Friday, February 27, 2015

What Men Really Want

These were some really great tips that I wanted to save and figured the best way to do that was in a blog post.

Wives, men...

  1. Get their self-esteem from marriage, job and athletics (job and athletics are always uncertain so the marriage is what they want to count on)
  2. Think respect is more important than feeling loved (it almost feels like the same thing to them)
  3. Want to feel affirmed and appreciated by their wives
  4. Are not good at taking hints. Tell him what you want. 
  5. Want to know that they are the #1 person in your life, especially if you have kids. Your kids will grow up and move out and you will still be with him.
  6. Want grace and forgiveness. Those are important to him. He's going to mess up, but he doesn't need to be reminded of it. 
  7. Don't appreciate or like nagging. 
  8. Don't like to be ambushed. Make sure to talk to him before going into a discussion with others about a certain subject so that he's not taken off guard. 
  9. Want you to protect their reputation. What do you say about him to others? Do not disrespect him or put him down to others. This is how he will be perceived. Guard him. 
  10. Want to be spoken to with kindness and gentleness. "Husband is the leader, but the atmosphere of the house is set by the wife."
  11. Need to feel desired, not tolerated or pitied. 
  12. Need to be admired. Admire the work they've done in the yard, or around the house. 
  13. Need "men"time. It may not look the same as "ladies" time. They may just want to watch a football game with friends. Encourage this. 
  14. Need to be our Knight in Shining Armor. We need to let them know ho we appreciate them. Know your husband's love language. 
  15. Don't ever want to admit any of this, but when we do this, we set ourselves up for an amazing marriage! =)

7 Tips For Traveling to Europe

Love to travel? So do I! We just visited Europe for the third time and found that it would be helpful to post some tips that we have learned from our trips.

Here are 7 tips for traveling to Europe that should spare you some headaches.

1. Contact your bank to exchange currency before going overseas. 

They will offer you the best exchange rate (especially if you arrive in Europe on a Sunday when none of the exchange places are open).

2. Find out your credit card company's international exchange rate fee (%). 

This is a great way to travel without having to deal with exchanging or using your cash. Saving your cash for those "cash only" places is easy when you use your credit card. Your credit card will get the lowest exchange rate on the market that day and charge you a small fee per transaction. Find out if that fee is worth it. Some credit card companies don't charge a fee at all. Either way, it was a HUGE asset for us. Bonus: we earned more points on our card!

3. Know your pin number!

If you choose to use your credit card overseas, make sure to get your pin number. There are several places where pin is required even if it's not a debit card.

4. Download train routes in advance

If you're going to a city where they use the "tube," "metro," or "subway" download the apps that show the routes of each one. This really saved us and helped us get around easily!

5. Look into the free tours offered by Sandeman's New Europe Tours. 

We took these tours in London, Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam. They offer them all over Europe's major cities and are a wealth of information mixed with humor. Do this on the first day so you get a good feel for the city you're visiting. Don't forget to bring some of that cash - they work off of tips. 

6. Don't overlook Airbnb!

This is a great, affordable way to stay in the best parts of the cities without compromising your budget (that way you can spend more on food and wine). We had some great experiences with them this trip.

7. Pack a carry-on luggage

We have never packed more than what can fit in a carry-on so that we don't check-in luggage. We've been spared from the hassle of waiting and paying extra. On top of that, if you're visiting multiple cities in one trip, it's much easier to travel with through all the trains and modes of transportation. Make sure to review the weight standards of the airline so that they don't charge you on the way home. (This almost happened to us and we weren't carrying more on the way back)


Thursday, April 25, 2013

True Disciples

In this age as a Christian, it is so easy to get mixed into the more prominent area of complacent Christianity. Not only is it found in abundance, it's easy...very easy.

No one tells you what to do, you receive feel good messages from the pulpit that may or may not challenge your walk with Christ, no one calls you out on your sin (so you then forget you are even sinning), and no one encourages you to research to make sure what you're hearing is sound doctrine.

I know I can't be making this up, because the apostle Paul was thinking the same thing when he said:
"For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear." - 2 Timothy 4:3
Is this you? Do you long to hear what your itching ears want to hear, or instead sound doctrine that will put you in your place, convict and lead to repentance?

The latter doesn't sound so fun for most people, which is why it is the road less traveled.
"For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." - Matthew 7:13-14
Why will more enter the wide road? It's easier.

In a society where we want more for less and faster service all of the time, we treat our most important relationship and life choices the same way. We want what is convenient and fast, not what is difficult and slow. We don't want to suffer in order to gain rewards, we want the rewards with no consequences or suffering. However, it's the journey that makes the rewards worthwhile. Consider the following verse:
"We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." - Romans 5:3-5
If we understand what suffering produces, our hearts should be focused on hanging tight for the ride.

One Another Relationships

In the Word of God, we are commanded to do several things. Many don't appear as commands, but they clearly don't say "if you choose". In fact, in Paul's writings they many times begin with the word "therefore."

In regards to one another (and I mean between disciples of Jesus Christ), how are we supposed to act? What are we supposed to do to appear different from the world? How can we help each other grow?

Here are a few important places to start, and let me warn you, some may make you shift uncomfortably because it is not something you're used to seeing in church, but it is what the Bible calls us to do:

  • Encourage one another (1 Thessalonians 5:11, Hebrews 3:13, Hebrews 10:24)
  • Serve one another (Galatians 5:13)
  • Confess to one another (James 5:16)
  • Bear with one another (Colossians 3:13)
  • Forgive (Ephesians 4:32, Colossians 3:13)
  • Be humble and patient (Ephesians 4:2)
  • Submit to one another (Ephesians 5:21)
  • Live in harmony (Romans 12:16)
  • Be devoted (Romans 12:10)
  • Honor one another (Romans 12:10)
  • Speak truth to one another (Ephesians 4:15-16)
  • Accept one another (Romans 15:7)
  • Love (1 Peter 4:8, 1:22
  • Admonish (Colossians 3:16)

I want to focus on the last one. The word admonish is not really used in today's society so I wanted to look up what it meant, since I always assumed it meant to encourage. Boy was I wrong. It means to "rebuke mildly, advise strongly; to warn someone of their error."

Clearly we are to rebuke one another to get them back on track if we see one another falling into sin or going down the wrong path. This is how we can prevent disciples from falling away and leaving the faith.

The reason Paul, Timothy and Peter were so adamant about encouraging one another and staying in each other's lives, the way it was exemplified in the 1st century church, was to keep the enemy at bay from causing dissension, factions and division within the body.

Are you united in the body with other disciples that are challenging your growth towards maturity, encouraging you towards deepening your walk with the Lord and living in harmony?

If not, I want to ask an honest question, who's disciple are you?

It's time to get real. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

What's your dream?

In light of Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday today, I wanted to share one of the most special things I've ever seen. My little 9-year old sister (I'm not kidding when I say she's truly an angel) had an assignment in class last week where her teacher asked the class for their "I Have a Dream" Speech.

While other kids dreamed to fly or be a superhero (completely normal of a 9-year old), this is what my little sister wrote...

I Have a Dream

That I can follow God's Word
That my family will always believe in God and have faith
That my friends will understand me

O, I have a dream
That children will have mommies and daddies
That grownups will be an example to children
That people will start trusting in Jesus

O, I have a dream
That people will find God's Word
That people will learn more about Jesus
That there will be no giving up on God

O, I have a dream...

Camillerose Aguirre 

My prayer is when I have children, that they love and desire God's Word like my little sister. My mom is clearly an amazing mom, but this little one tops us all.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Despicable Me Sisters

Since watching Despicable Me, my sisters and I noticed something oddly familiar about the movie. Someone made us animated!!! We couldn't believe how similar Margo was to me (Jenelle), Edith is to Michelle, and cute little Agnes to Cassandra.

We decided to reenact some of the pictures just to have some fun with it. 

Here we were as younger girls (this was literally a few months before I started wearing glasses). 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Reflection

Merry Christmas Eve!

It's been a whirlwind of a month. Every single day this month has been filled with parties, events, rehearsals, or simply busyness. I've actually enjoyed it, but haven't taken the time to really meditate on why we really celebrate Christmas.
What would CHRISTmas be without Christ? Nothing. Reflecting on some Scriptures with my mother-in-law, she read to me her journal entry regarding how touched she was at Mary's responsiveness to the Holy Spirit. I loved what she wrote and wanted to share it here.
"We are too busy with our daily obligations. With thoughts of things to do and places to go, we read the Bible and hurry through passages to get it done, and feel like we did our part. Rushed and trying to meet all the deadlines that lie before us, our thoughts allow little room for quietness so we can listen to him. We have our phones nearby; disruptive lifestyles do not allow us to be like Mary, to be submissive, willing, able, quiet and eager to do his will. Our will usually wins. We justify our feelings, thoughts, and actions all too easily. We've become complacent in a world so cold. We've been lukewarm, compared to Mary."  - Gladys Ferrer
After reading Luke 1:26-56, you see how Mary responded to a situation that would have had her stoned and killed with faith, trust and hope in God. She even ends that passage of Scripture in Luke with a song unto the Lord.

May we all take the time to allow God to work in our lives as Mary did. She took the time to listen and believe that she would carry the Messiah in her womb.

God has a purpose for us all...unless we listen to the calling, we can miss it in the busyness of the season and life in general.

May you truly have a blessed and merry Christmas with the fullness of all it is!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Educational Journey: My Abuelita

My Abuela and Abuelo
Growing up, I always heard about the struggles my Abuelo's (grandparents) faced when they moved from Cuba to the United States in 1961.

In Cuba, my Abuelita (grandma) received her PhD in Mathematics and was a Professor. I was always so proud to hear her accomplishments, but it wasn't until my conversation with her last night while discussing my current studies for my Master's degree that made me really appreciate all she had done and accomplished in education.

My Abuela worked 11 years to attain her PhD in Mathematics in Cuba. When she moved to the United States, her degree credits and course work did not all transfer. So in essence, her PhD was not valid for teaching in this country.

Did she give up? Absolutely not!

Instead she was one of the few that received a special scholarship offered by UCLA in the late 1960's. After all her years of studying in Cuba, she went back to school once again.

During her studies at UCLA, she was asked by a Professor to present a lecture in mathematics as she would teach a regular class. She was hesitant to do so because of the language barrier and not speaking English fluently, but with the encouragement of the Professor, did so. Upon completion of her assignment, the Professor stood amazed at her ability to reason certain theories and calculations that were beyond her peers. When asked where she received her training, she was proud to speak of her course work and studies in Cuba where she was trained in advanced mathematics.

With two small children at the time (my dad and my tia Liz), and my Abuelito working nights and taking care of the kids on Saturday to support her and to allow my Abuelita to study, their sacrifice paid off. She received not one, but two Master's degrees from UCLA in Mathematics and Physics; the only reason she didn't continue towards a second PhD was because a family was more important to her.

What's more, with her skills, experience and knowledge, she could have worked in any school yet chose instead to work in the inner city of Los Angeles in a little city called Watts, one of the most dangerous in the United States known for their gangs and riots in the 60's. Regardless, she went to work loving her students and working hard doing what she loved most: teaching. She was never mocked for her accent but was appreciated by those students for her love for them and desire for them to excel.

She retired from the public school system when I was born in 1984 to spend time with her first grandchild. Her love for family and teaching were important, but family first.

While I do not share the same passion for math and definitely not science, it was my Abuelita who taught me algebra in a way that was so simple that I actually excelled in that course in 7th grade and again in college remembering her method.

My tia Liz followed her steps in pursuing education and achieved a Master's degree. She has also been teaching and loves it with the same passion.

Now, while pursing another degree, I know where I get it from. I love my Abuelita and appreciate her love for education and knowledge. Despite the odds and circumstances, she overcame and accomplished much. She is my educational hero!

I love you Abuelita!