Wednesday, September 24, 2014


Tonight I am tired. The shower was calming and I think I'm just going to sleep without blow drying my hair. It's been a long day. There's a part of me that would like to complain and vent about what people said or did, but I'm home, where there are things, concerns, and needs way more important than any nonsense I had to deal with today. The issues that are important to my children, those are the things I want to focus on before I go to sleep.

I want to remind them that they are not what their bodies are reacting to. In my home, we deal with a lot of "issues". Some you know, some you don't, some you won't. But, they're there. And like with any family, when one member hurts and you can't do anything but stand with them through the dark moments, it hurts to see your loved one going through the stresses and the motions of various health conditions we can't understand or stop.

"Look in the mirror."
"See the perfect and beautiful you."
"Take a good look at your amazing self."
"Wow! You're powerful and strong!"

Our children, my children, still need affirmation. We all need to be validated and recognized for good things, and not for our weaknesses or limitations. 

That's me.
Still, What does God ask of me tonight?

Loosen words of joy and encouragement upon your children. Spill words that are uplifting, inspiring, and loving. You see, the world is not ready, or doesn't want to flood your child's life with great inspiring words to breathe life into them. So, guess what? No matter how tired you, the parent are, you have to be what your child, especially you child with special needs or medical conditions need. They seldom complain, right? 
I know my kids rarely tell me how they really feel. I just know when something's not right. 

So, tonight, with my hair wrapped up in my towel, and my polka-dot pajamas, I'm off, signing off with you, and off to be silly and tell a lame joke, only I most likely will laugh at, but they'll laugh anyways. I'll remind them I love them, they're amazing, special and wonderful. I'll tell them I understand, although I don't truly know every little inch of their pain. God knows and that satisfies me to know He knows, so He'll take care of them.

I'm off to sit on their bedside, listen, laugh, and pray with them. Yes, I have to check my son's sugar, give him Lantus then Novolog. That's two injections and one finger piercing before bedtime, but he just lets me do what has to be done. He hugs the brains out of me and tells me he loves me.

Are you tired? Are you fed up with not being able to provide your child with the healing, the help and the things they need? Then let your hands and your words be the healing and the words they need. Let your laughter, your silliness and your hugs be the magic that ignites the life within them. Let tonight be a night of hugs, warmth and long awaited laughter. End it with thanks to a God in heaven that sees our hurts, and reaches out to heal us, even when our bodies don't always get healed, His strength is sufficient, and His embrace is enough for the journey ahead.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


By Angeline M Duran Santiago
Written in response to someone who said, "You're that kind of mother?" So, here goes......Enjoy!

Yes. I'm her. Guilty.
I'm that mother.

I'm that mother who works late hours, even when I'm at home, yes, I'm on my computer~ checking up on things and people, before I shut down and go to sleep. 
Yes, I'm that mother that cooks with one hand and types with the other. Oh yeah, and gives injections on the side as needed.

I'm the mom that is so exhausted sometimes, that I'll order from Grub Hub to make sure my kids eat. It's so late that I don't want to start making some rice after 8pm, but sometimes, Chinese sure looks good.

Yes, I'm that mom that will cook the night before and then store it in the refrigerator so that at least half of the dinner is done when I get home from work.

Yes, I'm that mom that reminds you a hundred times, "Did you do your homework? Let me see. What did you learn in school today? Tell me at least one thing or I'm going to smack you upside your head. (Just kidding) Did you check your sugar? Did you give yourself enough insulin?" "Did you pack your books in your book bag? Are your clothes ready for tomorrow so you're not rushing? Did you take a shower?"

Yes. That's me.
The big pain in the bazookah, my kids say.
And, yes, I'm that mother that will sit with my kids and watch on TV what they want to watch, just because they're my kids and it doesn't matter that I don't love, "The Walking Dead" but hey, it makes them laugh when I get all grossed out.

Ok, by now you know, I'm that mother that loves to see her kids in action, especially any sports or program. So, I'm that lady in the field, half not knowing what just happened when they blow the whistle, clapping and cheering, and Oh yes, sometimes too excited and then, "Oops!" I was cheering and the other team scored."Did I just cheer for the other team?" (Better lay low.)
I'm that mom that usually makes it late to her son's practice during the week. I can't help it.
Remember. I told you. But, what matters is that I get there. I'm there, saying, "Present." And for him, that's all that matters.

I happen to really love what I do.
I take care of children and families at work, too. And yes, mine comes first, but so do they and well, sometimes, just sometimes, my kids end up having to wait. They forgive me. They know I'll make the weekend a little more special just to say, "Thank you for understanding."

There's a joy, I can't describe, being with my kids. And, then I'm the pain all over again.
"So, Jacob. You're going to read for 3o minutes, right?" "Huh," he says, reluctantly, dragging each sound, "Yeah."

I'm that mother that will invite you in to her life, into her space, into her heart.
And you will most likely be like, "What?!!!" When you see my home, on certain days, well, I'm that mom that doesn't always get to do laundry. So, weekends I have a lot of laundry to wash and fold and put away.

I'm that mother that may have all her work on the computer table, the laptop by the bedside, the books on the floor, all the lesson plans in folders next to the books on the floor and yes, if I'm really in a bind to get work done and make sure my son completes his homework, you'll be like, "OH MY GOODNESS!" When you see the dishes I left this morning, because, yes, I'm that mom that on certain days, I have to leave super early to be at work.
That's just how it is.

I'm not anything amazing or special. I'm sometimes a little crazy, but I'm punctual, responsible, dedicated and good at what I do.

I'm that mother that discusses life with her kids and sometimes I lay back with them and we laugh, really laugh. 
I'm that mom that will listen, really listen and hope you listen when I share my heart, also.
I'm that mom that at times, I'm so tired that I want to just crash on my bed, or the sofa, and fall asleep.
I'm that mother that many times wants to let the tears fall when I see the things that need to get done but have to wait until next time.
I'm that mom that sometimes wishes for more time when time has been extended.
I'm that mom that still wants more. I still dream in living color and accept the challenges life gives without asking.
I'm that mom that will hug you, that will hug my twenty something child, and when my child is forty I will still embrace and cradle my child, because they will always be my baby.

Now you know.

No gimmicks. No hiding. No faking it here.
I'm that crazy mom that puts on 80's music and dances likes she's in the nightclub all by herself. I'm that mom that sings like she's Chaka Khan or Donna Summers and I've just started to get my vocals warmed up. And, I'm that mom that holds her child and prays with all her heart for healing, for a breakthrough, for a miracle when it seems far away. I'm that mom that treasures her Bible as one of her greatest gifts.
I'm that mom that many times will seem mean because I cannot be at a parent teacher's meeting, but I'll make time to meet the teacher somehow.

I'm that mom that sometimes people think, "She doesn't care." But, they don't see me in my heels rushing to be at a practice, running to a doctor's appointment because I asked for the last one so I wouldn't have to miss work, or washing socks at night by the sink because there was no time to do all the laundry during the weekend.

 This is me.
Raw, in the flesh.
Nothing to hide.
Just me.
God loving me.
Me loving and praising God on the train.
I'm that mother that fearlessly gives her all and waits for nothing in return. 
I'm that mother that has chosen to live in the professional world and still live with complete faith and trust in the God, Creator of this Universe.
Yes, and Yes.
I'm that mother. 
Love me or push me away.
I'm not alone.
There are more like me out there.
You're that mother, too.
God bless you, strengthen you and help you.
For the work you do each day is great, but greater is He that is in you to help you always.

Friday, September 19, 2014


By Angeline M Duran Santiago

 Are you a single mom? Are you a working mom? Are you a mom whose husband is just not there for your child, whether because of his job or just because he takes little interest in your child? Then, this might be for you.

Our boys need male role models in their lives. I believe wholeheartedly, without a doubt, our boys need men of faith, conviction, moral, and vision in the lives of our boys. My youngest has Type 1 Diabetes. I have two sons and I thank God for the men that have been there, through short term moments or in and out, in effective ways.

Our boys need men to lead by example and show them the roles they need to imitate. We are in need of men teaching our boys to remain in school and pursue college, to invest in their dreams and save for their future. We need mentors to teach and show our boys to be wise financially, to be leaders in the home, to love Scripture and not be afraid to pray.

I am thankful and blessed with many men in the lives of my boys. They may not be constant, due to distance or the seasons of life that separate us, but I am grateful for each moment that God allows these positive people in the lives of my boys.

I have a father, Adam, who is a man of faith and vision. My father leads by example, investing, teaching my boys to be strong and to protect family. My dad is the listener with the words of wisdom. 

My dad is the strength in our home that picks us up when we fall down. Oh, what a blessing to have a dad that can lead the way.

I have two brothers, Tito and Alex Santiago,  that face their daily challenges, but openly share their faith, their hopes and always speak to inspire, motivate and push my sons forward. They challenge them to be great in the sight of God and men. They challenge my sons to discover their calling, their gifts, and make a difference in this world. I am also grateful for the team coaches and mentors that have come and gone in the life of my boys. My brothers are amazing examples of what a husband, father and friend looks like and those are the models I want my boys to have and follow in their future.

I am also thankful to the Lord for the football coaches, (Queens Falcons) in my youngest son's team. They show true caring, concern and love for both of my sons. They call them family and I can trust that the lessons they teach on the field are also applicable in life. 

Mentors. We need them. Where are they? Oh, church, how I wish you would arise and take your place and fight for our boys, our young men. We need men to lead, to teach, to show the way. We need men to teach our boys to be husbands and fathers, leaders and professionals in our cities. Mentors, men of God and men in our world who are making a difference. 

Rise up, mentors, coaches, fathers, uncles and pastors. Rise up with God in your heart and prayer in your lips. Rise up mentors and take your place. Do not allow this generation, with all their downs, their sicknesses and questions to be left abandoned because you're too busy working and in your own world. Rise up men. Be the mentors we need, today.


Most days, in our home, we try to live each day as if Type 1 Diabetes is just visiting, passing by, and soon on it's way out. Other days, like these past two weeks, Diabetes is that loud, obnoxious house guest you wish would just disappear. In other words, T1D is clearly a big pain in the behind.

 No matter how much we try to keep things as they should be, "under control", any little thing can make the blood levels go sky high. 

And, then came football.

I've been called crazy for cheering my son on to pursue his love for the game. I've been told I'm ignorant and not acknowledging the reality that if he's not well, he should just be off the team. 

So, let's talk. Is my son ever going to be 100% all the time? Maybe not? Should he be limited because sometimes he has a cold and that just happens to set his sugar off? Do I teach him to pay so much attention to T1D that there's nothing else in life to look forward to?

Football, at least in the little I know, and am learning, seems to be strategic, like a battle plan in motion, the focus on one thing, one aim, a football making it to the other side of the field. There are all these players, one of which is my Jacob, and their job is to make sure this one kid, the quarter back who is holding the football, makes it, non stop, without interference, to the other side until they hear, "Touch down!" 

Since my son has been on the Queens Falcons, he has learned about being part of a team and helping others do their best during a game. He is always encouraging and cheering on his teammates. He has his moments where he wants to sit down but he'll push himself. Yes, he's had his throwing up moments, his lows where he needs to drink juice or his highs, where he has to get insulin and lots of water, but there's this smile about him that nothing can take away.

I look out into the field, and the joy in his face and the determination in his demeanor, silence all the negative voices in my mind. The victory hands held high and the friends my son says, "Good night" to after a practice, fill my heart with the confidence that I have done the right thing.

You can call my crazy, but I think the only crazy thing I've done is embracing my son's passion and freeing him to be free on the field. You can call me ignorant, but the only ignorant things I've done is build a wall of fear around him and limit him. 

When football came to save the day, I was busy hearing all the don't and nodding my head in agreement with the skeptics. But faith shows up at the door and challenges you to walk in, hand in hand with God, and helps you believe in miracles, believe in great things, and believe the impossible. 

I am my son's greatest fan. I will carry all the bags I need to, with medication, supplies, and the foods he needs so that there is nothing to stop him from going out there and not only doing his best, but having a great time. You see, you have to be there when they're out on the field. It takes a lot for Jacob to ask to sit out a game. He carries this burden the rest of the week if he's unable to play. He feels he's let his team and coaches down. So, I've told him to cheer his team on when his body says, "Break time." And to see him cheer, encourage and celebrate them brings life into my heart, constantly.

What's your limit? I hope there are none. Are you a parent wondering if you should allow your child to soar and be part of sports? I can only share my experience and encourage you to dare the extreme and join your child as they dream, fight on and do their best. T1D is a condition, not a final judgement against your child. High or low blood glucose are conditions and moments of what they face, not the words, "THE END" to their story. 

As for me, my faith and my trust are in a Mighty God that raises my son to soar and fly high. God enables my son to push onward even through his T1D. So, God can use even sports to bring out the champion in our children. I hope you can trust this for your child as well. Football keeps us going in our house, and I hope you find something to keep your house cheering and celebrating life!

#jacobduran #t1d #juvenilediabetes #type1diabets #diabetic #diabeticchild #queensfalcons #queensfalconsnyc #football #footballfan #Queensfalconsjacobduran #footballmom #faith #healing #prayer #GodandFootball

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


By Angeline M Duran Santiago

Before the sun stretches his arms, and throws his heavenly blanket off, and away into the shadows, most parents are up and awake, preparing for the day ahead. If you're like me, having to be at work early, then maybe you too have days where we have to prepare our kids and run off to catch a train or bus. As we walk out the house, we are non stop with our prayers asking for God's undivided attention with our loved ones, reminding God to protect, bless, inspire and be with our children.

But, what do you do when, as you are placing a breakfast tray near your child, they say, "Mom, I don't feel well. I don't think I can make it to school today." You feel their head for a fever, you look at them. In my case, you check the blood glucose levels, and well, the stress begins. "What do I do, Lord?"

School has just started. What do I do?

We pray. We do what we can for our child's comfort and then remind our child that they have to try to get up and go to school. There's no one to stay at home with them and we can't be out from work. I mean, unless you know there's an emergency, then you just call out, right? 

I've learned to pray, to really pray for my child right there and then. I've learned to get in bed with my child and take a few minutes to just hold them, wrap my arms around them and love on them. My Mom always says, "Healing hugs." and they work. I quickly look for something, anything, to bring relief, yes, even the Tylenol for pain. 

But, sometimes, many times, even when it hurts, we tell our child, "You can't stay here. Get up. Get ready. Let's go."

And as I said those words to my son this morning, they continued to echo in my mind as I stood there, crunched sardine style on the M train. "You can't stay here." We can't linger in our present condition. We can't remain in our angst of the moment. The sickness, the pain, the discomfort, the problem is real and we can't ignore it, but don't stay there. Get up. Move and get going.

I've chosen to teach my son to get up when he is down. I've chosen to show my son to crawl out of bed when necessary by not staying under the covers when my body begs for more sleep. Life is not a vacation and if we allow our children to lay back and give up, especially during hard times, we will not give them the tools to be over comers, to strive, to pursue their dreams and set realistic goals.

To you, to my children, and to myself I say, "You can't stay here."
There's more to find, to accomplish, to grab hold to. There's a reason for your next breath. There's a purpose for you to be where you are expected to be. God has ordained it to be so and you're needed somewhere today, yes, even through your pain and trouble, to be a blessing to someone else, to help someone, to hold someone or to listen to someone. In your challenges, your hands can still hold someone else. In your tears, you can still encourage someone who may not have the answers like you do.

You can't stay here. Get up and go!
In your weakness, God's strength moves powerfully in you and through you.
In your frailty, God empowers and uses you to do what you have been chosen to do.
God uses you to be a light, to be joy, and to be comfort for so many without it.

Click on this link to be blessed:
(Recorded LIVE)

 One last thing.....
You can't stay where you are.
Get up. Go!

Sunday, September 14, 2014


You have a name given to you, perhaps even while you were in your mom's womb, you were already identified with a name that would be with you until your last days.

I know for a fact that the moment your mom knew you were growing inside her, not once, did she look at all the name options and say, "Oh, this one is beautiful. I shall call you Weakness." I also don't believe for one moment, your mom or dad never imagined your name as, "Hopeless, Disease, Broken, or Defeated." There's no way they declared your defeat or your downfall. I am sure, as was my experience, they rejoiced and saw the greatness God had already placed inside of you.

As I am there with my son during Football practice, it's easy to see the moments were he might want to give up. Sometimes I think he even wants to just walk away. He feels the battle in his body of things that just happen and he can't control or change immediately, but it's then I sit on the side lines and choose to pray. I pray with all my might for God to show him, and anyone else going through something similar, that his name is not Weakness but Victory. His name is not Defeat but Conqueror.

Type 1 Diabetes and Asthma are not my son's middle or last name. These names of sickness and health conditions that show up to afflict my son, and anyone else with any kind of illness, are not on your birth certificate. These titles are not in front of your name as we would see Sir, Madam, Mr or Mrs. These afflictions show up to disturb, to hurt, to discourage and bring you down. If we allow them to be the focus of our lives then you will be known for those things that afflict you. Instead, I continue to remind my son to keep getting up and press forward. I challenge him to push himself in the midst of his hardest moment and trust God for the work being done in his body.

Sickness will not define my son. It should not define you. Weakness is not your name.
Disease and physical conditions will not limit my son. They should not, will not limit you. Weakness is not your standard. 
Pain, the need for medication, and the moments life gets very difficult because for my son are not the things that control his life. God's strength, God's favor, and God's glory moving in my son move in him and through him. This is here for you as well.

Cancer is not your name. 
Aids is not your name. 
Blindness is not your name. 
Thyroid problems is not your name.
Migraines is not your name.
High Blood Pressure is not your name.
Prostate Cancer is not your name.
Osteoporosis is not your name.
Mental Illness is not your name.
Vitiligo is not your name.
Depression is not your name.
Weakness is not your identity.
Diabetes is not your identity.

These labels are just passing through. They will not limit you unless you allow them to. They cannot stop you unless you give them permission to try. They can't hinder you if you realize that greater is He that is in you than He that is in the world. God is great! God is greater than sickness. Regardless is my son is healed today or tomorrow, or if his healing comes the day God takes him to glory, Diabetes and Asthma will not limit, hinder, or disable him.
Please, take on the attitude of a fighter and press onward.
Please, take on the attitude of a winner and persevere. 

What is your name?

Erase what you've been labeled with and listen for your new name: Blessed, Healed, Delivered, Redeemed, Set Apart, Victorious, and Beautiful! Strong, Powerful, Able, Champion! Conqueror, Intelligent, Excellent, Wise, Mighty!

You select the name you need as long as you know, Weakness is not your name and sickness is not who you are. 

Youtube video, "My God is Awesome"

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


September 2, 2014

I barely slept last night.
Thoughts, maybe some worries about the next day, and sleeplessness refused to allow my eyes and mind to have their rest.

I prayed. Not a big prayer. Not a powerful prayer.
Just, a, "Let me sleep, Lord, please." and close my eyes prayer.

And, just as I was dozing off into a faraway place, I felt someone entering my bedroom.  I though it was my daughter, who usually just enters with some noise, coming into the bedroom to tell me to check on my son, Jacob. My eyes didn't see my daughter, but a presence. Startled by the noise, I quickly opened my eyes. I saw what seemed to be a man, with a long, white robe, dimly lit, and looking into my son's bedroom.

There, in my bedroom, he stood, somewhat pensive, sad, and looking into my son somehow with an urgency in his presence. I blinked, wondering if I were dreaming so quickly. Closing my eyes, I tried to go back to sleep, telling myself I was dreaming, but as I did, the obvious presence, stood there, waiting. I was never afraid. I felt such a calm. But, I wasn't getting the message.

Blinking my eyes once more, I still thought it was a dream.
But, this time I realized the presence, almost like a dim light, had moved into the third bedroom and was standing, head down, observing my son, Jacob.

The angelic presence stood there, with what seemed a pen and notebook in each hand, and I could see from my bedroom that it was there, solemly, somewhat sad, just waiting, waiting, waiting...
Then I realized, it was waiting for me.
Understand the urgency! My heart felt these words so clearly:
"Get up and check his blood sugar."
For those who don't know, my son has type one diabetes. The mystery of high and lows are always an issue during bedtime. God shows up, even during our bedtime.

No loud voice.
No demanding with anger.
Just a soft command but with urgency.
My husband had awakened and gotten up and it was then I truly realized I was not in a daze or dream, but I was truly having this experience.
Immediately, I got up and went into my son's bedroom. I began to check him.
When I did, his numbers had lowered.

3:47 am.
That was the time I saw on the clock.
God doesn't sleep.
He watches over us even past midnight, after 2 am. No matter the time, He sends his message for us to know what to do.

I went for some juice and awoke my son, had him drink a few sips, and as I watched him drink, I looked around for signs of that angel. Nothing. It was gone.
Sweet calm and peace covered me.
 It had been a heavenly messenger once more showing mercy on me, a messed up sinner, who continuously walks away from doing what I know is right, yet in my moments of battle, how often I fall and fail.

When I am unfaithful, God is faithful.
When I turn away, mess up, sin against my Lord, He is still true to His Promises.
3:47 am.
God is there, next to my, next to my children, watching over them, even when I'm too tired to say, "Thank you, Lord, for one more day."
He remains my defender even when my heart falls away during a trial, a temptation or a moment of weakness. When my eyes stop looking to His grace and Power, He remains showing me time and time again.... I am here.

I don't know when your 3:47 am, your midnight, or your moment of hardship will come, but know that God has already dispatched and assigned heavenly messengers and warriors to visit you and come to your help. 

We are not alone. I believe it.
I lived it last night.

It was not a dream.
Call me crazy.
Call me blessed.
I look at my son, well, alive and all I can say
is, "Thank you, Lord! There is none like You!"