Combating a hardened-heart state of being

I've never considered myself a philosophical person, but I think I am one more than I think.
My favorite book in the Bible to read is Ecclesiastes, and, to my humble opinion, it is the most philosophical book in the Bible.
It addressed the questions and reasons of life, love, and why.

Fumoffu's death still haunts me. I must confess I haven't felt very warm and fuzzy inside since and I hadn't realized how much it had affected me.
My pastor, who happens to also be a doctor, adviced me not to linger in the sadness of losing my darling Fumoffu because it would make the baby more sensible to negative emotions like sorrow and depression.
I honestly have not been dwelling on her death or letting sad thoughts of what happened inside my head, but there are somethings my mind still doesn't have control over my body. 
As much as I try to stay positive, my stomach likes to act out when I'm feeling down and it's been a slow process getting my swollen colon back to normal.

In the spirit of confession, I haven't felt too inclined to search for the spiritual either. I have been praying and reading my Bible less and the flame of desire for more of the Lord feels a little extinguished. You know, those days when you know you have a hardened heart? I hate my hardened heart state of being and I try to combat it as soon as possible. The fact that I journaled more often when I was a teenager certainly helped keep this condition away, for I would bring my mind back to the right train of thought. I think it was really the Spirit Who brought this right train of thought back; I was just more open.

Back to Ecclesiastes.
Solomon was granted great wisdom and I find myself pondering on his own pondering of life:

Ecclesiastes 1:2

"Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity."
Here is an interesting definition of vain
1: having no real value : idle, worthless <vain pretensions>
2: marked by futility or ineffectualness : unsuccessful, useless<vain efforts to escape>
3: archaic : foolish, silly

My definition for vain was also futile, thus life is futile.
What use was it for a mother to sacrifice everything for years in order to raise her children alone to have them reproach her when they are older?
What is the use of a husband's great love for his wife when he could lose her to death so impressively easily?
Or how easy it would be for an expectant mother to lose what she dreams and hopes for?

I read about a man killing 77 people in Norway because of his political beliefs and regretting his death toll wasn't greater.
I read about the fact that an average of 44 women are murder in my country per month.
I hate it when I see pictures in facebook requesting likes that would "help" a child get surgery and display the little one's feeble and regretable state.

I was telling my husband that I was afraid of taking a vacation trip because I'm afraid something might happen to us with our country's non-stop growing corruption. He said to me: "Where is your trust?" to which I answered: "My trust can be on the Lord and that still doesn't mean the evil in this world can't touch me." And then as we arrived home in the dark and lonely street infront of my house I realized: "I could as easily be killed here opening the garage of my house as anywhere else."

The evil in this world is too great. The futility of life is too great.
Like having a perfect record at work for months of 0 programs with errors and have a single error bring all that crumbling down.
You strive for growth and maturity, and discipline and responsability, but we are just too imperfected.
Of all of God's creation, mankind is the most flawed.
I've even heard my atheist co-workers use that point for their created-in-God's-image argument. And I know that it is the curse of sin in this world that is to blame. But try explaining sin! I try.
Sin and death, loss and suffering all introduced by one man and one woman. I get angry at them from time to time and then I remember I would have probably been no better.

I sound depressive, don't l? Didn't I tell you I detest this hardened-heart state of being!
What I usually do is place all this thoughts down and then contradict them with God's love and God's Word. Find joy in life in Him and in a life filled with grattitude.
Today I turn to one of my favorite writers alive, Jon Foreman.

Jon Foreman the Cure for Pain Lyrics

So I'm not sure why it always flows downhill
Why broken cisterns never could stay filled
I've spent ten years singing gravity away
But the water keeps on falling from the sky

And here tonight while the stars are blacking out
With every hope and dream I've ever had in doubt
I've spent ten years trying to sing these doubts away
But the water keeps on falling from my eyes

And heaven knows, heaven knows
I tried to find a cure for the pain
Oh my Lord! To suffer like you do
It would be a lie to run away

So blood is fire pulsing through our veins
We're either writers or fools behind the reigns
I've spent ten years trying to sing it all way
But the water keeps on falling from my tries

And heaven knows, heaven knows
I tried to find a cure for the pain
Oh my Lord! To suffer like you do
It would be a lie to run away
A lie to run
It would be a lie
It would be a lie to run away

It keeps on falling (x4)
Water keeps on falling from my eyes

And heaven knows, heaven knows
I tried to find a cure for the pain
Oh my Lord! To suffer like you do
It would be a lie to run away (x3)

Oh my Lord! to suffer like you do...
Isn't he brilliant? One day (maybe,hopefully) I'll be able to express a feeling in words so vividly and universally that can convey so much to such a great and diverse crowd.
I liked a facebook status a dear friend wrote;
"We are constantly confused about suffering because we are not living for the right reasons"
Interesting food for thought, don't you think?
I'm hoping to overcome this state of being. I take heart in this verse:

Romans 12:21

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

This life in this world is futile, but I must remember this is not my home. I am a foreigner here and will never feel completely in place.
And as this is the faith and hope I've been given, I continue to add goodness to my faith to overcome evil.
Even the wisest man that lived has a spirited conclusion to life after all the vanity:

Ecclesiastes 12
13 Now all has been heard;
    here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
    for this is the duty of all mankind.
14 For God will bring every deed into judgment,
    including every hidden thing,
    whether it is good or evil.

That's good philosophy!


It's a Girl, the story.

This story is nothing new in alot of places, but here in Honduras it was quite a novelty.
Actually, I got the idea from a fellow blogger.
We had been anxiously waiting for the time to be able to find out the baby's gender.
When the time finally came my husband was surprised to hear that I wanted to wait for the result.
He thought I was not going to be able resist temptation.

It was the first time ever I had had the willpower to wait for my monthly checkup appointment without moving the date ahead. I called the day before to confirm my appointment, when my doctor told me she was not seeing patients that week because she was sick and my appointment had been moved 8 days later. I'm sorry, I had behaved enough to wait more so I went to a different doctor. She spent almost an hour making sure she was sure of the baby's sex, but I had requested ahead that she didn't tell me the sex but write it down on an envelope. She was so cute making sure her doctor-handwriting was legible.

To my husband's surprise, I asked him to take me to a bakery. I gave the envelope to the baker and asked her to bake me a cake with a blue filling if the envelope said boy or a pink filling it said girl, but no disclosure in the outside design. We picked a strawberry design from the counter and went our way having to wait till 4pm in the afternoon of the NEXT day to know the sex. Talk about self-control growth!

We invited close family and friends to come to the reveal to find out the baby's sex together. I wanted to invite more friends but it was such a hectic day I was unable to send out more invites :(. I wanted to have mommy on skype but she had to do errands. We were gonna have her online on the phone and she was without service at the moment of the cake cutting!!! :(.. But the joy to reveal Emmalee Zelaya is coming to us on December was greater than anything else.

the cake! What will the inside contain? Pink? Blue?

 You can see my excitement to see what's it going to be!

 It's pink!!!! A Girl!!!

 My husband had no idea how to react

And after the surprise, enjoy wonderful cake!

Dear Emmalee,
We are so excited to find out you'll be a little princess. Daddy is a little overwhelmed. We bug him because he will be surrounded only by girls in the house with Lanky, Terry, Grandma Estela, me, and now you. Your momma Linda is the most excited Grandma in the world. She has been refraining herself from buying you tons of stuff and can't wait to come see you in the belly and accompany me in labour. We are so blessed to have her. She sent me some clothes and belts to give you space, keep you comfy, and keep mommy happy and stylish. Grandma Martha has been helping me by cooking for me and taking care of me when I'm feeling tired. Grandpa Edgardo will soon start working on your crib, and I'm sure Grandpa  Rodolfo will make you something too; you have crafty grandpa's. Daddy has been taking great care of mommy by rubbing her feet daily, putting her the creams to care for her body, and being the best husband in the world. He's been anxiously waiting to feel you move in the belly and constantly touches it to see if that time has come. He's jealous I can already feel you moving, specially when mommy turns over her belly at night; you don't like that at all. Your aunt and uncles are so excited. You have one Aunt and three uncles, plus the many, many aunts and uncles from the Christ-family you'll also have. They are all praying for you and completely sure you'll be the most beautiful girl in the world. We love you very much!


Do not become weary of doing Good (Adding Goodness to your faith Part 3)

Lets consider this Part 3 to adding Goodness to your Faith....
Inspiration to write hasn't hit me lately.
I write only when I have something I want to say.
Hmmm... Have I had nothing to say lately?

I usually write when I want to share what the Lord has been doing in my life and all that He's been teaching me.
It's not that He hasn't been teaching me lately or doing something in my life. Maybe I've been a little reluctant to share that that He's been doing. 
Since Fumoffu's departure, there have been some series of events that have surely shocked my darling baby. 
Fortunately, I've been able not to worry much; I've trusted God fully that He is control with the baby's health, and I've been at peace and thoroughly cared for by my hubby.

Today's subject is more of a lecture to myself.
"Let us not become weary in doing good."

Lately I feel extremely annoyed after a weekend serving in the church band or church group.
You can read about that here and here.

This weekend was all about my pregnacy.
Last week I had a bad case of irritable bowel syndrome and my belly (and I'm not joking or exaggerating) pretty much doubled in size.
It got so bad I had to go to the hospital on Thursday to have meds through IV to help with the pain and swelling. 
Everywhere I go people feel the need to comment on how huge my belly is and how huge my baby must therefore be. Sigh.
People that have never spoken to me before!
And it's one thing to have my friends ask me if the baby is kicking, how far in the pregnancy I am, when is my due date, and anything they want to ask, even caress the belly;
but to have total strangers who have never before had the decency to say a hello do all that!!
I've never been a touchy-feely girl so I'm not so much into hugs and all that, and to have strangers touch me! TOUCH ME! AHHHHH!!!!!!
Show me the emergency Exit now!

Excuse me, readers, this is my flesh and human nature pouring out.
By the end of Saturday, I was really wishing my stomach would start acting out again so I'd have an excuse not to repeat the experience on Sunday.
Important life lesson: When your weakness is showing, it's the best opportunity to let God be strong and teach you. Find His teaching in your weakness!

What is the teaching in this noticeable sinful thinking and annoyed nature?
Two things:
1. People who have never spoken to you before are approaching you because of your pregnancy. Why not use that for God's glory in making acquaintances and friends and letting people in so you might serve them and bless them? Even people out of church are approaching you. Why not use it to expand the gospel instead of thinking of your petty discomforts of being touched and questioned?
2. Serving in church is not easy. If at one point it was, your heart was probably at a better place. If it isn't, you still have no excuse because you have been called not to grow weary.

Galatins 6
7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

Have you been asking God to be His hands and feet and found yourself annoyed when an opportunity to be just that comes along. Have you noticed it?
Have you meditate on it? It is usually at the time we pray God to use us that it becomes the hardest. Remember, Satan is at play.

What an important part faith has here. How many times have I heard people say they've served God and have received nothing in return! First of all, are you doing things to receive something in return or to give God glory. Let us never forget the reason we do things! But the verse comes with promise; a promise only received by faith: at the proper time we will reap.

Add goodness to your faith by not giving up!

And what a great way to changed the annoyed thought than with gratefulness:
*493 Fumoffu's life and love. She is truly missed because of how extraordinary pet she was and how deeply she was loved. Thank you.
*494 a willing and loving husband that cares for his pregnant wifey.
*495 despite the minor mishap, this pregnant lady has enjoyed great health.
*496 maternity clothes sent by mom. SOOOOO extremely blessed by them, especially the pants! Thanks for the pants mom!
*497 mommy's trip to europe! Oh lala! Excuse me and my Italian vacations! So happy for the blessings You give her.
*498 Aunt Jenny's Italian wedding. Bless them and teach them to be a Christ-centered family.
*499 Pit's salsa weekend with Caroly. Glad they had fun.
*500 A huge, humongous, gianormous house. Seriously, I get tired walking from the kitchen to the bathroom in that monster of a house. How lucky!
*501 A house to host surprise birthday party for my boss. Glad she was happy and blessed.
*502 Noisy dogs. I feel like murdering them cause they bark at nothing and scare the hubs, but I'm still grateful for them.
*503 a weekend serving in church without much stomach problems and feet discomfort. Finding clothes that fit me to sing in stage before the maternity clothes arrived :)
*504 a nursery in progress. LOVE the DIY proyects I've been entertained with
*505 lodging Rodol's friends from San Pedro Sula.
*506 the hubs spending time with his long-time-no-see friends.