Hubby turned 24!

What a lovely weekend I enjoyed. My darling husband turned 24. Yes, you heard me correctly, 24. It actually sounds a lot better than 23. A couple of weeks ago I had to take him to the emergency room because of a strong stomachache. The nurse took him in while I gave the receptionist his information. "23?" said the recepctionist a little stunned. "Yes, 23," said I, a little blushing. "23?" she asked again to make sure.

My husband was 22 when we got married and I was 24. I'm currently 26 and so happy he turned 24. People always comment that we got married really young. I agree with that opinion of him but not of me. I wish I would have married younger and ,by this time, I wish I'd have 2 kids at least. I'm learning to live by my haunting verse: "Be still and know that I am God." The "be still" is one of the hardest things for me. 

However, I'm happy I married at the age I did because if my wish of marrying younger had come true, I'd probably wouldn't be married to my husband. Maybe the man who would have been my husband would have also been wonderful, but when the Bible says you can't know the work God is doing, the Word, as for usual, is correct. And you wonder why God says "no" to the desires of your heart but, if He wills, He shows you why. So this gratitude Monday I'm especially grateful to the Lord for His timing and my beautiful husband. 

My husband is a mix of young and old. He is very old fashioned being very chivalrous and a family man. He is kind and respectful, not prone to arguing or discussing, always seeking peace and harmony. He is patient and loving, always seeking to help and serve, early riser. He is decorous, clean and organized; he is so correct he won't run a red light. He is young-minded in his food habits (that I intend to change no matter what) and his pastimes (which I indulge with his new bday gift gadget). He pouts if his soccer game is canceled or his soccer team looses, and murmurs for everything. Being a burly man, it amuses me when he bellows his cries of pain when he gets hurt or sick like a little baby. 

I love that he is mine and I am his. I love how much I learn from him and how we realize how much we have to learn still and learning it together. And as we wait for our new stage as parents (if God wills), I've learn to be still and enjoy the blessings God has bestowed on me through my husband.

Holy moly, my last gratitude post was last year! Unacceptable! 

*319 my wonderful husband turning 24
*320 a wonderful time celebrating alongside close friends and family
*321 a lovely backyard transformation perfect for a night in communion
*322 Adina's always willing helping hand
*323 Adina not killing us on her car
*324 dreams and plans for this new year
*325 the hubby's playstation 3. No, I can't afford it, Yes, the Lord provided even for this!
*326 last-last weekend serving at church band with jenny and sarai
*327 the Lord teaching me to fear Him
*328 having had my mom here in Honduras for more than a month
*329 the hardships and trials that will test and perfect my siblings
*340 my mom's foot still in recovery
*341 many unknown paths for my family being amazing opportunities to follow God
*342 You teaching pit and ditto hardwork, appretiation, gratitude, maturity and adulthood.
*343 being able to have sister moments with pit more often
*344 having a garage that fits 6 cars or more.
*345 Terry and Lanky "behaving" during the birthday party
*346 my cooking being to everyone's liking, including hard-to-please Johnny
*347 delicious cheesecake I'm tempted to make again just for the two of us
*348 remembering I can't indulge a sweettooth because the hubby and I are doing a 30 day fitness challenge
*349 enjoying good health and a burst of unexpected strength
*350 back to the gym!
*351 having christian coworkers!
*352 taking a good decision when being tempted
*353 the dogs learning fetch

I could go on to make up for the countless things I should have been writing this past mondays, but the wonderful thing about doing this on monday is that it give monday a happy blessed feel instead of the just-started-another-grueling-week. :) And after making the list, I definitely begin the weak strong feeling so blessed and uplifted. 
Thank You Lord because it is because of your countless mercy and love.
Love ya!


Learning the good way

I don't even know where to go with this post.
Certainly not the kind of post I had in mind writing, nevertheless, is what the Lord is showing me today.
I found it funny that I saw many people posting verses from the book of Jeremiah. As you know, I've been studying it closely and trying to post on each chapter I read. Curiously enough, I haven't seen this ones being shared.

Jeremiah 6

 16 This is what the LORD says:
   “Stand at the crossroads and look;
   ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
   and you will find rest for your souls.
   But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’ 

"We will not!" As always, my sinful nature runs to point others in this description, until my Spirit had to land my mind that that is me. Do you ask for the ancient paths and where the good way is? And when showed, do you walk it?
Lately, my soul has not found much rest, so I'm guessing that would be a no. Again, my sinful nature justifies that this unrestfulness comes from a heavy-burden job, the large list of family problems you've been enduring, and, never missing out, your health. I had a slightly rough morning last thursday yet I ended up crying my eyes out on the bathroom and it was only 8 am! I thought it was a "hormonal" thing. The next day I found myself crying again and feeling thoroughly unhappy in my job. It then hit me! It was not hormonal or emotional; it was spiritual. I had missed two grattitude mondays and with this past monday, I'm up to three!

Jeremiah 7
9 “‘Will you steal and murder, commit adultery and perjury, burn incense to Baal and follow other gods you have not known, 10 and then come and stand before me in this house, which bears my Name, and say, “We are safe”—safe to do all these detestable things? 11 Has this house, which bears my Name, become a den of robbers to you? But I have been watching! declares the LORD. 

Jeremiah 8

6 I have listened attentively,
but they do not say what is right.
None of them repent of their wickedness,
saying, “What have I done?”
Each pursues their own course
like a horse charging into battle. 

Jeremiah 9
3 “They make ready their tongue
like a bow, to shoot lies;
it is not by truth
that they triumph in the land.
They go from one sin to another;
they do not acknowledge me,”
declares the LORD.

Again, I feel God's hurt for the rebellion of His people. Now I'm gonna write about really "touchy" subjects for mainly Christians, yet I share my honest, open heart here. I was talking with an atheist co-worker having the typical Evolution/Creation and does God exists or not debate. It was the first time I had a talk with an atheist that wanted to make me deny God by what's in the Bible about Him. "Is that the god you follow? A god that sends his angel to murder Egypt's newborns, a god that sends his people to leave no one from X tribe alive, including the women and children?" I've seen similar posts on 9 gag where they dare mock God. See, Christians have popularized the romantic idea that God does things for the good of human beings. God does EVERYTHING for the glory of His name! He answers to none of us and none of us have authority to question Him, only the right to obey Him. My atheist friend was a bit shocked by my answers. He is used to the Christians trying to explain this parts of the Bible in a manner that still fits their belief God is at work for the good of mankind. I explained to him that there is a difference between being a murderer and being the Creator and owner of everything. Everything is His to do what He wills. We forget that and forget what true fear of the Lord is. And this people of Judah in these chapters of Jeremiah seriously did.

Jeremiah 9 

9 Should I not punish them for this?”
declares the LORD.
“Should I not avenge myself
on such a nation as this?” 
11 “I will make Jerusalem a heap of ruins,
a haunt of jackals;
and I will lay waste the towns of Judah
so no one can live there.”

Oh, THESE are the verses atheist love to quote: the wrath of God while christians quote the "He is always with me" verses. Where are those reading attentively to God saying:

Jeremiah 7
2“‘Hear the word of the LORD, all you people of Judah who come through these gates to worship the LORD. 3 This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Reform your ways and your actions, and I will let you live in this place.
5 If you really change your ways and your actions and deal with each other justly, 6 if you do not oppress the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not follow other gods to your own harm, 7then I will let you live in this place, in the land I gave your ancestors for ever and ever. 
13While you were doing all these things, declares the LORD, I spoke to you again and again, but you did not listen; I called you, but you did not answer. 
19 But am I the one they are provoking? declares the LORD. Are they not rather harming themselves, to their own shame? 
28 Therefore say to them, ‘This is the nation that has not obeyed the LORD its God or responded to correction. Truth has perished; it has vanished from their lips. 

God's mercy is new each morning. I guess if I where to be meditating on that rather than pondering on how much I hate my job, I would still find rest for my soul. It is by pure grace we were given Jesus and by pure mercy we are not smitten to destruction. I was telling my sister: "Even if a person woke up in the worst case scenario possible, but he were a believer, he would still wake up being capable of being immensely grateful in his life because of Christ's blood and saving love" and that is hard truth we MUST live by.

Still, I am a romantic and God's Word is also equipped to comfort and fill us with promises, so I also share the popular verses in Jeremiah:

Jeremiah 9 

23 This is what the LORD says:
“Let not the wise boast of their wisdom
or the strong boast of their strength
or the rich boast of their riches,
24 but let the one who boasts boast about this:
that they have the understanding to know me,
that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness,
justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these I delight,”
declares the LORD.

Let me grow to your liking and delight, Father, and may my soul find rest being grateful for your unworthy love.

Love you, Jesus!


Learning fear of the Lord

There has been so much going on in my life in just the 10 days in 2012. I am confident, however, though they are scary changes, they are good changes. But, my heart and mind are not yet ready to share or even ponder about them right now and everything is too tangled up to even make sense. Instead, I'd like to continue my study on Jeremiah.

I think there are so many misconceptions about God that we christians are not setting straight. I read facebook status that say things like: "God is interested in you, not in what you do" and that gets many likes. Yes it sounds really nice, but the phrase is so ambiguous and untrue. No wonder this generation's christians are deemed "light".

And then I take a look at verses like these:

Jeremiah 3

1 “If a man divorces his wife 
and she leaves him and marries another man, 
should he return to her again?
Would not the land be completely defiled?
But you have lived as a prostitute with many lovers— 
would you now return to me?” 
declares the LORD. 

3 Therefore the showers have been withheld, 
and no spring rains have fallen.
Yet you have the brazen look of a prostitute;
you refuse to blush with shame. 
4 Have you not just called to me:
‘My Father, my friend from my youth, 
5 will you always be angry? 
Will your wrath continue forever?’ 
This is how you talk, 
but you do all the evil you can.”

Oh, my mind is already ahead of you, dear reader.. "But this was the old testament. We live in the covenant of grace now.." thinketh this sinful mind. Defiled land, prostitute. I don't think God would use these words if he was not interested in what Israel was doing, and He was only interested in His chosen people. Why do you want to believe you can flirt with the world and not realize you become defiled land unworthy for the Lord. Do you think God will just watch your rebellion and do nothing about it!

12.. “‘Return, faithless Israel,’ declares the LORD, 
‘I will frown on you no longer, 
for I am faithful,’ declares the LORD, 
‘I will not be angry forever. 
13 Only acknowledge your guilt— 
you have rebelled against the LORD your God,

Seriously, our God is too good. How many times have I questioned what God does in my life when it was my rebellion that got me there!

Jeremiah 4
18 “Your own conduct and actions 
have brought this on you. 
This is your punishment. 
How bitter it is! 
How it pierces to the heart!” 

Jeremiah 5
24 They do not say to themselves, 
‘Let us fear the LORD our God, 
who gives autumn and spring rains in season, 
who assures us of the regular weeks of harvest.’

"Only acknowledge your guilt.." hmmm. I ponder on this part of the verse for quite some time. People (me included) always claim guilt being brought about by the devil and we should avoid feeling guilt and embrace Jesus' forgiveness instead. So I wonder: is feeling guilt something good? I guess that I need to apply semantics here. The verse says "acknowledge" not "feel." Guilt is not meant to commiserate or victimize. It is meant to acknowledge your place before God and how amazing He is for having you still before Him. It should move you never to rebel before such a God again. It should stir fear of the Lord that He is righteous, He giveth and taketh away!

What moves me most is the fact that God kept calling Israel to return. Like the Father He is, always there waiting for our return, never to become astray again. So no, Father, I will not be a defiled land, but a faithful land for You.

These aren't popular feel-good christian verses like the ones they so love to paste on facebook. Do you "refuse to blush in shame"? Have you forgotten God gave you everything, including the seasons? I don't want to fall in neither. Guard and keep me from this; as for me, I'll guard my heart above all things and serve the You Lord eagerly.


I Dream, Because God Has a Plan For Me

Post by my dear daughter Adina!

"Then Job replied to the LORD: 'I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted.' ...My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you."

Job 42:1-2, 5 (NIV 1984)

Stick with me... With what the Lord put in my heart for the past couple of weeks.
I'll be honest... Sometimes, I don't fully trust God has prepared good things for me, for my family, for my friends, for others... Because I am human.

This past year was riddled with home issues, loss of others, empty gas tanks and hard work/studies for those I Iove. Family and friends alike have endured relationship troubles, health complications, the passing of loved ones, unemployment, cars breaking down, churches falling apart and the list goes on...
Pain of troubles and pain of loss... But circumstances can change in a moment... And the truth of the matter is: God never changes.
His power to give a future and hope never change. His Word never changes.

So when life gives us stories of doubt and hopelessness in God's authority over circumstances, I reread accounts of His faithfulness and redemption. I refer back to the Truth:

*All the while Job's family, home, crops and health demolished... God was preparing to give him double of what was killed, stolen, lost and damaged.
*When Ruth was a homeless, barren widow... God was creating a home in Boaz's heart for her to be a wife, and mother, and great, great, great-grandmother to His Son, Jesus!
*Every time Saul crucified Christians... God saw Paul preaching the crucified Christ.

*When Esther was an orphaned girl shaking in fear for her life... God made a way for His daughter to shake a kingdom and save His people.

*When Peter lost faith and denied Christ... God saw him bringing many to faith as he proclaimed Christ.

*As Moses killed an Egyptian with his hands... God saw him chiseling the Ten Commandments with those same hands.

*At the time Mary saw Jesus die...God saw Jesus resurrected and seated on His heavenly throne!

No matter what the circumstances were, God turned each into a hopeful future.

Despite what is happening in life, these stories of redemption and hope speak the truth.
I dream because God has a plan for me.

As we begin this New Year... We dream.

We dream because He can do everything for us!!!

Dear Lord, I'm so grateful You not only see my future, but You've planned something big for these girls Thank You for Your faithfulness last year, and for recording the stories of our lives You change all

the time. You turned pasts into hopeful futures. We love you so much!

I am I truly lowly; the worst sinner... And You know our hearts... Please make these amazing friends in my life the highest of your servants.

I ask that You do the same for their circumstances this New Year. :) In Jesus' Name, Amen.


Hello 2012!!!

I wanted my first post of the year be a little different, but I also thought my end of the year would go differently. I remember I woke up last friday thinking: "I must prepare for the worst weekend and end of year of my life." Not very encouraging or hopeful! My sweet daughters Denise and Sarai had come for a sleepover on  thursday December 22nd and made this song. We were unable to record it but were able to do so today.

The lyrics speak of what my prayer has been this past month. Judging by my inspiring waking thought this past friday, I guess I wasn't really believing it. It's a good thing my God is faithful. This new year's was quite a surprise and a gift from Him. 

I got to see my dad and my aunts from his side of the family. Got to go with my sister to my grandparents house and spend some time with my mom and her family there. Got to take my mom to my in-laws and have a lovely time there. Went to pick daughters Denise and Sarai and son Kike (:P) and spend some time in my house (try all morning till 6:30 am!). And I thought I was not gonna do anything this new year's!

Times are hard, yet my loving God gives me days like this and family and friends like this. Hope you like our first daughters-mother collaborative song. Hope there are more to come. We were still in bed, just minutes after we woke up from a gruelling night  (our faces show how tired we are, especially mommy) , so please be nice! :). You can hear Rodol and Kike making noise in the living room :P

Can't wait for grattitude monday, although I'm already jumping with thanks right now!

Happy new year!