Monday, March 23, 2015

Little Hearts are a Big Deal

Somewhere along the way, my heart has been ensnared by these little ones. Their constant chatter and laughter make my heart sing and my Sunday mornings a joy. Sunday school has always been a lot of fun and I can still recall so many lessons, creative activities, skits, coloring contests, and deliciously creative snacks!
        Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. 
                                                                                                            -Proverbs 22:6
 It is so important to teach children at a young age that no matter their circumstances, Jesus loves them. Their homes may be struggling or broken, but Jesus loves them. He cares, he wants what is best for them, and he will never leave them. He created you for a purpose and with a plan in mind. There will be things that no one can do, people no one can reach, except for you! If that isn't encouraging, I don't know what is.

..suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. -Matthew 19:14

 If you've been feeling a tug towards helping out in Sunday school but aren't sure how you can be involved, invite some kids to church! You'd be surprised at how willing they are compared to adults. Their adorable smiles and puppy dog eyes will often convince you that ice cream sundaes are good idea.....but that is a risk I am willing to take!



Tuesday, March 17, 2015


As of lately I have made it a point to take time in the morning and thank God for my blessings. Whether it's on my drive to work, or while I'm getting ready for the day, it's important to start it off right. A fresh morning, a fresh start. It leaves me in a happy frame of mind for the rest of the day and reminds me that all I have is because of Him.

So here is my list of things I'm thankful for today, in no particular order:

1. My health which I have often taken for granted.
2. EXTRA thankful for the great leadership and examples I have in my life and so within reach.
3. My family and their support in all that I strive to do.
4. New friends, old friends, and the ones I haven't met yet.
5. Adventures that lie in wait.
6. A job that I enjoy and is flexible enough to keep me happy! (Not only that but it also helps satisfy my online shopping addiction *happy sigh*)
7. My sometimes humorous sisters...
8. A wonderful mom that cooks all of my favorite foods.
9. The knowledge that I have a future despite my shortcomings and failures.
10. The privilege to stand out and be a light.


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Mission Possible

Sometimes the winter drags on longer than we'd like and spring seems like it will surely never come. It certainly felt that way this past weekend. On our way to a Spanish youth conference held in Memphis, TN by Pastor Julio May, we were slowed down by relentless ice and snow. I am one to get excited about a snow day as much as the next, but snow in March makes me a not so happy camper. My brain says spring, but the weather does not agree.

Despite traveling at 40 mph for what seemed like forever, the melted snow inside my shoe, and everyone being hungry, we finally made it to Memphis! That welcome sign was a warm hello. And all was well, as we made our way to the mall for some lunch and shopping...until we found it was closed. Such disappointed faces I never did see!

We eventually got lunch at a Mexican restaurant, and checked into our hotel. And then the frenzy began.....I was the designated chaperone for my room and I had four girls. Between organizing shower schedules, depleting the ozone layer with our hairspray, and helping iron outfits, it was a little crazy. But what fun conference isn't? Right? Right.

Pastor Villegas from California spoke about not disregarding our inheritance Thursday night. In a world with many flashy new things dangling in front of our eyes, it is sometimes easy to want to trade in our worn, battered valuables for a shiny, lightweight trinket. Seeing our youth group at the altar is one of the best feelings, knowing that they are seeking, they are hungry, and they are not satisfied with what the world has to offer them. So if any of you are reading this, I am so proud of you!

Friday morning we had an "Express Yourself" session in which different youth got the chance to speak for a few minutes and talk about the great things God has done in their lives. It's always amazing when you take a step back from the daily ho-hum and see that all has not been in vain and that there are significant marks on your life that are distinctly recognized as God's miracles. I am just happy to be a part of the greatest thing going on.

Friday night we heard the Georgia church choir and they did amazing as ever! Pastor Trevino preached a great message. I refuse to be a bench warmer! I live the way that I do, not to get saved, but because I am saved! Everyone needs to be encouraged occasionally, but it is important to not lose sight of why we do what we do.

After service there were games and food for the youth to enjoy. Some of us had way too much fun. And maybe embarrassed ourselves a bit much :) 

Saturday morning was the last service, and that is always the saddest part of a conference. Going back to real life afterwards. Anyways, the youth choir sang two songs, none of which I had ever heard before but it was definitely a lot of fun! Then Pastor Galindo preached a very fired up message that no one could ignore! He definitely challenged each and every youth to go further than we have before and reach for the lost, and for your own lost families. Time is of the essence. It was a great feeling in that place that made you never want to leave.

Before we said goodbye, we couldn't leave without stopping by Corky's BBQ. Table manners? whoops... 


Monday, March 2, 2015

[Expectations vs. Reality]

They never fail to let you down, or surprise you. Why is it that we let ourselves, against your own better judgement, get carried away? And no matter how many times I tell myself "it's okay" or "it's not a big deal", deep down I know that it is. I definitely don't feel "put together" half of the time I'm awake, but that's only part of the fun of figuring out what grown up life is all about, right? That's what I'm telling myself anyways.

This whole college + work + church + trying-to-have-a-social-life-and-not-ignore-my-amazing-friends seems to only feed the bags under my eyes! Okay, maybe it also feeds my sanity (or lack of it?). The truth is staying busy is a blessing in disguise. I don't have time to be "bored" and wander into the land of the idle, get my hands in a sticky situation, and cry about it later. I am happy to be setting up sound and firm foundations for my future self.

10 years ago, I would have told you that by the time I was 21 I would have become a genius doctor, traveled the entire world, and definitely owned at least 99 out of the 101 dalmatians. If only. Looking back now, my desire is to never lose that kind of vision. Obviously with more clarity, but I don't ever want to get to the point in life where I doubt my capability to do things. With God all things are possible. Not just the little things, but all things. The GREAT BIG things. The things you've been dreaming of, but have been too afraid to tell anyone about, lest they think you're some sort of crazy. He can do great things despite our weaknesses, if only we allow ourselves to be of use. How often do we pray "use me Lord" and when the time comes, we cower and doubt ourselves, thinking that we aren't good enough to do that, what will so and so think, or someone else is better at it than me. With that mentality, your reality will never amount to your expectations. What you put in, is what you get out. So put in your best efforts, sincere prayers, and an unadulterated love for whatever you do, and perhaps your reality will surpass your expectations.