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I’ve always liked mornings. And not only mornings but also Mondays, unlike most people. Starting a new day and a new week brings me a range of opportunities… I can plan better, I can challenge myself and do what I haven’t done yet. To me, every new beginning is a golden opportunity!

The bad thing is that sometimes time flies, especially when you’re busy, and then comes that feeling of despair: “I haven’t done anything yet, and look at the time!” This has been my inner cry lately. There is so much I want to do but I can’t because of the things that I have to do no matter what… You know how it is, right? Sometimes, idealization becomes an addiction! And if you can’t do new things, you are not happy.

But did you know that a busy lifestyle can have bad consequences? How come? You want to make a difference and help others, but you end up hurting yourself! Yes, your body pays the price.

The other day I went to the doctor and he asked me why I was stressed out. Honestly, I was scared, “Me? Stressed out? No way!” According to my blood tests, I was having food intolerance, which is not normal. When I asked him what caused it, he simply said, “Stress.”

I went home wondering, “How can it be? I’m not a stressed or nervous woman. I sleep well every night. I lie down and immediately fall asleep! How can my body show signs of stress?”

Then, God revealed it to me: It’s the way I manage my time and my responsibilities. I commit myself to so many things that I end up not taking time out to relax… I have time for my husband, for family, for my friends, for my blog readers and program viewers, for my projects, for my e-mails, for social networks, and even for my puppy—but, what about me?

I might even invest in my spiritual life, but what’s the point of being spiritual and having a sick body? Taking care of our body is part of our spiritual obligation.

  • Rest for at least 7 hours a day
  • Do aerobic exercises for at least 30 minutes daily
  • Do some weight training exercises at least twice a week
  • Eat healthily every day
  • Have fun at least once a week
  • Drink 2 liters of water daily

Okay, I do most of these things. The problem is that doing most of these things is not enough! We must do all of them… We must not expect to have time to do them; we need to make time for them.

Join me on this journey, dear friend. Since we’re already halfway through the year, how about using the second half of the year to become healthy women and start the new year completely different? Can I count you in?


CristianeCardoso.com

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V for Virtuous – She's praised
 the right thing to do
 

Proverbs 31: 28
Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her: (29) "Many daughters have done well, but you excel them all."


shepraised1
You don't become a V-woman so you can be compared to others. You don't become a V-woman so you can be better than others. You become a V-woman because it's THE RIGHT THING TO DO. Why not? Why wouldn't you be a better woman, wife, daughter, mother, homemaker, friend, and sister?

Nevertheless, this verse above is what constantly happens. People who know her can't help but praise her for being so different than most women out there and why? Because most of us think we're doing fine. We hardly meet women who think they can be better. It's always the same: 'My husband is the problem.' 'Nobody understands me', 'my parents don't help me', 'my boss hates me', or 'God doesn't care about me'

Some women have a gift for being 'THE VICTIM'. They're always the victim of whatever bad situation they go through. And whole they play that role, the miss out the whole point... we go through difficulties so we can change and do better next time... we make mistakes so we can learn... It's not that we're being misunderstood — it's that we do not understand!

The V-Woman is constantly changing and so she's constantly excelling. Her family praises her and because she does the things that most women don't care about, she is the one everyone looks up to. And with that, she praises God in a more efficient way: the practical way.

This is Evelyn and I've known her since I was 13. The more I know her, the better she becomes. First, she started singing and playing the keyboard in the church and soon after that, she recorded a couple of music CDs. Then she went to Africa, Asia, and LA and went through her own different kinds of deserts, all of which she managed to walk on by in the strength of her own faith. Then she went to London and took the role of a daily radio show presenter. And just as she started a TV show, she moved to Texas where she has been one of my closest friends in the last 2 years.

She has worked on websites, newsletters, and recently with the Kids Zone teachers throughout America. She changed so much and yet, she's still that same woman I met in my teens... lovely, caring, sweet, fast learner, great mother and homemaker. And though she's older than me, she respects my opinions and she makes me feel right at her level of maturity, which is one of the things nobody older than me has ever managed to do. Her husband and children are constantly praising her and so are her friends!

PS. She learned Portuguese just so she could speak to her co-workers... (She didn't have to but she did)

Cristiane Cardoso

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V for Virtuous – She's honorable
They can't find anything against her
 

Proverbs 31: 25 Strength and honor are her clothing; She shall rejoice in time to come.

honorablevwomansilcAccording to this dictionary, honor means the following and more:

1. honesty, fairness, or integrity in one's beliefs and actions
2. a source of credit or distinction
3. high respect, as for worth, merit, or rank
4. such respect manifested
5. high public esteem, fame, glory

It's about one's reputation, one's true character. A just woman is honorable, even to those who don't like her. They just can't find anything to prove their animosity towards her... so they'll usually attack her looks.

The V-woman had both strength and honor, meaning, spirituality and reputation. Both always walk together. You can't be spiritual and not have a good reputation. Because she was spiritual, she also avoided mistakes that are usually found in dark corners of life. She'd constantly made use of her intelligent faith instead of applying the usual emotions that constantly flood our lives. And for that, she'd always plant good seeds... no wonder she was to rejoice in time to come!

marciapanbrazilThis is Marcia and I know her for many, many years. And all this time, from the time I was just a young woman anxious to get married, she has always been the same person... she's honorable in her words, her comments, her behavior, her walk, her relationships, her faith, and her clothes. She has gone through a lot but nothing has ever touched her integrity. God comes first. She may be constantly in the shadows, but she's there, giving her husband all the support he needs, being the example she needs to be for any woman who aspire to be godly. Her simplicity and constant appreciation to everything and everyone around her gives her a blameless reputation.


It's hard for anyone NOT to like her... there's just no reason for that! She shall rejoice in time to come.



Cristiane Cardoso

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V for Virtuous – She's Sweet
wisdom in words
 

Proverbs 31: 26
She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness.

shessweetwizardHave you ever met someone who's extremely smart, has all the right answers, and knows how to handle practically anything in life, but at the same time made you feel uncomfortable being around?

There are plenty of wise female wizards out there. They always have a lecture to give and the minute you say something out of line (which often happens to those of us who are just not as high as they are), they look down on you. They're too good for us. They say they're human and full of mistakes, but I don't think they mean it a bit.

The V-woman is also wise, but her wisdom does not make anyone feel bad because she's also kind. The verse above shows us something quite extraordinary, I've never noticed it until now. Wisdom has a lot to do with speaking and kindness.... I always thought that to be wise, one would know what to do, how to behave, and how to handle life. But according to this verse, it's the way you speak!

The Bible says that "for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks." (Luke 6:45) Bringing us to conclude that all the wisdom one has must come out of their mouth, not necessarily by their attitudes, which doesn't mean to say they will behave badly, but that the first point of contact for a woman's wisdom is her words! WOW!

The V-woman spoke wisely and so she spoke kindly. The V-woman was sweet.

andreiashessweetSometimes people think that because they're being sincere, they have the right to speak unkindly. What a mistake! No wonder they always get in trouble for being too sincere (I know exactly how that feels).

This is Andrea, she lives in New York. For all the years I've known her, this is what has always stood out about her: she's sweet. No matter what's going on around her, no matter how many problems she's facing, no matter how people are behaving, Andrea doesn't change with circumstances. Her kindness brings anyone's bad mood down to the floor.

She truly lives by the law of kindness and I love being one of her many friends!


Cristiane
Cardoso

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V for Virtuous – She's Strong
She doesn't press the pause button
 

shesstrongccThe exercises I struggle with the most are the ones that demand strength from my arms... for those I tend to choose the lightest weights, which still make me tremble every time. This V-woman was definitely stronger than me, carrying all her groceries from afar, you can imagine how fit she was! But that's not the strength the Bible is referring to here.

Physical strength has its benefits but, it's not a need for many of us (especially those of us who have strong men at home like a husband and a son, thanks guys for always helping me around!). Spiritual strength however is a need we all have. When life hits you in the face, your physical strength is worth nothing if you're not fit spiritually.

A strong woman will keep moving even when everyone around her has pressed the 'pause' button. A strong woman does not give up. The V-Woman above knew about this and so she girded herself with the strength she would need – her faith.

According to the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, this means "if you gird for something, or gird yourself for something, especially something difficult, you prepare for it." Now that's something few people do. Everyone is always strengthening their appearances, their career, their finances, their lifestyle, their social network, their relationships, but what about their spirit? Who's strengthening that?

viviThis is my sister Vivi and I can say so many great things about her, but one thing that stands out the most is her constant search of ways to strengthen herself. She wakes up in the middle of the night to seek God so often, it has become a habit. She listens to spiritual podcast and meetings, and reads every message that will help her faith grow as part of her daily tasks. Vivi does weekly TV shows and women meetings, which require a lot from her, that's why she has made her dependence on God a basic thing in her life. Now that's someone who girds herself with strength!

She girds herself with strength, and strengthens her arms. Prov. 31:17


In faith,

Cristiane Cardoso

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