will post again when I can! 
Have a beautiful and blessed day and KNOW WHO YOU ARE! Start seeing yourselves as God sees you. :)

A New Perspective

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. -Psalm 95:2

Hello everyone!!! So exited for our new blog adventures. Los and I have been wanting to find a way to stay more connected with you guys and I think we have finally found a solution! 

Firstly, I want to go back to the verse up top! Whoever you are...Wherever you are... In whatever circumstance you are in... Give thanks and rejoice! I think it is so easy to be consumed by the world and all of its noise and clutter! There are so many distractions taking us a way from the beauty that is all around us. Believe me... I totally fall into that trap. But I love that we have surrounded ourselves with the most amazing friends who constantly remind us of the great work God is doing in all of our lives! So, on days that seem harder... weeks that you feel like will never end... JUST KNOW that God is stretching you to your full capacity. Think of it like a bow and arrow. The bow has to be pulled back so far in order to propel the arrow forward to its destination. May we all allow God to stretch us to our limits so that when we are ready... we are released flying forward, so quickly, with so much power and strength, that nothing can stop us!

The Adventurers sailing trip completely changed my perspective. It was an eye opening and such a HEART opening experience. We were all being stretched on the trip and God was putting it on our hearts that we are called to do more and be more! We met so many beautiful people with so many different ways of living. Learning about culture from island to island and experiencing LIFE in whole new way was FREEING!!! We were only gone for 12 days but it felt like 3 months. It was as if time slowed down where we were. We were able to take in every moment and soak in it. THIS is something I want to learn to do here at home. I feel like days fly by here and before you know it weeks have come and gone and we have hardly anything to show for it! I want to use my time wisely. Time is a gift. It is as valuable as you make it. May we use the time we have to be a light in this world and love as Jesus loved. :)

This week we had a beautiful time being home! Enjoying the blessings all around us! Lots of changes around Casa PenaVega... but very very important ones! Los already spilled the beans... but I am soooooo excited to say that we will be having a new addition to the house hold! A little friend for Syd!!! We have been going back and forth about another dog for a while now and finally just went for it!!! Can't wait to post the photos when she comes in!

This Saturday I get my wisdom teeth pulled!!! Ahhhhh. I am going to have to take away every recording device Los has! LOL I'm not too worried about the procedure... I'm just not looking forward to the groggy after feeling!!! Praying for a quick healing so I can jump right back into being productive! 

Anyways, thank you guys for always being so supportive and up lifting. I love you guys and am so happy to finally be blogging!