Anyway, any way

“When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.”” – Luke‬ ‭19:5‬ ‭NIV‬‬ –

As I walk into 2018, I’m reminded of the story of Zacchaeus. Nothing stands out to me more today than Jesus telling him that He MUST stay at his house. Let that sink in. . . Jesus was intentional about entering into his world, flaws and all. During Jesus’ Ministry, He never made it about Him. He always made it about the person(s) He was ministering to as He did with Zacchaeus.

As I enter 2018, I acknowledge I am broken. I am flawed. I am imperfect. Yet God still loves me anyway. He calls me to Him anyway. He wants to spend time with me anyway. He enters into my home anyway. In any way and every way, anyway, God always seeks to stay at our house; to lift heads, to mend brokenness, to heal wounds, to save by grace, to simply be close; closer than the skin on our bones and the breath in our lungs. . .

I want this to be the prayer of my heart for 2018 and forward: I pray I would put others first as God puts me first when I enter into His throne room. I hope I would be intentional about meeting people where they are and responding to their need in His way and not my own. I pray to love people with His heart & listen with His ears.

With 2018 in front of me and 364 days ahead, I surrender it all at the feet of Jesus. I praise God for the valleys and the mountain tops to come. I praise Him for the losses and the gains, the good and the bad, the victories and the failures; I praise Him in advance because God is always God and even in the struggle, He is there.

I pray this is the year of intentional grace. . .

2017, you were a year of many many lessons. God, thank you. Thank you for the wonderful experiences. Thank you for the blessings. Thank you for listening to my hearts cry every morning. Thank you for the closeness in the grief. Thank you for the growing pains. Thank you for showing me me through your eyes; even if it was difficult. Thank you for molding me and refining me. Thank you for the work in process. Thank you for the healing. Thank you for the stretching that made me feel wiggly. Thank you for it all. Thank you for who You are.

I’ve cried much. I’ve learned much. I’ve hurt much. I’ve loved much. I’ve laughed much. I’ve been blessed much. I’ve been loved much. In 2017, I lived much & learned I have so much to learn . . . With my heart full, I share some of my favorite moments with you beloved. . . . .

In 2017, my relationship with my mother has slowly been mended. There has been much healing, much growth, and much love. As much as I don’t want to admit it, I’ve learned I’m very much like her. Through accepting that, I’ve seen how beautiful and wise she really is. Thank you my sweet, kind, and patient mami. Eres mi paño de lágrimas y mi vaso de fuerza.

In 2017, I got even closer with my Sister Sister, if that’s even possible. You are Gods greatest gift to me. Simply, thank you.

In 2017, I learned the value of being present in the moment with those you love. Each time I wanted to hurry through a moment because of everything I had to do, I heard the Holy Spirit whisper to remain still & take it all in. I learned to be intentional with my family who teach me most how to love with the love of Christ.

In 2017, I learned the true meaning of presence. I understood how to love with a hug.

In 2017, I learned when God gives you a position of leadership, it exposes your faults, your weaknesses, your imperfections, and your shortcomings. But where I fell short, God made up the distance. I learned He exposes to heal.

I learned the beginning of what it means to be a leader: it means to call out purpose, influence greatness, kickstart the healing of others, and love unconditionally when its most difficult. Lord, thank you for these amazing children of Yours You have entrusted into my care. I do not take it lightly even when I doubt why.

In 2017, I learned how to truly value friendship & blessings. I was blessed beyond measure with an amazing roommate and beautiful sisters in Christ.

In 2017, I learned why my name means “shining light” because God intentionally created me to shine His light in the darkness but I have to be willing to walk into where it’s darkest. . .

In 2017, I learned to embrace a part of my story & began learning how to live loved. . . Thank you for penning this Lord.

Happy new year beloved💛

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Confessions of a girl and her hot chocolate

I’ve been meaning to write this post for weeks but as my procrastination and perfectionism has it, I’m just now getting around to it. It’s been an interesting start to 2016 & to put it simply, a little difficult. I’ll be the first to admit that I love to put pretty pink bows on the days when I struggle. When I struggle to read my word, to make time to pray, and to drag myself to church; I like to put a nice smile on and act as if I’m not at all pushing my feet that feel as heavy as iron. So I’ve vowed to God & to myself that I’ll be as transparent as possible in this post.

About a month ago, my grandma passed, so off I went to Puerto Rico. To be honest, I didn’t want to go. All I wanted to do was pawn off the responsibility to someone else like my sister. I didn’t want to be the “strong one”. I didn’t want to “carry the load”. I didn’t want to be the shoulder that my dad had to cry on. I didn’t want to be the very person that I’m studying to become: a counselor. But as the day got closer to get on that 3 1/2 hour flight, I prayed God would fill me up with his peace and confidence. I prayed that I would be the leader that I needed to be for my family. I prayed for strength. And ultimately, I prayed God would use this trip to reveal His greatness. And because God is so faithful, he answered every prayer.

I don’t remember much about my grandmother except that she was a devoted woman to God. I can remember maybe 3 occasions where I met with my grandmother and it all had to do with God. She wore a white veil over her head to pray. But I don’t remember kindness or love. And that’s the truth. My grandmother was a prayer warrior. She left behind a great legacy that are far and few in between. She didn’t have riches, great possessions, or wealth. But she did leave behind planted seeds of prayer. And prayers don’t have expiration dates. They don’t have death certificates. So although I didn’t know her, I know of her and what I know may not include love, kindness, or patience; she did leave behind a legacy of prayer.

As I was on this trip, I came face to face with what it means to live a set apart life. It means giving up all that your flesh loves and desires. It means choosing to pray when you don’t want to. It means dressing modestly because you love to represent God. It means not gossiping or taking part in it because it hurts God, it hurts the other person, and it hurts you . It means giving without expecting in return. And how many of us give and expect at least a thank you? I want to live a life that when I give to someone in need, they thank God first. But living a set apart life means choosing to set your sights on heavenly things above. It means choosing to intercede for those you love day and night. It means picking up your armor and choosing to fight the very real spiritual battle that is going on. Living a set apart life means accepting where someone is, not necessarily liking it, and loving them anyway. It means showing love to the least and the greatest. Jesus didn’t discriminate. He was set apart by glory and we are set apart by love.

God confronted me with the truth that He chose me, just as he chose you, because He loves me. He chose me not because of the gifts He’s given me but because He’s placed His love within me. And I’m not meant to keep that love. I’m supposed to give it away. I’m supposed to show it to others.

I’d like to say that I came back completely delving into Gods plans but the truth is, I’m a work in progress and as long as I’m here, I’ll always be a work in progress. And I can’t make any promises because I fail everyday but I hope that I can love on people because Jesus chose to love on me. I want to leave behind a legacy of not only being a prayer warrior but of someone that loved people regardless of where they are, someone who gave selflessly because that’s what Jesus would do. I want to leave behind a legacy that doesn’t draw the attention to me but points straight to God. My prayer is that my life would always reflect God and His love.

Here are some pictures from my trip to Puerto Rico 🙂

  
  

As always, I pray you are encouraged, empowered, and most of all blessed ! 🙂

Dear God Daughter

Dear Bella,

Your name defines you so well. I’m learning that sometimes God creates something beautiful out of chaos and you are that something beautiful. You came into our lives like a rushing wind and maybe even turned it a little upside down. But love, true love, shakes us up and makes us realize we were missing something great. As you were twirling your dress at the altar on Sunday, I saw exactly what that something was. It was you. All of you. You see, God placed greatness inside of you. So with all of your tenacity and fierceness, we are each learning the wonders of life, even in the moments where you’re stubborn. And because your mom has given me the honor of being your godmother, there are a few things I want to share with you; things I hope you’ll learn and others that I hope you’ll never forget.

I heard somewhere that mothers choose godmothers because they hope their child will be a little like that person (all the good things, I hope). But as I grow more, I realize I wouldn’t want you to be anything like me. I grew up thinking I needed to be like everyone else to fit in and belong. But the truth is, if you live life this way, you’ll never truly belong. I’ve learned the only place you’ll ever fit in, is in Gods hands. He made you perfectly to fit into them. So let yourself find who you are in Him. And if you ever forget for a second who you are, I hope you’ll always look up. . .

I hope you learn that mistakes are powerful and necessary. Don’t distance yourself from them because it’s how you learn best. But remember that mistakes don’t define who you are, they’re just meant to teach you valuable lessons. It took me a long time to learn this one. So I hope you find freedom in letting God teach you His lessons through your mistakes. And whatever you learn, it’s never yours to keep. God teaches us things so we may pass it on. So always, always, pass it along.

I hope you never forget that your sister will always be your best friend. You don’t always have to follow her advice but listen to it anyway. She’ll frustrate you, upset you, and maybe even make you cry sometimes, but in the end, she’s the person that will love you even when you’re a little difficult to love.

I hope you learn that your value is never going to be found in people’s compliments, criticisms, or judgements. Your worth lies in what God says about you. So learn more about God and I promise you’ll find exactly how valuable you are in spite of what people say.

I pray you learn that even though people have bad days, it doesn’t make them bad. Those are the days they need love the most. And loving people is actually pretty simple. Just listen and let them be themselves. You don’t have the power to change people or you, only God can do that. So let it all go and love people anyway.

I hope you learn the power of words. So use them for healing, even when you want to hurt someone for hurting you. Use your words to build people up because that’s what they’ll remember.

Never forget that mom really does know best. No one on this earth will love you as much as she does. So listen even when you want to walk away. And you know there will be moments when you just want to call mom & cry right? Don’t second guess it. Just call her. She’s the only person that will let you cry and scream and love you anyway. Always call mom, everyday. No matter how busy you get. She’ll always expect that call.

I hope you never forget where you came from and just because you aren’t sure what your next step is, doesn’t mean you aren’t exactly where you’re supposed to be. I hope you learn that being in the moment is what counts. I hope you never lose sight of how beautiful the clouds are. I hope you look at the wonder of nature and learn that you are Gods masterpiece too. I hope you fall in love with the sound of your laughter because it really is beautiful. I hope you never live by how you feel but always stick to your commitments. People will respect you for it and you’ll learn to respect you too.

I pray that your faith is renewed every morning. I pray that you see the great things that you will accomplish even before you see them. I hope you have the patience to plant flowers and wait for them to grow. I hope you learn to see the details in the big picture because that is what makes up everything. I pray you learn that a man is a desire not a need because only God can give you exactly what you need at just the perfect time. I pray you never forget that unconditional love can only be found in God. I hope you learn that you are never ever alone because you always have Jesus. I hope you learn that fairy tales do exist but only in Gods kingdom. So remember , always look up. I hope you never stop searching for the treasures that God placed within you. But most of all, I pray you always spread love and be love because THAT is what God has blessed you with.

Love,your godmother.