A church that truly blesses!

My soul has been transformed by grattitude. As I pondered on that transformation, I also found it has helped me begin healing my heart and purging it from those attitudes and thoughts I do not desire.

I have had difficulties with my church the past years. It saddens my heart how many are no longer by our side in the race; more so, how poorly the run has become from those of us who have stayed. The church is run by man, who eventhough anointed by God, are imperfect and sinners. And for someone who has experienced so much so long in the same place (and who if you've read past posts knows she struggles with pointing fingers) has had her sight shorten, her mind closed up, and her heart growing seeds of destruction. So, what better cure than to apply grattitude to the picture.

So I sat down and made a list of the all that I am grateful for in my church. More than anything, I wanted to realize what my church has taught me that I want to pass on. Here is a little of that list, in no particular order. (It will be an addition to my growing list of gifts).

*171. I am grateful my church taught me about Jesus. I had heard about Him before going to this church, but it was here I understood Who He was and Who He was to me. So, Who is He and Who is He to me? He is the Son of God, who came to earth as a man born of a virgin. He was perfect till death. He was crucified and killed to pay for my transgressions and those of the world. He rose the third day and now sits at the right of God. He offered us eternal life through faith in Him and his sacrifice(I'm being concise, so bear with me). Who is He to me? My Saviour. My friend. I was bought with a price, and a price of blood, so He is first most my Lord and Owner of my life.

*172. I am grateful I was taught the Bible is the only source of Truth, the infallible Word of God. All of it. I was taught there are no relatives, since God left us His absolutes by which to live. He left us the means by which to know Him and do what is agreeable in His eyes.

*173. I am grateful I was taught to read my Bible everyday. Yes, I've read it all. Read the same verse many, many times. Fell into the lie that I didn't need to read it all the time. But my church again and again taught me to do so. Everyday! As necessary as the air I breathe. To find truth, renewal, admonishing, teaching, light, and so much more everyday again and again.

*174. I am grateful I was taught to have a personal relationship with Jesus. I was taught to pray and spend time in His pressence. I began journaling in 1999! I can pick those words written by a 15 year-old me, and savour the wonderful connection I had with my Creator at that time of my life. I remember long-learned (and maybe forgotten) lessons. Experiences where I saw and felt my Lord. Where His comfort was more real to me than my situations. Where He was my Father, when my earthly one had left. I can truly say no one knows me better than Him for I do not tell more of myself to anyone else. (yep, It is because He sees what is in my heart. But does He know you from your mouth?)

*175. I am grateful I was taught the design of GOD for women. This is one of the very important ones I am truly grateful. Raised with no parents around and being the eldest, authority and submission were unknown to me. Yet I was brokend down, and still am ALOT, to learn my place and design as a woman (yup, my leaders were hard at work with this strong willed, stubborn, strongheaded girl). I was taught the man was the head of the house (completely new concept for me). I was taught that honoring and obeying my husband is synonym of obeying and honoring my God, and not doing so is offending and disobeying my God (Yes, eventhough you think (cuz it's not true) that you could be a better head). But from very early on, 12 years old to be exact, my church began preparing and is now polishing my heart to learn and live this truth many woman ignore or disregard.

*176. I am grateful I was taught to go and give the gospel. More than the teaching, I am grateful for the encouraging, the opportunities, and the example of this important commandment of spreading the good news.

*177. I am grateful I was "discipled" (mentored) and taught that I had to disciple others. I now realize discipling simply means to teach others the above teachings I just mentioned. I had a wonderful mentor. She is the wife of a pastor and mother of six children that she homeschooled (4 when she began mentoring me. She had two more while also "mothering" me :D). How did she have time for a highschooler crashing her house every wednesday?! An hour with her charged my spiritual batteries for the rest of the week. The most beautiful lesson she gave me: Do not apply the law of the Law ("Old testament law"), apply the law of Love. It is easy to point mistakes (need to remember these lessons!) and treat them with judgment and condemnation. It is hard to apply mercy and compassion. Love makes it possible. Apply the law of love!
did I mention she also taught me singing! :D

*178. I am grateful I was taught convictions. I do not agree with the methods I was taught/forced some of them; however they kept me pure and guarded me from alot from the world, so much that I was lucky enough that my husband is the only man I have ever kissed. :) I was taught convictions had to be Bible-based. I was taught they had to be unmovable and I had to fight for them.

*179. I was taught about homeschool. When I first heard of this, I thought it was legalist and extremist. Yup, I jumped right in to deliver a judgment. I am not a mom yet, but I can't wait to homeschool my children. Since my church has given me the conviction early on, I have been preparing myself for that time. I am very grateful I learned about humanist worldviews and the Christian worldview, and I am so grateful I was taught the difference and I have seen the fruits too.

*180. I am grateful I was taught the third most important desicion in my life (1. faith in Christ for salvation. 2. Christ is the Lord of my life) was who I was going to marry. I was taught he HAD to be a God fearing man, who loved the Lord and followed Him. This made me reject many suitors untill I found the right one (I rejected even my husbandfor a long time too. My church made me tough to get :P) So I am inmensely grateful I found my husband in this church, for he is a wonderful, wonderful husband!

the hubby and I at the recent vacations

*181. I am glad I was taught what was important in life. I am not ambitious of things of this world (house, cars, possesions, titles). I am ambitious for a strong, united, God-centered family. I am glad I was taught money had it's place, but my life didn't revolve around it. I am glad I was taught sweet fellowships with my brothers and sisters in Christ, but time with my family came first. Yup, I was taught what was important! :)

These are some of the life lessons I was taught at my church. But there is so much more I am also grateful for than just the lessons.

*182. I am grateful for the most amazing group of friends. My friends from church are not just friends. They are family. The beauty of the body of Christ, is that it is everywhere. I had not been a month since I moved to Mexico, when I already had a large group of friends coming over to my house and inviting me to theirs. This was all because of the church. And in my church here, I have developed truly beautiful relationships I hope to keep for the rest of my life (if I can keep myself from getting in the way, hehehe). I am grateful they are men and women I wish to imitate for they imitate Christ!
It's been a long time you and me!

*183. I am grateful I got to "do it all" in my church. Yep, it truly was the most wonderful place to grow. I've been in dance choreographies, theatrical plays, dressed as a clown, been part of a sports team (AWANA), learned to play the keyboard and the guitar, been in several musical bands, learned to sing in public, learned to speak in public, taught others piano and guitar, taught melodies and harmony, made songs with sweet friends, played in several concerts and camps, travel in and out of the country together. The list could go on. I got to do most of that with my beautiful sister too!

*184. I am truly grateful for the wonderful experiences of the church camps. We have one every year for Easter. I have been going to these camps since 1994 or 1995 (not sure) and only missed the easter camps of 2000, 2008, and 2011 (it was truly sad to miss the one this year :( ). The youth camps were the most expected. Oh the things we did, the friends we made, the tons we learned, the dirty, wet clothes, late night sleeps, cold temperatures (they were mainly in December), games played, sermons heard, worship times sung, talent shows enjoyed!! (see, I am already being cured of the seed of destruction mentions at the beginnig!) I was lucky enought to enjoy two camps in the USA with a group of friends. Can you imagine going to a different country with over 15 of your friends and no parents (of course with the leader and chaperons hehehehe)? The memories of those trips still make me giggle with happiness!

Singing at one of the Easter camps. I'm on the piano and my sis is also there singing ^_^

*185. The church's school. One of the main reasons I am grateful for this place is meeting Evelyn. She is one of the most amazing person I have ever met and I had the joy of sharing by her side all my high school years. I am also truly thankful for Mely and how we knew each other so well Johnny would tell us to "shut up" when we were "talking" with our eyes!! o_O.. I had teachers that taught me to love God's Word even more (Mr. Greene, Johnny, Miss Toti, Tifanny, and so much more). I had classmates with whom I could share my last night's time with God. I found my brother-from-another-mother Paolo ^_^. I found gentlemen like Danny and Henry. It truly was a blessing; so much, I ended up working there as a teacher too. It was my first job: the worstly paid one, but most loved one! I truly enjoyed being a teacher (talk about getting anxious to teach again; my kids this time!) As a teacher, I got to make connections with my students and made two amazing, loving "daughters": Adina and Denise.

My sixth grade class. Miss Toti was the homeroom teacher!! ^_^

Daughters Denisse and Adi! Agh, I sigh at the sight!

*186. Pastors and leaders that are approachable. I could always speak my mind with my leaders (and was most of the time encouraged to). If I had something that was bothering me or I disagreed with something my leaders were doing or saying, they were open enough to listen.

*187. The youth group and youth church. Yep, you 180° people boast all you want; but it was MY generation that started it all! hehehehe. I guess I need to go back to working with the youth church! Is what I mostly enjoyed of my church :) but it comes a time to grow up.

Oh yes, grattitude changes it all. Is there something in your life you are discontent with or are having bad attitude towards? Apply grattitude to it and finally learn joy in all times!

And going a little off subject, here is the rest of this week's gifts.

*188 The most beautiful mother in the world.
Isn't she?

*189. Energy! physical energy! Been to the gym only twice, but woke up feeling good and energized. Did the cleaning of the house with joy and gusto! Cooked most meals this weekend! Hooray for savings! :)
*190. A sushi date night with the hubby (There was a 2x1 promotion. It's the only way we can afford sushi :P)
*191. A relationship in turmoil. As we were taught by the pastor this weekend about dealing with storms: "Don't ask why? Ask for what?" Trusting in You!
*192. My dear sister's birthday. Wish I could be with her. Hope she knows and perceives how much I truly, deeply love and miss her, and how I wish for her the best and constantly think and pray for her!
First collage I make. So lovely!

*193. A weekend watching Sakura while the hubby was out on errands and I was cleaning the house. Call me dumb if you want, watching Sakura makes me kinder :)
*194. Body aching from working out. It hurts, but it helps. The irony of healthy choices!
*195. Cooking huge burgers that made my husband happy and my stomach was able to digest! (Speaking of irony, talk about contradictions!)
*196. This one is the funny gift, but I am truly grateful for. We took our two dogs to my in-laws. I am grateful my dogs love their grandparents and back!! :D .. Seriously, it is the only other place Terry behaves herself!
Terry on the back and Lanky on the front

Oh Father, You are so wonderful! I love You!!!


Learning everywhere.

I have told you before how I struggle with my coworkers. None of them are christians and it is hard for me to carry a relationship with them. At the beginning, we were getting along fine, but it was because I was conforming to them. A little Romans reading later, I began to fight that conforming, landing in them mocking me all the time. Now, I find myself constantly trying to serve them while also trying to put the other cheek. But, everything happens for a reason (I now believe that more than ever) and everyone in your life has a purpose and a teaching.

I rejoice in how much I have learned from my two female coworkers. They are both very responsible, hard working, punctual, and professional. One of them became my boss some months ago. I couldn't be more happy. She is just, respectful, and considerate. She is also the closest married person I have in my life.(By closest I mean to say the one I see more often and spend more time with). She talks to me about work, marriage, health, children and juggling them altogether. Her counsel is sometimes under the humanist worldview, but she has wise advice more often than not. Today we were discussing pregnancy, since all of my coworkers are hopeful that I will be pregnant soon!

Remember when I told you I dreaded going out during the week days with my hubby? Well, yesterday I didn't go to work. I spent from 11 pm of Monday til 4 am on Tuesday going to the bathroom every 20 mins (I am embarassed to post this, but I promised myself I'd be honest :P). Needless to say, I didn't sleep at all and my stomach cramping was torture. The hubby took me to the doctor yesterday and again we are starting a now-forced diet (the hubby accompanies me on all of my sufferings. He is wonderful that way) and a new regime of pills. I got a call from him at 4 pm telling me a friend of his invited us to his birthday. He knows I spent yesterday feeling pretty bad and I was more than longing to go home and do nothing (almost nothing. there is always the unavoidable cooking; unless I want to throw my budget on eating out again. It happens when I'm feeling down, but I can no longer afford to). He immediately told me that he could take me home and go to the birthday alone. I was thrilled at this thought. I had downloaded more episodes of Sakura that I was happy to watch alone tonight.

For no apparent reason, my coworker decided to talk to me about caring for the hubby. It was funny how we got to that subject. I had made a correction on a code of one of our softwares. She asked me if I had tested it on other applications. I told her it should work fine, but I decided to test it. Turned out she was right and the code did change depending on the application. I said: "it is good to be extra careful and always double check". "Yes", she said, "you should also be this way with your husband". "What do you mean?" said I, "should I be spying on him?" "No, you dummy. I mean you should be extra careful you are caring for him. Double check you are guarding his heart, his soul, his tummy." And then we said some jokes about her being very careful and her husband's tummy to prove it. And it hit me. How many times has your hubby has gone alone because you feel bad. And this is no lie or excuse. You honestly feel bad. But bad enough that you can't say "yes" to him sometimes? Knowing he would rather go with you! Knowing he longs to go with you! And I told this to my boss. She said. "One day, he will simply stop asking you out."

God really does speak to you all the time from everywhere if you are willing to listen.

Tonight, I'm gonna go put on some make up, try to tidy up my hair (we are short on time), and go out with my husband with a smile on my face.

Happy night! blessings!


The beauty of the Word of God, the disastrous reality that is my humanity!

I've been inmersed in the books of Kings. I really enjoyed them and have gone through them way too fast, but I couldn't contain myself. I love how eventhough they are books I've read many times before, every time I read them i find new teachings. What I love about God's Word is it's ability to spark a desire in my heart for change, renewal, transformation, renovation, motivation, and self examination. The only issue is that that spark in my heart is encountered with the sin in that same ol' heart of mine that will try to extinguish it. It feels like the more I want to spend in the Word, the more my flesh wants to manifest itself. It frustrates my "testimony" to be seen by my husband spending more time in the Word, and later in the day spend more time complaining or easily getting upset for anything. I guess this is were again I must trust my Lord that He perfects in my weakness. I am also on a constant need of a dosis of humility, so I guess this is why the Word that is light brings forth the darkness that I want to hide. It is a lesson that I shouldn't hide it, but confront it.

My husband was telling me he needed me to be more supportive in his weak areas instead of being too pushy. Well, I told him being pushy was one of MY weak areas and I needed him to help me improve that too. I love it when we sit together to talk about our weaknesses, needs, and expectations. It opens up both of our eyes unto what needs care, change, and growth. We are still a young couple, learning tons everyday about each other, about living together, about living for God and doing things right. Actually, I don't think that will change even with the years for we will always be learning. But Satan doesn't like that at all, and he constantly bombards me with negative thoughts. The one that he has been using alot lately is the: "You are not enough!" And the trick that makes me really fall, is that I begin to believe my husband believes it too. And this is were I am grateful I read the Word of God to remind me: "Yes! Indeed you are not! But I, Your God, am!"

And it all revolves around the issue again of letting Him be my strength. It is so sad to see how foolish most Kings of Israel and Judah were. How they wouldn't turn to their God. More shockingly, how they would turn away from their God. And it makes me wonder: when I face the day to day, how often do I turn to God?

Ever since my strength is missing, I turn to God for trivial time like when I have to cook. And I am finding myself turning more and more to Him, seeing in this His purpose for what is happening in my life. Today, I couldn't get up. The strength was just not there. I got to work an hour late, and this was only possible because my loving husband made the meals for today and fixed my lunchbox. He has been doing fixing my lunchbox more and more often. It really burdens me and eats me up inside that I should be doing this for him and he is doing it for me. Again my dosis of humility kindly given to me by the Lord through my husband. But, as I was sitting in the car in the ride to work, I was thinking of ways to make me get up. Maybe I should wake up at 5 and take my hipothyroidism pill then so that it will kick in faster and when it's time to get up, I'll find it easier. Maybe I should finally learn to take a cold shower (I fear this just as much as I fear spiders!). And it hit me: again, seeking your own strength, seeking help elsewhere. Turn to Your God! You don't need strength to lay in your bed and quietly pray. Meet Your God first thing and ask for strength and wisdom. Your Father says He will give it to you if you ask! Go and ask. Go and be filled by strength by standing in His presence!

And so, I am slowly learning. This slowly learning thing is new to me. I'm used to getting things right much faster. Marriage, life, and christianity isn't, and if I thought I was getting it correct and fast, I was deceiving myself. This has been I reason why I find it hard to have people in my life to correct and admonish me. If I was deceiving myself, I was probably deceiving better others that I "have it all together," including my husband and family. I guess then that the fact that spending time in the Word also makes my flesh come forth is also purposeful. And it all fits on Your wonderful plan that I am fully convinced it is good and perfect.

*151 a husband that can fix lunchboxes.
*152 a very patient, very tolerant husband
*153 productive talks where we can express our needs openly
*154 a vacation getaway!
*155 the hubby being ill on the vacation, but only for two hours, and then feeling ok.
*156 falling in love all over again, with walks on the beach and starry nights all to ourselves.
*157 a safe trip home
*158 a loving mother-in-love
*159 a lovely birthday meal for dad, Luis, and me! (all of my family, except my mom, have their birthdays on September)
*160 an evening out with my brother Luis.
*161 finding gym money in our budget :D
*162 a hubby learning to have better control of our finances
*163 learning to be more patient and supportive. being told to be more patient and supportive.
*164 the light of the Word of God
*165 a God that never, never fails
*166 phone talks and skype talks with my family. I had two long phone calls with my darling brother and sister on my bday!!
*167 a weekend to serve at church for the first time next to my loving Eunice and Jenny and their husbands!
*168 making lasagna that makes my hubby smile!
*169 hot water bags for when i have an upset tummy.
*170 that mom and I can turn to each other and vent even when we are miles apart.

I love You Jesus, never stop teaching me. Speak to me, for I am listening!


Be my strength please!

September 15, Honduran holiday!
I know I just came back from vacations, but I am so excited for the day off tomorrow. Interestingly enough, it is 12:27 am and I am not sleepy. If I had to work tomorrow and I was still awake, right now I would be stressing that I won't have enough strength and I'm going to wake up with a headache which will accompany me all day long. It is strange to me that getting enough rest is such a huge concern to me. It seriously is. Yet, since I have the longed holiday tomorrow, I'm "wasting" my rest time.

To get enough rest stresses me so that I dread going to church on the weekdays, and even on the weekends. True concern or just an excuse? It concerns me so much that I dread going out with my husband on the weekdays too. If he wants to go to the movies or to dineer the inner struggle in me rages a mind-heart battle to wilfully move my body and reject my craving for rest.

Why such a battle, might you ask? I suffer of hipothyroidism. It is a disease in which my body's strength consumes faster. Have I hidden behind my disease to justify laziness maybe?

I have been able to keep a content and grateful heart with my demanding job and my wife duties of cooking lunch every night. Several months ago these endeavours made my heart bitter and sad. Now, I am able to "endure" them more gracefully. But I am being honest when I say I dread being tired. I dread going to church during the weekdays, have to get home till 9pm to cook, to finally sit down and rest till maybe 11pm. Just by writing this and picturing the scenario I can imagine what my back pain and leg pain would feel.

Lately I have been dealing with cronic pains on my legs. I have come to believe that it is from lack of exercise. Lsst week I took the first days off since july of last year (Seriously, I went to work on December 25th and January 1st). My husband and I had the blessing to travel and spend 4 days at a lovely beach resort in El Salvador. There we got to exercise alot in the pool, doing some biking, walking down the beach, and even going to the gym. I have felt better from my pain and have realized I need it. I dread working out and adding hours to my day like you have no idea (plus the added expense). I am also aware that the extra weight I've gained this past two months are also hurting my legs.

I confessed to my brothers and sisters at church that this was making me very fearful. You see I'm very zealous of my resting time because without it my body becomes ill and aching. This makes me fearful of many, many things. If I am this ill with this amount of tired, how will I be when I have the four children I desire? Will my body be able to withstand it? Will I be able to serve my husband and children healthy and joyfully? Can I become better and stronger?

It truly is a strong fear in my heart. I fear being an ill person. I like taking charge, serving others, and being active. I have been slowly moving away from this person to a secluded, reserved, and inactive person fearful of more activity.

Dear Lord,

Satan has been keeping me in fear far too long now. I have rested on my own strength far too long too. I wish to live resting and hoping in You. I want to be submerged in your love that there is no room for fear. I ask You to put in me a stronger desire to go and do, than to stay and rest. Let me know that my rest will be in Your hands and so will my body. Help me endure the pain with a quiet and gentle spirit, so that it may be easier on my husband too for he suffers along with me; may he not have to endure a bad-tempered wife also. Oh Father, help me feel Your embrace and Your comfort. Give me and the hubby discipline to work on our diets and exercise so we may improve our health. Give me will to not be controlled by this any longer. May I get a hold of your promises and believe that I will soar like eagles, and I will walk and won't get tired.

I love You Father


It's my birthday!!!!

I'm sorry I didn't write last monday, No excuses!
Today is my birthday!!!!
Sometimes some people, me especially, see birthdays as an ordinary day with no understanding of the fuzz of it all. Others wait with anticipation to celebrate theirs. I personallly try to disregard my birthday because I don't want to make it a day all about me where I am expecting other to do things and treat me a certain way. I don't see why this day should be different than any other. In total honesty, if I did expect any of the above, I ended up the day feeling dissapointed. By lowering my expectations and simply taking this day as any other, anything nice that comes my way is received with surprised and excitement; if nothing happens, I am not left with hurt feelings.
The problem with the view I developed for my birthday is that it also became the view of how I should regard other's birthdays too; and this in turn, makes me treat their birthdays as any other ordinary day.

The reason of my dissapointments with my birthdays to the point of wishing they didn't even happen at all comes from my parents divorce. Every birthday was a fight of whom would I spend it with? Would both of them be there? Would they get along? Most of my birthdays back then were a battle to try to bring either of my sibblings and I to a side: mom's or dad's. (I want to make a small parenthesis and say that my parents were very civilized divorcees who truly made an effort for our sake and spared us of the many displays I saw on other divorced couples. I am very grateful for their attitudes and decisions. Unfortunately, as much as they tried, you can't prevent divorce from hurting your children.)

I would rather have those September the 5th be any ordinary day than a battle of power.

Very few times does my birthday surprise me. This was definitely one of those times. But before I mention why, since it will be in my grattitude list, I want to share a little more.

I have never stopped to consider the gift of turning another year and celebrating my birthday. I have recently been thinking of why the fuzz since I am considering becoming a mommy very soon. A friend of my recently had baby twin girls. She had lost a baby boy before, and needless to say, we were all on edge the day of their birth. I came into the room to see two beautiful baby girls wrapped together in blankets with little hats on their heads sleeping in a bassinet. I turned to see the tired but smiling mother lying in bed and said to her: "They were not with us a day before and now they are here. Today we all met your daughters!" I get teary-eyed just remembering.

Wow, can you believe the effort, tension, stress, preocupation, anticipation, excitement your parents went through the day of your birth?

Now I can go further behind. Imagine the Creator designing you, forming you, breathing life into you, and sending you into your mommy's womb from where He chose you from the beginning of time!!! (Now I'm seriously crying!!) And with all the family issues I shared with you, He was wonderful and gracious to give me the parents and siblings I have. My mother is my hero more each day. My father is a good man that tries to reach out any way he can. My sister is my best friend and soul mate, and my brother would give his life for any of us in a heartbeat. Yes, I have much to celebrate. I love my family more than words can describe and they have blessed every birthday of mine by blessing every single year of my life.

If a birthday is no longer about me (which seriously when am I going to learn that nothing should), it is no ordinary day. Oh no, no, no! It will certainly not be an ordinary day the day I make my husband a father, the day the Lord makes me a mother!

Happy birthday, Mommy and Lord, to me! :D

*135 another year to learn, read, write, sing, hug, love, pray, and expect wonders from and with my heavenly Father and my wonderful loved ones.
*136 a weekend serving in church next to Eu, Jose, Ale, Jackie, Cesar, Tavo and Tavo Jr, my hubby and many more!
*137 a little time with Sarai!
*138 Hideeni. He takes my love letters to my darling sister Pit!
*139 A night spent in tears and prayer.
*140 Coming to You when I feel there is no hope and coming out hopeful.
*141 Great boss and coworkers (No, I'm not being sarcastic but I am not talking about the same boss of previous posts :P)
*142 A surprise salary raise!! Woohoo!
*143 A vacation confirmed for this week! Beach and sun here I come!
*144 An old-friends reunion that was a success.
*145 The reunion was my birthday party. I didn't think I would have such a turnout. Reuniting with long-time-no-see friends was too much!
*146 Grateful to see Danilo, Daniel, Mely and Johnny, Caroline, Dela, Tito, The Padgetts, Cesar, Denise, Dilly, Jose, Paolo, Adina and Rafa (soooooo much fun), Danny and Jens.
*147 The most unexpected gift by my husband! My mom has been trying to get that surprised and excited look from me all her life, jejejeje.
*148 A hard-working selfless husband.
*149 The game SPOONS (still rocks any bday!)
*150 a lovely lunch with coworkers.

I love You Jesus!!!!!