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10/28/2013

Oh, poor you!

I am not one to be excited of sharing with you that I've been depressed this past week.
I have been meditating on James 1 and trying to be joyful on my many trials.
"But, Lord, how can I not be depressed when everything just piles up?"
Oh poor little me and my many tribulations.
The house we had picked and had supposedly already signed for got snatched by another person who made business directly with the house owner while we dealt with the real estate agent. We were really bumbed to loose that house because it was better and cheaper than the one we ended up with. (Such murmuration.)
The car was not fixed properly and had to be taken back to the mechanic. Let's cross the fingers it's not something new and there is no extra charge.
I kept my murmuring state Sunday afternoon when friends from church said I could "count on them" on helping with the move and all of my church friends where a no-show.
Emmalee got a cough and was feeling pretty bad from Wednesday to Friday
I had a bad experience at work that left me preocuppied and with a bad taste.
All those "piles" piling up kept me from sleeping and I couldn't sleep well all week, waking up every two hours to continue to ponder on my vicisitudes.
Oh, boo hoo... Poor little Linda.
"Nothing goes right."
I knew my heart was not in the right place and I needed a change fast.
I prayed for a change of heart. I know when my heart is away from God's and my eyes off of Him.
I kept trying to talk some sense into myself.
"God knows why we didn't get the other house and why this one will be better. Trust Him, at least you get to keep the dogs."
"Thank God nothing happen to us when the car started failing and hope for the best."
"The brothers and sisters in Christ have been there other times."

It was no good. I was depressed. My soul was downcast, the affliction in my heart too great.
(Please take into account that a pregnant girl who has been sick for two month and then had a lot piling up feels more overwhelmed than she actually should, and sometimes depression is also physical)
Sunday night while laying in bed lamenting how tired I was from a weekend where I had to work on Saturday and spent all Sunday moving heavy stuff and how little rested my body was to start a new week full of work, I opened my facebook and a friend share this video.

Please watch it.
I couldn't watch it without bawling my eyes out.
When the little boy who is 7 and weighs as much as my 10 month old baby cries in despair as his little sisters bathes him with all her strength, my heart truly broke.
My heart brakes when I think of the extent of my selfishness and my ingratitude.
How can I lament a house having one? Curse a car having one?
Feel sorry for myself for waking up to work having one that lets me feed my family?
How come I haven't been searching to be the hands and feet?
How come knowing children are wanting not being the reason I loose sleep?
I cried long and hard. My babies are so blessed and I'm feeling sorry for us.
I really needed that.
I needed God to give me true brokeness, the type of brokeness that has meaning and purpose, not the petty broken heart I was having.
I need to get my heart right back with God's and my eyes steadfast to Him.
Today I woke up to new things piling up, yet I feel lighter and joyful.

Writing and remembering that video makes me cry again, but I feel a good heart crying, not to self pitying heart I had been carrying around.
I feel a heart ready to receive all the beauty God has for me on this day that He made and a heart willing to take it's eyes from within to try to do a better job at being the hands and feet.

Thank you Lord for only You transform the heart and make it new.For only You can break us and make us into something beautiful. Help us not to desire the things of this world but to desire passionately the Kingdom of Heaven. Let this not only be a lesson on how blessed we are  but also ln how much more for You we need and should be doing. I love you, Jesus.

10/21/2013

To Those Who Wait

There are many, many things I NEED to do.
I emphasize the word need to strongly claim these things I MUST do, not wish I could or hope I can.
In my piling list of needs there are also wants/needs that although I could live without, I wish I didn't have to.
My heart has been really tested as I didn't see how I was going to get anything on the list done.

I need:
1. To finally get healthy. I´ve been sick for almost two months now and it´s taking a toll on my family, my body, and my finances, not to mention I worry on the toll it might be taking on my unborn child.
2.  I need to fix our car. When we took it to the mechanic we were hoping for an easy and inexpensive fix. No win there. The fix is gonna cost me $400. With all the medical bills from being sick so long and going to the doctor so much, I don't even have enough money to make it to the end of the month, let alone fix the car.
3. I need to find a new place to live. The house I´m renting is no longer available and I need to move as soon as possible. We found a house that meets our needs better than out actual house, except that I have to pay the first month of rent plus the deposit. If I don´t have money to fix the car, I have even less to pay that deposit.
4. I need to go to the gynecologist to check on my baby and I need to take Emmalee to the pediatrician.  I need to inscribe Emmalee on the medical insurance I get from school but for that I need a birth certificate. I was going to get one last Wednesday that I had no work but our dear president declared it a holiday because the Honduran team classified to the world cup. I was also going to go to the public health hospital to get the baby checked because my medical insurance doesn´t cover maternity but the holiday also interfered with that. And now with no car and those places closed on the weekends I don´t know when I´ll be able to do either.
5. I need to find my dogs a new home. (Pause for small sobbing time) The new place doesn´t allow pets. I´ve been spending time with them and imagining my life without them and it´s a hard blow.

I want/need:
1. A carefree day. Seriously. It doesn´t need to be a luxurious getaway. I just need a day where all my troubles don`t follow me around.
2. To sell many stuff I can´t take to the new place (beds, tables, and more)
3. To talk to the school of the possibility of offering tutoring services.
4. Enough money to be able to save for my child´s birth.
5. Find helpers for the move. (I´m hoping this won´t be hard to do and my brothers and sisters in Christ will be there like they always are.)
5. I really want to see that baby darn it!
6. To be kinder and nicer to my loving husband who has been nothing but patient with me.

Things really piled up this month and it´s felt like an avalanche of bad piled over bad.
I was goofing off making Emmalee laugh. She was giggling so hard oblivious of her parents struggles and I felt at peace. I don´t have a place to live or a car or health, but my baby is able to laugh and giggle and she is healthy and happy. It makes it all worth it.

I´ve obviously been crying out to the Lord for help and relief.
This verse is forever on my mind on times like this:
Psalms 46:10
 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
 I will be exalted among the nations,
 I will be exalted in the earth.”

Be still and know that I am God. Such powerful words. It reminds me of when my friend Joseph used to say: "Do you tell God how big your problems are or do you tell your problems how big is your God?"
God is able and He is good. 
The verse brought me to the song "To Those Who Wait" by Bethany Dillon; it has been my battle song this month. 
Here is my rendition of the song:
video


The Lord is always at work and He is always faithful. 
Can I brag at the fact that I am finally learning to rest in Him? Finally not doing it on my strength and truly trusting Him! 
Rodol was feeling a little overwhelmed and I reminded him of the same words he had used to help me: "Don´t be a Thomas. Don´t wait to see Jesus risen with your own eyes to believe." and I also added: "Has He ever forsaken us? Hasn't He always taken care of us even when there seems to be no way? Why am I going to believe this time He will fail? Isn't that diminishing the faithfulness He has always shown?" 
It has been hard on him. It´s been good because we´ve been having praying sessions like we haven´t had in a while. How wonderful to seek the Lord together and bring our weakness and brokenness to the foot of the Cross.

I like that the song includes this verse:
Romans 7:24
O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!

It is not pretty when we are being tested. It´s not pretty with your spouse who watches you complain or wake up cranky or cry in tearful desperation. It´s not pretty before the Lord Who knows your thoughts and your inner questioning. This body of death of mine, although it knows of God´s greatness, is weak and sinful and continuously fails. I thank God through Jesus Christ and I praise Him for making His mercies new every morning. 

The song took me to lamentations 3. Oh how appropriate this scripture was for me. Read this masterful piece of the precious Bible:

Lamentations 3
19 Remember my affliction and my wanderings,
    the wormwood and the gall!
20 My soul continually remembers it
    and is bowed down within me.
21 But this I call to mind,
    and therefore I have hope:
22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;[b]
    his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.
24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
    “therefore I will hope in him.”
25 The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
    to the soul who seeks him.
26 It is good that one should wait quietly
    for the salvation of the Lord.
27 It is good for a man that he bear
    the yoke in his youth.
28 Let him sit alone in silence
    when it is laid on him;
29 let him put his mouth in the dust—
    there may yet be hope;
30 let him give his cheek to the one who strikes,
    and let him be filled with insults.
31 For the Lord will not
    cast off forever,
32 but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion
    according to the abundance of his steadfast love;
33 for he does not afflict from his heart
    or grieve the children of men.
34 To crush underfoot
    all the prisoners of the earth,
35 to deny a man justice
    in the presence of the Most High,
36 to subvert a man in his lawsuit,
    the Lord does not approve.
37 Who has spoken and it came to pass,
    unless the Lord has commanded it?
38 Is it not from the mouth of the Most High
    that good and bad come?
39 Why should a living man complain,
    a man, about the punishment of his sins?
40 Let us test and examine our ways,
    and return to the Lord!
41 Let us lift up our hearts and hands
    to God in heaven
I haven't been able to go check on the baby or take Emmalee on her monthly check. We will have to rest in the Lord that both of them are well and healthy, and I truly believe they are and I am not worried. I just have a really strong desire to see my baby´s heart beating and his developing body u_u

My mom helped us with the money for the car and my sister helped us with the money for the deposit (Bless them!). I hope to have our car back soon and the contract to our new rental soon. 
I am confident my girls Terry and Lanky will find a good home where they are cared for and loved. Emmalee wants so bad to say Terry she says YYYYYY everytime she sees any of my dogs. She really likes them and they are kind and caring with her. I´m sad to let them go but I have two babies to think of. 

I truly believe all the changes we are suffering are for the best.
He truly does more in my waiting than in my doing, though I would say that He does more in my trusting His work than in my trying to do it myself, which is why He continuously teaches me to wait. I´m glad I wait on a faithful God with a steadfast love.

Check out the Spanish version I made for this song here.

10/11/2013

Dear Emmale 8/9 months

Here are the pics of her eight month photoshoot. Fastest photoshoot ever. She was just gleaming.



 Made that pose on her own. So adorable!

In the pictures she only had two teeth. She has four now but you can't see them on her next photoshoot.

Here is her 9 month photoshoot. It was a laid back photoshoot due to mommy's health, but she rocked it anyway.




Dear Emmalee,
You get more amazing with time. Hearing you say "ma ma" and "pa pa" is the most darling thing in the world. Seeing you say bye bye with your hand or the glimpse of joy in your eyes when you clap along makes my heart melt. You LOVE music and will dance to any tune you hear, even if it's a commercial. You have four teeth and you look so different with your upper teeth. You are still the cutest thing my eyes have beheld.
You are a little tornado. Since you can stand up and move around on your feet, you are a little trouble maker pulling down adornments and gadgets. You even dropped daddy's heavy laptop.
I'm sorry I haven't been with you as much as I've wanted. Mommy has been sick the past month. You've been spending more time with your caring and loving Daddy. When I do spend time with you, you don't let go and won't let anyone take you away from my arms.
It's so wonderful to see you light up when you see me or daddy come home.
I am glad to tell you that you are very well behaved in the car now and that is a huge relief for mom and dad.
You have become more independent and it's so funny to hear you play alone and talk to your toys.
Bath time has become our thing. Mommy feels better under the hot bath and you love playing on your bathtub. You are so daring trying to stand up in the tub. I have to keep a watchful eye. Wouldn't want you to lose a tooth.
I've told this to other moms and they agree with me, I think you know or sense you have a sibling on the way. You are gonna be such an awesome older sister. I hope your sibling is as well-behaved as you are. You have not been hard one bit and I see other babies and I'm glad I lucked out with your easy going personality.
I finally caved and cut your hair. I had been controlling it hair clips and headbands, but you were just tired of them and your hair was over your eyes. 
We are going to learn so much together. I'm sure I'm gonna learn more from you than the other way around. Watching your joy and innocence brings such peace and understanding to my sometimes troubled heart. Just a look on your eyes and everything in the world is perfect, no matter how hard the days can be. I pray I might live like this forever at your side.
I've started reading to you and soon we will start learning christian songs and children songs. I pray your heart might have a fiery pasion for Jesus. He has been so good to us and has sustain us through this year.
Baby, I pray you know how loved you are and what an HUGE blessing you are in our lives. We love you so much!
Mom and Dad

10/02/2013

Negativity: sick and tired of being sick and tired

In past posts, I´ve wondered and questioned if I´m suited for a big family. My health is very fragile and, more than often, my strengths abandon me.
My negativity levels this past week have scalated higher than I had allowed them to in more than two years. More than two years ago I discovered the healing, magical, happiness-inducing power of gratitude. Gratitude had saved my life (without exaggerating). What happened?

Some people question the reasons why I write. To me it´s clear: I write because I forget. I write because it gives/keeps me focus. I would more question the publishing than the writing, but I  share because somehow some people appreciate knowing they´re not the only ones going through the same things.

I haven´t been here in a whole while. I even missed Emmalee´s Letter for when she turned eight  months. She is already nine months and I haven´t done that letter either or her monthly photoshoot.

I´ve been very sick. Yesterday was the first night I slept in three weeks. This has made me really tired. I didn´t go to work last friday because I just couldn´t move anymore. I thought a three day weekend spent in recuperation and resting would do the trick. It didn´t.

I am beyond blessed for the wonderful God I have and the wonderful husband He gave me. I woke up in the middle of the night with a mega allergy attack with my eyes swollen, a sore throat, a congested nose, a huge headache, and body ache and I burst out in tears. It didn´t matter that Emmalee was sleeping next to me because she woke up in the middle of the night and I brought her to my bed to feed her. "The baby can feel your sorrow and it will affect her," my husband says, trying to get me to get a grip. My sobbing just became louder. He picks up the baby and takes her to her room. "You have to control yourself. Crying will only make you cough more and worsen your headache," he keeps trying to console me.
"I just had enough! Why does everything have to go wrong all the time?" I exclaim.
"What is this everything that has gone wrong?" He asks.
"Everything!" my childish self keeps exclaiming. "My health only worsens. Me being sick only makes our already growing bills grow more. I can´t seem to do anything right. Nothing ever goes right!"
"Are you sure about that?" his voice always soft tells me, "Do you not have a roof over your head, a job, food on your belly, a daughter and a husband still breathing, a life in your womb still growing, the love and strength of a Savior?"
Remember the post I wrote some time ago where I wrote how my husband never knew what to say?Thank God that is not nearly the case anymore. He is so wise and knows exactly how to bring me back to the ground.
GRATITUDE! You forgot to be grateful and that made you have your sight only on the bad things. Let me tell you, when the bad is all you see, it´s all you feel. and that is Satan at his best work.

One of the things I pray the most is for God to be my strength. I pray this alot because I am so weak. But how will God be my strength if my prayer is not accompanied by gratitude?

Philippians 4:6-7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

And if I´m honest I haven´t even been praying for Him to be my strength either. No wonder I questions if I can do this. I most certainly can´t.
I´ve been failing as a wife and as a mother not because I´m sick and unable to do alot, but because
I´ve been carnal and not seeking the Lord and His strength and rest.
He is my restorer! Whom else will I turn to!

Dear God,
Sorry for forgetting. Sorry for my sinful nature to gaze into the storm and lose my sight of my Saviour right in front of me.  Help me Father to be grateful always. Thank You for my loving husband. Thank you for my wonderful baby girl.  Thank you for the blessing in my womb. Let me be grateul and joyful for the lot you have given  me.  Thank you because I´m starting to feel better. I love you, Jesus. Always