Pages

12/26/2011

Learning joy

Me and the hubby at my uncle's wedding


Pit and I have our traditional silly christmas shoot

My mom soooo beautiful

My family with me on christmas... so blessed :')

When I thought of writing a post on joy, I wanted to do a very sistematic approach on definitions, Bible verses and contrasts. However, this is not that kind of blog. It is not meant to teach or convict. It is merely my own revelations and truth I learn as I walk with God.

Joy used to mean to me: to feel happy and good inside, and I wonder how I sought this "joy." Webster's New World Dictionary defines joy as synonymous with "happy," "glad," and "cheerful." A thesaurus relates it to "exultation," "rapture," "satisfaction" and "pleasure." Yes, this last two were my personal definition: satisfaction and pleasure. The first four month of 2011 where probably the most unsatisfactory and unhappy days of my life.

I thought I lived a joyful life because I tried to live a life of serving. I spent probably more hours at church in my youth than at home. It brought me great satisfaction and pleasure to serve in different ministries at church: 180°(youth church), music band, Bible study group, etc. I thought my joy was in the right place for ALL of these I was doing for God, but was I really? As I grew up and learned many things, saw many things, lost many friends, had differences of opinions and crossed feelings, the satisfaction and pleasure of doing the above diminished, hence my joy diminished. Today, as a busy married woman, a working adult, a barely-ever-have-spare-time-to-do-what-I-love girl, the day by day brings no satisfaction or pleasure. I'm barely involved in these ministries and, if I am, I find them a burden instead.

Then the lie that joy will come from finding the "one" (I could write another post(book) on this subject of the "one", but another time maybe (mental note)). I have found my one to share my life with. I would use up the whole post to describe how amazing he is, but he truly is. But, alas, joy eluded me still those first four months being almost a newlywed! If you are expecting a man or a woman to make your life joyful, you are mistaken. Not only do you have tons to accept, but you have more tons of change to do. I remember my hubby telling me he was worried he wouldn't make me happy and I said to him: "Why would that worry you if that is not your job? Why would it worry you if my happiness does not depend on you?" And it is a good things we have both learned this (for I worried as well :P) Your spouses job is to love you, not make you happy. To be happy is your job and depends on God. 

This year taught me many things, most importantly: life is harder than you think. It is definitely no walk in the park. You know, if your mother ever tells you when you grow up you'll finally understand her and see what she sees and means, she is not lying one bit and she is probably withholding. Boy, Oh boy, is life hard. If you are not working, you are doing errands. If you are not tired, you are sick. If you are not paying bills, you are paying debts. If you have free time, there is no money to go out. Money is hard to make and barely lasts, time is short and barely enough, everything around you demands of you: the house needs cleaning, the clothes and dishes needs washing, the car needs parts and repairs, the dogs need feeding and bathing, the food needs cooking..... And I still have no kids!! Please don't get me wrong, I am not complaining. I'm just trying to portray how hard life has become, and I am pretty sure there are bunches of people having a harder life than mine. You know the phrase: "youth is wasted on the young"? I'm not sure it is, it's just they are so oblivious. I surely was. I have expressed here many times how much admiration I have for my mother and how it grows and grows everytime. Be grateful at how easy your parents make your life and never complain because your main responsibility is to study and do homework; THAT is a walk on the park!

This brings me back to my ecclesiastes posts and the toils under the sun. I was talking with a friend the other day and we were talking of life and love and why. He told me he stopped caring about life and I said: "What you need is to read my last blog post."(where I spoke of being in awe of God) and he said: "Nah, what I really need is a million dollars." This is another lie that joy will come if you have money. I'm not gonna lie, this has crossed my mine and my heart has desired it. "Life would be more satisfactory if I had more money," the world thinks and I too. And every raise I've had since I began working has brought no drop of joy to my life, no sign of relief and release.

I think 2011 was my year of revelations. As for joy, I had one this christmas. I think not even the christmas were my parents had just gotten divorce can match the pain, affliction, agony, concerns, anxiety I felt this season. Yet it was my most joyful christmas. Ah, the paradox! Is it ironic? is it contradictory? Is it GOD? Oh yes, God. Finally my joy were it should! Here is one of my favorite revelations on joy: It is a fruit of the Spirit, hence only a believer can have joy.

Joy is this to me:
Remembering the cross: To think the price for my life is the blood of my precious Jesus. My worthless, sinful, low life is worth His glorious, perfect, precious life. Been a while since tears of joy fall down my cheeks as I write. My God has provided me with salvation through His Son!
Psalms 63:5-7 My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips, when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night; for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.

1 Peter 1:8-9 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

His mercy is new each day: or else I would have already been obliterated by His wrath. I fail so much and He remains faithful. That brings joy to my heart.
Psalm 90:14  O satisfy us with Your mercy and loving-kindness in the morning [now, before we are older], that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. 

It is His plan: And His plan is good and perfect says the Bible. He has control, He has knowledge of what He is doing. And it may seem hard, and I may not understand, but I can rest, worry no more, and trust the Creator. That brings me joy.

Psalm 16: 9 Therefore my heart is glad and my glory [my inner self] rejoices; my body too shall rest and confidently dwell in safety. 



Psalm 5:11But let all those who take refuge and put their trust in You rejoice; let them ever sing and shout for joy, because You make a covering over them and defend them; let those also who love Your name be joyful in You and be in high spirits. 

Hope: This hard life is not forever. Jesus has spoken of the houses He is preparing for us in heaven. There will be a day when we will see Him and our joy will be complete.

Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the 

Psalm 16: 11 Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore. 

I'm sure the revelations on joy will continue. Joy comes from what God does and what He gives, not what I do or have. Above I wrote that to be happy is YOUR job. Here is what the Bible says: 
1 Thesalonians 5:16 Be joyful always.

Letting sorrow fill your heart, specially when life is hard and times are bad, is a temptation we must not fall into. There is too much to be joyful for. As much pain and struggle I see in my family more than ever, I choose joy, because I rejoice in the Lord; and no matter the circumstances, I can always rejoice because of the Lord and for the Lord.

Merry Christmas!

How many gifts this christmas!

*299 My mom, sister, and my brother (he was supposedly not coming) spent christmas with me!!!
*300 A picnic under the wind mills with my sis Pit and my daughter Denise, and my hubby nicknamed by the girls "Bimbi" :P
*301 A night with my mother and her hands caressing me. (mental note: write a poem of your mom's hands!)
*302 A loving husband, my greatest gift from God this year. Oh, I am so fortunate, so humbled.
*303 A christmas music box by the hubby! Never had one before.
*304 A wedding spent in dancing with my family
*305 My mom's fractured toe :'( ... God knows why and I'm grateful.
*306 My sister's confidence in me.
*307 Time spent with my dad and his family on christmas too.
*308 Food! I am full and happy.
*309 A night with daughters Denise and Sarai. It was such an awesome time!
*310 Salsa lessons for the family from Pit!
*311 My famous torrejas (honduran traditional christams desert)
*312 A lunch for the in-laws at my little house.
*313 Being able to sing at the christmas special and losing my voice till it was over.
*314 A lovely christmas play by the youth church. So proud of their hard work. It was amazing and many new people came to see it and hear the gospel.
*315 A lovely time with Danny and Carlos Arturo taking Pit out.
*316 A lovely dinner with Tito, Roy, and Carlos again with Pit and Rodol-
*317 Real EspaƱa lost the championship. Hope the hubby is also giving thanks for this.
*318 Getting sick yesterday but being able to go to work today without murmuring much. :P



12/21/2011

In awe of my God?

I don't even know how to try to attempt at making this a short post. There is so much to say, so much to repent, so much to learn.

I remember when I was young I thoroughly enjoyed studying the books of Jeremiah, Isaiah, and Ezequiel when I read them the first time. I have read them again several times since, but never did it have that taste it had the first time. So, I decided I wanted to study these books next a little more closely and calmly. I was so rebuked by this chapter in Jeremiah, I wanted to share those teachings with you.

Jeremiah 2
1 The word of the LORD came to me: 2 “Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem:
   “This is what the LORD says:
   “‘I remember the devotion of your youth,
how as a bride you loved me
and followed me through the wilderness,
   through a land not sown.
3 Israel was holy to the LORD,
   the firstfruits of his harvest;
all who devoured her were held guilty,
   and disaster overtook them,’”
            declares the LORD.

I remember when I began my walk with the Lord. I was a scrawny, tall twelve year old girl meeting people who had a relationship and a walk with God for the first time. I remember being surprised by the fact they would talk about God in such a personal manner. "I'm sleepy," my classmates shares, "I spent all night talking with God and singing praise." She was just two years older than me. How was that possible? I wanted and craved that too. So my walk with God began with a bang! I wanted to know everything about Him, His Word, His purpose for my life. I wanted my relationship with God to produce what these young people's relationship with God had produced in me.

 4 Hear the word of the LORD, you descendants of Jacob,
   all you clans of Israel.
 5 This is what the LORD says:
   “What fault did your ancestors find in me,
   that they strayed so far from me?
They followed worthless idols
   and became worthless themselves.
6 They did not ask, ‘Where is the LORD,
   who brought us up out of Egypt
and led us through the barren wilderness,
   through a land of deserts and ravines,
a land of drought and utter darkness,
   a land where no one travels and no one lives?’
7 I brought you into a fertile land
   to eat its fruit and rich produce.
But you came and defiled my land
   and made my inheritance detestable.
8 The priests did not ask,
   ‘Where is the LORD?’
Those who deal with the law did not know me;
   the leaders rebelled against me.
The prophets prophesied by Baal,
   following worthless idols.
 9 “Therefore I bring charges against you again,”
            declares the LORD.
   “And I will bring charges against your children’s children.
10 Cross over to the coasts of Cyprus and look,
   send to Kedar[a] and observe closely;
   see if there has ever been anything like this:
11 Has a nation ever changed its gods?
   (Yet they are not gods at all.)
But my people have exchanged their glorious God
   for worthless idols.
12 Be appalled at this, you heavens,
   and shudder with great horror,”
declares the LORD.

It all happened so quickly. Was there anything I should have done or could have done to stop it? Can I do something about it today? A whole generation of young people who had served beside me, astray. What happened to the lives committed to God we had talked about and dreamed about together? The great comission that was supposedly burning in our hearts? And I "remained," but did I really? And as I read these passages and examine myself and not others, I do shudder with great horror at the thought: "have I exchanged my glorious God for worthless idols?"

13 “My people have committed two sins:
They have forsaken me,
   the spring of living water,
and have dug their own cisterns,
   broken cisterns that cannot hold water.
14 Is Israel a servant, a slave by birth?
   Why then has he become plunder?
15 Lions have roared;
   they have growled at him.
They have laid waste his land;
   his towns are burned and deserted.
16 Also, the men of Memphis and Tahpanhes
   have cracked your skull.
17 Have you not brought this on yourselves
   by forsaking the LORD your God
   when he led you in the way?
18 Now why go to Egypt
   to drink water from the Nile[b]?
And why go to Assyria
   to drink water from the Euphrates?
19 Your wickedness will punish you;
   your backsliding will rebuke you.
Consider then and realize
   how evil and bitter it is for you
when you forsake the LORD your God
   and have no awe of me,”
 declares the Lord, the LORD Almighty.

"No awe of me, declares the Lord".... What if these were the words God would speak of me: "You have no awe of me!" What if He'd asked me: "Where is the love you had for Me in your youth?" And of course this sinful heart of mine would try to justify: "The days have been hard, the struggles have torn me, time is no where to find, labour is always on my back, sickness overtakes my body," and maybe even throw a: "I have been alone." But seriously, would all these excuses have any weight if I were truly in awe of my glorious God?

 20 “Long ago you broke off your yoke
   and tore off your bonds;
   you said, ‘I will not serve you!’
Indeed, on every high hill
   and under every spreading tree
   you lay down as a prostitute.
21 I had planted you like a choice vine
   of sound and reliable stock.
How then did you turn against me
   into a corrupt, wild vine?
22 Although you wash yourself with soap
   and use an abundance of cleansing powder,
   the stain of your guilt is still before me,”
       declares the Sovereign LORD.
23 “How can you say, ‘I am not defiled;
   I have not run after the Baals’?
See how you behaved in the valley;
   consider what you have done.
You are a swift she-camel
   running here and there,
24 a wild donkey accustomed to the desert,
   sniffing the wind in her craving—
   in her heat who can restrain her?
Any males that pursue her need not tire themselves;
   at mating time they will find her.
25 Do not run until your feet are bare
and your throat is dry.
But you said, ‘It’s no use!
I love foreign gods,
   and I must go after them.’

This is true of my generation. It saddens me to say this, but it's true. It is true for me as well. Yes, I try to seek God, but not with the fervent, starving, craving desire I use to. He is no longer my waking thought everyday. I have fought Him and resisted Him. I have questioned Him when He has been always good, always there.

 26 “As a thief is disgraced when he is caught,
   so the people of Israel are disgraced—
they, their kings and their officials,
   their priests and their prophets.
27 They say to wood, ‘You are my father,’
   and to stone, ‘You gave me birth.’
They have turned their backs to me
   and not their faces;
yet when they are in trouble, they say,
   ‘Come and save us!’
28 Where then are the gods you made for yourselves?
   Let them come if they can save you
   when you are in trouble!
For you, Judah, have as many gods
   as you have towns.
 29 “Why do you bring charges against me?
   You have all rebelled against me,”
            declares the LORD.

I could pretty much translate this to: "Why are you questioning your God when you have changed Him for your own wisdom and ways, for the world's wisdom and ways. Why do you ask your God to save you now? If you chose ways that aren't His, shouldn't they save you? Didn't you trade your almighty God for the worthlessness of this world!"

30 “In vain I punished your people;
   they did not respond to correction.
Your sword has devoured your prophets
   like a ravenous lion.
 31 “You of this generation, consider the word of the LORD:
   “Have I been a desert to Israel
   or a land of great darkness?
Why do my people say, ‘We are free to roam;
   we will come to you no more’?
32 Does a young woman forget her jewelry,
   a bride her wedding ornaments?
Yet my people have forgotten me,
   days without number.

I almost feel God's hurt of Him trying to turn His people's heart back to Him, and they have treasures more precious than Him; Him Who gave them all. Makes me feel ashamed.

33 How skilled you are at pursuing love!
   Even the worst of women can learn from your ways.
34 On your clothes is found
   the lifeblood of the innocent poor,
   though you did not catch them breaking in.
Yet in spite of all this
 35 you say, ‘I am innocent;
   he is not angry with me.’
But I will pass judgment on you
   because you say, ‘I have not sinned.’
36 Why do you go about so much,
   changing your ways?
You will be disappointed by Egypt
as you were by Assyria.
37 You will also leave that place
   with your hands on your head,
for the LORD has rejected those you trust;
   you will not be helped by them.

God is way too merciful these days. I sometimes wonder how does He dare receive me in His pressence. I hurt for I know I have sinned. Yes, others too have sinned, but I answer before God for myself and not for others. I don't want it to be said of me: "How skilled you are at pursuing love" like a wild animal that ignorantly seeks whereever she thinks she might find it but will never satisfy it, so she'll continue wildly seeking. I want to remain in such awe of You there are no excuses to seek you earnestly, passionately, life-dependently :)

How loving and merciful You are. It was us who forsake You, and You who have truly remained. I praise You for always calling me back to You. You don't give up on me even when I say: "there is just no worth in trying again." You are my God. I mustn't forget that. You are my glorious God!

This season is crazy and there is so much to do, seriously I have had no rest. Yet I am in awe of You revealing truth and repent to me during this hard, hard time; where I can truly practice giving you the highest place of worth in my life and let go of everything else. I will find rest in You for I trust in an awesome God that is always with me. This christmas is for You first and foremost!

And as always, more than yesterday,
!!! I love You!!!

12/05/2011

Don't be without hope


Oh grattitude monday,
Today you are tough one. Being so, I will cherish you the more. Mainly because in the midst of it all, I have truly learned to see my Heavenly Father's hand and His unending love. No, I have not yet mastered my attitudes and emotions, not yet mastered honest trusting, and not yet mastered rest in You. So I continue to cherish you, grattitude, for you show me this short comings and get me excited of learning a little more these masters the Holy Spirit is making me course.

I haven't been sleeping well; I am unable to relax. The situations my family have been going through for quite some time have taken its toll on our spirits. The tears and prayers have been countless. The glimpses of light have been shortlived. The impotence and helplessness remains. Tensed as a cable wire, I discharged my electricity (emotions) on dearest husband. In a humanistic approach, I tell him he must understand that I am going through some stuff that brings me down and puts me in a foul state. He must not take my rantings personal and must withstand them in love (right). So now, not only am I not honoring him, but it's his fault he gets upset because he is "not understanding." Thankfully, I did less damage than I usually do, controlled my mouth a itsy little better, and snapped out of it quicker. Saturday morning, the hubby left to give a tutoring. It was the night before and that morning that I had been really down. He kisses my forehead ever so sweetly and tells me he'll try to be more understanding when he comes back (seriously, jewel of a husband!!). No, hard times are no excuse to misbehave. They are no excuse for miscaring my husband. Yes, I want to cry in bed all day and be depressed and moppy. No, I must not indulge this sinful ways. So I decide to clean up, dress up, put make-up on, do my hair and look nice for the hubby, do the house, make lunch, and receive him looking bright and happy for his return and ready to serve him. Wow, what a difference it makes choosing God's ways over your ways. I was even able to let go of my stress, worrying, sadness and distraught, and serve him joyfully. The rest of the weekend went much different and we were able to enjoy it together.

Hardship is everywhere, all around us. A dear mother lost her child after four hopeful months in the hospital with him. If I think this grattitude monday is tough for me, I can't even begin to understand what it means to her. And yet, she is grateful. Grateful of the support she got not mainly from her family, but from her church. She is from a small town an hour and a half away from the city. She had to leave her three other children behind under the care of brothers and sisters in Christ while she spend those hard months beside her youngest bedside. All her church showed up to support her and acompany her.To think that she has things for which to be grateful breaks my own heart. You are ALWAYS, ALWAYS able to give thanks to God. I remember when I read Franklin Graham's Rebel Without a Cause I would cry on almost every chapter. I remember this story of a town on a snowy mountain (I think it was in Russia) that were poor and starving. I don't remember if they were escaping a war or something, I read the book a decade ago. What I remember of the story is these people were freezing and starving. Graham described how hard it was to reach this town and how the closer he got the colder it got. And when he reached the top, he found the people sitting close together for warmth covered in carton boxes and singing praises to the Lord. And alot of the chapters of the book told similar stories of wonderful grattitude in the hardest of situations.

Have you noticed how those who have less are more grateful to God than those who have alot? That again breaks my heart and it's why again I cherish grattitude. It breaks this heart of stone of mine! It opens my eyes to turn my gaze to God always, always. "For we are not without hope" the wise Bible tells us.

Linda, don't be without hope! Practice grattitude instead:

*277 the Holy Spirit continuous teachings in and to my heart
*278 December is here. No Grinchs allowed, christmas is beautiful. Time to share and love!
*279 It's spelled CHRISTmas, get it right! It's a beautiful season because of CHRIST! lol
*280 beautiful daughters and friends. They pray for me, they pray with me, I pray for them, it's prayer time!
*281 one-of-a-kind husband! Boy, I am a lucky, lucky girl
*282 4 days for my mom and sis to come. Thursday come quickly!
*283 a nice christmas lunch in the office.
*284 money shortcomings that make us focus on the Lord instead of the consumism of the season. It also makes us trust Him. :S
*285 the hubby's hard work and studying. Please help him, Lord, in this final exams week.
*286 a wonderful sunday shared with long-time-no-see friends (i've had so many of those lately, I'm loving it)
*287 long calls with Pit. I can always share my heart with her and the distance makes no difference. She gets me!
*288 a diet paying off (my pants fit!)
*289 a mildly warm december (i'm loving it, the hubby not so much :P)
*290 my mother-in-law finally home and out of the hospital
*291 my sin ever before me bringing me to my knees before my God making me dependant of Him
*292 lunch time shared only with Vany bringing us a lil closer.
*293 no inhaler in my gym class but being able to control the asma attack without it. (and being thouroughly scolded by everyone for not buying a new one u_u)
*294 a nice movie date with the hubby (it was a chick flick... he loves me)
*295 make-up helping my tired look to greet my hubby.
*296 being shown by the Spirit to look presentable and bright just for the hubby
*297 a very brotherly hug from my dear Kevin
*298 the lovely christmas candles my secret friend at the office gave me. They look lovely in my house and say: Love, Peace, Hope (all the ingredients I need)


Wish I had a closer look of my candles for you to see them. 




12/01/2011

Saint Google

Yes, that is how we call him (it) here at work, Saint google. As a computer programer almost weekly having to work with new technologies, techniques, languages, codes, etc.. saint google is our rescuer. And I fall to think saint google knows it all. I hadn't realize how much I trust saint google and how much I go to him.

I am grateful many people saw my previous post because they like my singing (though I bet no one liked my video, boy I look bad and my mouth moves so weird, lol. I seriously had second thoughts on posting that :P), but the lyrics was what was important. I recorded that at 2 am this morning, woke up with a whole in my heart and teary-eyed, clutching my husband's arm. He immediately held me and began to pray. I felt my heart calm down and my hope return as I heard him and saw him instictively run to God first. And there I was singing of trust in God "no matter what the day or night may bring" but here I was some hours ago running to saint google instead.

Skimming on pages I don't understand, fearing things that are not what we might hear, my mind racing to think the worst, my heart racing to loose hope, and my spirit racing towards despair, saint google had not been my rescuer today.

Being called on the error of turning to saint google, I went to Scripture (when will you, foolish girl, learn...)

Psalms 118

1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; 

   his love endures forever.



 5 When hard pressed, I cried to the LORD; 

   he brought me into a spacious place. 

6 The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. 
   What can mere mortals do to me? 
7 The LORD is with me; he is my helper. 
   I look in triumph on my enemies.


 8 It is better to take refuge in the LORD 

   than to trust in humans. 



13 I was pushed back and about to fall, 
   but the LORD helped me. 

14 The LORD is my strength and my defense[a]; 

   he has become my salvation.

 15 Shouts of joy and victory 
   resound in the tents of the righteous: 
“The LORD’s right hand has done mighty things! 
 16 The LORD’s right hand is lifted high; 
   the LORD’s right hand has done mighty things!” 

17 I will not die but live, 

   and will proclaim what the LORD has done. 

18 The LORD has chastened me severely, 

   but he has not given me over to death. 

19 Open for me the gates of the righteous; 

   I will enter and give thanks to the LORD. 

20 This is the gate of the LORD 

   through which the righteous may enter. 

21 I will give you thanks, for you answered me; 

   you have become my salvation.


Dear Lord,
I only ask one thing to You this day: teach me. Teach me, teach me, teach me! Teach me that I may see the great things the Lord is doing here. Teach me that I might trust in You above all. Teach me to seek You and not loose sight of Your greatness. Teach me of your goodness. Teach me of Your Word. Teach me faith, love, and compassion. Teach me understanding and support with wisdom. Teach us. Ok, I ask two things: guard us and protect. You are the true Rescuer, You know it all, You I shall seek.

I love you!

11/30/2011

Father, Let Your light shine down on me!


hello,
Yikes, this is bearing my heart now very openly to you guys. 
So, I wanted to post covers of my favorite songs for quite a while, but I was waiting for my sister's visit to do the first with her. I made this video (my first one ever) because I wanted to share it with her and my mom tonight. 

Today I got some trying-the-heart news.
It is in times like this were my mascara has run in black tears down my cheeks where I want to be a women of faith, where I don't want to be without hope and even without joy. 
And as I was praying for what has been laid before us and what is yet to come, the dreaded, unknown outcome but at the same time the glimmering light of hope and change, this is the song that my heart was singing to the Lord. 
I wanted to share it with my family. I want it to be a prayer and a plead and a reality in us. And I want Your light, Father, to shine down on us. That the more we are tried and our suffering prolonged, we might still shine with Your light in us, we might live glorifying a God that giveth and takes, but blessed is His name, our beautiful Savior and His wonderful love, bore in great sacrifice and traced with blood to pierce our hearts forevermore. 


video
By Bethany Dillon

"gently welcoming the weakest things in me... how could You Perfect one, love me when I have nothing done nothing that's worthy of..." My God is good. I forget that, Lord. I won't ask why, it is a selfish thing to do. I will instead say thanks in this time of need for I have You and I am no longer afraid. 

Psalms 23: "The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not lack.... though I walk through the valley of shadow and death, I shall fear no evil, for You are with me..." You are always with me, always with us. 

Love You Lord!  

11/24/2011

Happy Thanksgiving

I think I have never before been so happy for thanksgiving as I am today. It has been a year of experiencing the changing power of thankfulness that has taken ahold of me and I am not letting go. I've experienced how it has made me turn my sorrows into joy, my burdens into peace, my worrying into trust, my sickness into health! I've been intentional in being grateful, and the moment I stop, I feel my old ways crawl back.

The secret of true thankfulness is that ,unlike hope and faith were you believe in promises and wait to receive them, you are content and joyful with your now and present, good and bad, with the knowledge that being thankful will not necessarily change the present. And maybe this is why it is hard for some to be thankful. And if it won't change the present, why then are we thankful?

I like that thankful is a synonym of appreciate. We are thankful because everything we have received he were given. I remember boasting once (ok, more than once) about my beautiful singing voice and thinking how lucky I was "I had developed" such a lovely voice. A good friend with whom I used to sing got sick and completely lost her voice. She had to learn to talk again and was never able to sing again. I remember being filled with the fear of the Lord in not taking anything for granted, anything as coming from myself. Nothing, not even the voice that comes out of my mouth is my own. And I did not "develop" my voice, I was given it. And I learned that I could have it taken away.
Hence, I appreciate my voice. for it won't be with me forever (not untill I am at His pressence singing Holy, Holy, Holy. Can't wait!).

Speaking of thankfulness is not something I take lightly. I try to put myself in the shoes of those whose days are not something you would jump around being grateful for; those in constant physical pain because of an aillment, those in heartbreak, in pain for loss of loved ones, those in desperate sutiations, persecution, imprisonment, or martyrdom. Lately I've been fearing a certain something from happening to me, and I have asked myself if that something were to come, would I still be thankful? Would I still be talking of the changing power of thankfulness?

I think that when we think of being thankful in the most difficult times we all run to think of the incredible example of Job and the perseverant example of Paul. "In all things I give thanks..." I guess it boils down to your view of God and to your view of yourself. How we deserve nothing and again, everything we have, we have received. If it is taken away, it was never yours to start with. But I view myself sometimes as deserving, and fall to think things are unfair. And these thoughts lead to murmuring, and murmuring to questioning, and questioning to doubting God and His plan for me, even doubting His love and promises for me. Guess this is why Paul was also intentional in being thankful.

Would I stand the test of thankfulness in all times? As I have told you, working on this intentionally has made a huge difference in my life. I pray I learn it with no need of test of fire. As I said, I try to put myself in the shoes of those with a hard time giving thanks. I pray they do. I pray they realize they still receive, they realize God gave Jesus for them, they realize how loving our God is, and they can give thanks for faith and hope in things to come. I pray that being thankful in difficult times, although it does not change the present situation, it changes the heart and soul and that changes everything.

Dear Father,
Thank You. Thank You for making me and bringing me in this place and in this time. Thank You for Your will in my life and that it is good and perfect. Thank You for being You and that You can love how You do, unconditionally and strong. Thank You for all I have and all I don't and You know better and You are in control. 

Counting gifts
*265 my first sewing class with the lovely and beautiful Izell and her grandma. Can't wait for next saturday!
*266 a beautiful friendship growing with the lovely lady mentioned above :)
*267 a night out with my colleagues. it was scary but they only took me to applebees! 
*268 caressing every horse in the fair and having a lovely time with my hubby and royki!
*269 an ill monday and tuesday, but a good rest at home.
*270 no shots required this time! yuppy
*271 watching sarahi sing Santo Dios. 
*272 14 days for my mom and sis to come!
*273 verses on my cel and facebook from my daughters
*274 a nice visit from Mely and Johnny. Really enjoying our newly found friendship.
*275 a hubby that cooks and cares for her sick wifey
*276 hope, faith, and love, and above all love from my Heavenly Father.

Happy giving thanks everyday yall! :)


11/14/2011

A Great Adventure

After my last post, I can't believe my joy today.
I don't think I've ever started grattitude monday this excited!
Boy oh, boy! I still feel the adrenaline in my body from yesterday's adventure.
Dear Lord, You are too amazingly good to me!

God, more than anyone, knows my heart best. He knows I crave for two things: adventure and new things. I am always day dreaming of trying out new things, seeing new places, and meeting new people. I got my share of all three the year I moved to Mexico city and got to travel through a fair share of that amazing country, make awesome friends, and trying out new things like Japanesse, jazz and contemporary dancing, poi, ferret pets, food, and much more!

As a teacher, I got my share of new people and trying out new things; didn't see many new places but my heart was satisfied. As a computer programer, I get to try new things, but I don't enjoy learning to make webservices in different platforms as much as making a new christmas play or coreography with my students each year. I fear a routine life more than anything in the world. The good thing is that life has changed dramatically as a married woman, and it will probably change even more as a mother (can't wait!). Still, I need my kicks of adventure, new things, new places, new people!

Friday I got a call from a my dear friend Marcela, who I haven't seen in way too long, and she asked me if I wanted to go rock climbing with her. I knew that friday I would stay at work late, I would have to go to work on Saturday, and I would be extremely tired and would not have much time with my husband. I called the hubby and asked if I could go and if he'd like to go, and after his approval and a little analyzing the pros and cons (don't do this too much in life. It's all about the risk!), we said yes. I left work at 10 pm on friday (5 hours after my shift) and had to work on saturday from 10 am to 6 pm (when I don't work on saturdays!). My lazy side who usually trumps my adventurous side lost no time in telling me that going to that exhausting trip and with my health condition would not be appropiate. I had planned to tell Marcela in the morning I was not going to be able to make it.

That Sunday morning I was so excited about the trip I got up really early. Rodol was up too (I can tell he was excited too because like me, he had had a tough week too.) We made french toasts, fed the dogs, prepared some extra clothes for the trip and waited for Marcela to arrive to eat breakfast. It was so good seeing her. She looked lovely as ever. Her energy and joy are always contagious and we were anxious to get there.

Marcela, Me, and Rodol

I was not prepared for what the trip had instore for us. We met with Marcela's friends, who are experienced rock climbers and have the climbing equipment, and were informed that we were not climbing rocks; we were going to do rapelling on a cascade. I had't seen many impressive cascades in the vecinities of tegucigalpa, but I was excited to do the rapelling. We went to Corralitos near El Hatillo and parked the cars in a stranger's house, who is nice enough to let us park the cars in his garage to keep them safe! You don't see kindness like that in the city. We walked some way and stopped at a high mountain were you could hear but not see a lot of water falling. We stopped to receive instruccions by our leader on how to use the equipment and do the rapelling properly and safely. We climbed down on foot a little more and there it was! A large, cristal water, beautiful cascade! How is it that more people don't know of this cascade?! Well, it is not easy to access and the only way down was the way we were going to go. My heart was racing. It felt so surreal to see such a place and to be doing this in Honduras.


I immediately ran to grab a climbing harness to be one of the first ones down. Anthony, one of the more experienced, went down first to secure all the rest.The leader asked who wanted to go down first, but Marcela is more overeager than I am and got first. Down she went and it felt like an eternity waiting for her to get down faster and get my turn. I am my mother's daughter; as soon as I started my descent, I was laughing out loud like a hienna just as my mom laughs when she is nervous. It was fun that it was the first thing Rodol said to me as he heard me and saw my grin. I could feel my heart beating on my throat! Half of the descent was walking backward on the rock and half of it was in mid air. The cascade was so close that its wind was moving my rope forward and backward. Now I could barely feel my heart beat at all. The nervous grin never left my face all the way down. All I could think of is "don't let go of the rope with your right hand" (the most important instruccion the leader gave) and "just keep going and this will all be over." I guess that if I would have known what was expecting me down below, I would have taken longer on that mid air descent. The water was extremely cold. If there is no hot water in my house, I will put some water in pots in the stove to warm or I won't bathe at all (yes, I am not ashamed to admit that; I am very vulnerable to cold). I thought they said the water would only be as high as my knee. It was as high as my neck! Marcela had been there waiting for me and Anthony would be there for everyone else. Marcela and I climbed over a rock to get out of the cold water with our clothes all wet and out teeth chattering and our bodies shivering. Marcela has pale skin complexion, but I was unaware of how white it could turn.



We sat on the rock waiting for Rodol's descent, but the next girl down informed us girls would be descending first. There were 4 girls left and they were taking forever to make their minds and start their descent (they weren't as eager as we to risk their lives down a 40 m drop). As much as we wanted to see Rodol's descent, it was too cold. We swam the river till we reached dry ground and the cascade was no longer in sight. Marcela had taken her backpack with her and we figured out how to carry it to shore without getting it more wet. Luckily, the clothes inside were dry and we changed clothes behind some rocks (Marcela was only able to give me some socks and a shirt as my clothes were with Rodol). It took 3 hrs for Rodol's turn to descend! Three hours of completely freezing ourselves! We had left the house at 9 am and it was already 2 pm. We had not eaten, we were wet and cold, and there was still an hour hike back to the cars!

The hike back at least gave us the warmth we needed with some good old exercise and elevated heart rate. Unfortunately, Marcela and I each had a fall and we hit our elbows. Rodol hurt his leg on a rock on the river and his hand with the rope on the descent. Still, it was one of the greatest days of this year and one of the greatest adventures I've had.

We were happy to get to the car and drive home to change clothes. We went to eat some Chuletas y tajaditas (pork chops and chips) at Sabores de la Costa at 5 pm. Needless to say, we ate two plates each!
Days like this make me feel so lucky to be were the Lord has me. I never know what He has instore for me. He never ceases to surprise me, never ceases to amaze me. He is kind enough to grant me the desires of my heart and show me the grandeur of His creation.

Grateful for:
*249 Marcela's friendship. I've often told others of her testimony and her love for Jesus, that she had her own ministry feeding the hungry of a very poor neighborhood in Comayaguela. I am truly blessed to know her and have her friendship and get to share days like this because of her.
*250 my husband being my companion of the adventures to come in our life together.
*251 a very, very tough week that ended on a really, really high note!
*252 daydreaming of the time I'll spent with my sister and my mom when they visit me next month! so anxious. 24 days to go!
*253 switchfoot and their music. I owe myself to see them in a concert. Someday!
*254 the pups learning new tricks and performing them infront of friends and family. They made me proud!
*255 Tough financial months maybe coming to an end.
*256 the pill for my hypothyroidism being affordable and helping me recover. Waking up early and brighter.
*257 being able to wear earrings. Seriously, I could wear them for two hours tops. Now, all day long! It's a habit to use them and combine them and the hubby loves that.
*258 being faithful in not biting my nails.
*259 a God that has words of comfort in the times of greatest need.
*260 a God that can give you such wonderful days after such afflicting days. Every season is important.
*261 a God that gives hope that will be attained
*262 a God that is always patient and loving.
*263 Izell's beautiful disposition to help me learn to sew. Next Saturday I won't be working and will be spending time with her :)
*264 getting my dose of new places, new people, and new things that truly brightens my heart!
I love You, Lord!

11/11/2011

Afflicted

I am afflicted.
My affliction is not my own, but it might as well be.
I feel there is nothing I can do, nothing I can say.
I feel impotent and at the same time helpless.
No way to console, no way to relieve,
the hurt in me becomes stronger.
This wretched impotence! Why?
Why can't I help. Why? I'd give anything, anything to make it better.
Why am I only left here in the dark crying my eyes out?
Isn't there anything left for me to do?
I seek Your Word, for is the only thing I'm left to do this darkest of nights.
Why didn't I come here before my tear-filled pillow?
And as always, Psalms can never go wrong to comfort.

Psalm 9:9 
The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.

Psalm 22:24 
For he has not despised or disdainedthe suffering of the afflicted one;he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.

Psalm 48:14
For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end.

Psalm 71:20-21
Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. You will increase my honor and comfort me once again.

Psalms 39:7
"But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you.

And so I hide behind Your shelter.
And get a head start on my "staying still."
And realize I may not be able to do anything,
but I am not alone in this.
And He is watchful
And He knows the pain, better than I do hers.
And yet He gives me a thing to do.

1 Peter 1:13

Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.

Hebrews 10:36
You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised


So there is still hope, nothing is yet lost.
Though it feels miles away and undeserving.
And I try to cling to hope
and trust my Refuge,
as I remember His promises.

Hosea 13:14 

"I will ransom them from the power of the grave [a] ; I will redeem them from death. Where, O death, are your plagues? Where, O grave, is your destruction?

Matthew 11:25-30

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

Proverbs 23:18
There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.

1 Peter 5:6-7
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

And leave it to Romans to leave clear instruccion,
for this obssessive doer to do,
for this impatient stirred heart that could only find her way
in her loving Lord.

Romans 12:12

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Romans 15:4
For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope

And then one day,
Your hope will come.
Till then, He loves you, He loves them.

Revelation 21:4 

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."


Dear reader, whoever you are,
please join me in prayer for those whose pain is so far gone, all you are left with is trust in God and prayer. Pray for those in sickness, pray for those in pain, mainly pray for those who have lost faith, those who see no hope. Pray that He might find them, pray that He might heal them. Pray is what you can do, pray hard with me today.


11/07/2011

A person with vices... Me?!

I have never considered myself a person of vices. I use to often pride myself that I was not a person prone to fall into addiction. I have never smoked, never had a drink, never liked to go on parties, never had a co-dependent unhealthy relationship. I use to think my only "addictions" were anime and my dogs (can't get enough of them!).

I guess many people like me must think they too are elusive to vices. Well, let's hear a dictionary definition of vice:
a. An evil, degrading, or immoral practice or habit. Anyone here immune to bad habits?
Aha! Leave it to the Holy Spirit to reveal the inner most hidden places of the heart, the ignorance of the mind, and the blinding pride and show me I am a person of many vices.

Cheer up, Linda, it's all good. Everytime the Holy Spirit places your sin before you is because He will enable you to tackle it. So, in the hopes of overcoming my vices, the Holy Spirit kindly gave me the next verse:

Luke 16:10

“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.

In other words, start turning your small bad habits into good habits, and you'll turn your big bad habits into great good habits. Of course, overachieving, anxious me wants to start tackling those BIG bad habits of mine, but one of those huge bad habits is my tendency to get ahead of myself and not stay still, (Yes, the verse "Be still and know that I am God" is constantly in my head :P)

Lately I have been struggling, and I mean struggling, to break this small bad habit of mine. It's a vice I've had since I was a little girl. A vice friends and family have asked me to stop and have tried to help me to stop and failed miserably. Having my husband asked me to stop, give me the don't-do-that look when he catches me doing it and I hiding it from him or down right saying to his face I-will-do-it-cause-I-want-to really got me thinking of this serious matter (not so much a little bad habit anymore is it?). Listen to this addict's train of thought: I will stop whenever I decide to. I will only do it when I needed the outlet, but I am still in control (biggest lie an addict says!). Till now that I do it unconsciously. And that is the thing with habits; you do them without thinking and to break it you are going to think of it constantly. Breaking a bad habit is so hard. It's not just about thinking to do the opposite, but constantly thinking about not falling into it. And boy, when you more think of not doing something, the more tempting it is to do it. Oh, flesh of mine, lowly sinful being that you are. And YOU thought mighty YOU was not a person of vices?!!!!!

Here is my small vice that has even given me a sleepless night (no joke) with me battling not to fall in it: biting my nails. Vice? Nail bitting is a vice? Let's go back to that definition: An evil, degrading, or immoral practice or habit. C'mon, nail bitting isn't evil, degrading or immoral! You are overreacting! Yeah, flesh jumps to say that. But it causes you disobedience and dishonor to your husband, lack of self-control, and, lets not forget, how ugly those hands look. How many bad habits do you have that aren't evil, degrading, or immoral in themselves but bring about those descriptions? How about the bad habit of leaving your clothes in the bathroom that causes your sister some discomfort and makes her aggravated? I can name a few habits people don't break because it "only harms themselves":

-being disorganized (loses time and causes other's discomfort)
-leaving the shoes where you took them off.
-leaving the floor wet after a shower (hazardous)
-always chosing first. (seriously, this is a vice for some. think of others much?)
-tv or radio too loud or on late at night.
-staying up late and oversleeping. (so, you are loud when others are sleeping, and asleep when others need you to cooperate?!)
-make mean jokes about others present or not; hand out nicknames.

And this are just the "small" habits. How about the big bad habits:
-gossiping or judging.
-gluttony (yes vice! Causes your parents budget to stretch on food and health and your lack of regards for others!)
-unable to stay quiet when angry or when being admonished.
-impatient, exasperated responses.
-calling other's attention in public.
- raising your voice when your husband forgets he is not in a fast and furious movie when driving!
-being unpunctual

How about the uncospicuous bad habits:
-facebook
-twitter
-tv watching, tv series addiction.

Ok, I feel better again remembering the Luke verse, one thing at a time, and you'll get to all of the bad habits in your life.

Today, I stand before you with a complete month without biting my nails (it's the longest I've lasted and the longest they've been). They look quite nice. My hubby bought me nail polish yesterday and was excited to see my hands nicely done. Seriously, I look at them and feel an urge to bite them (like if they were a cadburry's chocolate bar). When I am in a lot of stress, biting them to almost bleeding distance but stinging pain don't-ask-me-why gives me alot of release from the stress or nerves. This is when it's hardest not to, since my job is pretty stressful. I constantly think of not biting them and I am constantly going to the bathroom to wash my hands. I can't stand them, however I will continue till having long nails and never biting them is the habit and I do THAT unconsciously.

Even in this "meaningless" things, I am glad I can do all thing through Him Who gives me strength.
This is something I've done all my life. Is there something you do that you need to change before the rest of your life habits go unchanged?

For some good habits I recommend: habitsforahappyhome.wordpress.com

Counting gifts:

*235 it's only 49 days till christmas and 31 days till I see my sister and mother again! I am seriously counting days!
*236 better relationship with my coworkers, but mainly, better testimony on my behalf.
*237 a great night with my husband's friends from San Pedro Sula and some from here!
*238 a great afternoon with Mely and Johnny
*239 a father that knocks my door to give a helping hand. So humbled by this act of my father. I seriously need to be more grateful for him and care more about him
*240 a skype japanese lesson with Pit
*241 sunny days in November
*242 moving to another office with windows! I'll see if it is raining, or day or night!
*243 a humble man as a husband
*244 a weekend filled with strength!
*245 finally teaching my puppies something!
*246 my plants are still alive
*247 many friends with upcoming kids. happily waiting for my turn
*248 my mother's helping hand from afar.

God Bless.