Tuesday, August 30, 2016

My Savior

I was at the verge of walking seemingly voluntary into that dark, deep and solitary hole that I seem to rush into as the venom seeps through my thoughts, my heart and into my hands. There was no stopping the force and power of the poison that lurks within my thoughts as my mind and heart start to wonder. My heart and my flesh may fail but you O Lord are my portion forever! My heart and my flesh do fail. They have failed me many times as I recoil in thoughts after opening my eyes to the aftermath of my own destruction. My mind races and seeks a way out of the price to be paid for my doings. I can't find a way out, I search for some way- somehow that I can run from this. Where can I go? There isn't a place  I can hide that will not be seen. He sees me in public and sees me in private. Where can I hide? My mind starts to race again. My actions seem irreparable and destructive. My soul bleeds and weeps for my own good. My souls cries out to You O Lord because on my own I cannot seem to understand that my actions prove nothing but death. Death to my soul! My rescue comes from you God and in this moment I desperately search for you. Where are you! Loneliness surrounds me and as I scan the horizon and my proximity for you I do not see You. Where are you? You are in me as I am in you O Lord. Your word teaches me this and this I know. Do I continue to defile you and be content? My body is your temple in which you dwell in. May you be pleased to do as you wish because I do not seem to understand that my life, my body, is but a fragile being- a simple breath that is here one moment and forever gone the next. You are the Author of Life! My life. You provide my rescue when I need it. You are my rescue. I cannot ignore You when you speak to me. Do I push aside your word and your truth for a moment in life only to pay the price forever? Your light is in me. I am the light of the world which you put in me to take into the darkness and shine the light. I search for a way to shine this light and so I look for darkness. As I look for it I see my own reflection and there in my solace I find a patch of darkness within myself. Let your light shine!! Let my light shine! God, my life is nothing without you! You are the light unto my path. Yet I know very well that sin will continue to dwell in me. It is not of my own doing or choosing, but rather from a curse into which I was born. We fight against this darkness but we do not fight alone. It is not at all triumphant, though, as we cling close to you God. Lord you are my rescue! You have taken me from my own destruction!  As I was walking into the pit of death, of darkness, You, God, Father, rescued me. Your light shines brighter than the sun. Today you have given me your grace and mercy without limits. Your love for me goes deeper than my thoughts can comprehend. For that I am grateful.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

School's out Guns out!

School's out guns out! Okay, so if you didn't know, I am a high school Spanish teacher. The kids were out for summer last Friday but staff has to stay another week, No biggie. I can do that- no kids!

Anyways, I'm excited for this summer (as always right?) and for the plans that I've got so far. One of the big things I'll be doing is going on a mission trip to Nicaragua, a country in Central America. I am super pumped! We will be doing all sorts of things there to show the love and gospel of Christ. I don't know why but one of the things that I'm most excited about is building a home for one of the families there. The home will take about $2,800 to build. Only close to a thousand has been raised but I have faith that we will build it. God will provide, no doubt. I'll probably have more on the mission trip when I get back so keep an eye out for that!

I also want to do some fun/interesting things this summer. I want to overcome the fear of failure, especially the fear of failing at doing things you feel very passionate about. God has given me certain talents and gifts and if I don't use them (same for you!) he will take them away and bless someone else with it that WILL  do something with them.

Well, hope you have an awesome and blessed day!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Jeremiah 1

So I was reading the Bible a while back and I started reading in the book of Jeremiah. I think a lot of people have read of heard of the book of Jeremiah, specifically Jeremiah 29:11. That verse has become a popular verse among all Christians in one way or another and there's much reason for it too.

I like to know that God has plans for us. I mean, who wouldn't want to let God bless them? It'd be crazy right? 

Well, I began reading chapter 1 of Jeremiah in this case. I'm not sure why I started reading there but I'm glad I did. In fact, I had probably read this chapter before at some point, but only this time I got something in return that I am thankful for. 

Here are a few things I got from this chapter that I think are very important for me and for you:
1. God will call you and give you a mission as to what you are to do.
2. We tend to be afraid of the tasks God has set for us and make excuses
3. He has already assured us that He is with us, so why be afraid?
4. He has given us what we need to say and some will oppose us for doing so
5. God is always watching and He will get across what needs to be done one way or another. 
6. God calls us to be ready and to not be afraid of doing what he calls us to do. So many of us are afraid though. He will make us look foolish if we are afraid. 
7. He has fortified us. 
8. People will fight us but will fail. 

I like this chapter because it is different from the usual 29:11 verse that we see a lot in the Jeremiah teachings. We tend to see that verse a lot and there is nothing wrong about it, I just think that maybe we see it so much beause it might be something athat we like to hear- that God has amazing things planned for us! It seems that it's something that requires no hard work or dedication. But, in chapter 1 God calls us to stand up and do work! Now we actually have to do something for God that requires some talking and putting our faith to work. I'm glad this is here. It makes me realize that I have to do work along with my faith in God. I can't just sit around and expect free handouts from Him. He calls us to be bold and to put our trust in Him. He has made us like a fortified city, a pillar of iron and a bronze wall. It's refreshing to read this passage. Maybe I should continue to read more often huh? Of course I should! I shouldn't even be questioning that!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Spending Less to Spend More

Hey guys, so recently I've been doing pretty bad with spending money and being able to take control of my spending habits. It's been getting really bad to the point where I don't have any money left over at the end of the month. If you didn't know, I am a teacher and get paid once a month! Since I get paid once a month I really have to know how I handle my money, and I do a good job of paying my bills first and not spending that but it's what is left over that I get into trouble with.

So, what I have done is set myself a challenge to go into what's called a spending fast (http://andthenwesaved.com/about-the-spending-fast/).  I was able to do this spending fast last year and paid off my credit card debt of around $4,000.00! Unfortunately my bad habits got the best of me and now I am back at around $1,500-$1,600 in debt. That'ts not my only debt, I also have a school loan and a new (used) truck payment.

I know I can do this again and I need to. I cannot be this way forever and If I want to live what I strive and desire for, La Vida Libre aka The Free Life, I need to be able to show that. There are so many things that I feel I am holding back from because of my debt and handling of my money. I don't want that for myself anymore. I want to have the feeling of being liberated and free to do and go wherever I want without restrictions!

So my plan:
1. Pay all bills first;
-credit card
-school loan
-Texas surcharge

2. Cash out $100 for the month. Yes, only $100 for the month, but I need to do this! This is also part of the spending Fast, or maybe the Spending Diet? I'll look it up to be sure.

3. DON'T spend money on food, snacks or unnecessary things.

What I’m NOT spending money on (My Wants):
Gifts (sorry friends and family… homemade crafts or re-gifting will be happening. Hopefully you all like macaroni magnets.)
Coffee at coffee shops (sad face)
Clothes (remember: “Make Do & Mend!” and in honor of that I need this. haha!)
Eating out
Coats (see Clothes above)
Bed linens
Decorative house stuff
Fancy haircuts at fancy hair shop
New music from iTunes

3. Save what I have left in my account and put it into my savings account or, just don't touch that money that is left over.

I will see how this goes for this first month. I know it'll be super tough but it'll be worth it. I'll keep you updated on how this is going! The reason I am putting this out here is mainly so I can keep myself accountable to this plan. Pray for me!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Thinking on an Empty Stomach

I just want to put myself out there for a moment. It seems that some of us always want to make life seem more exciting than it really is when in reality it's not that extravagant as we might portray it to be. It doesn't even come close to something that we imagine it to be or would like it to be. Why is that? 
Well, personally I think it's because of the constant exposure to social media outlets that we see daily with no end. They are so constant and intimidating. It's not that social media has caused people like me to want to be like someone else exactly. I wouldn't say it's social media's fault, although it plays a huge role. The reasons we wish or long to have the life of someone else come from issues rooted deep inside of us that we cannot blame someone else for but ourselves. Everyday that I look at someone's Instagram page I sometimes wonder why my life isn't as exciting as said person's. I just look at them and think they must have the best life ever. I do the same thing when it comes to Snapchat, Facebook and Twitter. We get to see almost everything that goes on in someone's life through these outlets and they can sometimes make us feel left a bit disappointed at the "lack" of a thrilling lifestyle. 
I wonder, "Does wishing you had a similar lifestyle of another person fall into the category of 'do not covet thy neighbor'"?
Sometimes as I'm looking at someone's Instagram and I start feeling like my life sucks and it's super boring I am reminded that I shouldn't feel this way at all. My life has different aspects which will yield different results very opposite of someone else. We are all unique. God created us all unique and not to be the same. We are fearfully and wonderfully made by a God who knows our talents and interests. So to wish to be someone else is to steal an identity and to forfeit yours. Next time you are browsing, keep in mind that your life doesn't have to reflect through a social media account. That person's life might not either. Don't wish to be someone else. Be yourself. God has made us all to be very different and to rob yourself of that gift He gave you is foolish and selfish. 

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

When giving up and surrendering is the best thing you can do.

I've always been the type to believe that God helps those who help themselves. And up to today, I still believe it, but now I also believe that He wants us to also just 'give up' and surrender to him completely.

Lately, God has been hammering me and molding me into something completely different than what my sinful nature desires. Believe me that it is a constant fight going inside of me between my flesh and God's Spirit. Change does not happen overnight and I've accepted that fact. I've also accepted the fact that although my sinful desires and my flesh will always be on the prowl to watch me fall into sin or temptation, I want nothing more than to be able to live freely in Jesus Christ and his grace and mercy.

 My blog is titled 'La Vida Libre' or Live as Free, but the honest truth is that I have not been living as freely as I may seem to portray to others, or even on my posts. I've been held captive by sin, guilt and shame not realizing that Jesus paid it all for me and that his grace goes deeper than the deepest seas and higher than my eyes can ever see. I thank God that he sent his son Jesus Christ to redeem us all from the bondage of our sin and to live freely in his grace.

One of the things that I've always held on to is getting things done my way and on my terms, on my time. But God has different plans for me now. He allowed me to give in fully into this pleasure for some reason, maybe to come to this point in my life where I've finally had enough and wanted nothing but Jesus and for him to change my life completely. Ever since I can remember I thought that if I wanted something I had to go out and make it happen. This is true, still, and I'm not saying we don't need to go out and work for what we want, but what I'm trying to get at here is that I feel God is telling me that I don't need to do anything right now. It sounds so contrary to what I've always believed and for that reason it makes it so difficult for me to accept it fully. I am drawing nearer to this truth every day though, because lately I've realized that it's all I can do. If I worry about what's going on in my life right now with a certain issue that I have, nothing will change by worrying. I am doing my best to lean on God and his Word and in prayer to walk this life with him and to trust him in this process going on in my life right now.

I am learning to trust in Him because I'm tired of trying to always fix things in order for them to go my way. Everything that I do to "fix" my problems just makes everything worse. Instead of moving forward I take a step further back to where things started. It's a scary process in my life right now because of the unknown, but I shouldn't be worried, right? God's ways are better than mine and I need to trust in his truth, not my understanding or my attempts to fix my life.

I can truly say that God is breaking me down into pieces to build me back up but into someone new. I want this so badly because I'm tired of the way I've been for far too long. I want real change in my life. I want my walk with God to be joyous and happy. It sounds cheesy but it's true. I want to trust in Him that whatever happens with my situation He will give me what's best.

The girl I am in love with is the reason I write all of this. God has placed her in my life and has taught me a lot about myself through her in ways I never imagined. I've learned the ugly truth about myself and I'm so thankful that it has come to light in my life because now that needs to change. Only God knows if we are meant for each other, and although I love her with everything, I know that I must be obedient to God first.

So from now on, I will let go and let God do his work in my life. I will do my best to restrain myself from making decisions that only seem to hurt me or put me further back in life. Fully surrendering the fight is sometimes the best thing we can do so God can finally come and rescue us. He's just waiting patiently for us to stop trying to fight and do things on our own.

God bless,


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

How I learned to seek God more than a Girl.

Lately I've been really having to be strong in changing alot of things in my life. I know I won't ever reach perfection. I also won't ever be able to fully change all of my ways as much as I try.

I'm at a point in life where a lot of things are happening and a lot of things are changing for me. One of the main things that is really affecting me right now is the fact that I'm fighting to keep the girl I love in my life. To make a long story short, I had the pleasure to be a couple with her but I ruined it after two years and now I've come back to my senses and know for a fact that she is the 'one' for me. No doubt about it.

I know our relationship before was not the healthiest or the best in many ways. The most important thing we forgot to keep in our relationship was God. We forgot that we were not the center of attention, but God instead. It was rocky at times but also very smooth at the same time. We both knew we has put more focus on each other and not on God, and we tried to change that a few times but it just always cycled back to our previous point.

After our breakup I realized a lot of things about myself that I knew existed but never really desired to change until now. I soon figured out that she was the love of my life (other than God of course) and I did not want to lose her ever. I've made it clear to her that I love her and want to be with her for the rest of my life. She understands this completely, and she's made it very clear that she simply wants to be friends at this point and would like to take things slow this time and see where this goes. Taking things slow is probably the best thing that can happen for both of us, especially for me. I'm a very impatient person with things I feel should go my way. I want them now and not have to wait for them. We've made it clear that things have to change and we have to make an effort to keep God at the center of our relationship whether it be just as friends or even a couple later on. I love the fact that she wants to do things differently this time because it gives me hope that one day we will get back again. Which leads me to the things I realized about myself.

For one thing I've come to realize that I am the type of person that has always needed a partner to feel content or happy. I don't know what made me this way that I need to have affection from the other person in order to feel wanted? I know a lot of other people like this too. There is a very clear and dangerous problem with this though. If I, or anyone else, becomes dependent on someone else for happiness or joy in life then we've lost sight of God. We have completely forgotten that it is God who gives us a reason to live and look forward to our day. God tells us in his Word that we should not set our hopes and strength in man because man (also women) will always let us down and we cannot depend on them. God is the only one that can give us hope and strength in life. When we are at our lowest God is always there with us and inviting us to his arms to be consoled.
This is the problem that I want to address personally in my relationship and that maybe some of  you guys might also need work on. Just like I do, we all need to realize soon that we can't rely on someone else for our happiness. Of course we want to feel loved by someone and have that affection and close connection. There aren't many people who are happy being alone in this world, at least I'm not one of them. I like the idea of having someone there for me by my side on rough days or when I'm feeling down. But in my relationship, I made the other person the one who gave me strength and hope. That's where I messed up. That's what I want to restore. I'm praying and asking God to let me dwell in him and to set my hope and strength in him. It's so hard for me to imagine a life without that person, especially when you just know they are 'the one'. It almost feels as if this situation is hanging by a thread and any tug or wrong movement will tear it all apart. In reality, it is a sensitive situation because I feel as if God is giving me this new opportunity with her and I want to make the best of it.
After breaking up with her and now that I regret doing that, God has taught me many things. He's let me see the areas in my life that I need to change because if I don't then they will follow me through the rest of my life and even into my marriage and onto my children. Almost like a curse. And I don't want that for myself or my future marriage and family.
That's why I think this breakup and heartache has been a blessing to me more than a bad thing. Of course it hurts to know that the person you love doesn't feel the same for you because you hurt them enough to the point that they moved on from those feelings. It hurts. But I am also thankful for it, because of that happening she was able to get closer to God in her relationship and now I am also doing the same. We have both realized that we needed God more than we needed each other. As hard as it is for me to be okay with this situation, I can't forget that God is in control. He will ultimately decide what will happen between us two and I have to be ready for that. I have to be ready to live life with or without her. Life goes on and we learn valuable lessons- some of them come from learning the hard way.

I'm learning to live my life seeking God for approval and not someone else. I'm learning to change those ways that hinder me from fully seeking God because they will ultimately rot my life and marriage one day if I do not act on changing them. I have come to see the man that I am now in life and how I don't want to be this man, I want to be a different man for God, myself, my future wife, and for my family. Getting married will not change any of my ways or make everything miraculously different. Change starts now, not later. Some of us hold on to dark secrets that need to come out to light in order to begin change. I know how hard it is to change that which keeps us chained. God never intended you to be chained and feel like you have nowhere to go.

Look to God for assurance. If you're anything like me, you'll want to run to someone to make you feel wanted or secure, but honestly, nothing can beat having that feeling from God. I want to know that God is the one I am seeking for my happiness and not a girl. If she's the one for me God will allow me the blessing of uniting with her one day, I know it. But until then I need to also work on being patient and content where I am at now and to work towards my relationship with God more than anything else.