Friday, November 5, 2010

LETS CHAT FRIDAY with Noelle Mena

There are just some ladies who stand out. Some ladies who we just admire and think of as examples. Those ladies who just do not walk through life, but make a mark. One of those ladies is Noelle. Although Noelle and I have never meant, I see her face every morning on my computer. I see her life before my eyes and she is joy, truth, and laughter all packed into one great woman of God!! Don't you just love those girls who are real? Nothing fake. No put on. What you see is what you get. I love when women share not only their blessings, but the struggles also. In our imperfections we see a perfect Jesus. I just love that!! Noelle, is one busy woman my friends. It has taken a while to get her to the Nest, but she is now here. I promise, you are about to be blessed like never before. Here is our chat:



(Robin)  Noelle, tell me a little about yourself
(Noelle) Robin, How fun to be asked to join your nest! I am excited to do my first guest post! I have never made... ahem, allowed time to do any guest posting or speaking online. I made a decision in the last couple of months to walk through that door. That led me to finally after 3 years of being online with Take Root and Write Publishing and Christian Women Affiliate to open my own personal blog. It’s called Pliable in His Hands. Makes you think of Him being the potter and we the clay, eh? So if you visit me, will it be like you visiting my pot, like it’s visiting your nest??? That could go wrong on so many different levels. It took so long for me to come up with the domain. Pliable in His Hands jumped off a page of a devotion I was reading one morning & I knew it was the one. I am 43 yrs old, married to my hubby for 21 yrs in Dec, mother to two, Joey 30 & Isis 17. Do the math & you will either assume I was pregnant at 13 or Joey actually came as a ‘set’ with my hubby. ;) I sang professionally around the country for 3 years before I was married at 23. Lead Front woman for a 7 piece band to rock the clubs & casinos of Atlantic City. God led me right off that path & into leading worship full time. I stepped out of singing about 4 years ago due to health issues. That’s where my online life began.


(Robin) Since you have been walking with the Lord has there been a time you struggled in your faith? If so, would you please share?
(Noelle) I acknowledged The Lord as my Savior when I was 14. I remember crying so hard before asking Him into my heart. I just felt so unworthy. When a camp counselor (Young Life) helped me understand it’s not about what we have done, it’s all about what He has done. I surrendered. In my heart there has never for a moment been a lack of faith in Him. As a young girl or later as a woman, my walk did not always reflect the image of a christian. For years I walked with Him in my heart, He was beside me, but I was still living my own life. At 23 when I was singing on stage in the band, He fought for me. The Holy Spirit was tired of being uncomfortable out there with me dressed ‘that’ way, singing ‘those’ songs. It absolutely started to make me feel sick to go on stage. I gave notice, drove 19 hours straight home after 3 sets on my last night. I started going to church for the first time. Never looked back. But thank God as I know the path I was on. He came for me.


(Robin) Has there been an "aha" moment in your life that has changed your perspective?
(Noelle) In December of 1998 I started having these extreme attacks out of no where. I would end up in the emergency room & leave with no answers. After 5 visits, one by ambulance New Years Day, the emergency room doctor gave me a xanax. My body was completely exhausted but could not settle down. The next week I was diagnosed with a very extreme case of Panic/Anxiety Disorder. You can read about that on my site, wont go into deets here. I was determined not to let the fear eat at me. The enemy would lie to me out loud. Seriously. He would tell me that I would go crazy & never be the same. I got out my bible. I got my headphones and cassette player. Filled my mind with worship and the Word. Bought 3 of the most influential books in my life by Joyce Meyer and read, cried, screamed through the pages. (Battlefield of the Mind, Be Anxious for Nothing & Managing Your Emotions) My AHA, was that fear was the opposite of Faith. I could not walk in both at the same time. I had to choose & I did.


(Robin) Do you have a favorite bible story, verse, song or hymn that gives encouragement when struggles come?
(Noelle) OH Robin! Do not ask me for any favorites! We argue in my family all the time about that. I am so not someone who has a fav anything. Everything is relevant. Situations call for differences in...everything. I hold to the scripture or song that is speaking to me at that time, season. Right now? For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. ~ Galatians 6:8

That’s coming out of me taking time to focus on what is really important. I have been so busy. My family has seen great trials the past 2-3 years. It’s important to remember not just what truly matters, but also what does not.


(Robin) What is one thing you look for in a close friend and what is one quality you hope others see in you?
(Noelle) Authentic is by far the most important to me. I want that to shine through me as well. I cannot handle fake, snobby, uppity, someone who thinks they are better than others. I have always had the gift of being able to relate to a person no matter what their circumstances are. I am very empathetic. Sometimes that gift has bit me, but I still would not trade it in!


(Robin) What are a few of your favorite books you have in your collection you would share with a friend?
(Noelle) The 3 I mentioned above influenced me like no other. If you deal with issues of fear, anxiety, worry, emotions gone wild... pick them up. Tomorrow. Otherwise I am a total non-fiction reader. I know, how boring. I read to learn & grow. Lots of John Maxwell, Books on worship, health (spiritual & physical) Right now I’m reading Live Big!: 10 Life Coaching Tips for Living Large, Passionate Dreams by, Katie Brazelton


(Robin) When life seems to go crazy, what is one thing you do to bring comfort and peace?
(Noelle) Depends, on HOW crazy! Music is huge for me. Music instantly can bring me centered. Turn it on with a piece (or 4) of delish dark chocolate in my hand and we are all set. Seriously though, He already gave us His peace. He left us The Comforter, The Holy Spirit. I allow Him into the situation. It’s always our choice.


(Robin) What is one thing about yourself you admire?
(Noelle) I do love that I can truly relate to anyone. It’s very easy for me. Not just with adults but with children & teens. When you sit down with me you will find I am very relatable as well. Even if we are very different.


(Robin) What are a few of the things you love surrounding you?
(Noelle) Atmosphere is HUGE for me. I love a view. Even if it’s inside my house. I have always created our home to be a place of refuge. (You can see pics of our house on my Facebook Page) But at the same time, it’s a must to LIVE in our house. We actually have no rules ever, about where to eat, or drink, or wear shoes etc. All the huge family gatherings & fellowship through the years with church families in our home... it’s a free for all. Me, I love to have a candle burning while I work and when I am in bed I want everything I need within an arms grasp.

(Robin) What are your deepest passions?
(Noelle) Has always been tied to being a mother. That coming from a woman who had an abortion at 21. Isn’t that something? That’s a another story, but I am still a mother to that baby and will see him/her again one day. God sent my son Joey to me (he was 9 at the time) when I was 23. (we have never used the word step mom) Then Isis when I was 27. Isis is so much like me. She is following her gift & ministry of music. Seeing my children walk in their passions is my deepest passion. That they full-fill their callings. Then I know I full-filled mine.


(Robin) What is the best advice ever given to you?
(Noelle) God is no more with you in that plane 5000 feet in the air than He is right next to you on your family room couch. In other words, you trust He is there when it’s easy & simple? Well, He is the same God, ALWAYS. You can trust Him. Get Up. Get Going. LIVE for Him.


(Robin) In the legacy you leave, what is one thing you hope out shines before all others?
(Noelle) It’s not the song that I sing, it’s the me that I bring.


(Robin) What are you currently working on?
(Noelle) After selling Take Root and Write Publishing LLC in August, I turned all my attention to my ministry & business, Christian Women Affiliate LLC. At the same time we closed our main company of 19 years that has served us, our entire families, (lots of extended family) our community & a long list of ministries very lucratively. It brought Jose & I to a place of really looking at what God was doing in this new season. I am restructuring not only CWA, but also my life online & off. Part of that is why I decided to take the time to get my personal site opened. I needed it. I homeschool Isis, this was supposed to be her junior year, but in late September we decided to make this her Senior year so she could move full time into her music. I am NOT missing out on her Senior year! We are making memories here people! :) Then of course there is my Life List! Check it out, I’d love to see yours!


(Robin) How do you define success?
(Noelle) Peace. Real Peace. nuf said.


Noelle, I sit before you with laughter, tears and nuggets to take away. I love how God uses others to touch us in so many beautiful ways. Friendship is a gift. It is something to treasure. You are a friend that every girl should be blessed to have. I cannot choose a fav to take away today. You have given me much to ponder on. You can tell a genuine person by the words they speak, and Noelle, you sweet friend are a gem. Thank you for taking time to stop in at my Nest. You are such a sweet spirit. Please leave your thoughts with Noelle. I know she would be so blessed to hear from you. May blessings surround you and may the Lord continue to use your life as a living testimony of His love.
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