Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas Spirit?

Christmas is my absolute favorite time of year, hands down. Many people would agree with that statement. But the true meaning of Christmas has been lost to a consumer-mad society that cares more about what sales are going on and what's the hottest toy out, than what really matters (and possibly going broke while doing that).

Most everyone knows we celebrate Christmas because it's a symbolic day for celebrating the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. Giving gifts just makes it that much better. The wise men brought the best of the best before the feet of baby Jesus. He was given incense, gold, and myrhh. We give gifts to show our love to those closest to us. Personally, I love seeing people open their gifts; it brings me great joy.

Last week, I went Christmas shopping with my mom at Macy's. As we were paying, we were conversing with the employee regarding Christmastime. She was explaining how every year she needs to stash away extra non-gender gifts just in case she forgot someone. How true is that, but how sad that it's come to that. I was agreeing with her as we discussed how sad it is that you worry your gift won't cost as much as someone else's, or that the other person may not like their gift from you...etc.

Why has Christmas come to this??? Giving is supposed to be out of the kindness of your heart, not a competition of who can get or give better gifts. Especially in a tight financial economy, some people can't afford to get every single person on their "list" a gift this year. But there is so much pressure all around to do so.

If I want to give a gift to someone, there should never be an expectancy of receiving one in return, because then you're not giving with the right heart. For that, just get yourself a gift. You know yourself better anyways.

I've been reading a few articles on Christmas and here are some excerpts that stuck out to me:

"But to a growing group of Christians, this focus on the commercial aspect of Christmas is itself the greatest threat to one of Christianity's holiest days. "It's the shopping, the going into debt, the worrying that if I don't spend enough money, someone will think I don't love them," says Portland pastor Rick McKinley. "Christians get all bent out of shape over the fact that someone didn't say 'Merry Christmas' when I walked into the store. But why are we expecting the store to tell our story? That's just ridiculous."

I agree with Rick. My mom is one of those that gets upset when someone tells her Happy Holidays, but many companies don't permit their employees to say anything else. However, if you're the first to say Merry Christmas, I have found that most people reply with the same.

"It's not easy, says one youth pastor whose church is part of the Advent Conspiracy. "When you start jacking with people's idea of what Christmas is and you start to go against this $450 billion machine of materialism and consumerism, it really messes with people," he explains. "It takes a lot of patience to say there's a different way - Christmas doesn't have to be like this."

"I hate to be the one to tell you this, but your mother was wrong: It doesn't matter one bit if you were naughty or nice all year. Chances are, at some point in your marriage or relationship, your partner is going to give you a bad gift. And although it might not be quite as traumatic as the time you asked Santa for a Nintendo set and got a Boggle game instead, it's still going to sting.
It's one of the holiday season's unexpected traps: Just at the time of year when we're trying hard to be on our best behavior, the wrong gift can strain our marriage bonds." (The Gift That Needs Forgiving by Elizabeth Bernstein).

"Women tend to care more about gifts. They shop more, and think more about them. They attach more emotion to them. And they can be more demanding and less direct. (If I ask my husband what he wants for the holidays, he will say "nothing" and mean it. If he asks me, I will say "nothing," as well. And God help him if he believes me.)"

"Tom Valentino, who grew up in a large Italian-American family, blames his upbringing. In his parents' house, Christmas was all about religious values—and food. Gifts were an afterthought."

And this is a bad thing why? Don't get me wrong, I'm the first to tell you I love receiving gifts. But when the forefront of all our thoughts are making sure the right gifts are being purchased, I just see something wrong with the picture.

Let me reiterate, I am by no means against gift-giving. I'm completely for it. I'm against the enormous pressure to make sure you give the "perfect" gift or "we're in a fight" mentality. That last article was hilarious to read but at the same time, the motives for gift giving were incorrect. It was by obligation and not love. When someone really wants to get someone a gift (and not because society is telling them too), they'll try their best to be detailed. And whatever they give should be received with love. Because they didn't have to do anything...they wanted to.

I hope we treat this time of year the way it was intended: to celebrate the birth of the Savior born over 2,000 years ago and to bring joy to people's lives (whether it be through gifts or not).
Merry Christmas!!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

For better or for worse...

These past two months, I've been on marriage advice overload. Between a women's conference last month and a marriage retreat last weekend, I have notes to last me until next year's retreat.

As far as marriage went, I had been reading books since I was in High School about how to be a Godly wife. This was something I wanted with all my heart and to do right. Well, we're imperfect, so really, "right" doesn't exist. There is no formula to make a marriage perfect. There is one thing that will help: Jesus. I always understood that in order for a marriage to work, Christ had to be the foundation for stability.

As I write, I am overwhelmed by information to share but in order to keep the attention span of whoever is reading, I'll narrow it down to five points for a strong marriage that was outlined by one of the speakers at the marriage retreat:

1. Your marriage must maintain a strong sense of God's presence.
2. Accept those character traits that you will not change about your spouse (Romans 15:7)
3. Learn to survive those incompatible moments ~ remember you're two different people (Colossians 3:12-15)
4. Avoid getting involved in infidelity (both emotional and physical)
5. Develop a friendship

Unlike what the media feeds us, marriage is not about making you happy! Shocking, right? You can only make a marriage work when you are unselfish (Philippians 2:3-4). Selfishness destroys marriages. I've always said that in order for a relationship to work, there must be love, trust, and respect. If one of those three is missing, it's a disbalanced and disfunctional relationship.

When my husband shows me unselfish, unconditional love, I see Jesus Christ through him. I see how Jesus wants to love me through Lucas. I've told my husband this many times because he truly is an amazing husband. This is why Christ is the bridegroom and the Church is the bride. This analogy is to show the depth of what this unity is for the Lord. Marriage was created as a special union. Not to make one another happy (even though that's a bonus), but to accomplish together the perfect will of God. As a result, it brings joy.

Marriage is a beautiful thing and I am truly blessed to have been married three years to my best friend. I highly recommend it. When Christ is the center of both individuals' life, it makes it that much better!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Live With Purpose

This past weekend, there was a concert at church on Saturday night. One of the songs performed, was a rap song by Egom. I'm not a fan of rap, and had the words not been up on the powerpoint, I probably wouldn't have grasped the entire song; however, the lyrics were available and powerful at that. I changed a few of the slang lyrics to make it easily readable and colored parts I loved.

Live With Purpose
By Egom
How many grew up in a happy home?
And never had to see their daddy breaking mommy’s nose?
Or never had to watch the TV to see happy folks
Because their family is a tragedy so they can’t be those?
You see a lot of us, we can relate
To being late home for dinner cause we found escapes,
Can’t wait to run away or get away,
Crying all the way, saying “God, meet me on this road cause I know that there’s a better way”

And the pain it will not let or stray, feel you have to medicate,
To dedicate a debt a day to the One who’ll set it straight
The One who’s crying for you night and day,
Dying for the day you cling to Romans 8 verse 28
So do not set a date to run away; do not throw your love away
Run and pray to Christ and put the blunt away
There’s a reason you suffered in your younger days
Cling to the Lord and He’ll bring you joy another way

“You’ve got one life on the Earth” is
The common motto. “Lets get drunk, forget the church’s
Model of a proper person. I’m going to work this
Life and still I’ll go to Heaven when the curtains
Close over me” is believed by most but the joke is
When they die they will see Jesus but be hopeless
Treasures stored on earth all rot and are worthless
So live your life for the next with a purpose
You’ve got a purpose

I’ve met a lot of people who think the earth is
their playground; but, in reverse, where they stay now
is betrayed ground, the product of lost souls long decayed now who felt the same way how
foolish will they feel when they on the same ground
As Jesus the judge and they on a stage now
Flipping God’s pages angels are now
And your face is so anxious, sadly you’ll bow

At the end of all days, amazed how u fell
To the depths of a place, a waste that’s called Hell
“Wait – those faces I know them so well
It’s those people that told me this place is not real”
He’ll yell – getting upset cause he failed.
He listened to the actors now acting so frail.
He listened to the flesh and the dark and that tale.
Heaven’s not for all, just for those who prevail.

In keenness, keep it your brain and in meekness
Preach it to those caught in pride and in weakness
The blind and facetious – even the teachers
Get out in the game; don’t just sit on the bleachers
People need to know that’s the truths in the Scriptures
And though a lot of dudes claim its not they are mixed up
On Earth you are a tool, and people need a fix up
Work for the Lord; this is why He picked you

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Proud of my heritage

I've noticed several of my blogs are written as a result of watching a movie. This one is no different. One of the few movies that provoke me to cry or get teary eyed without fail is "The Lost City". This movie is one interpretation/experience of a family during the Batista/Castro period where Revolution was prominent and on the rise. It shows how a wealthy family goes from having it all to losing it. If focuses on the journey that led one member of the family to the States (Andy Garcia) and the difficulty of leaving his country behind.

Every time I watch this movie, I appreciate what my grandparents did (both mother and father's side) for their children and future grandchildren. Each member in my family has a different story of their leave from a country they loved so much. Some went to prison trying to fight Fidelistas (Fidel's military), others worked the farms to earn an escape visa from the government for their immediate household, while still others could and would never escape and ended up dying in a country that betrayed them.

I love my Cuban heritage and I'm proud my parents and grandparents are Cuban, but I am so grateful that they sacrificed everything to come to a country where there was still liberty. My Abuleo (mother's dad) still doesn't speak English (which I'm not too proud of but he's stubborn =p), but whenever I've asked him about Cuba, he's proud he's from there but even more proud to be in the country that's blessed him with all that he has: America.

I don't understand when people are so proud of their country that they parade around in their flags everywhere and talk about how much better their country is than America....etc. My question to them is "why don't you move back if it's so great?" They're in America for a reason. This country is far from perfect, especially now, but it's still a great country that offers so much, which is why people die trying come here.

My children will learn both the Cuban culture and Puerto Rican culture (because my huband is P.Rican), but they will also learn that they live in a wonderful country and although their heritage is Hispanic, they are American first.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Last week I watched "The International" for the first time (If you like happy endings, don't bother watching), and there were a few good quotes but one stood out to me.

"Character is easier kept than recovered"

I stayed thinking about that long after the actor recited this line. Unlike the common quote "Integrity takes a lifetime to build and a second to lose", character seems to be something you already possess but hard to regain once lost.

So what is character exactly? It's the combination of features and traits that form the individual nature of some person or thing. It can also be defined as moral or ethical quality.

Character is innate...everyone has character. In fact, the actual origin of the word means "to engrave".

Both good character or bad character can be engraved in ones life. The Word of God specifically identifies the fruit of the spirit being love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). These are visible attributes of a Christian walk as well traits that make up a person's character.

Reflecting upon the original quote, good character (assuming you possess it) is difficult to recover once it has changed to bad character. This probably explains why Paul implored the people in Corinth to "not be misled: 'Bad company corrupts good character.' (1 Corinthians 15:33)"

Character is something everyone starts with. In contrast to integrity, which has to be built up over the course of your life, character gives you the benefit of the to speak. What you do with it, is entirely up to you.

Friday, October 23, 2009

I dare you to "be still"

Today while in prayer at work, someone quoted Psalm 46:10,"Be still, and know that I am God". He asked that we just take a minute to be still.

Odd how that one minute felt like 1 hour. I tried to "be still" but thoughts of what I had to do today kept intersecting my meditative spirit. I didn't realize how hard it was to simply be still. Everytime I tried clearing my head of my thoughts and focus on who God is, I found myself fighting thoughts of busyness.

So, by the time the minute was over, I noticed I had spent that entire time fighting thoughts and trying to focus on others.

Why can't I just be still???

Even when I pray, I realize I'm thinking of everything else I need to pray for as I pray for something else. This is the madness in my head!

In this over saturated viral, networking, media infused world, it's hard to just stop it all and try to focus on nothing...except God. So I dare you, try to stop everything and simply "be still" and know that God is God.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Not of This World

My sister, Michelle, began studying at New World this fall with her major in Musical Theater. She's loved performing since she was young and is great at it, which is why it was no shocker to us when she was accepted.

Since the first week of school, she was immediately confronted about her faith in Jesus Christ. A teacher decided to have the students introduce themselves and what they believe in...odd...but I think it was just a great opportunity for Michelle to begin sharing her faith. Michelle's stance allowed other Christian students to feel confident in professing the same.

Last week, in a different class, each student was cast into a different play; Michelle was casted as a lesbian with another student as her lover. After class, she came up to the Professor and asked that she be given a different role. He said this has never happened before and that he'd have to discuss it with the Dean. There still has been no decision about what's going to happen, but Michelle is standing firm not because of "religion" but because playing that role goes against her faith in Jesus Christ. This isn't about being anti-gay, it's about not compromising to the world's standard of what they believe to be right.

As believers in Christ, we are not of this world.

Colossians 2:8-10 says "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority."

Needless to say, she's been confronted with several spiritual encounters that have been difficult. But, I'm proud of my little sister and the strength the Lord has given her to be bold and a light in the midst of darkness. Please keep her in your prayers. I know the Lord has placed her in this place because of her love and passion for the arts as well as people.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Where's the fall?

I didn't even realize it's already fact, I thought it was Summer Part 2. I was watching the weather channel the other day and noticed that the rest of the country is starting to get a cold front in the 40s and 50s, some even in the 30s.

And where does Miami fall in that category? 80 degrees!!!

After moving to Tennessee last year, I experienced the Fall, followed by a freezing cold Winter, beautiful and long awaited Spring, and by Summer (a season I know too well) we moved back to South Florida. It was great experiencing the beauty of each season (some could've ended winter)
Don't get me wrong, I love the sun and heat, but I'm ready to start wearing sweaters and jackets and enjoy my hot chocolate that has been stored up in my pantry for months. I miss going to harvest craft shows and seeing the leaves change colors.

I love living in Florida, but I guess there are some things that must be sacrificed as a result of living near the beach and being able to wear tank tops and shorts year round =p.

Lord, please send us some cold weather (for us Floridians, that's about 60 degrees)!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

What if...

At one point or another, everyone has thought of a "what if" in life. In fact, every single thought, motive, action, inaction, decision, and indecision has led you to where you are now.

There was a point in my life where I was consumed with fascination at the "what ifs" in life. For example, if I was driving and came to a yellow light, I would have a decision...either speed up or slow down to a complete stop. That one decision would change the rest of my life. Why? Because had I taken the light, I may have been in a car accident a few blocks away because of someone else's decision and so on and so forth.

This was even more of a driving force after watching the movie "Sliding Doors" with Gwyneth Paltrow. Her life carries on in two different ways because of missing one train. One train, that's all....and the turn of events that follow are very interesting.

This train of thought could drive someone crazy. Instead, I was immersed in it. So much so, that I would contemplate everything I did and try to see where it may or may not result.

The problem with that is the don't know.

No one knows where they'll be tomorrow or even an hour from now. You can plan and organize your life, but things happen that are out of our control. Life is not guaranteed. No one has a date of life termination stamped anywhere. That is up to God and God alone. James 4:14 puts it bluntly, "Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes."

So honestly, the only important "what if" in life is about salvation. What if you deny Christ and the gift of salvation? At the end of the day, that's the only one worth thinking about.

To dwell on the "what ifs" in life can be interesting, but at the end of the day, the most important thing is to live a life worthy of the calling of Christ (2 Thessalonians 1:11) Then, the "what ifs" don't matter so much because you're walking with the Creator of ALL things, including time.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Real Church

When people think of the word "church" a building immediately comes to mind. But in all reality, the Bible states the Church is the body of believers. The Church is not limited to one's ALL believers.

This week, Acts 2:44-47 came to mind. It reads: "All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved."

I saw this in action this week, well...indirectly that is. My Church family at the Franklin Vineyard has been such an inspiration to me. They enact this verse constantly without question. Every time someone is in the hospital, just gave birth, is ill, moves, needs help, or is in a condition that disables one from doing every day chores, they are always there to lend a helping hand. They "give to anyone as he had need".

It warms my heart to see people excited to sign up to prepare a meal for a sister in Christ who has been in the hospital for a few weeks due to a serious surgery; taking care of her baby so her husband can continue working. That is the what the body of Christ is all about. That is the Church!

I know many believers do this very thing, but to see it firsthand from people I know and love is a blessing beyond words. They don't expect thanks and don't even realize it's out of the norm in this society, but their true reward is not on this earth....

Monday, July 27, 2009

Trip to Europe

I arrived a week and a half ago from an amazing trip. We flew to Rome, Italy and traveled to 12 different cities throughout Italy, Spain and France. Those knowing me full well know that this is bliss for me. I love nothing more than to travel...especially Europe.

We visited the following cities:

  • Italy = Civitavecchia, Rome, Vatican City, Genoa, Florence, Pisa, Cagliari (Sardinia)
  • France = Eze, Villafranche, Monaco
  • Spain = Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca

Instead of writing a long blog to cover why I took over 1,200 pictures over there, I just want to do a top 11 list =)

Top 11 things you need to see or do if you travel to any of these places:

  1. The Sistine Chapel (Pictures simply do not do it justice)
  2. The Colosseum and Pantheon (I'll double it since they're relatively close to each other)
  3. Eat their Italy of course...
  4. Sit down at a cafe and people watch. This is facinating.
  5. La Sagrada Familia Cathedral designed by Gaudi in Barcelona (Still not completed)
  6. Eat a raw ham and fresh cheese sandwich on a fresh loaf of's amazing!
  7. Watch a Tuscan sunset from a mountain at 9:00pm (Latest sunset ever!)
  8. Leaning Tower of Pisa...of course this had to be in there
  9. Climb the 414 steps of the Duomo in Florence and get the most spectacular view!
  10. Buy a good bottle of Chianti from Florence
  11. Send a postcard to yourself or a loved one =)

Now here's a small list of things I DO NOT miss from the trip:

  1. Exposure to second hand smoke almost the entire to have good lungs here b/c everyone smokes...and everywhere
  2. Trading our dollar to the euro...ouch!!!
  3. No free water at restaurants

Europe is beautiful and I've said several times I would like to live there. But after this trip, there were several things I missed about the States, including family. Although my entire family lineage comes from Spain, it's a very different way of life over there.

We are very spoiled here in the U.S. and there were several things we take for granted. It helped me realize how truly blessed we are as a nation, despite this economic downturn.

I love the beauty and history of Europe and will continue to visit for the rest of my life, but as Dorothy once said "There's no place like home".

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A View I Miss

This is the week my family spends at our beach timeshare. I didn't even notice how perfect our timing of our move was, that we would even be able to enjoy it with them. Spending this time on the beach, playing volleyball and simply reflecting on the majesty of God's creation has definitely been rejuvinating and refreshing.

The ocean is so beautiful and such a great reflection of the Lord's power and beauty. I caught myself sitting on our balcony and just watching the ocean. I even saw a manatee =). I happened to have lived on the beach for six years of my life...this beach in fact, and NEVER did I fully appreciate what I had until now (when I don't live on it- isn't that always how it happens?).

This beach held several great memories of my youth and most importantly, a proposal by my [now] husband on December 17, 2005. Everytime I glance at the volleyball court at this hotel, I remember the fire that lit up reading "Marry Me". It was the most romantic proposal ever.

I love coming back to this particular location, but the beach in general is a view I truly missed.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Move

As many of you know, we just moved back to Miami, Florida. We had one week scheduled with the truck to move everything into an apartment we had to find. Fun, huh? Not so much. We left Monday at noon after packing up the truck with the help of some wonderful friends (Thank you guys again!!!). Then lost an hour b/c of the time difference. After enduring 60 mph winds, a hail storm, along with severe thunder and lightning in Georgia, we arrived safely in West Palm Beach at 3am. Those last 30 min. felt like 4 hours.

We spent the night at my mommy-in-law's house. We awoke to amazing omelette's and fresh fruit salad. Then, set off to Miami to see my family and find a place to live.

By Wednesday, I was frustrated because we didn't have a place to move into. Meanwhile, God was being the amazing God He is...I had three job offers (still don't know which one to pick). Then, when I was at the point of frustration ready to throw in the towel (mind you, this was only 3 days after we moved), we find the perfect condo. We saw it, loved it and placed the offer to the landlady for it. She accepted it and we moved in the next day. Then on Friday we returned the truck (a day before it was due).

We still have boxes everywhere in the condo, but for the most part have it set up the way we want it. I still have to pick a job by Monday and we need to find a church. But overall, the Lord is amazing and has led us and provided for us every step of the way, despite my impatience and frustration.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Truth Seeker

I am a truth seeker. I strive to know the fullness of the Lord, his grace and his love. I want to understand his Word with all that is in me. However, the Bible is a HARD book!!!

There are several times where I have read a verse and even memorized it, but it wasn't until years later that I read that verse again and it meant something to me. It's as if the Holy Spirit reveals something new everytime I read His Word. It's facinating really, but at the same frustrating when I can't quite grasp the hard stuff.

It's not that I don't understand the verse, it's that I don't understand how it reflects Jesus or His purpose for the Church. I just want to interpret the Word of God the way it was intended to be understood and not changed or interpreted to make it more comfortable for my lifestyle. Being a Christ follower is not about comfort or tolerance. It IS about love. It's about going agaist the grain...about not conforming to the world, but being light and salt.

Through several conversations with different individuals over the past few weeks, I've discovered that the more I strive to know God, the more I realize I know nothing! I come to him with an open heart and desiring to know Him more, hoping He continues to reveal His truth to me at the right time in my life.

I know there's only so much our minds can comprehend about God, but I have so many questions. Some I know he'll answer, and others I think I won't know until I'm face-to-face with Him on that future date.

This blog is a very loaded one with a ton of underlying questions. This is simply me right now in my continuing spiritual journey with the Lord.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Friendship that lasts

This weekend I visited one of my best friends from college in Columbus, Ohio. Only for a friend would I drive 5 1/2 hours each way =p. Even though it was only a 2 1/2-day trip, it was enough of a refill on our friendship.

We're not high maintenance friends. We email each other about once a week on the current happenings in each other's life and text when it's something a little more urgent (like prayer for something). Because neither of us are phone people, it works for us. But when we're together, all we have to do is talk and we're enjoying ourselves. No need to find something to do to entertain ourselves, or places to go so we don't get bored with each other. In fact, everywhere we went, we would sit down and just talk for hours.

For me, that's friendship. We are loyal to each other and most importantly, we edify each other and challenge one another to grow spiritually or think beyond what we normally would. This weekend was a spiritual renewal in a way. Both of us are at that point in our lives that we're sick of "playing church". Because we both relate to one another, we feed off of the spiritual growth and knowledge of the other.

I love hearing her point of view and realize how alike we are and how different at the same time. I love to learn from her and see how her life has led her to where she is and how the Lord continues shaping her views and life. It's a beautiful thing to see friendship grow and see how the Lord is working in a friend's life and walk with Him.

It only hit me this weekend that we've been close friends for almost 5 years. During that time, she's been an inspiration to me and helped me in more ways that I can thank her. She's an amazing friend that not only makes me laugh more than anyone else, but helps me grow spiritually and really think outside of my comfort zone.

I thank the Lord for friendship and for friends like her. Wish I could have her closer by, but this is how it is...for now =)Love you Heath!!!

Monday, May 11, 2009


WOW!!! All I can begin saying is wow! God is amazing. In the midst of this economy and downsizing and hiring freezes, I get hired! It simply captivates me how God's love and provision are so real and at times tangible.

As I recently blogged, we felt the Lord leading us back to South Florida. We're moving the first week of July back (possible end of June) and we had been looking for employment for about a month. But as many of you can testify, finding employment in one place when you're living in an entirely different state is incredibly difficult.

Nonetheless, we knew that if the Lord was calling us back there, he would open the doors and provide our for our needs. I had been looking for a teaching position, but due to the fact that I do not have certification, it became increasingly frustrating and difficult to find the right school. Then, out of curiosity, I went to my old school's website and noticed they were hiring an English teacher for the 2009-2010 school year. I couldn't believe God's sense of humor and I just laughed when I saw that because I said I'd never go back (once again...never say never).

So, I told my husband and mom that I was NOT going to apply. They both told me I should and see what the Lord would do with that. Long story short, I applied, interviewed by phone, and accepted the position this morning. I can't begin to explain how excited I am. I am anticipating what the Lord is going to do and how He is going to use me to minister to these students.

The Lord never ceases to amaze me when I ask him for anything and he supplies beyond what I can imagine. I was originally going to blog about something completely different, but I felt the need to testify about
God's amazing provision!

Now we're just waiting for Lucas' job, but we know the Lord well enough to wait on Him, because he's got it all under control.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Moving back home

When I moved to Tennessee, I didn't know what to expect. I definitely didn't think I'd fall in love with it so soon. After only a month, I knew I wanted to live here forever; however, my husband did not agree. He liked it, but did not love it.

I tried to convince him week after week to see all the advantages of living here...the beauty, the trees, the seasons, our church, the people, the traffic (or lack of), the laid back lifestyle...etc. I figured with what he loves, this would be a perfect fit, but it wasn't until March that I realized it was never going to happen.
In March, we went down to Miami/West Palm Beach to visit all of our family. The second we landed he said "we're home". Mind you, his least favorite place of all was Miami, and all of a sudden he missed it. Odd how things play out.

I then realized I married a fish. All he was talking about was how much he missed the ocean, the lakes in every corner and boating. I didn't want to admit it to him at the time, but I too felt like I was home. I was so torn because I never wanted to move back and I really loved Tennessee, especially living in Franklin, but there's just something about South Florida.

It didn't take me long during our vacation to realize what I dreaded - we were moving back. I told him under NO circumstance would we move to the crowded, over populated city of Miami or even Ft. Lauderdale or West Palm for that matter. We would go to Central Florida.

But of course, never say never...Miami here we come. It's bittersweet really. I'm going to miss our friends and church family and of course my family, but I'm really happy to go home. It's the first time in awhile I've said that.

I know the Lord's hand is in this. We prayed for a long time before making this decision and we're pretty confident we're on the right track. Everytime we've asked for confirmation making sure we're heading in the right direction, we've received it. So...I'm happy, excited even, to see what the Lord has for us in Miami.

Change of temperature, one season year round, completely different cultures, lots of traffic, fast-paced lifestyle...polar opposites, but I still love it here! And looking forward to being close to family again =)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Standarized Exams

I'm currently studying for the FTCE Exam which is a subject area exam for Teaching in the State of Florida. you can tell, I've taken a break to write and I've nearly just begun.

I despise standardized exams with a great passion. I have great disdain towards schools and institutions that rate you based on your SAT, GRE, GMAT, PSAT, LSAT score or any other standardized exams.

Why do I feel so adamant about this? I am a terrible standardized exam tester. I can ace an exam in a heartbeat within the classroom, but place me for 4+ hours in a sterile room with a calculator, pencil and paper (or a computer nowadays) with a supervisor that hates that fact that he/she is there, and you've created a disaster situation for me. You never really know what to study, and you stress out regardless....not to mention it's soooooo long!

I think a student should be "graded" by your GPA score. Why? Because that shows longevity and consistency over a period of time. It shows that there was a lot of time and energy put into making it as high as possible. But standardized exams?!?!? I know people who are brilliant, but lazy in the classroom and never do any homework. They have low grades and an even lower GPA, but when they take a standardized exam, they get high scores! That's so frustrating.

On a different note, I really hope I pass this the first time so I don't have to take this 4 hour and 20 minute exam again. Just thought I could vent at the same time =p

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

In Spite of Me

My mind has been on overdrive for the past two weeks. So much to think about that I hadn't even worried about the week before. All of this happened during and after my trip to South Florida.

Thoughts of moving, relocating, career changes, and basically a new life have completely enveloped my mind.

I've always struggled with trying not to worry and take control of my life. I know in my heart I want to trust the Lord with everything, but that doesn't always translate to my mind and actions. I want to know who, what, when, where, and how anytime I make a big decision, especially moving. Moving to Tennessee was like that. I knew where we would love, what we would do, and had a pretty good idea of our life.

But of course, as it always happens in my life, now that I'm comfortable and have a scheduled life that is planned out and the way I like it - change is looming nearby.

Now, if we do move, I have no clue what to expect, where to go, what to do. I think God likes it like that because I have to really rely solely on him. I hate when He does that to me....but at the same time, I always feel my faith stretching and growing.

So, as much as I dislike the unknown, I know that as the daughter of the King of Kings, I'm in good hands and He's got it all under control, in spite of me.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Don't want to "Click" through life

I've been raised by entrepreneurs my whole life, which led me to want to own a company and be my own boss. After all, I loved their freedom to do what they wanted and make money without a supervisor tearing them down, managing them or fearing they'd lose their job.

In college, I wanted a major that would help me do just that. Nothing like nursing or teaching, where you have to work for someone else. It doesn't it make it any less important, it's the nature of the career. I was so sure and determined to do my own thing and never work for anyone except myself.

When I got married, my husband was raised the complete opposite. Security for him was having a stable job where you do work for someone. His life's motto is "I don't live to work, I work to live." I agreed, but I loved to work. I was born a workaholic (if possible). I know it has to do with my temperament (Choleric/Melancholy), but I love to analyze and do the detailed work that others hate. I work overtime if I haven't completed a task. I can't go home until it's finished. My husband, on the other hand, will clock out as soon as it's 5pm without a care in the world and drag me along with him.

After two years of seeing my husband's point of view, I've relented and gone along with him. I still care about work, but have not allowed it to consume me...well, he wouldn't let me, and I thank him for that. Then, I started to look around at those that influenced my career choices.

I've noticed that all the people in my life that are entrepreneurs, have worked much more than played. I've even noticed several of them have had health problems due to stress, lack of nutrition (from poor eating habits or eating fast b/c they don't make time for it) and lack of sleep (b/c their brains can't stop running through the agenda for the next day - I'm guilty of this too).

Then, one of these significant people in my life took a 7-day vacation that was loooooong overdue. He called every single day about 3-5 times to check up on the office. Everything was going smoothly, but because he wasn't here he stressed...on his vacation!!! He said the biggest mistake about this vacation was the fact that it was 7 days and not 3. He hated that it was so long and said he'd never do it again.

When I discussed this with my husband, I told him I NEVER wanted to think 7 days was too long of a vacation. I'm even tempted sometimes to move to Europe where vacation time is over a month! I don't ever want to be so focused on work, that I can't enjoy the only [consistent] time I'd have with family during the year.

So, to top it off, the other day I watched the move "Click" starring Adam Sandler with my husband. That movie always makes me cry at the end. It's such a great movie to put life back into perspective. Life is not ALL about work or getting ahead. If it is, you look back and realize it was meaningless and a waste of life. Solomon said it thousands of years ago. I think he, the wisest man to ever live, knew what he was talking about.

I recommend that movie to everyone. If you've never seen it, Adam Sandler is trying to make partner at his architectural firm. Meanwhile, it starts to interupt his personal life because of the time he has to put into the projects. Then he finds this universal remote that allows him to forward through life through the parts that he just wants over. Before he realizes it, he choose work over family every time and his life slipped away from him, destroying his marriage, family life and ultimately his health. (it ends good, don't worry)

Bringing it back to life, I recently made a decision to go back to school for a Master's in Education. I know, completely opposite with the beginning of this blog, but it's something I love and would be absolutely satisfied in doing. The time off isn't too shaby either =). I had actually seriously contemplated it during my freshman year, but felt the influences around me would've disapproved. So I switched to Business and Communications.

Now, I'm excited and motivated, even though I'd be working under someone that's not related to me. I'm excited to see what the Lord is going to do in my life. I'm excited to spend quality time raising my children when that time comes. I'm excited to focus on building my marriage. I love to work, but it will not consume me nor time with my loved ones.

One day I might own my own company, but I know what I'm not going to do.

There's only one life the good Lord has given us to live, and I'm making it a priority to live it fully!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Spring is near...

Born in Los Angeles, CA and raised in Miami, Florida, I never really saw all four seasons the way many other states do. Especially in Miami, you've got hot, hotter, hottest, and hurricane season. Those were my four seasons.

Now living in Tennessee, I have a true appreciation for the beauty of each season. I moved here in the fall and enjoyed the gorgeous array of colors on the leaves - from yellows and oranges to greens and firey reds. All I could do was stand in awe of the colors around. Not even a month later, one tree at a time, those leaves were gone.

And winter came.

Oh did it come! My cold used to be 65 degrees...but living here I endured freezing temperatures below 10 degrees on certain days (that's freezing to a Florida girl). They said it was the coldest winter in years. Lucky me! =p The cold is probably my least favorite thing, unless of course it brings snow. And that it did....two snow days spread apart by two months. Nonetheless, I was giddy as a school girl and loving every moment. Not many people shared this emotion with me. I was laughed at...but that's ok. I got cute snow pics =).

For about 2 months now, I've been ready for some heat or at least the sun to come out. This week showed signs of just that. The flowers are blooming on trees everywhere I look (I didn't even know trees bloom flowers). It truly is breathtaking. I've never seen anything like this before, and I'm actually glad, because I don't take it for granted. The birds are chirping at my window every morning. Some might find that annoying, but I find it refreshing. It's a beautiful sound, and they're just as excited as I am about Spring.

Summer I know all too well, but Spring is foreign and exciting. I want to enjoy every minute of it.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Just some thoughts

I've always been rather weary about blogging about my personal life for all the world to see but writing can be very theraputic so here I go.

My husband and I went to see Slumdog Millionaire on Sunday night. It was a moving film that was amazing, but... not my point. During the previews, we saw one for "I Love you, Man" about a guy getting married who realizes he has no guys friends when trying to pick his Best Man.

Many times in my life, including now, I've felt the same way. Who are my friends? Maybe it's because I have 4 sisters + my cousin who is practically a sister that are my closest friends. I've never really pinned it down, but about this time last year, I analyzed my life and friendships. About every two years or so, I realized my entire friendship circles change, drastically. It doesn't really bother me, until I think about it or see my husband with his friends from elementary school.

Now, I've moved away from my sister's and "comfort zone" of friends to Tennessee where I had to start over. I've realized I don't have as much in common with people here as I did back home. Maybe it's culture, maybe it's not. Again, not sure...but it might just be ME.

My dream has always been to have lifelong friends that are a part of major events in life (eg. baby showers, births, new homes). Sometimes I wonder if that'll ever happen. My college friends were amazing, but none live within a 100 mile radius of me. So to "stop by and visit" is more of a planned vacation.

So, why did I make such solid friends in college, but none live near me...yet, where I am now, all I have are superficial friendships?

I guess I need to make more of an effort at being a good friend. Just thinking out loud.