Learning to remember that Love!

Galatians 4
 5 to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.6 Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.

Dear Father,
I come today before You filled with gratitude. I wish this was my attitude every day at every hour. Gratitude for Your astonishing love for us.
Lately, every time I feel sad I listen to Jon Foreman's Cure for Pain. It never misses on turning my eyes to You and realizing the cure for pain is rejoicing in Your amazing love. The part that says : "Oh my God, to suffer like You did, it would be a lie to run away," always bring my mind to the foot of the Cross.
Ingratitude comes into our hearts when we put our sight in the bad things around us, our "sufferings." If we think about it, the bad things that happen in our lives comes from our sinful nature, our own disobedience, our conforming to this world, our seeking not the Kingdom of God but the fruit of this world, and our toiling under the sun in vain!
When I think that what You suffered was for me to receive adoption to sonship (daughtership!), it truly changes my mind set. Thank You, Father, for the beautiful lyrics You allow Jon Foreman to produce (lol, seriously, I am so grateful for this!)

But as I was saying, today I am before You with a heart of gratitude. My problems haven't disappeared, my illness still gives me restless sleep, my sinful nature still gets the best of me! But the Lord of the Universe makes me His daughter! In this letter to the Galatians, Paul is admonishing them for forgetting this and turning to their weak nature again. I saw a friend sharing the gospel in his facebook status and someone commented: "So you love your God because He loved you first? So you love Him because you feel obliged? I don't want to have to love someone just because He loved me without me asking Him to do so." I felt so sad someone could dismiss such love because he didn't want to be trapped. And Paul was admonishing brothers and sisters in Christ for doing this very same thing! And yes, with me not seeking a life that glorifies You, I was doing the same thing! And You know that! And still You died for me and still You make me Your daughter?!
I want to be captured by Your love, obliged into laying my life for You. And that would not be enough to thank You for Your love!

Thank You! Again Your love and Your Word continue to change me (And I have been the type to say: why read the Bible everyday, I already read it all many times!). Thank You, Father, for the life You gave me: for my husband, my family, my house, even my job (I struggle to be grateful for my job. I don't want to have to be without one to start being grateful for it)!

My darling puppies sleeping under the office chair because
 they were all watching me make dinner.

This sight, this simple sight that means nothing to most, makes my heart so grateful. I rejoice in the little gifts You give me that make me turn my eyes to You and come filled with gratitude.

I love You, today more than yesterday!


Learning there is no condemnation

James 2
12 Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, 13 because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

Finding culprits! I lower my head when meditating in this matter. “Mercy triumphs over judgment.” Oh, Father, were have I left mercy?

“It is your fault!” Shamefully, this is a bad habit I have taught my husband to say. And unfortunately for him, I am more skilled into pin pointing him as the culprit. And so he has learned: “It is always my fault anyways!”

On Saturday, my husband was helping me with lunch. We wanted to make something nice for the weekend to have a romantic time alone. I was preparing the pasta, sauce, and the chicken for lasagna while my husband went to buy some wine and the cheese. When he came back, I was getting started with the jelly dessert (a two level jelly dessert: one using water and the other using milk). He helped me make the beverages while I assembled the lasagna together and put it in the oven. It was really a nice time together. We took everything to the table and when we went back to put the desserts on the fridge, my husband accidentally hit me with his elbow making me drop the desserts on the floor and all over my clothes. I gave a cold glance at him as I went to change and he stayed cleaning. I was thinking as I changed: “Don´t spoil this time by getting upset!” I came back with a better attitude when I saw this sad look on my husband’s face as he said: “I am sorry. It was my fault.” (Tears are in my eyes as I write this. I cry a lot when writing this blog!)

I, feeling heart broken, looked at him and said: “It was nobody’s fault. It was an accident.” But my husband knows his merciless wife, just as my family and friends do. How many times have I admonished others using Bible verses and well-prepared sermons but a ruthless, strong demeanor? How many times have my loved ones been afraid of confessing something to me? And so many other scenarios that show something: I do not have mercy!

Because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful…

Those words resonate in my heart.
Most do not know it is hard for me to show mercy because I am ten times less merciful with myself. One mistake can haunt me down for months. I used to have a hard time falling asleep because I would lay in bed recollecting all my mistakes and feeling miserable over and over again. I am so thankful for all You have done in my life in this area, but I see I have miles to go.

Why the need to find a culprit? I have thought of this and came up with the next reasons:
·         Retribution. If you get the culprit to admit his/her guilt, you get a sense of them getting what they deserve.
·         Humiliation. You want the other one to feel ashamed for what he did.
·         Protection of pride. Pointing out it was another’s fault, takes the blame from you.
·         False pride. Blaming yourself to make things “right” in your own sight.
·         Dumb anger. Our sinful nature that blames someone and makes them feel bad when it wasn’t our intention but it was our reaction.

A simple conclusion: it brings nothing good.  
Of the bad habits in my life, I realize now how dangerous and destructive this one is. The need to find one to blame or even the need to blame oneself is such a witty strategy Satan employs.
Ephesians 6
12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
I can see now how deep in that “struggle against powers of the dark” finding a culprit is. And we are lured into falling into this trap; I more than anyone. Satan is very interested in me blaming myself for all my faults. This made it difficult to me to embrace who I am. I have a strong, decisive character. I am loud and talkative. I am impulsive and adventurous. I talk without thinking. I over think everything. I always have an opinion. I don’t sugarcoat the truth. It is very hard for me to me kind and sweet. I am bossy and controlling. Guess what Satan and stinking pride? This is how God made me. Faulty, so I could depend on Him and seek him more wholeheartedly! And so that He could transform me and thus use me. Pride in my heart, yes you are imperfect! And guess what sinful nature? God forgives you and shows you mercy for your faults; you must do so with others.

 Blame is in Satan’s nature; Forgiveness and mercy in God’s.

Dear Father,
Thank You once more for Your bountiful mercies that are new each day. Thank You for the light of truth in Your Word that pierces my being. I ask you forgiveness for failing to do to others as You have done with me. I pray I can be one who “has shown mercy”. Please change the bad habits in my house. Help me transform the habit of finding culprits to showing forgiveness and love. Do not let me sit myself in the culprit's chair anymore and let me sit in the chair of grace Your love and blood has provided for me.
I truly love you!


Learning what women need is not what they want!

James 1
19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.
22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves.

Dear Father,

How wonderful Your mercy is over me. How is it possible I have found myself ever murmuring about my life? I have such a wonderful husband. I often (am stopping right now!) remark to my husband how he doesn't understand women! You see, the only man in my family was my brother. He understands women pretty well. He knows when he should say something to me and when he should not. He knows when I'm in my "emotional days" and how to respond accordingly. He knows that if I am sad, he has to make me laugh. He knows if I am angry, he must talk to me to calm me down. He grew up with his mother, his two sisters and Sarita. Even Fumoffu, our doy, is a she! So, I can see where the practice came.

My husband grew up with his father, his two brothers, and the only female in his house, his mother. So, with that only woman-close encounter, my poor husband strives to understand his wife.
James 1
 26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.
My mother-in-law is a woman who keeps a rein over her tongue. Luckily for my husband, that is the kind of woman he grew up with. Boy, what a surprise for him to realize not all of us are that way. And very surprising since my mother in law has a very strong character (you can really the work You have done in her. Amazing!).

It was a surprise for me too: my husband does not know how to react to his wife's crazyness (men affirm women are crazy; I totally back them up!) My husband doesn't know when to say something to me and when he should not. If I am sad, he sits quietly beside me and holds me. If I am angry, he sits quietly beside me, waiting for it to pass. If I am in my "emotional days", he has this bewildered, lost look on his face that drives me more emotional.

And I, more than anyone, has tons to learn. You see, I don't like to be held when crying because it makes me feel vulnerable. I am of strong character too so you must realize I am already feeling uncomfortable with myself for being so weak and sensitive. I don't like to sit in silence when I am angry because I have so many thoughts going through my head at once I feel I am going to explode in more anger. I don't like it when my husband admonishes me for something right that same instance because it hurts my pride to face my sin immediately.

And I tell him: "honey, if I am angry, please don't sit there quietly. Say something. Honey, if I am sad, please don't touch me. Honey, please don't tell me my wrongs right that instance; find a more suitable time (as if there were.)." And I always end up with: "You don't understand women!" So what happens now is: when I am angry, what he says ends up getting me more wind up. If I am sad, I sit there wishing he would hold me (women!). If he doesnt call out my sins, I tell him he is not helping me be a better person. (You readers must feel very bad for my husband right now)

Poor husband of mine who has had to stand almost all his first year of marriage a wife not spending enough time in the Word to realize what she is realizing now. Again, I give You thanks Father for Your mercy and the fact that it is never too late. I realize now You gave me the man I needed. My brother understood his sisters well enough to keep their crazy womenness checked. My husband wants more than that for me and his love is greater. (I am filled with tears right now humbled of realizing who great my husband's love for me is). Why have I been changing what my husband does for me instead of changing myself, who was really the one who had to change! Instead of learning to control my mind and tongue! Instead of learning to crush my pride! Instead of learning and focusing on what I should do for him, not the other way around!

How amazing You and Your Word are to me, Father. I am delighting in the change of heart You are doing in me. I really want to be a godly wife for my husband and I want to strive to understand him and to make it easier for him to understand me (Because up till now, I have only been contradicting myself. Poor man, how is he going to understand? lol). I remember reading a marriage-counseling book and it said something very interesting: "Don't wait for man to know or guess what you are thinking," I found it interesting because we really do expect that. I guess it is because between women we can expect that; I can always know what my mom or my sis are thinking about. And maybe my brother can too because of all we have lived together. I guess there will be a day when my husband will understand me better, but it will be day when his wife takes heed of this:
James 1
20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.

Lord, I pray Thee for a new heart. A woman's heart according to the Lord's. Help me with my angry outburst, my womanly inconsistencies and contradictions, my hormonal emotions, and mainly my stinking pride. Make me self-controlled, peaceful, and ready to do good to everyone, especially her husband. Help me restored all the wrong I have done with changing the ways my husband reacts and follow his lead more closely.

I love you Father, today more than ever!


Learning my place in a chain of command

Titus 3

1 "Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, 2 to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone."

3 "We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another."

Ok, Father, this is a tough one. This is one I have obeyed in the past because of loving leaders constantly reminding me of doing everything for You. And it is one of which I have most excuses for. Authority! Underserving, blood-sucking, unjust, disrespectful, and unwise authority! The list could go on and I see my mind already started with the excuses (Be transformed, my mind, and don't go those places!). 

Obeying authority is difficult for everyone in different levels. And we sinful humans have an even harder time obeying certain individuals in authority. I think there is where I have failed to see if my loving leaders were not there constantly reminding me of: we obey authority as for the Lord, not for the person in authority. 

“To be subject to rulers and authorities”… “To slander no one” … yikes! Even a harder one! We can “obey” authority (and I say “obey” because it is not always immediate and with good attitudes as my loving Miss Toti showed us in school real obedience is) in that we do what we are told to because we have to; otherwise we get fired, get punished, thrown in jail, etc. So, we could claim we obey; but not slander anyone, especially those in authority? I can’t. I want to.  
I was very joyful, though, when at lunch with my classmates someone was going to speak ill of someone and I turned away. I was very, very curious of course, but I was joyful to see how Your Word is already beginning to change me! I want to not speak ill of anyone or slander my authorities, especially the church authorities. Instead, I want to pray for them and give them honor as if for the Lord.

Dear Father,
You don’t ask for anything impossible to do. You do give grace to the humble. I want Your grace and Your favor. What more humbling than subjecting to these worldly authorities? Help me see every time, and help me remember, that I do it as for You and not for the person in authority. Again, transform my tongue more and more each day and let it bring You glory. Teach it not to slander and be prepared for good. I love You, Father, and I delight in Your ways.

I forever love You!!!


Learning my testimony can change right now!

Titus 2
 4 "urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. "

11 " For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. "

Dear Father,

I have been thinking alot about this subject: the kind of woman I am. right now, I am the kind of woman whose mouth is able to utter bad words. I am the kind of woman who looses her temper when in alot of stress. Right now, I am the kind of woman whose conversation with the unbelievers barely addresses You or spreads Your Word. Right now, I am not consider by the unbelievers around me as kind, peaceful, good; I'm not consider by anyone this way.

I consider the first verse: busy at home... And I justify myself saying that I am this way because I am not home and that when the time to be home comes I will be good, kind, and peaceful. Father, Your Word truly pierces throught the heart. I used to desire to have a great testimony and to strived for one. When did all this change? And what makes me think when I am at home I will be better. Is being at home what defines my behaviour? And if anything, being at home would be a greater challenge to my attitudes!

 What about my new desires right now? "To be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God." Yes, this is one of my great desires right now: to be a good wife, a godly wife. So, it is one of my desires, but am i striving in this? And again my brain is immediately filled with excuses: but you have been ill; but you work all day; but you get home to keep working; but he doesn't deserve it at times; but you can do it better than him; but you are so tired.... and the list can go on!
Oh Father, I am ashamed of how many times I've told my husband: "That is just an excuse!". Well, I'd be a good judge of excuses, when I'm so skilled on them!

I was struggling with subjecting to my husband in an area and sought advice from an unbelieving co-worker (Do not do this again, Linda, and hold your tongue!). She said that complete obedience to my husband is counterproductive because men are always children and that I didnt always have to obey what religion told me on my relationship with my husband. I agree to a measure with her (lol), but  was I believing her words (the world's words) or my Father's words? Which words hold promise? Which words hold truth? Which words bring forth godliness? Which do I want to follow?!
I went home that day and I told my husband why I was struggling to fully obey the Lord's instruccion. I (could have done it more lovingly) showed him his faults that were making me doubt, but told him I would surrender to the Lord and continue following his lead. He asked for forgiveness and said He would work harder on being a better leader. I don't think I could have done this had I not been spending time in Your Word. But I have miles to go.

I feel challenged. I want to change the way I speak. Mainly, I want to change the way I think. I remember my prayer used to be let: Your dreams for my life become my dreams for my lif; that Your will becomes my desire.

The beauty of this truth: You and Your Word are capable of instructing my heart, transforming my mind, correcting my tongue, changing how I view others and how they view me. The challenge: Obedience, clinging to my relationship with You, spending my time in Your Word, knealing in prayer for a changed heart, humbling myself to be subject to my husband no matter what! No matter what!

I remember the first time I decided to change who I was right then. Even my father said I would not be able to change who I was. I remember how my classmates viewed me and even the church leaders. It is very similar to the way my coworkers view me and even my church leaders. Did I change their view of me then? No, but You did, because I obeyed and You changed me and did the work needed! Sounds like a car in need of repair. That is actually a good picture of me. A car no one wants to get in because it is noisy, bumpy, and unclean and it is not realiable because it can stop functioning at any time with no guarantee. And in I go into God's shop and out I come shiny and new (renewed) with the fuel of God that never runs down.

How wonderful is Your love and mercy. How wonderful how it is never too late to start living for You. How wonderful You do all the work (lol) but I have to surrender my heart and will. How wonderful that right now, You already changed me. And right now, I am not the same person I was when I started this post and I will strive to never be again!

I love you Father!


Learning that God is in small paws and wet noses!

Dear Father,

Today is mother's day. I am not yet a mom and I can't have the honor of celebrating my mom, since she is in another country. Some get angry at me when I call my 4 little puppies my kids, but to this aspiring mom, who has spent her weekends trying to recover from her illness bed-riden, they really made her weekend wonderful. My hubby went out hunting and I was glad I had 16 paws following me around as I did the house cleaning. Playing with puppies is one of those things that brings me such a joy that only other dog lovers like myself understand and everyone else thinks I'm crazy. One of the greatest time I have with them is lying on the floor and have them chew my hair, bite my chin and nose, and after some time of biting my hands, arms, toes, and fingers, have them nap in my neck. During all t his time, I am filled with the most inexplicable joy and laughter. Oh Father, thank you for these little blessing only You know how good to my soul they are.

Meet my darling puppies I will soon have to part with, but for now are my joy and hazzle!

This is Mai. She is a combination of playful and sweet.

This is Lanky! She is a combination of cuteness and crazyness (seriously, dont let her cuteness deceive you)

This is Kenny. He is timid and demanding, but melts you with his softness.

This is my little one Leon. He is frail and brave. He takes on his big sisters before he falls asleep.

Thank you again Daddy, you know You make my day with them anytime!


Learning from others with difficult days and smiles in their faces

Ecclesiastes 12

1 Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth,
Before the difficult days come,
And the years draw near when you say,

“ I have no pleasure in them”:

13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:

Fear God and keep His commandments,
For this is man’s all.
14 For God will bring every work into judgment,
Including every secret thing,
Whether good or evil.

Dear God,
I remember when I was "young" (cuz i am still) I used to give much value to these two verses. I even wrote verse 13 in a page and paste it in the wall behind my bed. I rejoice in verse 1 cuz I had the chance to serve you in my youth. I didnt think the the difficult days and the years when you say,“ I have no pleasure in them” would really come. I thought things would always stay the same. I would always spend at least 20 hours or more in church every week (which I did). Now, Im barely going on the weekends.

Ive been thinking why these days are so difficult. The 10 hr or more work day? The sickness that has struck me this year? The housekeeping hazzles and the wife responsibilities? Hmmm...

I have learned a wonderful lesson that I constantly share with my siblings: I admire my mother more and more each day. And sometimes (even right now) thinking of this brings me to tears (Im crying right now...) To think that my mom had such a demanding job, had the whole responsibility of the household, had to raise her children alone, had to deal with her sickness on her own, and the list can go on, and I never heard her murmur, or loose her laughter, or loose her strength, or loose her joy. Yes, it was inmensely hard for her, and yes she had her ups and downs. But oh how i admire my mother. It bring me to tears that my days seem difficult to me, but I always have my loving and caring husband by my side; yet my mom did it all on her own. Yes, I have always admired my mom and have tried to serve her and to be a helping hand to her. But now my admiration for her is greater.

So I pondered on my mom. She had time for us, and doctors, and appointments, and job travels, and bank lines, and grocery shopping, and school appointments and presentations, and studying her master, and.... Church. Oh yes, how difficult her days are! And oh how she remebers You!

So, are my days really difficult? So many married couples married longer or with kids would probably tell me it is just getting started. And some would rightfully says my days are not even close to being difficult. Yesterday I went to have dinner with my hubby on a baleadas stand in la kennedy. Best baleadas in Honduras. And a little boy came and asked us for a baleada. Not money, just a simple baleada. I bought the baleada and asked him to sit and to eat with us. He is in fifth grade, but he is so small you could swear he is in first grade. He said that after school he and his seven year old sister split up. He asks for food and his sister asks for money. They eat of what people gives him and use the money for transportation to their home. While he ate with us and told us his story, I was giving him the Gospel. Other kids that live in the street approached our table and asked him (not us) to share his meal. He gladly shared his drink and baleada with the two kids that came to him with a smile on his face. He is still young and his days are difficult!

Oh Father, my eyes really need correction. Not the eye contacts that Ive been waiting to arrive cuz my eyesight is worse each day, but the eyes of my heart. Difficult days? Solomon was speaking of men under the sun. But we are Your children. You take care of us and provide for us and fill us with peace and joy beyond understanding. It is beyond my understanding how amazing my mom is. It is beyong my understanding how children who live like that smile so much, are not full of resentment or anger, and are able to share generously.

I dont have time to remember my Creator because I am on the difficult days? No. I have been toiling in the deeds of this world. This is why my days have been difficult. This is why I have not found any pleasure in them. I felt such joy sharing with that little boy. I want to use my days, of my youth and my adulthood and my senior years to remmeber my Creator and serve You more than 20 hrs a week and more than just at church. I want that to be the dream for my future, not the car or the house or anything that gives "security" and "prosperity" that the toiling of labor under the sun wull give you.

Father, help me have that in my life. Have the pleasure of spending my days remembering my Creator, fearing You, keeping Your commandments, understanding this is my all, rejoicing in Your love and mercy, and making time for this rather than the toiling under the sun. Thank You for Your Word, for the example I have in my mom, and for that little boy. Thank You for always changing my heart back to You and opening the eyes of my heart for a sight a focused eyesight on You.