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Three Ways to Begin Your (DREAM) Writing!

Did you know that 80 percent of Americans think they should write a book? Most of them will never do it. People get intimidated by the work. They don’t know how to find a publisher or even self-publish. They never try or give up because it seems too difficult, or they don’t know how to get started. These days, writers can self-publish with tools on-line, and there are ways to get your book printed by on-demand or you can go the route of Indie publishing if you’re feeling especially productive. Whether you publish independently, with a hybrid company, or with a traditional publisher–you are still responsible for marketing. Be aware. Authors are not only writers, they are marketers, “experts,” salespeople, speakers, and we wear many hats!

Keep a Diary or Journal

I would not suggest for you to publish simply because you want to. Millions of people write books each year, but the majority of them are not necessary or good. You don’t have to be born with the talent, but you have to practice! You can start by writing for fifteen minutes a day. You can then reread what you wrote as a way to reflect and recognize any thought patterns. You can add more or rewrite to help change any negative attitudes. You can’t heal from what you don’t acknowledge. Writing can be therapeutic. I’ve practiced this technique since I was a teenager. Write somewhere where you can focus and edit. If you can’t find the time to write every day, write for one to two hours a week. Three hours or more of writing per week would be an ideal schedule to begin.

Find a Writer’s Community

What do you want to write about? Who will be in your audience? Will you create a blog? You can start a free blog at WordPress.com or Blogger.com. You can start a blog at WordPress.org, but you would have to purchase hosting. I’ve bought a domain at Godaddy.com (I am not an affiliate of any of these companies). Connect with other writers: join a writers’ group, attend a writers’ conference, share your writing with your friends or family and ask for honest feedback but ask them not to be too harsh. Compliments with constructive criticism are healthy. You have to be willing to learn from others. Find an accountability partner (That was a new piece of advice I heard at a conference!). I liked it. Reading others writing can help also, and it is a great way to write better. The best writers are the best readers, and writing can help you be a better speaker–I have told many people.

Relax, and enjoy it!

I’ve taken the fun out of writing by focusing on trying to make it “perfect.” Trying to type the right words, word-for-word can be stressful. These high expectations can take the enjoyment out of it! Writing has to be fulfilling. I was listening to a live webinar in my Writers Guild, and I heard a man say he feels “parched” while he writes. He was asking our writing coach how to solve this problem. He shouldn’t feel parched; he should feel inspired. You cannot inspire someone else until you inspire you first. But this develops over time. Finding your “voice” can take a while, but once you find it, writing can become easier and more comfortable. You won’t regret all the work you’ve put into it!

(This article will appear in the Southern Writers Magazine – Suite T blog).

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored “Not Without God: A Story of Survival” and her forthcoming book, “Hope After the Storm” will be the second in a II part series. Her stories have been featured in various guest articles, medical journals, magazines, newsletters, and almost 200 of her very own blog posts. As an educator for nearly twenty years, she’s had the privilege of working with thousands of students from different backgrounds and parts of the world. Her writing endeavors earned her an invitation to speak at the Harvard Faculty Club’s “Business Expert Forum.” Zina’s goal is to help others overcome adversity, and she strives to do what she longs to – help others. Socializing with friends, taking road-trips, listening to music, and networking are among her hobbies.  You can connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

The Writers that Changed My Life

I’m excited to be an author now. But I began writing a long time ago. I won my first story contest in the second grade! I’ll never forget it. I won many. My teacher was so happy for me. She comprised a nice booklet with all my stories made of colorful construction paper. It was such an accomplishment!

At sixteen in the hospital I wrote after a bad vehicular accident. Hooked up to machines with a breathing tube down my throat, the first few weeks I had to write. It was the only way to communicate; I couldn’t talk. I still have all my notes of black marker scribbles on white and yellow cutouts.

I kept thick bible-sized journals while I was in college (they’ve since been shredded), and wrote just about every night. Some nights I wrote more than others depending upon what was going on in my life. Several years ago, I sent an email to a writer in west Michigan and asked him for advice.

He directed me to a few conferences, and one of them was the Breathe Conference (https://breatheconference.com/home/)! He also told me I should get involved with an on-line group called Fellowship of Christian Writers. I went through their application process and received a letter of acceptance!

I wrote a heartfelt email to all (800) members, and was promptly responded to by a famous editor! I closely followed his emails and promotional material and learned how to write a book proposal. If you’re interested, there are different formats. I used “Formatting & Submitting Your Manuscript” by Chuck Sambuchino and the Editors of Writer’s Digest Books.

I also took a creative writing course by another one of the on-line group members. Last year, I was a part of a Writer’s Guild and it really helped. I watched live webinars with people like Donald Miller and DiAnn Mills. I had a chance to really study the craft with a wonderful writing coach and other speakers.

The authors who’ve mentored me have really blessed my life! You have to go after your dreams! Life is not meant for you to be complacent. Reach for the unattainable. Achieve what you never thought was possible! I’ve had the honor of sharing my stories with thousands, and I hope to reach millions!

(This article will be featured on the Breathe Writers Conference blog).

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored “Not Without God: A Story of Survival.” Her forthcoming book, “Hope After the Storm” will be a teaching book with a study guide–the second in her II part series. Zina’s stories have been featured in various magazines, guest articles, medical journals, newsletters, and almost 200 of her very own blog posts. As an educator for nearly twenty years, she’s had the privilege of working with thousands of students from different backgrounds and parts of the world. Zina’s goal is to overcome adversity while helping others. Socializing with friends, taking road-trips, listening to music, and networking are among her hobbies. You can follow her on her website at http://www.zinahermez.com for updated posts, or connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

The Human Body (a spiritual approach)

I recently came across a sermon by the well-known, Louie Giglio of the Passion Conferences. If you haven’t heard of Passion, it’s a global tour aimed at ministering to young adults between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five. It’s an event I missed out on while I was in college. The headquarters are in Atlanta, Georgia. There are speakers and music artists – some that I’ve seen perform at other venues!

The sermon helped me put things in perspective, and realize that my problems are small. I have to have faith even when things don’t go as planned because all things are held together in our bodies and in the stars and the planets. Louie says “the earth is the size of a golf ball” in comparison to the universe; nonetheless, each of us are made in the image and likeness of Him.

He asks how we can know that God will “hold us together.” He states, “That’s really what we want to know.” He discusses the function of laminin, a cell-adhesion protein molecule and its function in our bodies. It’s the protein that tells our cells what to do. It’s the glue that holds our bodies together! It provides attachment for cells inside organs.

Laminins are in humans and animals and crucial for our survival. They’re in the shape of a cross! They hold one cell of our bodies to the next. I had already heard of laminin before, but it was great to find Loui’s video that gives such a vivid portrayal. I have made the symbols of the cross over my abdomen on many occasions. I had no idea I was doing over laminins! It’s a prayer!

Here is a clip of the video if you would like to watch it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSR8z_0uW5E

About Zina

Zina Hermez is the author of the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and has been a long-time educator. Her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, the Salonpas blog, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, and the Breathe Conference. She’s written various guest posts, newsletters, and nearly 200 of her very own articles. A few of her hobbies include meeting new people, taking road-trips, and listening to music! You can follow her for updated articles at http://www.zinahermez.com, or connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

True Love Came To Visit

I sought after God at a young age. It wasn’t until after I had my accident that I REALLY experienced His love. I felt it through others. What I mean is, I found it in the three short months I spent in the hospital. As strange as it may seem, for the first time—my life had meaning. I had all these injuries and had become paralyzed, but I was still searching.

I lived in a good neighborhood and went to a good school. But I would ask God questions about life, and about what it all means. I knew there was more beyond what I could see. Then I got my answers. True love came to visit me in that hospital room.

Through compassion from doctors, nurses, and loved ones – I experienced a PEACE like none I had known. Life is so precious! When you are well, you may not necessarily feel like you “need the Lord.” But when you are sick, and hanging onto life by a string – you know it. And the way he comes in to rescue you is remarkable!

You can be in a desperate place, a minute to minute, moment to moment kind of place. I urge you to seek after him before the accident and before the diagnosis. It’s like not being prepared for a flood – if there were an “extreme” weather event, you probably would’ve wished you would’ve bought insurance. And luckily, most do. Buy insurance!

Invest in the One who can bring you security. Believe, read, pray, and seek! You will be better prepared in case there is an “emergency.” “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock (Matthew 7:24-25).”

God is love because He sent his only son, and he died and rose again for us! We have proof of it. His promise to redeem us from agony is proven to be true in the resurrection. There are reasons we go through what we do. We may not understand why. But if you pray and have faith through the pain, true love will reveal itself. Good things will happen to you again.

He will be the one listening while you’re in bed when you need to talk to a friend. He will be with you when you have anxiety. He will be with you when you have to go to the hospital to visit a loved one. He will be there. Every. Step. Every. Time. God truly is a fortress in our lives

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival. She works as an English as a second language Instructor, and has been an educator for almost twenty years. Her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, guest posts, newsletters, and medical journals as well as nearly 200 of her very own blog posts. To learn more about Zina visit: zinahermez.com.

Happy Holidays!

Dear friends,

This is a letter I shared with contacts today. I want to share it with you, too. I hope you find some inspiration from reading it!  I look forward to offering more tips on topics such as health and grief for those who are going through it.

Click on the link to read my note! https://tinyurl.com/ybdoh77o

May you have a very blessed and happy new year, and enjoy the remainder of 2017!

Stay warm,

~Zina

About Zina
Zina Hermez authored the book, Not Without God: A Story of Survival. She works as an English Instructor and has been an educator for more than fifteen years. Her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, guest posts, newsletters, and medical journals. To learn more about Zina visit: http://zinahermez.com

Your Miracle Will Happen!

~”Thoughts” by Zina Hermez

Ever wonder why it’s taking so long? I used to think I had to wait for miracles? Sometimes we do. Miracles are a process though. We can play a part in making them happen. Prayer and exercise are my two faith pillars. They keep me grounded. I pray while I’m working out. I ask God to help in different areas of my life, and I pray for loved ones. It helps me sort out thoughts!

Have you ever become content in a bad situation? Have you ever told yourself that you can’t do something because it’s been too long? In order for a miracle to occur, you have to do something. Miracles seem to be spontaneous, but we have to act as co-creators with God by taking action!

God hears every prayer. You may be praying for one thing, but He can answer a prayer you prayed for long ago. You may have forgotten how badly you wanted it! Think about the lame man that was healed in Acts 3. He was a beggar. He wasn’t asking to be healed from his paralysis anymore. When John and Peter were going into the temple the man asked them for alms.  

Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk (Acts 3:6).” Then Peter took him by the right hand and helped him up. I think the man gave up on hope because he was that way for so long. However, he still had a spark! If he didn’t, he would not have gone around leaping, excited, and telling everyone!

Remember: when you lose your hope, you lose your faith, you’re emptied of desires, and your belief disintegrates. You can lose your opportunity for any potential miracle!

God knows what’s best for us. He doesn’t always say yes, but he usually doesn’t say no when we are reasonable. I learned he sometimes says “not right now.” But we have to be mobile. What is your plan of action? He could be waiting on you to start!

 

How to Become a Writer (if you’re interested)

Did you know that 80 percent of people want to write a book? It’s true, but most of them will never do it. People get intimidated by the work. They don’t know how to find a publisher or even self-publish. They never try, or give up because it seems “too hard.” Anyone can self-publish with tools on-line, and there are ways to get your books printed by paying for it. Whether you self-publish or publish with a traditional publisher (where they pay you an advance), you are still responsible for marketing. Don’t be fooled. Authors are not only writers, they are marketers, “experts,” salespeople, speakers, and we wear many hats!

I would not suggest for you to write a book simply because you want to. You have to practice writing. Millions of people write books, but the majority of them are not any good. You don’t have to be born with the talent, but you do have to practice! You can start by writing for fifteen minutes a day. Keep a diary, journal, or notebook. Write somewhere where you can focus and edit. If you don’t want to write every day, write for one to two hours a week. Three hours of writing per week or more would be an ideal schedule.

You also have to determine your topic. What do you want to write about? Who will be in your audience? Will you write in a blog? You can start a free blog at WordPress.com or Blogger.com. You could also start a blog at WordPress.org but you would have to buy hosting. I purchased a domain at GoDaddy.com for my website. I’m not an affiliate. I’m just giving you ideas for how to get started.

Your writing is not for “everyone.” People who think their blog or book is for everyone are mistaken. I’m sure the topic you choose to write about has been written before. Someone, somewhere may have wanted to encourage others through their personal struggle, or someone may have had a similar idea for a novel.

Don’t let that discourage you. You have to write about something fulfilling. In my Writer’s Guild, I heard a man say he feels “parched” while he writes. I was listening to a live webinar. He was asking our writing coach how to solve this problem. He shouldn’t feel parched, he should feel inspired. You cannot inspire someone else until you inspire you first. My writing is therapeutic for me. I realize things because I write about my own personal life.

Image found on Pinterest

You have to meet with other writers. Book events, conferences, and Writers’ groups are all good places to go to. If you cannot find one nearby, you can have a friend or family member help you. Ask for honest feedback, but also ask they that are not too harsh. Complements with constructive criticism are healthy for you. You have to be willing to learn from others, but you don’t have to get hurt. I’ve had that experience before!

Sometimes we don’t follow our dreams out of fear. You may have a fear of failure, or a fear of not “fitting in” anymore. You may have a fear of going too far! I believe there are endless possibilities for all of us to distribute good in the world, be prominent in business, or successful in some endeavor.

It’s hard work, I’ve stayed up many nights trying to type the right words and the right messages. The high expectations I put on myself are not from the Lord, though. What I mean is, He may have put the idea to write in my heart. But He does not expect perfectionism. In all my articles, I strive to do what I long to–help someone else!

About Zina
Zina Hermez authored the book, Not Without God: A Story of Survival. She works as an English Instructor and has been an educator for more than fifteen years. Her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, guest posts, newsletters, and medical journals. To learn more about Zina visit: http://zinahermez.com

You Can’t Stay Where You Are

I accomplished what I set out to do—become independent. I’m teaching and writing. Both are my passions! I’m able to support myself. Of course there are other things I’d like to accomplish, but they are too many to list. Maybe, get on national television? Buy a house. Drive a BMW! Material things are not my concern though. I seek after what others do, friendships, and enough love! I have known hardship. Have you ever experienced it?dreambig1

What was the cause? Abandonment? Google.com defines it as a condition that is difficult to endure. I wish I had a solution, or a way to work around it. I don’t. No matter how painful it is, you have to go through it! When I’m going through it, I pray and exercise. You need to be strong enough to defeat pain both mentally and physically.

Let your vision be greater than your circumstances. It may seem like there is no way out. But you WILL overcome. As I write notes for this article on my cell phone, I’m on an elliptical. I couldn’t work out the way I do now. I even saw myself being an educator when I was young. I remember watching my teacher. He was full of passion while he taught. I thought, I’m going to do this one day. I just knew it in my heart!

Never stop giving thanks. When you give thanks to God, family, and friends its medicine to your soul. They will help you if you ask them to. Optimism is to know you need (help) to overcome. Act as if you have an emergency. What do you want to do, today? Go for it! Take simple steps. Start with something as simple as a to-do-list. Don’t sit on your dreams for years. You’ll feel resentful later.

What you will do is not what you see, it’s what you feel when you’re in the midst of pushing yourself, going beyond your limits, proclaiming it, and in the words of Eminem, “Failure is NOT an option!”

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival. She works as an English Instructor and has been an educator for more than fifteen years. Her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, guest posts, newsletters, and medical journals. To learn about Zina visit: http://zinahermez.com

Work on Yourself

Are you someone who likes to help other people? Have you ever tried to clean up someone’s mess? I’m a nurturer by nature, but here’s what I’ve learned: you have to take care of yourself first. How do you care for YOU? Pray a simple prayer. Jesus says, “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever” (John 14:16). The advocate is the Holy Spirit and He will guide you.workonu

My accident happened at a young age, I kept asking God what to do and all through my twenties continued. He explained every step of the way. For example, I felt Him “nudging” at me to go back to school. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I didn’t know how everyone would react to my wheelchair.

But many students were warm and friendly. I knew I would get through the year. I was able to graduate on time with everyone in my grade. Taking care of you also begins with your health. You have to rest, eat right, and exercise. I put myself on an exercise plan, and I notice that my tasks have improved! I’m sharper and faster. When you nourish your body, you nourish your brain too.

Be an example!

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival. She works as an English Instructor and has been an educator for more than fifteen years. Her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, guest posts, newsletters, and medical journals. To learn about Zina visit: http://zinahermez.com.

How to Celebrate HIS Story

I was sent these questions as a writing prompt from a Writer’s blog: As Christians who write, one aim is to give honor and glory to God. How has God used your story? How has the Holy Spirit inspired and encouraged you? Have you seen the fruit of God’s glory as a result?

When I began my writing journey about five years ago, I had no idea the amount of people it would help. I’ve written since I was a child, and as a teen my audience was myself. I wrote behind closed doors, but with the surge in technology and media we are capable of reaching A LOT more people! I’m sure you’re familiar with the term “platform” if you are a writer. According to Google.com, a platform is a raised level surface on which people can stand. If you are on a raised surface and speaking from a podium more people can see you than if you are at eye level with everyone else.

As a writer, artist, musician, CEO, or salesman you need a platform. Many writers fear they won’t get noticed if they don’t have one. But your platform does not have to be huge. Publishers are still looking for REALLY good writers, that’s why I’m involved in a Writer’s guild and Writer’s group. I work on my writing skills. So…back to my prompt, how has God used my story and encouraged me?! Many of us want to write for God, speak his name, speak of his glories, and the ways he has blessed us.

But God is not concerned with my popularity as much as he is concerned with my friendship. God is not concerned with how many followers I have on Facebook or Twitter. Before I got into this business, I prayed to remain humble no matter what, and to never seek fame in a way that’s destructive. I simply write to help others and share my experiences. I write to motivate, and in turn I am motivated when my writing touches someone’s heart. I celebrate HIS story daily by carrying my cross. And sometimes, it happens to be evident in my stories…

(This post is inspired by an article I submitted to the Breathe Writer’s Conference blog.)

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Injury Solutions! website. Zina works as an English as a Second Language Instructor and has been an educator for more than fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she writes articles on faith and overcoming challenges. Her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, guest posts, newsletters, medical journals and other publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com

 

What will YOU overcome?

I had to read a lot in college. I majored in english and minored in history. The books I read sometimes overlapped. Something I was learning about in a Literature class would show up on a History syllabus. One of my favorite passages is by the great abolitionist, Frederick Douglass. I was required to read his book, “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave.” This popular quote out of his book still resonates with me, and many others:

“From my earliest recollection, I date the entertainment of a deep conviction that slavery would not always be able to hold me within its foul embrace; and in the darkest hours of my career in slavery, this living word of faith and spirit of hope departed not from me, but remained like ministering angels to cheer me through the gloom. This good spirit was from God, and to him I offer thanksgiving and praise.”

How does this relate to me? Well, it doesn’t – directly. But as a survivor, I can choose to take the “victim” mentality and not try to accomplish all I know I can! But like Douglas, who stood up for his rights, he even taught himself how to read and write, I have rights too. No one can put limits on my abilities because no one knows what God will do.

What Frederick Douglass wrote speaks to my soul, and it can speak to yours no matter what you’re going through. His confidence that he’d be freed from slavery, and his knowledge of God is parallel to my knowledge that God will set me free of any bondage in my body, thoughts, or predicament! Your challenge may be different from mine. How can you apply this passage by Frederick Douglass to your life? What are you confident about, and know you will overcome?

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Injury Solutions! website. Zina works as an English as a Second Language Instructor and has been an educator for more than fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she writes articles on faith and overcoming challenges. Her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, guest posts, newsletters, medical journals and other publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com

 

 

Make Progress

The survivor, the victim, the recovering addict, the overcomer, and the high achiever all have a fear in common–going back! If you fit into any of these categories, I’m here to tell you that is not God’s purpose in your life. I know first hand.

When we survive or recover, we don’t have to fall into depression, or regress back into what was hindering us before. The suffix ‘Gress’ means to take a step. God does not want you to take a step back–He wants you to make PROGRESS! I don’t know who I’m writing this for, but I felt that someone needed to read it.

When Jesus raised a man from the dead (John 11), the man didn’t die soon after that. He lived a long time! When Paul the Apostle made the lame man to walk in Acts 3, he didn’t go back to lie in his bed when Paul left town!

You overcame because you fought. You accomplished because you worked hard. You withstood because you prayed. You got better because you worked on yourself. God will not take that away. You lose your blessings when you believe the lies that say you won’t amount to anything!

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Injury Solutions! website. Zina works as an English as a Second Language Instructor and has been an educator for more than fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she writes articles on faith and overcoming challenges. Her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, guest posts, newsletters, medical journals and other publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

 

NO Exercise is Detrimental

Writer’s conference – California, USA

Today I’d like to write about exercise and how important it is for all of us. I’m constantly working on exercise in hopes of reaching my long term walking goals. I go to the gym, use the treadmill, elliptical, arm, back, and leg weight machines. I keep notes on my cell phone to record number of minutes, repetitions, and time.

Doctors say we only need thirty minutes a day of walking, jogging, or some other form of activity to maintain health. However, in order to build muscle, improve drastically, or attain a specific goal it is good to be on a workout regimen. I walk with crutches after a bad accident that left me paralyzed as a teen.

I have taken physical therapy into my own hands because often times in physical therapy, I have found that my best interests were not at the forefront. Therapists often quoted science in response to my hopes, and they put limitations on my dreams of walking based on my injuries. The beauty about having faith is that when you do, you are able to defy science!

It’s amazing how good I feel, and I am improving on my own. I can complete activities that I couldn’t do before, and I have more energy throughout the day! Things that would take longer to complete are faster now. I recommend exercise for everyone. It keeps us healthy, and I look forward to it. I never miss an appointment!

God never gives up on us, we must not give up on ourselves. I believe all things are possible because I have witnessed it in my own life.

The Breathe conference posted my article!

One of the many benefits of writing is meeting others and making friends. I have met some wonderful people! Today my friends at the Breathe Writer’s conference published another one of my articles. They have been so kind since I began this journey a few years ago. Writing can be a lonely experience, but it’s a bonus when your writing is shared on different platforms. I have learned so much from them. I’ve attended two of their annual conferences in October. The knowledge gained from authors, marketing advice and overall help is invaluable!

Thank you Breathe conference!

http://breatheconference.com/home/featured-articles/writing-is-a-way-of-life-by-zina-hermez.html

 

 

 

Writing Is a Way of Life

I write to process pain. It’s a channel to express my feelings—a way to self-evaluate. I examine my thoughts. The pen is my friend. Writing in journals and diaries helps me, and provides healing. Through ups and downs, I write.

I write for joy and for release. It truly is a spiritual practice when I share what’s inside my heart. I’m led by faith. Words will stick. Words will resonate, if they are meant to. Words will remain…in books, magazines, e-books, and the Amazon-book-seller page. But it’s about more than a platform – it’s a way to peace.

We live in a competitive world. Exposure holds a lot of weight. But number one, it’s about words. Don’t focus on the fame. Don’t focus on the pay. If you write a book or other publication, be encouraged; you are spreading your message. Your words will not only change the reader, but they will also change you!

For me it has to be about reaching people through my faith.

(This post is inspired by an article I submitted to the Breathe Christian Writer’s Conference blog.)

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Injury Solutions! website. Zina works as an English as a Second Language Instructor, and has been an educator for fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world. She writes articles on faith and overcoming challenges, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, guest posts, newsletters, medical journals and other publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

 

 

 

Why We Celebrate Easter (special)

This is a video I uploaded on Good Friday to my “Faith Tips” series on YouTube. Instead of writing a post as I regularly do bi-weekly/on holidays, I decided to create a video blog!!! It’s cut a little short, but I hope you enjoy it.

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages. Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming challenges, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, the Breathe Writers Conference blog, newsletters, guest posts, and medical journals. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

My Speaking event last Sunday!

This is a small piece on prayer from the talk I shared at church.

As I began to recover after my accident, I knew I had a long road ahead. I contemplated my future with God. I would ask, “What are we going to do, Lord?” and “How will my life be?” I didn’t know for sure but I knew one thing, I had Him – and I knew He would never leave. I didn’t like what happened to me, but I liked being in the silence and experiencing the peace.

Talking with God, asking for his help, his guidance, and presenting my problems before him has always helped me! And in the hospital, He spoke to me each day – through the love of others, the nurses, my mom, and the doctors. He explained every step of the way, what we would do, and how we would get through. I knew everything would be okay — in my feelings and in my heart.

Spending time with God has saved me all my life. Prayer is one way I do this, and I like to speak to Him when it is quiet because that is when I can hear from Him most — in feelings and in thoughts. When I am away from the noise. I listen to Bible verses throughout the day or before I go to bed, usually.

I’ve been doing this almost every day for the last few months. If I can commit to at least fifteen minutes a day, it helps me! I feel more peace since I have started. Things that would bother me before seem petty. I have noticed improvements in different areas. So I would recommend for anyone going through a challenge, or hardship to start doing it.

I have downloaded the Bible Gateway app on my cell phone, and I sometimes listen on a laptop. I click on the audio selection, and listening is convenient. I have listened while cleaning, or even writing. Technology is great! You can study while completing tasks. We don’t have to only read anymore! Two Psalms that really speak to my heart now are Psalm 69 and Psalm 71.

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages. Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming challenges, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, the Breathe Writers Conference blog, newsletters, guest posts, and medical journals. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

I’m Speaking to a Congregation!

Dear friends,

I’m happy to share a letter and invitation I sent to close contacts earlier: http://eepurl.com/bRAlR5. I want to share it with you too, because you have supported me also. Let me know if you are interested in attending my upcoming event.

Thank YOU!

~Zina

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages. Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming challenges, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, the Breathe Writers Conference blog, newsletters, guest posts, and medical journals. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

Miracles are a Process

Found on pinterest.com

God knows me well. After all, He is my creator. My divine healer. God knows the secrets of my heart. He knows me better than anyone else, and better than I know myself. When we are going through something difficult it may be hard to acknowledge this. We may not believe in those situations. When in pain one may doubt. I’ve always felt His presence with me, though. As a child, I would go on bike rides. “I will never leave you nor forsake you,” He assured me often in the whispers of my heart. I knew it would be tough.

But the Bible reads, “For I am the Lord who [continuously] heals you.” I think this statement is powerful, and the word continuously means a lot. It proves that healing has to recur rather than be a onetime event. All of us have not felt good more than once. Healing may have to happen again and again in order for the ultimate healing to come. Have you experienced a situation in your life that has improved? Did your faith expand? God wants to stretch our faith! Strength is proven in moments of weakness.

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Injury Solutions! website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages. Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming challenges, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, the Breathe Writers Conference blog, newsletters, guest posts, and medical journals. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

New Year’s Resolution

My New Year’s Resolution was to always have peace with everyone including myself. I strive to get better, and better how I relate with others each day. I believe part of the peace I am seeking comes from self-reflection. The only way to realize my mistakes is to boldly look at myself “in the mirror,” so to speak. It’s not easy to do. It takes courage, but it is SO worth it once you become aware of patterns of behavior. When you are friends with everyone including YOU. You realize that even those that seem to be in opposition may be helping you. Getting back up only makes you stronger! But you have to like YOU first.

One of the ways I perform self-reflection is through writing my thoughts down. I began the practice of journaling years ago as a teen when I had no audience. Writing for myself comes easy. If you are not much of a writer, remember that no one else has to see your writing. You don’t have to share your inner-most-thoughts. Writing helps me, and I believe it can help you too. Complete happiness requires self-reflection, many people are afraid of it. It’s a lot of work. Writing is more than a need for me it’s a necessity!

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Injury Solutions! website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages. Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming challenges, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, the Breathe Writers Conference blog, newsletters, guest posts, and medical journals. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

 

Its God’s Timing

I think sometimes we expect too much in too little of a time. We don’t like to wait. We get frustrated if we’re in a long line. Through the power of the Internet we have a lot of information right at our fingertips! A student once told me that in her country, you could wait on the cable guy for a couple of days before he comes to resolve the issue with your television. I’m usually able fix any technical problem over the phone.

But we have to understand that in the spiritual realm things work differently. We can’t get what we want quickly, or simply have our dream come true! Success is a process, and so are things like healing and promotion. We have to work hard, and we have to learn to get better and earn what we have. There are no short cuts.

Have you ever heard its “God’s timing” before? God’s timing means you work towards your hopes, dreams, and goals but know that ultimately—you are not the one in control. He wants to promote you. But you have to trust Him. I would rather have God’s timing, it’s better than my own!

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Injury Solutions! website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages. Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming challenges, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, the Breathe Writers Conference blog, newsletters, guest posts, and medical journals. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

Merry Christmas!

Dear friends,

This is a letter I shared with close contacts today: http://eepurl.com/bKWiPj. I want to share it with you because you’ve supported me too. Thank YOU!

You can read about my recent adventure!

May you have a very blessed and Merry Christmas with your families!

Sincerely,

-Zina Hermez

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Injury Solutions! website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages. Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming challenges, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, the Breathe Writers Conference blog, newsletters, guest posts, and medical journals. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

My trip to HARVARD last weekend!

I attended the Business Expert Forum at the Harvard Faculty Club for a speaking event with people who are so successful. I was one of 60 speakers on December 5. Surreal. At times I couldn’t believe it. Sitting there looking at lights, cameras, and action! It was exciting, we gave TV-like-appearances that provided live streaming. I’ve never experienced anything like it!

One presenter was an engineer from Germany who’s worked closely with BMW, Audi, and Porsche. He was the youngest speaker there, I was the second. 😉 I watched the president of the Entrepreneurship Students Club at Harvard Business School give his talk. Another presenter was a coach originally from Australia (He said my speech inspired him : ). There was a doctor developing solutions for the blind, oh, and a billionaire!harvardblogpost

There was a famous actor, Jonathan Goldsmith, best-selling-authors, people who have been featured on ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX. There was a guy who’s worked with the president! I met a motivational speaker to Mel Gibson! She was so humble. The speakers were professional. I watched them all in awe and amusement. I was surrounded by talent.

Everyone was sharing their message, promoting their brand, or just socializing with others. At night there were hors d’oeuvres and cocktails. I love meeting people and networking. I really enjoyed it! Clint Arthur hosted it. He’s the founder and organizer of the Business Expert Forum. He made it possible for all of us!

My older brother, Joe, got me to the airport on time at 6am on Friday. In preparation for the big day on Saturday, I arrived early and stayed in Cambridge for a total of two nights. I took pictures of Harvard Square and MIT—a famous engineering college. My sister and her husband picked me up from the airport on Sunday. I really appreciated my family’s help!

I work very hard so this was a bonus! I felt exhausted when I returned home, but it was worth every moment! I had to find four substitutes to cover my classes, but now I can say I’ve been to Harvard. I’ve even SPOKEN there. I’ll never forget it!

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages. Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming challenges, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, the Breathe Writers Conference blog, newsletters, guest posts, and medical journals. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

My next Speaking engagement is on Dec. 5!

Dear friends,

This is a letter I shared with close contacts earlier:  http://eepurl.com/bImqHT. I want to share it with you, my readers, because you have supported me too. Thank YOU!

You can read about my upcoming adventure! And you can also watch me on livestreaming if you’d like! Click here: http://signupforthelivestream.gr8.com.

I hope you’ll join me!

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages. Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming challenges, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, the Breathe Writers Conference blog, newsletters, guest posts, and medical journals. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

A Moment of Thanks – An Excerpt from My Book

“All you need to know is that someone cares. A small detail, but it’s enough to turn your life around. Love changes things.” ~Zina

While in the hospital at sixteen I kept a journal, and each night at midnight—under my covers, with a flashlight in one hand and a pencil and pad in the other with music playing in the background—I would write. Here is one journal entry:

Dear God,

I believe You are with me—listening and answering my prayers. I feel lucky to have You. I’ve opened my heart, and I’m trying to more. I don’t know how I got so lucky because before the accident, I didn’t know how You worked. But now I have found myself, I know who I am, what I want, and where I’m going.

I was thankful God saved me, and because of the outpouring of love and support from family, friends, hospital staff, and even families of the other children– I felt worthy. I think love has the power to do that, take a broken teenager, and make them feel whole.

In moments of despair I can revisit this place, it will make anything I’m upset about small. Can you be thankful for a time in your life when things could’ve been worse? Focus on how God’s saving grace helped you. It is an act of THANKSGIVING!

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages. Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming challenges, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, guest blogs, newsletters, medical journals, and other publications. To learn more about Zina visit: http://zinahermez.com.

A quote from my book!

My life had changed dramatically, and only God could help me. I knew only God could get me out of this.” ~Not Without God

Me
Signing one of my books!

Have you ever felt this way? Was there a time when you knew that only God could help you? Maybe you suffered something, or encountered an experience that affected you tragically. If you’ve ever been in this place, you know, like I do that ONLY God can help you!

It can be a desperate place. A minute to minute, moment to moment, dependence-on-God-place. Maybe you weren’t religious or spiritual when you encountered it, or maybe you were a little but then felt like you needed Him more than EVER before!

It can be a tough place, an unpredictable place, a HOW CAN THIS HAPPEN place. I don’t wish for anyone to enter it because I’ve been there more than once! It can leave you feeling uncertain. Get to know Him. Before the phone call, the diagnosis, before the loved one dies, or before your heart breaks!

My accident happened at a young age. I had love for the Lord but it still turned my life around. I kept asking Him what to do, and all through my twenties continued. God seeks a relationship with you! Talk to Him like you would your closest friend.

We can never be prepared for an earthquake, but imagine if we had packed canned food and bottles of water, had an emergency hotline number that provided shelter, or found a charity. How much more prepared would we be?

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages. Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming challenges, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, guest blogs, newsletters, medical journals, and other publications. To learn more about Zina visit: http://zinahermez.com.

Faith as a Mustard Seed

Faith is the ability to see something good in your life with no evidence of it being true. You create the experience. ~Zina

I would like to share a quote from my book, Not Without God: A Story of Survival because I believe it can be helpful. “Life sometimes happens whether we are prepared or not. I had one hope: my faith.” What does this mean to you? When you read this passage, what comes to mind? Let me repeat it: “Life sometimes happens whether we are prepared or not. I had one hope: my faith.”

Could you paraphrase this expression, or interpret it if I asked you to? Feel free to share your thoughts with me. Faith means so much. I would not have come this far without it. “Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see (Hebrews 11:1).”

If I didn’t believe this passage, I would not have healed after my accident. I could see myself getting better in the beginning even when I could not move! But it took a lot of faith. Faith is not something you see, you can use it to imagine, to believe that something will happen even when it seems like it won’t!

Faith can be likened to a mustard seed. The Lord said that if you have “faith as small as a mustard seed” nothing will be impossible. So I want to challenge you. How can you have more faith? The kind of faith that can help you overcome. Are you practicing it? Jot down any ideas on how you can expand it. How can you water the mustard seed so that your faith will continue to grow?

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages. Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming challenges, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, guest blogs, newsletters, medical journals, and other publications. To learn more about Zina visit: http://zinahermez.com.

A Tribute for My Friend

I attended my friend Chris’s funeral the other day. He died at the tender age of thirty-five. Heart-breaking. Way too young. Sometimes I break out and cry, even when I think I am feeling fine. I can’t believe he’s not with us anymore.

He accepted me with my challenge. Although he lived in another state, he did his best to keep in touch by phone. He never denied his illness, and fought against it all his young life. He never denied being addicted.

With Chris at his sister, Heidi’s house a couple years ago!

Each time we spoke, I told him how proud of him I am for confronting his disease, for accepting his faults, and for trying to improve his life! In the end it got the best of him. Nonetheless, he was ahead of others in his situation.

He lost the battle though, and it hurts me so bad. I keep thinking – I should’ve tried harder. I should’ve been there for him more! I’m dwelling over what could’ve happened.

I’m listening to the Bible for comfort, it’s the only way to get me out of feelings of sorrow. I have faith he’s in a better place! The Pastor at his funeral was great. He kept saying how good our Lord is, and how He died for our sins and mistakes.

How this has everything to do with Jesus! He highlighted how Chris gave his life over to Christ. I love how he pointed out Chris even got baptized in the very same church we were at! “To be absent from the body is to be at home with the Lord” (2Cor. 5:8).

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages. Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming challenges, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, guest blogs, newsletters, medical journals, and other publications. To learn more about Zina visit: http://zinahermez.com.

 

Your Writing Has to Do Something!

It’s been over a week since I attended the Breathe Christian Writers Conference, but I won’t forget the quote that spoke to my heart the most. It came from Mike Wittmer, a professor during his Breakout Session titled, “The Hard Work of Writing Simply.”

Don’t get me wrong, there were many beautiful sayings there. Short tid-bits of inspiration. Thoughts on how to keep your writing fresh, and how to keep it eloquent. But Mike was urging us to “tell a story” in our writing because it can have more of an impact than facts!

He compared writing our story to the greatest one ever told – Jesus Christ’s. It is a story. Without the cross there would be no action, thus, there would be no story. Your writing has to do something! “Love came down and DID something!” he said. That is what we are drawn to. The action. The story.

Love came down and made the ultimate sacrifice!

(this post is inspired by an article I submitted to the Breathe conference blog)

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages. Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming challenges, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, guest blogs, newsletters, medical journals, and other publications. To learn more about Zina visit: http://zinahermez.com.

Google – the most popular search engine in the world!

Have you ever heard how Google got started? The story is similar to Facebook’s. Two Stanford PhD grads, Sergey Brin and Larry Page created it in 1998 while they were going to the university. Facebook began because of Mark Zuckerberg and his roommates in 2004 while they were attending Harvard.

But unlike Facebook, Google serves as more than a social network. Google’s mission statement from the beginning was “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” That sounds about right! What began as a private company is now the world’s most popular search engine!

Google has morphed into a massive technology company even selling on line advertising through a service that places YOU near the list of search results! Sounds exciting, doesn’t it? Especially if you want your personal message, brand, or business to be found!

Rapid growth has triggered a chain of items. Google offers email (Gmail), a cloud storage service (Google Drive), an office suite (Google Docs), web browsing (Google Chrome), and their social networking service (Google+) just to name some of their products.

A Google Plus account is just as important to have as a Facebook profile. I’ll tell you why! Google is the world’s #1 search engine. Next in line is Bing. Third is Yahoo search. Can you imagine Google’s influence over the internet?! It’s HUGE. Google even bought YouTube!

The more YouTube interaction, the more Google interaction! Simply upload songs. I started adding videos and playlists to my account in December of 2009. These are mostly Contemporary Christian songs that have helped with my recovery from spinal cord injury in the last few years. I would like to share them: http://tinyurl.com/qx46t7y

I’m a little excited because since I started my account, I’ve reached over 12,000 views just by uploading songs and copying my posts from WordPress! Google Plus has a wide influence. If you don’t already have a profile, why not start one?

“Google Plus helps with our S.E.O. strategy because our posts on Google Plus actually show up in our search engine results,” said Chandra Magee, senior director of audience development at Starbucks. If you want your business, brand, or personal message to be found, Google + is the way to do it!

(This article is inspired by a guest post I’m working on called “Why Google Plus?” for a friend’s business. Take a look at their website: http://getlocalclout.com.)

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages. Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming challenges, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, guest blogs, newsletters, medical journals, and other publications. To learn more about Zina visit: http://zinahermez.com.

Breathe Writers Conference

The Breathe Christian Writers Conference is coming up in a few weeks and I’m SO excited to be going! It’s in Grand Rapids, and close enough for me to drive. I enjoy road trips and it’s such a great event. I attended for the first time last year, and I learned so much there! It helped me grow as a writer, and Breathe has shared some of my guest posts since then. Here are the links if you haven’t read any of them:

http://breatheconference.com/home/featured-articles/writing-is-remedy.html

http://breatheconference.com/home/featured-articles/2322.html

http://breatheconference.com/home/featured-articles/2330.html

http://breatheconference.com/home/featured-articles/words.html

I hope you enjoy reading my articles! I look forward to attending, making friends, and enriching my career. My happiest moments are when I’m able to speak to others about what motivated me to write, and about how God saved my life! When I read passages from my book in front of a crowd, or teach from it I have the greatest feeling by far. Nothing compares. I hope to do more of this!

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages. Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming challenges, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, the Breathe Conference blog, newsletters, and medical journals among other publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

“Pin” Your Thoughts

Hi you guys!

I found an interesting quote on Pinterest. Have you heard of Pinterest.com? If you haven’t, I’m surprised. Pinterest is a photo sharing website. Users can save images or “pins” to their boards. Boards are created around a central topic.

The quote reads, “Writing is somewhere between torture and fun.”

When I saw this quote it made me laugh. I immediately “pinned” it to my Writing board! At times I feel like this. Do you like the quote? Can you remember a time when writing made you feel like this? Were you writing for school? Maybe you were venturing out and trying to write a song?!

A Writing Tip!

Have you ever heard of Writer’s block? It’s when you don’t have an idea of what to write about, or when you don’t know how to transcribe your thoughts.

You lose the ability to write for a while. It can feel like “torture,” so to speak. I know that sounds extreme. But I think the quote is meant to be funny.

When you feel like this, it is helpful to walk away – take a deep breath, relax, and come back to it. We all suffer from Writer’s block sometimes.

One technique is to let your writing “cool” off. Take a short break or recession, call a friend, make cookies, watch television, or exercise!

Getting your mind off it for a little while will help you recover from feelings of frustration. Another activity will help you feel refreshed when you pick up that pencil, or click on the keys of your computer again.

I started a Pinterest account and found that I really like “pinning.” Take a look: https://www.pinterest.com/zinahermez/ What do you think?

Search for a quote. One that speaks to your heart. It doesn’t need to be on Pinterest but you may use one of mine!

You can copy an image into the comments! Don’t be shy! Who knows, you may even start your own board!

Happy Blogging!

(This post is inspired by a blog I’m currently working on for a class but it is revised.)

~Zina Hermez

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages. Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming challenges, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, and the Breathe Christian Writers Conference blog. She has written newsletters, and appeared in medical journals. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

 

A Letter To My Friends

Dear friends,

This is a letter I shared with close contacts earlier. I want to share it with you, my readers because you have really supported me in my writing too. Thank YOU so much! Click on this link: http://eepurl.com/byiwwP

If you would like to receive updates, or news about future book events please subscribe to my newsletters: http://eepurl.com/1spwH

Have a Happy Labor Day weekend with family and friends!

Sincerely,

 

~Zina Hermez

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages. Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming challenges, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, and the Breathe Christian Writers Conference blog. She has written newsletters, and appeared in medical journals. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

 

 

Don’t Feel Defeated!

Life can be an uphill battle. The road can be rough. Don’t get down on YOU when it does. When you do you are not glorifying God because He is the One that made you! Ask Him for strength, and He will give it to you.

When I heard I would never walk after my accident at sixteen, I had a choice to make. I could’ve believed it. I could’ve just given up. I did the opposite, I didn’t accept it.

I fought for what I believed. I knew that if I only had enough faith and determination, I would. I never understood why someone would deliberately defeat you with their words.

Don’t let your hopes and dreams be shattered!

I understood Jesus’ love and I felt His healing presence. I saw it in everyone else. I felt it in the will He put in me to go forward. I was ready to face the challenge.

When your spirit is crushed. Remember life can be very tough. These times won’t last because they never do. After the storm comes the rainbow, and at the end of that is the pot of gold!

It’s important to remember He brought you through. It’s hard to forget when you’ve been through so much. You have to be strong, very strong.

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages. Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming challenges, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, and the Breathe Christian Writers Conference blog. She’s written newsletters, and appeared in medical journals. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

 

Dare to Dream

Do not be afraid to fail. Be afraid to never try. Fear of failure is the most tragic. ~Zina Hermez

There are moments in life we will never forget. Having book signings- meeting strangers who are touched by my story, and traveling to distance cities are some things I have encountered. These moments are precious to me. The friendships I’ve made, and the help I’ve gotten with writing my story is priceless! I can never forget it.

Without writing, and without self-expression I feel empty.

At times I want to spend hours on my love of writing, and not do anything else like attend to daily chores, and complete other tasks. I’ve thought about going on a writer’s retreat before. I’ve found pictures on line of places you can go to next to lakes or even oceans where you can stay in beautiful cabins. Where you go to write, and do nothing else for days.

I want to express myself through writing more than anything else.

When your book is published, it is only the beginning. And you have to begin writing long before that. Starting a blog, joining a writer’s group, or attending a writer’s conference are only a few steps you can take. Writing is an art. Like any other career, it takes time to develop. It’s a craft that you have to work at.

I want to write another book one day. I like to write quotes, and I think a book of inspirational messages would be nice. Please pray for me as I try to figure out how to undertake this new journey. We don’t always understand our direction and why we are being led. There are reasons we cannot understand until we have fulfilled our mission. ~Zina Hermez

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages. Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming challenges, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, newsletters, and medical journals among many other publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

Life Is to be Savored

I get surprised by people’s complaints sometimes. For example, when someone complains about not making enough money because they simply want to earn more and say over and over how they deserve it. It frustrates me.

I get shocked by the things people worry about because they are usually things I would not even consider. Having experienced a tragedy at a young age helped me put things in perspective. I wish that people could start to see the glass ‘half full’ instead of empty.

You can never truly know how precious life is unless you nearly reach the end of it.

Every moment is special. Don’t take life for granted. Stop looking to what you don’t have, and look to all that you do. Breath in your lungs, a place to rest your head, clean water, food, and the basic necessities mean a lot to many.

Even if they do not seem like enough to you. I read in an article that the average American donates less than $2,000 per year to those in poverty, and in third world countries. I find this disappointing.

We are the richest nation. When the Soviet Union broke apart after World War II, the United States was left as the only super power. Giving is a good remedy for depression too. That’s how you turn it around by extending your hand out to others.

You will never know the preciousness of a moment until you can no longer have it. ~Zina Hermez

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages. Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming challenges, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, newsletters, and medical journals among many other publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

For Writers (or anyone thinking of becoming one)!

“Thoughts” ~by Zina Hermez

Write for the joy of it, and for the release. Give your writing away for free!

It truly is a spiritual practice when you share your feelings, and when you share what’s inside your heart. Be led by faith.

Your words will stick. Your words will resonate, if they are meant to. Your words will not only change the reader, but they will also change you!

We live in a competitive world. Exposure holds a lot of weight. But number one, it’s about your words. Don’t focus on the fame.

Don’t focus on the pay. If you want to write a book, or for magazines or other publications, be encouraged you are spreading your message!

Your words will remain…in books, magazines, e-books, the Amazon book seller page, and many other places.

Writing is about your message.

For me it has to be about reaching people through my words, and through my faith.

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages. Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming challenges, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, newsletters, and medical journals among many other publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

Believe in what you don’t see!

Don’t look to the material, and rule out everything else. There is more to life then what we realize. Don’t get discouraged when things go wrong. There is more then our experiences. Heaven awaits us… It’s more then we think, and more then we could ask for. When we part from this earth, our possessions will not go with us. All we will have is our soul.

How is your soul? Do you feel hurt? So do I… Hear God’s words… “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal (Matthew 6:19-20).”

Do not hold onto anything too tight. For nothing in this life is truly yours. ~Zina Hermez

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages. Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming challenges, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, newsletters, and medical journals among many other publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

Dangerous Places

Guard your hearts. We are living in a time of desperation and loneliness. Take a look at what is happening around us. I usually don’t start my articles out like this but I am frustrated. Hatred only breeds hatred. Let’s put an end to it!

It feels like we are still living in the 1950s. I mean, we are having a debate about whether or not we should take down a Confederate flag? Seriously? This is the 21st century! Why are there people who racially divide us?

It’s interesting to me that so many think the end of the world is near. They talk about it on television, and write books about the end “signs” of the times. I read that there were people on this land in the year 12,000 B.C. (Before Christ). Yes, it’s true! We just arrived.

Where are the forward-thinkers? Do they exist? The insecure like to mask themselves with confidence. Tolerance and respect seem to be forgotten.

When you do not agree; it is better to accept the other side’s opinion even when you have a different belief. It is easier to like someone who agrees with you, but the challenge is to remain calm even in the midst of opposition. Isn’t that something we learned in grade-school?

Unity abounds. In it are the keys of life. Accept one another’s burdens. It’s the secret to making our lives light. ~Zina Hermez

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

Choices

I love this quote so much because it’s true. God repairs the broken road when we allow him to. Realize this. Nothing is wasted. Life is full of lessons, paths that are crooked, roads that are rocky, and not always smooth. Life is a learning experience. But in the end things will work out as they should if we only have faith. “I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight” (Isaiah 45:2).

“Sometimes we crave major change in the midst of pain because we’re desperate for something to give, but so often the choices we make from that place of hurt aren’t actually good for us” is a beautiful passage I read in a blog post of one of my most favorite authors in the world. His name is Benjamin L. Corey, and here is a link to his full article: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/formerlyfundie/5-things-wounded-christians-should-probably-avoid/

So try not to stress about what is happening now, about your past, something you said, or could have done different makes no difference anymore. Realize it’s never too late for a second chance. That is the beauty in all of this! We hope for many things. But God’s timing is better than our own. Trust is one of life’s great lessons. He’s the reason for our hope.

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

How Writing Can Help (YOU)

Do you dream of becoming a writer? Do you want to write better for work? School? Or for yourself? I dreamt of becoming an author, and my dream came true! For any dream job to occur, you must put in endless hours of dedication and effort. I can’t tell you the exact amount of hours I’ve spent at my computer writing and reading others articles and books. I’ve learned about many different techniques and styles. My craft still needs work!

Can we ever perfect our writing? I don’t think it is possible. Writing is one of those careers where there is ALWAYS room for improvement. It’s like an art piece that can never be complete! There’s more to learn. Today, I would like to encourage you to write more. I don’t think everyone has to become an author but if that’s your goal, it is attainable.

You can simply write for the health benefits. It’s been medically proven that writing improves the neural pathways of the brain. Keeping a journal can greatly help. It’s a form of therapy. Through writing your thoughts down, or by putting them on a screen by clicking on a keyboard–you can learn about yourself, and even break harmful patterns.

Writing can change your behavior once you realize your actions you can change them for the better. No one has to even see what you wrote! You don’t have to publish your innermost feelings. “Write without fear, edit without mercy” is a quote I came across on Pinterest. I like that one!

Here is the link to a recent guest post of mine on the Breathe Writers conference blog to further give you tips on writing:  http://breatheconference.com/home/featured-articles/2330.html Check it out! Feel free to share your thoughts on writing with me…

“When we write we heal.” ~Zina

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

You’ve already won!

If things don’t happen in the manner you would like them to it does not mean they are not happening at all (behind the scenes). You don’t know what God is doing. Faith is the ability to see something good in your life with no evidence of it being true. You create the experience. Imagine. Believe!

Something good is about to happen. You are only getting started! You can have a smile on your face every day, every moment, if you only try. Smile on purpose, is really great advice I heard one time. Don’t give up! Keep in mind that life has the capability of turning around in your favor. This is only the beginning…

“Life is a journey to be savored not a race to be won!” – Zina Hermez

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

 

Bask in Love

“The love that you withhold is the pain that you carry.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

When you know what it’s like to pray you make it through the day because of (mental) anguish you can eventually experience love in its fullest form.

Sometimes it’s hard to appreciate life when you’ve had it easy. But when you know what you do because of hardship, you can become more thankful for what you have.

When you’ve struggled more than once, and when struggling seems to be the only way—you have a decision to make. You can take life for granted, and become bitter as some do.

Or, you can choose to do something different. Allow the pain to enhance your life. Project it outward instead. Use it for good—give, or encourage. Don’t just keep it all inside.

Don’t ask why this happened. Remember, we are small in the larger scheme of life. We’re all trying to get through. I think that some make it while others simply get by.

Those that get by usually have it fine–the house, the car, children and a career. They don’t experience too much difficulty in their lives.

But those that make it are the ones that turn the tide. They may even change the course of history because they decide no matter what they will survive!

They not only want to thrive, but they also want to help others while they’re doing it too!

Why not help someone today?

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

Stop pointing fingers

Tonight I’d like to share a short story. As I left church one day a couple years ago, I was in admiration of all the beauty. Parents, toddlers, grandparents and smiling faces surrounded me on a picture perfect holiday.

I felt this sense of emptiness that I had for a while. My longing grew. The feeling overwhelmed me. I couldn’t take it anymore. I wanted to help. It felt as though there were a hole in my heart that needed to be filled.

I wanted to do the right thing. It’s hard to do that sometimes because people don’t always understand it. It’s hard to voice your beliefs and be vulnerable to others opinions, rejections, or dislikes—especially if they do not agree with you.

But there’s something in my heart. It consumes me. I want to help through what I’ve been through. I want to share my experiences, and help others heal from bad ones. I simply want to contribute before it’s too late. So tonight I want to say…

Stop pointing fingers.

We have enough problems. We are not in this state because of someone else like “the president.” It’s not all “his” fault, and it is not “theirs” either. We are in this state because we are. It is probably worse now than it ever has been. War, poverty, and racism are only a few of the things we are dealing with.

Stop pointing fingers.

The world doesn’t’ need it. Don’t we have enough problems? The world is not in the state it is because of “someone else.” It is not this country’s fault. Sometimes things go wrong because they do, and we can sit here and play the BLAME game all day long.

I had this longing, and this urge to try and do something good. Too often others turn away from religion because every time you turn around someone is blaming someone else. Maybe things just fell apart. It’s the people that use the principles to rule and to condemn, and to point fingers at.

Let’s stop doing that!

The cost of giving hope is immeasurable, and the rewards of it are satisfying to everyone. ~Zina Hermez

Plant seeds of faith

I have this desire. Sometimes I think everyone has it then I realize I’m mistaken. I want to help others through my writing. I want to help them heal. Yes, really. A lot of people. Many. Like thousands…maybe even a million! Does that make me vain?

Something really bad happened to me when I was younger. I knew that I would help others through it. My blog, “Spinal Cord Injury Solutions,” the one you’re reading now has been viewed almost 40,000 times! I would’ve never imagined.

I get emails of gratitude. I hear that I have helped others through sharing my story, and the thank yous are not only from people in the United States. I get emails from people in other countries. I wrote things I thought others already knew. I gave tips on how to overcome tragedy, and how to have faith.

I guess the world needs more of that. So I keep writing. I talked with a friend that thinks the end of the world is near. She can’t believe all that is happening. The massive killings, earthquakes in different parts, wars that never end, and all the atrocities. It deeply saddens me, but I don’t think the world is ending.

Martin Luther King just delivered his famous “I have a dream” speech in 1963, and that’s not very long ago. Women didn’t have the right to vote until the 1920s. I think the world is evolving. We still have a chance! I pray that things get better for us.

Change does not come easy. It has to start with you. It has to start with me. Let’s plant seeds. When we are long gone, our success won’t mean much. All we can leave is our mark. How would you like to be remembered by future generations?

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

The broken places

Found on pinterest.com

This quote speaks to my heart so I want to share it. In life, we deal with situations that can “break” us, so to speak. Illness, an end to a friendship, divorce, and loss of employment, only name a few things we may go through.

We don’t have to give up. We can choose to fight. We can examine our situations, and figure out what we could have done different. What went wrong, and allow these experiences to change us for the better.

Unfortunately, some people become bitter when things like this happen to them. They don’t use obstacles to enhance their lives. They may hide behind an addiction, or hold onto negative feelings because the pain is unbearable.

But when we are honest with ourselves, deal with the hurt, and look boldly at situations. We can learn from our experiences, carry on, and keep our smiles. Don’t let one bad experience dim all the other good areas in your life!

If you are experiencing unrest in your soul, there is a reason. You are being pushed forward. You can choose to grow! Don’t get stuck with feelings of negativity because it’s easy, or because you fear having faith in the unknown. God has more for you then you realize!

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

 

My Life

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

Happy Easter!

Dear friends,

Happy Easter to you! I want to share my most recent news, and also let you know about an Easter promotion we are running on “Not Without God.” The e-version of my book is practically FREE right now. There are only a few hours left! I would love for you to read it! Please take advantage of this special opportunity.

Click on this link to read my update: http://eepurl.com/bi1CAL.

May the joy, hope, and promise of Easter fill our hearts today and every day!

Sincerely,

~Zina Hermez

My Unique Experiences!

There are many things I love about being an author! One of my favorites is the opportunity to meet people from various places in the country, and even various places in the world! They write to me on my blog sometimes. It’s like teaching English in a way, and I like that. But it’s different because I have met so many people online! Good thing that meeting people is one of my hobbies!

I’ve been to about four, maybe five Writer’s conferences. I will make it a point to attend at least one, hopefully more than that each year. It’s nice to be surrounded by others that have the same interests, and it never hurts to see so many smiling faces! I don’t plan to stop writing so conferences can be a nice place for me to be.

The last one I went to was the Breathe Christian Writers Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I met some really nice people. I like that Breathe is within driving distance from my home. I don’t have to fly out anywhere, and I can still get all the same benefits. By the way, I love road trips!

My friends at Breathe have been so kind! They published a few of my articles on their blog. This is the latest: http://breatheconference.com/home/featured-articles/2322.html Oh, and here are a few sights from previous conferences. And please read my article on Breathe!

Award-winning-mosaic! The "Crucifixion." Breathe Christian Writer's Conference  in Michigan (There's no place like home!), October 2014.
Award-winning-mosaic! The “Crucifixion.” Breathe Christian Writer’s Conference, Oct. 2014.
Rodeo Drive--California Writer's Conference, Mar. 2014.
Sunset Blvd.–California Writer’s Conference, March 2014.
Hollywood!--California Writers Conference, March 2014.
Hollywood–California Writer’s Conference, March 2014.
The view from my hotel room.:) Las Vegas Writer's Conference, October 2013.
The view from my hotel room.:) Las Vegas Writer’s Conference, October 2013.

Words.

I search for them. They’re not always easy to find. It’s easier to find them when I’m writing to myself. Sometimes they come pouring out. When I write to others, I edit many times. Why? I have so much to say, but I fear that others won’t like my…words. I fear that others won’t be able to relate.

So. I go over words. Again, and again. Until I’m tired, and until it’s late. Until my bed is shouting out my name! Finally, I execute in hopes that my words are good. Positive feedback means the world! When you write–words. When you write–thoughts. Especially when they come from that innermost place.

I sometimes try to imagine I’m having a cup of coffee with a friend while I write. It helps. It reminds me that the world is more compassionate than I think. I don’t have to be afraid of anything. Words are more powerful than you know. Don’t underestimate them.

It’s worth it to write! It’s worth taking the time! Not only to practice the art, but to explore who you are. Who you are meant to touch and who you are meant to meet. In turn, you are also touched! All because someone read your…words. All because someone read your…heart. It’s a beautiful thing.

Accept Life’s Challenges

“Seeds of faith are within us; sometimes it takes a crisis to nourish and encourage their growth.” –Susan Taylor

We want good things, and we become disappointed when life doesn’t go as planned. We can try to see our obstacles as experiences that bring us closer to our purpose, and that may relieve some of the pain. I think everything in my life is the way it supposed to be, but that doesn’t mean I like the way everything is. I complete the tasks set before me. I press on, in faith. From strength to strength, I am being shaped. When you’ve gone through something tragic, you can feel a deeper sense of appreciation for life.

People tell me “you’re so strong” all the time. Perhaps I am; but for me to be here is a part of God’s plan. He controls everything. I think sometimes people have this misconception that they are rewarded because of their effort and everything they do. Good things happen to them, and they get surprised when bad things occur. We can’t get angry when things go wrong in our lives. God wants to bless us. He wants to be there for us and be our best friend. But we have to trust Him. In time, He makes all things right.

Experiencing peace in all of it

Have you ever healed from reading about your own life? As I read through trauma I overcame as a teen, I feel a sense of peace. How could this be? I can read my book and feel better while doing it. What once welled up my eyes with tears as I wrote, is now a source of healing for me. It gives me strength for whatever I am dealing with.

I cherish this free time because life as I know it has changed. Things will never be the same. I’m more of a caretaker for my parents now than ever before. For those of you that don’t know, English is not my mom and dad’s first language. If I’m not teaching the subject, I’m working because I’m helping them with their medicine, making appointments, talking to doctors, or explaining things.

The illnesses of others weighs heavily. This lingering feeling of loneliness has been there… Never had a circle where I belong. Although I’ve been blessed with some really good friends, I struggle to find acceptance. In my pursuit to gain it, I realize I am also in pursuit to accept myself. I am different. What I mean is…

God told me my path would not be easy. I knew this road would be hard. Whenever I got a chance, I was outside as a child riding my bike. On those nights I remember feeling God’s presence strongly. I was getting instructions on the steps of my life. There would be some trying times, but I would make it through. I knew the other kids were not like me. I used to feel weird for having these feelings and thoughts.

If I told you I’m going to call, and haven’t gotten around to it, or if I suggested we spend time and plans fell through–I apologize. Between teaching, taking care of my own stuff along with helping Mom and Dad—I’ve got a lot to do! If I have not been as responsive as I usual am on social media sites, I have not forgotten you. Thank you for caring and for reading my post!

 

Be Originally You

All my life I’ve had to fight. I’ve been told I’m too independent, and too strong. I’ve heard, “don’t you need help?” And how can I live, “by myself.” What people don’t understand is you do your best to compensate when you’ve lost so much. Strength is my survival skill. I wouldn’t give it back for the world! I DON’T KNOW HOW TO GIVE UP.

From a young age, I had to be tough. I had to make my own decisions. Our life experiences shape us into who we become. I can’t alter or change myself to appease others. We tend to shun what we don’t understand. I can’t feel guilty for being me. We’re all different. I march to the beat of my own drum. In a culture like this one, I am not the norm. Thanks for listening to my rant!

I did not know for sure I would become a writer. Though I had a feeling I would write a book. Watching it come to fruition has been fabulous. There is so much more I want to write. Writing about yourself can be closely monitored. There’s something about telling your own story. It’s different from writing a fiction book where you can hide behind characters.

As a child, I knew my path would not be easy. God assured me I would make it through. He communicated that to me in feelings and in thoughts. God doesn’t need words to communicate with us. We can hear from him, if we only try. ~Zina Hermez

When Faced with Rejection

“Nothing happens by mistake when you walk by faith.” ~ Zina Hermez

Some focus on the “no” when others realize there was a blessing in the rejection. Thank you God for saving me when I don’t know how. Some stare at the closed door for too long when others stare at the perfect result. I’m thankful for the closed doors. Some see hardship when others see promotion. Let’s be thankful for the endurance to carry it out!

How do you envision your life? Look at things from this perspective. We have two outcomes: good, and bad. If every outcome produces something good, would it make the bad worth it? Interesting question. Does it depend on how bad the bad is, and how good the good is? Many difficulties equal many blessings. Do you feel better about the no’s, now?

When faced with refusal, remember you must be doing something right! Your challenges, struggles, setbacks, and “closed doors” are all ways of pushing you forward in life. Whether you realize it or not. C.S. Lewis said, “Failures are fingerposts on the road to achievement.”

Do not be afraid to fail. Be afraid to never try. Fear of failure is the most tragic.

When you fall, your first reaction is to get back up. Then you feel more confident because your feet are on solid ground. Remember, it’s not about how many times you fall—it’s about how many times you rise. Life can be a learning experience. I am forever a student. We each have a different set of skills. Let’s help each other since we are all bound, by this thing, called love.

Let’s live together, happily. Moving one another forward. Helping each other develop.

In times of crisis…

Listen. Wait. Be still. The answers are near. Don’t get nervous, and don’t be afraid. When I am worried, I remember the One that is able to calm me. Sometimes I break out and yell “Thank you Jessszzzusssss!” aprofilepict the top of my lungs.

I did this while at my parents house last night, and they looked at me with big smiles. They were a little surprised. I couldn’t understand why. I do this when I’m home alone at times. I thought they knew that about me. It made them happy!

We just started holding hands and praying lately. I direct them while speaking aloud. It feels good to do that. I have a strong feeling I will be doing that with others someday, but I don’t know when.

I can’t help but thank God by screaming in this manner. After all I’ve been through. I’m still going through a lot. I do my best to help my parents with all of their doctors appointments and everything. I wonder what I will do when they are gone. The thought of it scares me.

When I am shaken, and when I am rattled–I will remember the One that is able to fight every one of my battles. ~Zina Hermez

The Little Things in Life Really ARE the Big Things!

As my birthday approaches on Monday, I’m grateful for my life. In the back of my mind, I feared I would not make it past thirty when I was younger. I thought that way because of my accident. Here I am, it’s been twenty years since that fateful day. I’m still here.

I had a strong feeling I would influence others through all that happened. I wanted to help the sick, the hurting, and those who are helpless. My book, Not Without God is only the beginning. I’ve been blogging to reach out to others with or without spinal-cord-injury for two and a half years.

But there is more I want to accomplish. I try to offer hope in as many ways as I can in my book and on my blog. I have been there so I can relate. I understand what a lot of people are experiencing. In some aspects, I had to grow up fast.

When I’m asked how I walked again when I’m out in public, or how I survived my accident—I talk freely of my faith and of how God saved me! I’ve been doing that for years. I want to give hope. I want to tell about Christ.

It must be my energy, but strangers are often not shy to ask me questions. Very early while still in the hospital at Mott Children’s, I felt I would help others in some way. It’s no wonder I wrote a book about my life. It’s surreal, and exciting!

I would not have made it this far without the love and support of many. One of my dreams was to finish college, and have a career despite all my injuries. I graduated high-school on time, and walked on a walker to receive my diploma. I fulfilled the promise I made to myself—to walk on graduation day.

I worked so hard through college. I put a wheelchair in and out of the car several times a day. I began working in the classroom when an instructor asked me if I would like to be a tutor in Composition classes at twenty-two years of age.

When others see me and sometimes express that they feel sorry I need to walk with assistance. I explain that each crutch weighs less than two pounds. They are much lighter than a wheelchair, and much easier to put in and out of a car!

Some people don’t realize how good they have it until something bad happens, or until they meet someone like me and then their faith is challenged. Unless you’ve gone from paralyzed to walking, you really can’t understand how freeing walking can be!

It’s one of the reasons I’m thankful for every day, and it’s why I appreciate EVERYTHING!

My life is a miracle, and so is the ability to walk.

Happy Birthday to me!

Happy MLK day!

Found on pinterest.com

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

A Soul Check

We are looking at abundance: a place to rest our heads, loved ones that are still alive, cars, jobs, families, and good friends—things us Americans usually expect. Meditate on these things, and you will be grateful. I know I am. In the material sense, all of the above may not seem like enough! “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” is a true comment. We don’t value the preciousness of moments until we can no longer have them. I’m thankful for the simple things: breath in my lungs, the ability to think, the ability to write, and of course, the fact that you are reading this (smile).

When we part from this earth, our possessions will not go with us. All we will have is our soul. How is your soul tonight? Are you angry? So am I. God never promised us an easy life. But if we seek after Him we can get through anything! The brokenness is where we experience His outpouring love. We may have to become desperate. We may have to have nowhere else to go. It can take a cry out to God in the middle of the night! Immediately, He comes to our aid. I was getting a little worried the other day and I heard God’s whispers, “Zina, have I ever let you down? What makes you think I will now?!”

Love that Surpasses Understanding

There is a love that surpasses all understanding: in it, there is no fear, no pain, and no anxiety. There’s only peace. When you know, when you know what you know, and when you experience this kind of love–you become free! It’s not easy to know it. It starts with a hint of grace, a touch of serenity. Words can’t describe it. You must feel blessed. You must be having a moment–a light bulb, moment. When that moment comes, hold onto it! It doesn’t stay around.

Pretty soon evil will try and resurface itself: the anger, the hurt, the confusion, and the anxieties. But you know what I’ve learned? Evil cannot last for very long. No matter how hard it tries to make its home! It diminishes itself because love is stronger. There is no comparison. It’s the power of humans connecting.

It occurs when someone comes in and saves your life. Okay, that may be extreme but it applies! It is in the simple gestures, a friendly hello, thoughtful words, the warmth of a hug, or the compassion in a smile. The fear vanishes, the pain goes away, and the anxieties leave.

You realize you took a giant leap, and you have no idea how you did it! It began with the friendliness of the smile, the encouraging words, and the compassion extended. Someone brought you closer to love. Someone you were meant to meet, destined to know, on this spectrum, this thing called life. You are changed. YOU are never the same.

This post is dedicated to my father, Yacoub Hermez.

Not Without God Book Signing at Barnes & Noble Booksellers!

Tonight I would like to share some photos. These are just a few pictures from my Book Signing at Barnes & Noble last Sunday! Many friends showed up, and some brought their families too! I’m grateful to have such kind and caring friends. Some people that I had never met came just to hear me speak. After my speaking engagement, I gave a short Q and A at the end. Some stayed around and chatted and socialized. People got copies of my latest (my first!) book, Not Without God signed! I’ll never forget it! I had so much fun!

I remember going to Borders and Barnes & Noble book stores through college. Remember, Borders? Yeah. They went out of business. Thankfully, Barnes & Noble book stores have not! I’d meet friends and study there, or go alone to browse at the books in the aisles. I’d grab a cup of coffee or favorite drink at the time, and plant myself in the café reading and writing for hours. I still enjoy doing this. It’s great to have everything you want at the stroke of your fingertips: Amazon, eBay, and the wealth of knowledge we have on the Internet.

But there is something special about going to the book store–holding a book, flipping through the pages, sipping on hot chocolate, learning new things, and meeting friends! I had a feeling I would be here. What do I mean? I knew my words would be mixed in with all the others, pages, chapters, and books. Here I am. It’s what I knew I would do! It’s fascinating! I look forward to more speaking engagements, more signings, and more friends!

“How a Teenager Overcame Traumatic Injuries”

My story was shared on the Salonpas blog earlier today, and I wanted to post it! I answered questions from a reporter in New York about myself and my book. Here is the link: http://www.salonpas.us/blog/teenager-overcame-traumatic-injuries/

I was asked how I felt when I first heard I would not walk again from doctors after my accident, and what my first major step in recovery was. Other questions were about what role my faith has played, and what made me decide to write a book, along with more! I am pleased with the article!

Hope you enjoy it!

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

You are Worthy

Sometimes in life we feel underappreciated, and even undervalued. During these times we can remember that nothing is wasted. God sees all our efforts. Everything will work out because we are worthy to Him. Our attempts, and our energy that have been geared toward bettering our lives or the lives those around us do not go in vain. God appreciates it! No matter what. So when you feel this way take confidence in your Creator. He knows what is happening, and He is in control. He will not let you fall. He will not let you go!

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

Everything Happens For a Reason

Found on Etsy.com

I really believe that. I don’t mean it in a Hallmark card kind of way. It really does! All of our experiences. They can make us better, or they can make us worse. If they make us better than they have fulfilled their mission. We are not put on this earth to decline. Naturally, we sometimes do. But if we choose to see our experiences–good and bad–as reasons to get better, and continue to grow then the “bad” ones fulfill their purpose. They are for our growth! And what more could we ask for? If every experience is seen as a learning opportunity then we have unlocked the secret on how to stay happy. Nothing is bad. There is nothing better than that!

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

Happy New Year!

Today I would like to share some photos with you. The pictures are from book signings, writer’s conferences, and speaking events. I thought this would be a nice way to recap, and prepare for the New Year! These pics may give you a glimpse into my life, and what it is like to be a writer. I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed the moments they were taken.

The gorgeous view from the balcony of my hotel room at a writer’s conference in Las Vegas! When I got to the hotel, it felt surreal.
In CALIFORNIA after another writer’s conference last year in March, enjoying the beautiful scenery!

 

What an exhilarating time! I shared with my friend Millie’s non-profit group at a speaking engagement in April.

 

Reading an excerpt from my book, Not Without God at a book-signing sponsored by Beztak Homes last September! So fun!

 

A special moment with Linda and her daughter, Sara!
The “Not Without God” cake at my book party in November. My sister-in-law shocked me when she walked into the room with this! So awesome!

Happy 2015! Thank you to everyone, I had a great year! I wont forget it. I look forward to our friendship for many years to come.

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

Inspiration

“Thoughts” ~ by Zina Hermez

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

Writing is an Art

“Thoughts” ~ by Zina Hermez

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

 

A Writer’s Soul

From theexaminer.com

I first learned of Virginia Woolf in a class I took in college years ago. I loved my English classes; I got to read literature, often times historical literature, and a lot of it was about different writers or people who have made an impact. I learned about American classic writers such as Henry David Thoreau, Edgar Allen Poe, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Frederick Douglas, Sylvia Plath, and others.

It’s striking to me that both Sylvia Plath and Virginia Woolf committed suicide. I tried to make the connection, and found it interesting that they were both writers. I mean I’ve heard before that artists can be more inclined to things such as depression and mental illness. I find it so sad that these talented women died by taking their own lives.

I came across this quote and it spoke to my heart so I wanted to share it. Whenever I’m done writing I feel a sense of relief. But many thoughts I have remain. There is so much more I want to say. Sometimes I hold back. Writers can be good at doing that. I would love for my works to reflect ALL the secrets of my soul, experiences of my life, and qualities of my mind!

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

 

My Christmas Note

Dear friends,

This is a Christmas letter I shared with close contacts earlier today. I wanted to share it with you, my readers because you have really supported me in my writing too. Thank YOU! Please click on this link: http://eepurl.com/baae45.

If you would like to receive news such as book-signings, speaking events, or periodical updates please click on this link here: http://eepurl.com/19Hl1. to subscribe to occasional newsletters.

Merry Christmas to you and your families!

May the joy, peace, and light of Christmas be with you now and through the new year!

Sincerely,

 

~Zina Hermez

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

Merry Christmas Eve!

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

When times are tough…

At times I find myself waiting for the “fight” to end forgetting that I have been fighting all my life. Setbacks, an accident, or just plain opposition have all made me fight. I think it’s naïve to think that the hard times will end. Yes, things can change for the better and when they do it is wonderful!

Things sometimes change for the worse. This is when I must realize that the fighting never ends. I don’t mean to fight as in a physical one, but in a spiritual, mental, or emotional battle. Still God bestows His blessings upon us. It seems that the more we are blessed the more we have to fight sometimes.

Everyone has to live with adversity in their life. It feels good to let this out because I can see that struggles are something we all encounter. I can do my best to remember that even though there are difficulties the outcome depends on how I respond—by never quitting, and never giving up hope for the better I have already won.

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

Why we celebrate Christmas

From Etsy.com

 

Christmas is for the poor… Christmas is for the weak… Christmas is for the broken-hearted…The lonely…and the meek. It’s the magic of Christmas that can heal our hearts. Christmas movies often portray beautiful families with a simple message: a lesson learned, usually. There is almost always a happy ending.

But Christmas is not only about gifts under the tree, and togetherness with family. It’s about something greater. It’s not about what you get, but what you’ve already got–a Savior. Jesus entered our hearts. Born of the Virgin Mary, at a time when babies were put to death because the king sought to kill Him.

As a man He changed the course of history. A human sacrifice. He died for you and for me. Sent by God, the Holy Father, He performed miracles, signs, and wonders that could not be performed by men. Fully human, and fully divine, He rose again! Christmas is about hope, and Christmas is about peace.

Christmas is about Jesus. He is the reason for the season.

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming challenges, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, newsletters, and medical journals among other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

 

5 more days!

 

Merry Christmas!

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

In Love with Life

From pinterest.com

Not all the time. But usually. I try to not complain – even when things aren’t going right. This has not been the easiest year. I have had some added stress. I’m teaching English, writing thoughts down, and trying to stay in contact with those who care. It’s a busy time.

I do love life! I wouldn’t trade places with anyone else. Not because mine is the best; not even close. But things always fall into place even when they seem to be falling apart. Does that make any sense?

It’s true! Life improves.

How we respond to situations makes a difference when times are tough. We can worry, we can stress. But it doesn’t profit us. I’m looking forward to a Not Without God book signing in January, and another one scheduled in early April.

Everything will be okay. It always is. And, it’s almost Christmas!

“The Lord helps His people in their times of despair.” ~Zina Hermez

Can you remember a time when your difficulties brought you closer to God? Did things eventually come together? Feel free to share your thoughts.

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

 

‘Tis the Season

From bloglovin.com

About Zina Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages. Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

Writing is Remedy

My article was shared on the Breathe Christian Writers Conference blog earlier today, and I wanted to share it! Here is the link http://breatheconference.com/home/featured-articles/writing-is-remedy.html it describes how writing helped me in the most difficult time in my life, after my accident. It also explains how writing is a hobby of mine, and how I’ve been drawn to it all my life.

Writing is a remedy. Writing helps me heal. Writing helps me grow.

I went to the conference for the first time in October of this year. I made new friends, and it was nice to connect with other writers in my home state of Michigan. I plan on going to Breathe again. I was honored to write this article, and have it shared on their website. I look forward to learning more about the art of writing there!

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

How to Stay in Grace

From allposters.com

It is hard to be in a state of grace when there is opposition. You may have a loud neighbor, a mean co-worker, or someone you don’t get along with. There are many things that can keep us from grace. I feel far from grace right now. My health is not what it should be, and my father’s not doing well. The ability to live in grace all the time would be a wonderful feat. How nice if I could always feel grace. I would like to try it so I will not be stressed, and I will not get angry when people point fingers. When all my efforts are not appreciated, I will remember why I worked so hard in the first place – to be obedient to God. I will do my best even when I don’t get credit. I will not give up. So my joy cannot be taken. I can teach myself to live in a state of grace no matter what. And that would be a very beautiful thing…

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

Serenity

From huffpost.com

I feel a sense of serenity tonight, but my life is not serene. I would like to get used to this feeling. It’s not peaceful all the time. There are obstacles, there is conflict, and there is a lot of noise (in my mind). I’ve felt more anxiety this year than I’ve felt before. But I’ve been praying, and I’ve been feeling the calm beyond the storm.

Whenever the anxiety rises, I will remember this feeling. I will replace it with what I know. Those feelings of fear never last. They only appear for a short time. It’s because those negative feelings are false so they cannot remain within us for very long. They disappear so they cannot spread, or stay around.

“Serenity is something we can never have enough of.” ~Zina Hermez

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

It is Well with Me

Found on pinterest.com

I’m in a state of confidence tonight. Not because things are easy, and not because things are right. But because I know that things are the way they are supposed to be right now in my life. The hard parts. The easy parts. All of the above.

So I have to trust. Trust that things will work out for me because they usually do. I can visualize it. Life is getting better every moment. I am calm. I am at peace. Things that I would worried about before, I no longer worry about anymore.

I am taking on a different attitude!

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

 

How to Defeat Pain

When you are in a painful situation, you can’t always see past it to a better future. It can be difficult to feel that things will ever change. You don’t always see the light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak. But the pain will pass! Everything changes. You have to be gracious. You have to stay thankful. You have to wait.

I encourage you to do that. I am trying to stay thankful in the midst of some stressful situations. When I fall apart it does not help much. So stay strong. Resilience is key. It’s about bouncing back. Don’t get stuck in “woe is me.”

When you rise above those negative feelings you soon realize that you have conquered them. You’ve overcome. You come back to grace… You come back to peace…

A changed mind is a very powerful thing! ~Zina Hermez

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

Appreciate the Good and the Bad

Be thankful for EVERYTHING you have. You may not realize how precious what you have is when you have a lot of good things! We do that sometimes. We take life for granted when things are naturally easy, or going well. If things have always been good we can expect them to be good all the time. We may become angry when something is not!

When things are tough, it’s a different story. If one thing is bad it can help us look around and appreciate all the good! We can learn to be thankful during this time. When things are bad it can actually humble us because we can see the good stuff more clearly.

I’m trying to be thankful for the good and the bad tonight. The trials and tribulations, the lessons and mistakes, the losses and heartaches, and the failures and setbacks. They are all gifts. All of them.

It never feels good to go through these things, but if it brings me out better, stronger, wiser, or healthier than I was before I’m grateful. They worked for my greater good.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

When things change…and they do.

“Loneliness has never been a respecter of persons. The world’s greatest artists, writers, and composers…everybody, has felt this terrible thing called loneliness.” –Billy Graham

Things have changed. Experiences in our lives can do that. I feel like I’m waiting for my life to be normal again. Then I’m reminded that my life has never been “normal” since I was young. So I get used to a new normal, or whatever that means. I do my best to help others while sometimes neglecting myself. I know it’s not good for me. When one suffers we all suffer, I believe. Have you ever watched a loved one suffer? Their pain can hurt you.

Right now I am trying to figure out how to make it through the day because I’m so busy. There is so much to do, and my to-do-lists keep growing. I’ve been maintaining a work-out schedule, and that makes me happy. I have to write each night. I have this hunger to hit the keys! I would like to keep up with that.

It really helps me. I hope it helps you too! I‘ve been thinking about how nice it would be to have a cup of coffee with a good friend. I enjoy social time with others. I’ve been lonely. Recently I’ve been doing more talking on the phone. But it is nice to go out, and actually see friends.

What do you do when things become unmanageable? What do you do when things become tough? What do you do when all that you do is not enough?

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

 

Unconditional Love

“Thoughts” by Zina Hermez

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages. Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

Prayer

“Thoughts” by Zina Hermez

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages. Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

Gratitude

“Thoughts” by Zina Hermez

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages. Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

Me time!

From duoparadigms.com

Be thankful for what you can do today because you might not be able to do it tomorrow! ~Zina Hermez

I’ve been dealing with a lot. I hate to write that because I’ve been so blessed this year with the publication of Not Without God. But man, things are tough! The biggest change this year is that I’ve become more of a caretaker for my parents. Unfortunately, my dad’s illness has progressed. I’ve been working with doctors and nurses to try to manage him. It’s been taking up much of my free time lately.

So I asked myself what I would do with a few hours of time to myself! I thought about being in a place like Manhattan, New York to see all of the beautiful Christmas sights, or to simply have dinner with a good friend. Spending some time doing whatever I want would be nice. This weekend, I am going to spend some me time – I’ll do a little shopping, call friends, take care of all of my chores, and just relax!

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages. Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

 

My Writing Life

Found on pinterest.com

This is how I feel about my writing. There is so much I want to say. Many thoughts I have remain, and they keep piling up. Little by little, I get them out. Each time I express myself, I feel relieved. Still it’s not enough. It’s never enough. I hold back at times. I don’t want to say too much. So I write again and again. Writers can get good at holding back. I have so much to say. So much I want to share. Not enough time. Sometimes not enough guts.

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages. Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

How to Have Faith

Faith doesn’t promise us an easy life, but it does promise that we will have the strength to endure. What is faith, you ask? The Bible says “Faith is the realization of what is hoped for, and evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). Try envisioning your hopes and dreams whether they are career goals, hopes to get well, or whatever healthy goals they may be. Hoping to win the lottery does not apply! I used to imagine myself out of a wheelchair very early on after my accident. I would have visions of being up on a walker or up on a cane. I saw myself no longer paralyzed, and that dream came true. I am still not walking as well as I would like to be, but I have not given up. I am thankful for the progress I have made. When you’ve gone from paralyzed to walking again, you can really appreciate how freeing walking can be. What do you need faith for? A better job? Better health? Better relationships? Pray about it. Ask for it. Believe in it. These are all components of faith. No matter what, don’t let any negative thoughts convince you otherwise!

Faith is the ability to see something good in your life with no evidence of it being true. You create the experience. ~ Zina Hermez

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

 

How to Cope With Tragedy or Loss

When everything is right, there is not as much to be thankful for and we may take life for granted. When something goes wrong, we can thank God for the things that are right before us! ~Zina Hermez

Sometimes our lives can be forever changed: for example, if a loved one moves away, a friendship ends, or a family member becomes ill we can feel a sense of grief. When these doors close, it is difficult to not look back at them because they were open for so long. We have to adjust, we have to become comfortable with the uncomfortable, and we have to deal with the unknown. When matters change for what you see as the worst remember there is a safe place. That safe place is where you take comfort in the Lord, and are assured that He will be with you every step of the way. At these times, we have to rely on God. Suffering can humble our souls. When prompted to trust in God because of a dim situation rather than it being a choice we can feel scared. Will God really be there? Is he behind the scenes? If so, why the storm? Chaos does not mean that God is not around. Crisis does not mean that He does not care. He was the one that carried you through it and brought you this far. When you are trying to figure out how to deal with things when they go wrong. You need God. Don’t be afraid to trust in the Lord!

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

A Marine that Walked Again!

Here is a beautiful and inspiring story of a marine I found on Google, and I wanted to share it! Here is the link: http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/nation/2014/11/24/marine-bionic-legs-bronze-star/70062558/ This article also does a nice job explaining what the ReWalk is—one of the latest advancements in technology for people with spinal-cord-injuries. It is battery powered, a wearable robotic device that enables people with paraplegia and other types of lower limb dysfunction the ability to stand, and actually walk!

I’m grateful I don’t need the ReWalk to walk, but for this advancement I am very thankful because I think it will change lives for the better and help a lot of people walk again. Even if minimally, it will get them out of their wheelchairs. Just like it has helped Capt. Herrera.

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

Keys to Success

Found on pinterest.com

There are no prerequisites to success. Success is not measured by what you have, what you own, or the amount of approval you get. Success is measured by the ability to remain happy in life even when circumstances are not so bright. ~ Zina Hermez

I’m thankful for many things. My life has not turned out exactly how I expected it to, but in many ways it’s far better than I ever imagined it could be. I always knew I had something significant to do. I couldn’t come here and do nothing. I feel that I’m now fulfilling that desire through my writing. I’ve learned that success in life is not measured by what you have, or who surrounds you. The favor of others is not a prerequisite to being happy. I’m very lonely at times, but I’ve learned that a prerequisite to happiness is taking all of the love that God has given you, and accepting it. Bask in it. And with a hopeful spirit, look ahead at tomorrow. There are joyful opportunities awaiting you. You’ll see.

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

Conflict to Peace

Conflicts can bring out our strengths if we allow them to. Rather than complaining when a conflict arises, try seeing it as an opportunity to get better. You may never know how strong you are until you are faced with a difficulty. There are different levels. I’m speaking of a true challenge! Something traumatic, and something overwhelming. Remember that when tragedies appear our endurance shines. Often times, we will face more than one. “God will never give you more than you can handle” is a popular expression. He anticipates everything, and He does not like to see us hurting. Unfortunately, there is no way to avoid pain in this world. When things seem far from perfect, understand that you are being shaped into the individual you are destined to be. These experiences can be looked at as a chance to develop your faith and patience. God will give you the direction to handle whatever it is if you accept His guidance through the Holy Spirit.

We don’t know what tomorrow brings. No matter what we are thankful. Be strong and steadfast in your faith.

Happy Thanksgiving!

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

 

We All Struggle

Found on iambaker.net

There is nothing we have been through that another person has not. Keep that in mind. This has been one of the greatest years of my life, but at times it has been challenging. I’ve had a few struggles. Still it has been a very busy and fun year with my book coming out, and with God opening doors! But when you think you are alone, you are not.

I learned that yesterday as I overheard a woman speaking to a loved one, and she sounded a lot like me. So I wanted to share that tonight. As horrible as things may seem, someone else is going through exactly what you are. No matter what it is. We may think that our experience is far worse than anyone else’s. It’s not true. Someone else is going through it too. Remember that.

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

Work on Yourself

Found on picturequotes.com

Have you ever tried to clean up other people’s mess while neglecting your own? God can heal us when we focus on ourselves. We have to understand. Why do we act like He can’t? Some don’t want to get better. It’s their decision. Don’t get used to that place of discomfort, and that place of unhappiness. Stop trying to improve someone else’s life when you have to work on yours. It doesn’t mean that you don’t care. We have all been there. It means that you realize before you can help someone else, you have to help yourself, and that is very healthy! There is only one person you can change, and that is YOU. Everything else will fall into place. Pray for others. Be your own best friend!

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

Book-signing party!

Not Without God cake!I had an incredible time last night! I really appreciated everyone coming out on a very cold day. Being an author is so enjoyable! It’s amazing that God keeps opening doors. I feel blessed, and grateful for this purpose. To be able to reach others through my writing is a gift.

I signed and personalized books. I gave a short talk called A Few Ways to Overcome Adversity. It’s a spin-off from a podcast I am going to post. I got positive feedback from the guests. It was a great night! As you can see in the photo, my sister-in-law created this wonderful cake! It was perfect.

Not Without God: A Story of Survival books were sold as well as Not Without God: A Story of Survival bracelets. Copies of my book and bracelets are both available online. Visit my website: http://zinahermez.com. I gave a free copy of Not Without God to our book raffle winner, Jeff! It was a night filled with laughter, love, friendship, and fun!

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

Love Changes Things

Found on pinterest.com

Just a few words can change a day. I got a nice compliment today. One of my colleagues at the school where I teach said that his students said something really positive about me. It felt good to hear that, and it was very kind of him to let me know. After shoving piles of snow off my car, and trying to keep my balance on crutches while walking on ice and snow. I had a headache. I realized that it does take a bit of energy for me to get to work on snowy days.

When feeling upset, or down – remember those feelings are only temporary. Don’t give up, and don’t let the day end with a frown. Always keep a smile on your face. Smile when it hurts. Make a decision that today will be a good day no matter what! Each day brings an opportunity for new chances, and new friends. Embrace them. These opportunities represent more than you think. Open the door to new beginnings, and you will keep past hurts and frustrations outside of your door!

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

Don’t Worry!

Found on pinterest.com

“It takes the same amount of energy to believe as it does to worry.” – Joel Osteen

I have been very worried lately because of the things that are happening around me. Worried about myself; worried about my family. When there is so much noise, it is really hard to see that God is the midst of the crisis. He will work things out. Suddenly, I got a calm feeling that came over me yesterday that said everything will be okay. I felt like I should just let it go. Let go of the worry. Let go of the frustrations, and give it over to the Lord. I am holding onto that feeling, especially when worry pops up again because it usually does. Worrying does not improve my health, and it definitely does not help to improve stressful situations. So for tonight…I will just let it go!

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

Accept Life’s Burdens

Etsy.com
Found on Etsy.com

Accept things as they are. Don’t complain and agonize. Although it is okay to vent sometimes. Move ahead with your life by doing all that you can and trust God. He will guide you to the people and experiences that will help you heal physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Faith and patience are fruits of the spirit.

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

A New Day

Found on pinterest.com

Today is a new day! And every day is a new beginning. The choices you make, or don’t make affect tomorrow. So think about that. What are you choosing? I hope your choices are good ones. I hope they are healthy. We are faced with so many opportunities. How can we make today great? The more we practice, the better we become at adding good days to our lives. Let’s put behind the mistakes, hurts, and trauma that we’ve encountered. Let’s count today as a new start. Who knows, this fresh outlook may just take you to something great!

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

 

Stay Positive

People can be toxic at times. Beware of your surroundings. Try to not let them bring you down. You know, the kind of people that wake up in the morning and create a “bad day.” Watch who you keep your company with. Make sure to not become a downer or negative. It can be easy to fall into this trick of feeling sorry for yourself. There is so much chaos: disease, war, and personal problems seem to be mounting in the world today. But we can choose to be happy no matter what the circumstances are. I don’t mean that everything will be alright always. Sometimes things just can’t be that way! We have no choice. Sometimes you just feel bad because things are bad, and you can’t do anything to change them. The key is to not get stuck in feelings of negativity. Be resilient. Remember this too shall pass. Do your best to put a smile on your face, embrace yourself with loved ones and positive energy. If you are not receiving this kind of love, try giving it to others. I’m sure you will get it back!

“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Cor. 4:17).

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

 

 

The holidays are approaching…

It is bitter sweet.

Thanksgiving. Christmas. New Years. My favorite holidays. But my heart will be heavy this season. I would like to ask all of you, my readers and supporters, for your prayers please. Things are not exactly the way they were before. Nor are they as good as they were last year. Not that they were the greatest then. I have watched my parents age. And they need my help now more than ever. My father’s health has declined this last month. I’ve watched his memory slip quite frequently in just a matter of weeks. Luckily, he still knows my name and is still aware of many things. I am thankful for that. He just has these periods of confusion, a little too often. The doctor says it is the early onset of Dementia. With his other health issues, I hate to see him hurting so much. We are trying to manage that. My mother is not getting any younger.

That’s life I guess. It has its ups and downs, and I am trying to accept all of this. I feel a sense of grief. Not only because my parents are growing older. But for other reasons as well, and this article would be too long if I listed all of the other reasons here. So I am asking for your prayers please. Please pray for my health, strength, and abilities. Please pray that I continue to be guided and led by the Lord.

He has guided me my whole life. Without Him I am lost. Without Him I am nothing. Without Him I can’t function. The older I get the more I realize it.

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

 

 

 

 

We Have Overcome

overcome the worldThis quote brings me comfort. I have troubles right now. I’m sure we all do. Some troubles are larger than others, and there are all kinds. But if Christ has overcome, the size and scope of my troubles are irrelevant because He is my Lord. He has conquered the world, so I can surely overcome any trials I am going through. This is a nice reminder. He has all the power and all the glory! We have already overcome!

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

 

The Power Of One

power of oneThe power of one, it is something I learned about in a workshop tonight. Whenever families, spouses, friends, or even coworkers become divided. The solution can be found through coming together. Whenever two or more are divided amongst themselves, nothing is more powerful than agreement. The power of one. A wonderful tip that stayed with me tonight.

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

 

John 3:16

From lihaven.com

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

A Good and Perfect Gift

Found on Etsy.com

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17).

Is it right? Is it healthy? Does it make you smile? Then it is from above. Does it make you cry? Does it make you sick? Then it isn’t. Why is it hard for us to distinguish that? If you are experiencing pain there is a reason for it. Things don’t just happen to us. It is time to get your life right. Turn things around. You have to try! It’s never too late. Every good and perfect gift is from God. Come on, you know the difference!

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

Why I Write

From the examiner.com

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

A Faith Test

faith test
Found on spiritualinspiration.tumblr.com

My faith is being tested. But giving up is not an option. I don’t know how to surrender. I had to be strong at a young age. Strength and determination are easy for me to possess. I have nothing to worry about. I will battle until the end.

I haven’t experienced what I’m experiencing now. But a fight is a fight. Faith doesn’t promise us there won’t be trials; and faith doesn’t promise there won’t be loss. Faith promises we will get through. My faith may be tested by fire. Still I can’t give up!

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

God Is Not Finished

Found on pinterest.com

God is in control. He is mighty.

Despite any trials. God still has His hand over our lives, and over our loved ones lives too. He is in charge. We may not understand why things happen as they do. Let this quote be a reminder for me and for you. No matter what, let’s see the blessings in everything!

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

Gratitude

Gratitude
Found on pinterest.com

This quote helps me feel a sense of gratitude. We should be thankful for who we are, and for what we have! There is so much competition. I think now more then ever with all of the advancements in technology. We want to do more, and be more! The world is changing fast. But it’s okay to be content. So sit back, relax, and be thankful for how far you’ve come at this very moment!

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

Peace In the Midst of a Storm

Found on bakeyourday.net
Found on bakeyourday.net

I’ve been experiencing many storms lately. There is a lot of noise. More than I ever expected, and almost more than I can even handle. But I have confidence that the God of Peace will keep my heart tranquil. He always has. Why should now be any different than before? Are you experiencing any “storms”? Let this quote be a reminder for you and for me, no matter what we are facing: raging waters, or high seas we can have peace in the midst of our storms.

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

Comforting Words

pinterest.com

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

blog post
Found on indulgy.com

My heart is troubled, and I’m experiencing unrest in my soul. Things are not the way I expected them to be, and they definitely are not the way they should be. In this world, we’ve been experiencing so much pain lately. There is a rise in death and disease. I’m not trying to be negative. I’m just stating the facts. Things are not always what they seem. But I refuse to give up! I will fight! I have too much faith. I will do good for myself, and I will try hard! No matter what we’ve been through, God can restore our broken hearts. Do you agree?

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

 

bible verse
Found on youtube.com

Have you ever had multiple things go wrong at one time? It’s frustrating, isn’t it? Let this verse be a reminder, for you and for me. No matter how discouraged we may be – nothing can stop God’s will in our life. It’s a nice reminder. When challenges seem to be piling up, and I am feeling discouraged. I will look to this quote. It is helping me right now.

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com

Show Up

My motto
Found on youtube.com

I love this quote! I think it should be our motto. No matter how tired you may be, or disappointed. Regardless of any feelings of negativity you may be experiencing. Even when it hurts me, I show up. By showing up we have won half the battle! And of course, never ever give up!

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

Never give up!

blogpost1030

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

A Book Signing!

What a wonderful memory! This pic was taken on Apr. 30 at my speaking event “How to Live Your Vision and Overcome Your Challenges with Zina Hermez.” Dan won our book prize! book raffle

I had the opportunity to speak to all of the A2 LEAP entrepreneurs, thanks to my good friend, Millie Chu. A2 LEAP is her non profit organization. A2 LEAP stands for: Authentically Awesome (A2), Leaders, Entrepreneurs, Achievers, and Professionals (LEAP)! Isn’t that cool? She’s pictured with me below. On November 21, 2014 at 6pm. I will have another Book event. If you are in the Michigan area, we would love to have you! If you would like to travel, we’d love for you to join us! Please sign up here to receive updates about my book events! http://eepurl.com/19Hl1.wpapr30wm

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

A Dream

dream
Photo courtesy: Lifehack.org

Do you have a dream? What is it? Fulfilling a dream takes perseverance. Do you have the strength to persevere? There will be bumps in the road, setbacks, and disappointments. C.S. Lewis said, “Failures are the finger posts on the road to achievement.” We need to remember that. Having a dream is a beautiful thing. There is a difference between having a dream, and having the courage to follow through with it. Good things in life are not usually handed to us, we have to work for them. But in the end, the benefits will be worth it!

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

My Calling

My calling
Photo courtesy: thesassylife.com

I’m passionate about my work, even when I’m exhausted. Even when I’m spending too much time. Even when I don’t have it all figured out. Even when I feel I may be reaching too high. I am passionate about what I do because I believe it has value. For any dream to occur, you must believe in it before others do. What are you passionate about? Do you have the normal fears that we all do? Don’t give up! I don’t plan on giving up until I reach my goals. What is your calling? Feel free to share your thoughts with me in the comments.

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

 

Psalm 18

Psalm 18
Photo courtesy: http://www.instapray.com

Psalm 18 is one of my favorite psalms. It is very encouraging, and I really need to read it again and again tonight. To read all of Psalm 18, click here: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=psalm+18&version=NIV.

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

 

Be Strong

Photo Etsy.com
Photo courtesy: Etsy.com

 

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! on line website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies.

“The love that you withhold is the pain that you carry” is a quote I came across by Ralph Waldo Emerson. It stood out to me so I wanted to share it. Are you withholding any love? I’m sure I am. When I come into contact with difficult people, or people that seem hard to deal with. I will knowlege, lovetry to see the good in them, and see them the way that God does, this is my prayer today. “Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies. And if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know” (1 Corinthians 8:1-2). How about building each other up today?

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! on line website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

Footprints In The Sand

I wanted to share “Footprints In the Sand” with all of you. If you’ve never read it before, it is a spiritual poem that brings comfort to me. I hope that it can also comfort you. It describes a dream where the person is walking along the beach with God. The footprints represent stages of the person’s life, and it has a very beautiful ending. My sister Sandy said it is one of her favorite prayers. She has been so supportive throughout my writing. So I would like to dedicate this to her tonight.

Footprints In The Sand

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! on line website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

Where I Am

Amazing things are about to happen. I have new meaning in life. Being an author is fun, and I am very excited about all of the prospects. But how can it feel like the best of times, and the worst of times all at once? When my dad gets sick it really does.

I deal with regular problems. I have aging parents, and I’m working overtime. I feel guilty for the time I am not able to spend with them. I’m afraid those days may be few. I never felt like I had a normal life when I was young, whatever “normal” means.

Confused by my surroundings, I knew there was something greater than what I could see. I used to question my existence. I was a deep thinker. I also had premonitions. I knew the other children were not like me. I wanted to do something significant, and I had a desire to make a difference.

No matter what I am staying on this path that God has placed before me. Where I am now is where I always knew I would arrive.

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! on line website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

 

Teaching English

This picture was taken with some of my students today. We’re in the last week of our fall term at the school where I teach English. Yay! After this week, I get one week off (a break) before we begin our November/December winter semester. It has been a busy term. I’ve been teaching advanced grammar, and while it has been fun – I am not necessarily a “grammarian.” It has been a little bit of work. I also picked up a 4.5 hour Friday morning class.fall term 14

I look forward to the time off, but I’m always thankful for meeting new people. The opportunity to teach others a skill is a privilege, and I don’t take it for granted.

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! on line website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

Prayer of Serenity

When we have no control over problems, and when we know that things are not the way they are supposed to be. When fixing the issue is beyond our capability, and when we have tried all that we can. Maybe it’s a loved one’s behavior that needs to be corrected, or a situation that needs a solution fast! We can easily become depressed.

Here is a short well-known prayer that helps me. I wanted to share it with you tonight, in hopes that it will bring you a little peace…

God grant me the serenity

To accept the things that I cannot change,

Courage to change the things I can,

And wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time,

Enjoying one moment at a time,

Accepting hardship as the pathway to peace.

Taking, as Jesus did,

This sinful world as it is,

Not as I would have it.

Trusting that You will make all things right,

If I surrender to Your will,

So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,

And supremely happy with You forever in the next.

Amen.

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! on line website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

A bit of health advice

Does someone you love suffer from a chronic illness? I’m sure you know at least one person that does. What are some common diseases? Cancer, diabetes, and heart disease only name a few.

How about you? Have you ever gone through something really difficult like this? I sure hope not. It is hard to watch someone you care for go through an illness too.

Besides my accident happening in 1994, my father was diagnosed with lung disease in 2009 (and has had many hospital visits). My mother suffered from a serious illness in 2007.

However, unlike my dad she has not been in and out of the hospital so much. Watching your parents grow old is not easy, and watching their memory lapse can be upsetting.

So I wanted to give a few health tips, and a little research on this topic in case you or your elderly parent could use a little advice.

  • “The best way to increase muscle mass and increase your oxygen intake is through exercise. The faster your metabolic rate, the easier it is to increase your energy and burn calories,” says HealthCoachTraining.
  • Research shows that walking on a regular basis reduces the occurrence of memory loss one would typically experience with age.
  • A study at the University of Kentucky showed that people who expressed more positive emotions, including gratitude lived up to ten years longer than those who expressed fewer positive emotions.

Doctors say only twenty minutes of exercise per day is sufficient. Getting your fitness in does not have to be a huge task. Walking for a little bit, riding a bicycle, or doing daily morning stretches would all be a great way to begin!

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! on line website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

 

Forgiveness

All love is conditional. The only unconditional love is the love which is from God. ~ Zina Hermez

Do you need to forgive? Have you ever struggled because you don’t know how? You are not alone. We can learn how to forgive. The more we practice it the better we get, and it is something we can work on every day. Forgiveness is a choice, and it is one that we can all make.

Some may think that forgiveness is something that happens to them. They wake up one morning feeling all better about something someone did. They believe that then they will be able to forgive. Forgiveness is natural, yes, it is.

But it is not usually something that happens to you! You choose to forgive, and that is when the healing begins. Forgiveness does not change things, or make them back to the way they were before. But more importantly, it changes you.

And this is not from my unique perspective. The Bible says, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God (Matthew 5:8).” Forgiveness is about letting go. Praying for the person who wronged us. Forgiveness makes us healthier.

So I would like to ask if you are holding onto something by not forgiving. If you are, do your best to let it go. Pray about it. Release the burden.

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! on line website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

How Writing Helps

Do you have any hobbies? What are they? Writing has been a hobby for me. I’ve been drawn to it, and I’ve always written. I wrote when I was in the second grade. I’ll never forget winning my first story contest in elementary school. I won a few. My teacher was so proud that she designed a nice booklet for me with all of my stories.

The first loss I ever experienced was losing that book. When I couldn’t find it, I remember searching the basement tirelessly for at least a couple of hours. I could’ve misplaced it, but it was my first heartbreak. I was so sad. My first award, and here, I lost it.

I wrote letters addressed to God each night at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital after my accident as a teen. I poured out the sorrows, hopes, and prayers of my heart in the most difficult time in my life.

I wrote through college–successes, heart breaks, frustrations, and accomplishments. I kept thick journals, and wrote often when I felt the urge. I had to get out my emotions and thoughts.

I wrote as a child. I wrote as a teen. I wrote in college. I’m still writing… I believe writing is a great release. I know it has a healing effect on me. I believe it can help all of us.

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! on line website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

 

 

Joy or Sorrow?

“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5).”

I strongly believe this to be true. People tell me “you’re so strong” all the time. Perhaps I am; but for me to be here is a part of God’s plan. He controls everything. We have to understand that everything happens by Him and for Him. I think sometimes people have this misconception that they are rewarded because of their effort or hard work and things they do. Good things happen to them. They get surprised when bad things occur. But God allows suffering sometimes.

One of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do was return to school in a wheelchair my senior year in October of 1994. When everyone was thinking of prom and spring break, I was learning how to have a physical challenge. There are things we live through, only by God’s grace. And only God has kept me. He has made me happy.

I finished high school on time. My real friends stayed with me, even if they were few. I learned to drive, still went to college, worked, and even walked! The majority of people with spinal cord injuries don’t walk much at all. Doctors usually say the chances are slim to none. To be able to walk from day-to-day is a blessing. And the best part is, I still have faith.

The beauty is that joy and suffering are interchangeable.

So, I’d like to ask you today—no matter what you’re going through, which will you choose? Joy, or sorrow? I hope you’ll choose joy!

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! on line website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

The Fall

I drive through this route almost every day, and it lasts for several miles. I always do my best to take in the scenery, and I’m usually listening to music in my car. It is peaceful. I love the fall season. What comes next is not so fun—winter. But I’ve lived in Michigan all of my life so I am used to it. The snow and ice-covered trees look especially beautiful though.the fall Our winters can be harsh. I’ll never forget how I fell in 2013. I was walking down my ramp to go to work in the morning, and my crutch hit an ice patch. We were in the midst of a snow storm. My body twisted and I fell to the ground. I was okay. My neighbor Jay saw me and came out quickly to help. It was a wake-up call for me to take more precaution. I now use a walker down my ramp if it is icy on the ground. I can walk on my crutches fine, even in a few inches of snow. It is just the ice that kind of scares me since that fall. I am still bearing a little bit of weight through my arms.

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! on-line website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

A Few Ways I Overcome Adversity

Tonight I’d like to give you a few tips on how you can deal with adversity, or any challenge you may be going through. These are simple methods that you can apply. I bet you’ve already practiced them before. You may be practicing them now. If not, tonight should hopefully reinforce them a little bit.

What are some difficulties we may face? Loss of employment, loss of a loved one, an accident, divorce, and children moving away from home only name a few, the list continues. Some may practice yoga, some may go away on a weekend retreat, and some may take a vacation.

But these are simple, daily things I do that I believe can also help you. My hope is that you receive something, and gain something positive. If only one of these tips help you, that would make me happy!

Daily Prayer – I talk to God daily. I sometimes read Bible verses and short prayers in the morning. If I can commit to just fifteen minutes a day of doing this, it really helps. I especially talk to God when it is quiet. That is when I can hear Him best, in feelings and in thoughts.

We can read the psalms. We can say the Lord’s prayer. We can light a candle. We can simply say “Amen.” We can thank Him throughout the day via a powerful form of prayer, praise.

Exercise – Exercise or physical therapy is something you should be doing at least a few times a week. If you do not need physical therapy, exercise is still priceless. Find a physical therapist or trainer that can design a safe but challenging program for you. Keeping an exercise log is a great way to track your progress!

In his book The Omni Diet: Lose up to 12 LBS in 2 weeks Dr. Daniel Amen says, “When you are ill or in the hospital, your energy demands go up four times and it is protein your body uses as fuel to repair itself. And muscle is your protein reserve. Studies show that the less muscle you have the less chance you have of a full recovery.”

There are more suggestions and tips I would like to give. And you will be hearing more about them in the upcoming weeks. Let me know if you have any ideas of other ways we can deal with obstacles in our lives. You can leave a note for me in the comments.

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! on line website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

 

 

God is Love

“Love is a force that is able to heal the worst of situations.” ~Zina Hermez

What does the quote above mean to you? When you read this, what comes to mind? Let me repeat it. “Love is a force…that is able to heal the worst of situations.” Love is what helped me heal in the worst time of my life – after my accident in October of 1994 so this passage carries a lot of weight. Feel free to share your thoughts with me in the comments.

The love that came from the doctors and nurses at the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital was incomparable. The love from friends and family, and the love from even the parents of the other children who were ill on that floor. There was this energy I can’t explain, but it translated into a lot of love. When I am feeling down or upset, I try to revisit that place.

I’m reminded that whatever I’m upset about is small because I am loved. When we know that, when we experience love it makes a difference. It provides confidence. We don’t feel so lonely. It’s a part of the mystery—the love of Christ that surpasses our understanding. When God’s love resides in us there’s an inner peace.

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! on line website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

 

Fear or Faith?

“Life sometimes happens whether we are prepared or not. I had one hope: my faith.” ~Zina Hermez

When you read this quote, what does it mean to you? Could you paraphrase this expression, or interpret it if I asked you to? It’s pretty self-explanatory. Faith means so much. Faith is what brought me through after my accident in October of 1994. This month will mark 20 years, and I don’t think I would be writing to you today if I did not have faith!

Have you ever had to search within your soul and pull out that faith? Did faith come easy for you? Was your survival dependent upon having faith? If you had a choice between “fight and flight,” which would you choose? I chose to fight, and I’m so glad I did because if I didn’t I would not be where I am today.

You may need a big miracle in your life, and it may be completely different from my own. But it’s something that requires a lot of faith. God wants to stretch your faith! Faith makes all things possible. Miracles don’t usually happen overnight. Not that they can’t. But sometimes your faith needs to grow.

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez has authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and has created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! on line website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

Three Basic Tips on How to Become a Writer

I went to the Breathe Conference yesterday, and I got back earlier today. I always like going to Writers conferences because they are a nice short getaway. You also get to meet other writers, and spend a little time bonding with others who have the same interests that you do. Writing can be a lonely experience. Instead of being at a desk behind your computer, you can get out there and share!

You can pick and choose which workshops you would like to go to. Breathe had four or five seminars going at one time so there were options. Some of the workshops I went to were on how to start and maintain a writing career, how to create good dialogue in your writing, and how to add cool graphics to your website/blogs.

All of them had great information, and were very interesting. One of my favorites was the one about adding graphics to your blog. I gained a lot of new information. Some of the tips and suggestions in the other workshops I’d already heard before, although I did learn some new things.

Have you ever thought about becoming a writer?

Here are a few simple things you can do:

Connect with other writers: join a writers’ group, attend a writers’ conference, share your writing with your friends or family, find an accountability partner (that was a new piece of advice I learned at the conference). I really like that one!

Start a blog. I know it sounds intimidating. If you’re really worried about your grammar and spelling, or unsure about what to write. Let me know maybe I can help you. Your blog should have a focus. Who would be your ideal audience?

Reading others writing can really help, and it is a great way to write well. Reading and writing go hand in hand. The best writers are the best readers. I have shared this with my students before. Make reading a priority.

I’m looking into starting a writers group. Let me know if you’re interested! I would like to meet at least once a month…

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez has authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and has created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! on line website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

 

“The Crucifixion” ~ by Mia Tavonatti

photo
“The Crucifixion” ~ by Mia Tavonatti

This huge stained glass mosaic took my breath away at the Writers conference today. It is located in the Grand Rapids Theological Seminary in the Matthews Performing Arts Center. As soon as I saw it I fell in love so I wanted to share. It was an art prize winner for all of Grand Rapids, and you can see it takes up much of the wall. The colors are vibrant and beautiful, and even brighter than in this photo. I had never been to Cornerstone University or Grand Rapids Theological Seminary before today. But I went to a few great workshops, and met some really nice people so I’m looking forward to the workshops that will be held tomorrow as well!

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez has authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and has created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! on line website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

At the Diner

I took my students to the diner on a field trip today! We’re in our fall term at the school where I teach English. I’ve been teaching at the Language Center for almost four years. I have students from various backgrounds and cultures. Some are from Europe, some from Asia, and some from the Middle East. My students would like to further their careers or earn additional degrees, and their goal is to better their English. w-students

We listened to an episode by NPR, and the podcast is hosted by someone who interviews people at an all-night diner it’s part of our curriculum design. The morning teacher that has this same section took his students to the diner two weeks ago, and I also wanted my students to experience that. Of course, some of them had already been to a diner before. But we had fun!

People sometimes ask if I speak any of my students’ languages. I don’t. My students know English, and they have traveled and been to other countries. They are just at different levels, some novice, some intermediate, some are advanced. This is my Advanced level, All Skills class.

My other job is one to one teaching for a global-language-training company, called Global LT. I teach English to business people, managers, and engineers living in the U.S. They are temporarily here on work assignments with their families. Global LT has contracts with automotive companies.

My two jobs make a full-time career, and with my writing I have become very busy. But I’m having fun! I’m so excited to have writing as a career now!

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez has authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and has created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! on line website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

Breathe Christian Writers Conference

Hi everyone,

I’m excited to go to Breathe Christian Writers conference this weekend! I haven’t been to Breathe yet, and I’ve heard great things about it. I love to meet new people, and I will be able meet writers in my home state of Michigan. It will be nice to get some questions answered and exchange information.

I’ve met many writers, but both of the conferences I’ve been to so far were outside of my state. I went to a conference in Las Vegas last year in October, then I went to another conference in Las Angeles earlier this year in March. I will stay closer to home.

I love this time of year – the fall! I look forward to the drive, relaxing, and staying in a nice hotel. It will be a short getaway, only for one night but it should be fun. I’m thinking of it as a gift to myself after a lot of hard work, and I want to celebrate the release of “Not Without God,” my book!

I also registered for a poetry workshop called “Perspectives on Writing and the Poet’s Life” with Matthew Landrum. I’ve been really interested in poetry lately, and I’ve added a poetry section to my blog so I’m looking forward to the workshop.

Have you ever been to a Writers conference before? Did I peak your interest? You can learn a lot about writing, marketing, and speaking there. Let me know if you have any questions about what happens at a Writer’s conference, and I will be happy to answer in the comments.

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez has authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and has created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! on line website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

 

Not Without God – A Poem

Tonight I would like to share a poem that I wrote from my book, Not Without God: A Story of Survival. Regina, my nurse had put this in a plaque for me as a gift and she gave it to me on my birthday – a few months after my accident in 1994.

Regina was not only a nurse for many years in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. She was also an ordained Baptist minister, and woman of faith. She was the first medical professional to tell me I would walk again after my all of my injuries.

GOD

GOD I am crying, crying out to you.

Will you help me, help me get through.

Through the hard times with faith, strength and wisdom.

And be able to face whatever the outcome.

I will give my hardest to do what I think is best for me.

With everything I got, heart, mind, ability will you hold my hand through this PLEASE?

But if in the end I will be upset, I’ll be thankful, thankful for being here with family and friends.

And thank you God we finally met.

I wrote this poem after I found out some of the hospital staff were saying I would never walk again. I’ll never forget how I felt when my sister and Regina broke that news to me. In this poem, I was asking God to get me through the crisis while believing, and accepting.

My nurse found this poem so special that she framed it. It still sits on a mantle in my living room. I still read it, and to this day I am thankful. In awe of God’s mercies and all He has done for me. This is from Chapter 2 of my book.

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez has authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and has created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! on line website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

Not Without God Book Launch

Hello friends,

Not Without God: A Story of Survival will be available in bookstores across the country tomorrow, October 7. It is already being shipped out. Will you be a part of my team? I NEED your help. I am asking you–my friends, and family.

A few ways you can help:

Have you bought my book? If not this would be a good time because I’m giving away a free Not Without God bracelet with each purchase now through Friday, October 10. I’m offering this promotion to celebrate! Just visit: http://www.zinahermez.com.

Facebook Share: I’m hoping to see Facebook shares with a link to my website where others can purchase the book over the next few days at http://zinahermez.com. These shares today and tomorrow would be great!

Twitter Update: Are you a Tweeter? I’ll need your help. If you follow me on Twitter please Retweet any book posts or links you see, or feel free to tweet my link on your own: http://zinahermez.com.

I hope you’re in! I would be so grateful, I would never have come to this point without all of your help!

Yours truly,

 

Zina Hermez

Author, Not Without God

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez has authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and has created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! on line website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

When Angry Do Not Sin

Have you ever been so angry that you don’t want to hear what the other person says, and you enter into a monologue? Today I went to Kensington church – Troy campus with my good friend, Lisa. It was an amazing service! The topic was on relationship conflicts, and I want to share a verse from scripture with you. “’In your anger do not sin’: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry” (Ephesians 4:26).

This has always been a favorite quote of mine. I think this advice can help all of us to remember to keep calm when in an argument. It would be best to leave the room, or separate from the person you are upset with or mad at. If you leave the room for even one or two hours, or a whole day if you have to it can really help!

It was a great service because it wasn’t only geared towards married couples, but towards a relationship you may have with anyone: your mother, friends, etc. so I could relate. “The smartest thing to do is to take a break, fight fair! When you’re angry, take a break!” Pastor Steve said. Sometimes people suffer from Displaced Anger Syndrome – taking out a bad day on a loved one, for example. I’d never heard this term before and I thought it made a lot of sense.

I think that all of us can benefit if we remember to just stay cool!

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez has authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and has created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! on line website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.