Thursday, July 28, 2011

Endlessly Patient

Wow, my 'checking in' post sounded more like a 'checking OUT' :)

I have lots to do during today's naps BUT I had to share what the Lord just impressed on my heart.  Was reading through Exodus 33-34 out of a new devo Bible I picked up at Borders (liquidation sale!) - The Message Remix Solo.

It asked to reread the passage and notice what word or phrase really jumped out at me.  ENDLESSLY PATIENT.

Wow.  When you really think about this.  The Lord is ENDLESSLY patient with us.  Like parents with their children, He must constantly teach us the same lessons, remind us of our boundaries, show and re-show (over and over again) what is good and bad.  He also, sadly, must constantly show us who He is.  How is it that we forget?  The strength, patience, love...everything that we need to get through each day is there for us.  We just gotta collect it for each day - ok two thoughts in one there, that was yesterday's devo reading -yup, the manna reference;0.

The thing that gets me is how patient He is with us in all this repetition.  This coming from someone who highly dislikes repeating herself.  smile.  We so easily get annoyed, frustrated and just give up when repetition comes in to place.  Is our patience endless?  I'm pretty sure it isn't.  ...well, let me speak for myself - don't want to assume anything about anyone!

We are supposed to be Jesus to others and let Him deal with or work out things in them.  That would be us being endlessly patient with our spouses, siblings, parents, children, matter what.  Just loving, always forgiving...letting that patience really sink in so that we can continue to show all that He is to those around us in what we say and don't say, do and don't do.

Funny what all the things can come to mind from pondering two words.  Is the Lord asking you to remember to be 'endlessly patient' about something?  to someone? to getting things done.  Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Checking in

Just wanted to check in.  This is going to be a busy next couple of weeks with Emma's BIRTHDAY coming up (can you believe it?!) we've got photos to take, preparations to make...and we'll be having family in town (wahoo!) for a bit next week.  I also took on a project to do wedding invites, so Emma's nap times will be going in those directions, not so much a picture posting direction :)

Did want to share that, I have an amazing hubby :)  I got some hubby time this weekend, me time, a massage, relaxed...after my Thursday meltdown, and some much needed R&R, I'm feeling so much better!!

Would appreciate prayers as I walk in to the busyness of the next couple of weeks.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Thump, eh?

After having a (what is seaming to be) 'regular Thursday breakdown', it was nice to read this just now.  Well.  Gives good perspective.  Read on...will leave my comments for the end.

Week of July 22
Thump-Thud, Thump-Thud
When a potter bakes a pot, he checks its solidity by pulling it out of the oven and thumping it. If it “sings,” it’s ready. If it “thuds,” it’s placed back in the oven.
The character of a person is also checked by thumping. Been thumped lately?
Late-night phone calls. Grouchy teacher. Grumpy moms. Burnt meals. Flat tires. You’ve-got-to-be-kidding deadlines. Those are thumps. Thumps are those irritating inconveniences that trigger the worst in us. They catch us off guard. Flat-footed. They aren’t big enough to be crises, but if you get enough of them, watch out! Traffic jams. Long lines. Empty mailboxes. Dirty clothes on the floor. Even as I write this, I’m being thumped. Because of interruptions, it has taken me almost two hours to write these two paragraphs. Thump. Thump. Thump.
How do I respond? Do I sing? Or do I thud?
Jesus said that out of the nature of the heart a man speaks (Luke 6:45). There’s nothing like a good thump to reveal the nature of a heart. The true character of a person is seen not in momentary heroics but in the thump-packed humdrum of day-to-day living.
If you have a tendency to thud more than you sing, take heart.
The true character of a person is seen not in momentary heroics but in the thump-packed humdrum of day-to day living.
There is hope for us “thudders”:
1. Begin by thanking God for thumps. I don’t mean a half-hearted thank-you. I mean a rejoicing, jumping-for-joy thank-you from the bottom of your heart (James 1:2). Chances are that God is doing the thumping. And he’s doing it for your own good. So every thump is a reminder that God is molding you (Heb. 12:5–8).
2. Learn from each thump. Face up to the fact that you are not “thump-proof.” You are going to be tested from now on. You might as well learn from the thumps—you can’t avoid them. Look upon each inconvenience as an opportunity to develop patience and persistence. Each thump will help you or hurt you, depending on how you use it.
3. Be aware of “thump-slump” times. Know your pressure periods. For me Mondays are infamous for causing thump-slumps. Fridays can be just as bad. For all of us, there are times during the week when we can anticipate an unusual amount of thumping. The best way to handle thump-slump times? Head on. Bolster yourself with extra prayer, and don’t give up.Shaped by God
Remember, no thump is disastrous. All thumps work for good if we are loving and obeying God.

From Shaped by God (original title: On the Anvil)
Copyright (Tyndale House, 1985, 2002) Max Lucado

So, I'm definitely NOT a singer, but a 'thudder'.  No fun.  Praise God the meltdowns haven't been weekly.  However, when they come, the day of the week they land on is ALWAYS on a Thursday.  Usually the night we meet for life group, which leaves me fighting going all day long even through our 30  minute drive.  

It was nice, though.  After reading #1 above, I stopped and prayed, oh and praised a little too :)  Thinking that the Lord may be trying to teach me patience...and possibly not to just try to 'get through' whatever period - which is what I usually do.  See, with Tyler working evenings and lately working late at the office, it leaves us little time together not even just to hang out, but talk, discuss and decide things...needed connections, not just the desire to have an hour of quality time with hubby.  I pray for patience, a kind heart, a servant attitude - so that I can continue to do for him, help and encourage him through his 'busy' times and look for a day of rest ahead.  Maybe a Saturday or Sunday where I can sleep in and he'll wake up with Emma or maybe an evening I can 'tune out' and maybe read or do a mask or my toes...something to qualify as 'me' time.  For the past couple of months, I've been planning to use a GC I have for a facial - thinking I can have a few hours away solo.  BUT, my 'rest' that I look forward to and press on for during whatever is going on hasn't been happening, for one reason or another.  

I guess enduring 2 months is better than just 1 week :)  (my melt-downs were weekly for a while).  Praise God for that!  I just need to keep pressing and praying!  And asking for prayer as well!  I want to be able to make it through these times and continue to be that patient, loving, caring and serving person...not turn in to the 'i want to go lock myself in the closet where I can't hear anything and can hide from the world' person.  Is that TMI? :)   It's the hiding here.  And, I've only done that maybe twice...and not recently, so no worries :) 

NEEDLESS to say...I'm MUCH better today.  After emotionally draining myself with some good crying yesterday, I slept WELL last night and here I am, gearing up for another day! And, yes, I realize it's 10 :)  I 'start' my day when Emma goes down for a nap, when I have my quiet time.  She fought it for an hour and a half this am, so I'm starting late today :) 

Now you know how you can pray for me!  And I'd much appreciate it:)

Have a great weekend!  And if you have any prayer requests, don't hesitate! 

My Lita's 89!!

Some of you wonder why I call my grandma "Lita"...even those of you spanish speakers ;)  AbueLITA is grandma in spanish...and somehow my sisters and I decided to drop the 'Abue' (which some of my cousins call her) and stick solely to Lita :)

On June 23 she turned 89.  MAN!  That's just incredible to me.  My grandpa died 44 years ago, so she's focused the last 44 years on her children, grandchildren, great-grands and was BEGGING for great-great-grands, which she now has (Isaiah, Jayce).

My mom, aunts and uncles started her day off by waking her and bringing coffee and bread to snack on.  Once Emma napped and was ready for the day, we headed over and made her one of her favorite breakfasts - pancakes!!  It was a nice, intimate morning with just a handful of us.  

Then, Tia Amparo had everyone over for dinner...and we filled the house with family :) 

Here are a few pics of that evening.

The cake was DELISH!!
Lita couldn't wait to try it ;)
had to catch Nando in the act of keeping the kitchen clean throughout the evening! 

Feliz Cumpleanos, Lita!!

...and you can bet the plans for the big 90th celebration have already begun ;0

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

You can do it! ;0

I very much enjoyed this WOF email that I got yesterday, and happen to have just read this am.  The reason is that I've had SO MANY projects lingering for some time now.  I've been pretty tired and during Emma's naps I'd really only been able to keep up on 'HAVE tos' not 'WANT tos'.  But, I'd actually been embracing it :)  

Anyhow, Monday, I was barely home running all the errands I had to do.  I returned this there, I picked up that there.  Felt great to be so productive!  Yesterday, once I realized Emma was OK to play on her own (she's been EXTREMELY clingy over the past few weeks) I popped open the laptop and continued on until I hit EVERY project!  Today all I have to do is put them all together!  I'm sure you're wondering what my wonderful projects are ;0 I had to print pics and arrange frames for my sis' Diane's new house (she's had the house since um March/April?! she's been on hold for a while), finishing up Emma's frame with pics of each month through the first year, printed some letters for a banner I'm going to make for an upcoming photo shoot for a one year old....and on and on :)

SO, this brought a smile to my face and encouragement to carry on another day!  Thought I would share and pass along the encouragement :)

It all started with one of those Martha Stewart books on organization.
I was glancing through it, ooohing and ahhhing at her beautifully arranged crafts, drawers, shelves, etc., and in the enlightenment of the moment, I decided to clean out that closet. THAT closet is the one I’ve not touched since I moved in here years ago. It’s just off my bathroom and has all my clothes in it. Crowded, unsightly and embarrassingly messy, I was about to lose my mind! A week before, in fact, I thought about blasting it off the end of the house just so I wouldn’t have to look at it anymore.
But, one vulnerable day…with the fortification of a pot of coffee under my belt and Scriptures like “I can do all things through Christ” and “with God, nothing is impossible,” I decided to take matters in hand. I became the ant mentioned in Proverbs 6, where she does one thing at a time, then another. Then another…on and on, until it’s all done. I tackled it in sections: the NE corner. Then the NW corner. Then the SE corner…and so on until everything was straight. I tried on clothes; selected those I wanted to keep and put the rest in bags to go to Goodwill. I even dug through two cedar chests, full of really old belongings. Oh my gosh…you wouldn’t believe the fun I had.
First of all, I worked steadily but not hurriedly. Some days I’d spend a couple hours then stop until I had more energy. Others, I’d put in four or five, and then completely skip the next day.
Secondly, I celebrated along the way. I ran across stuff I hadn’t seen (nor thought of) in years – old letters I had won in the Phys Ed Department of high school back in the 40’s (for basketball, swimming, volleyball and modern dance). There were ticket stubs to my performances in the Dallas Opera in the 50’s and 60’s, which brought back delightful memories. I ran across notes written by my father in the 70’s, after Mother died. I even found a hooked rug I had made from scratch and a beautiful weaving done by a friend who died years ago. Every day, I came upon hidden treasures! I’d yell, talk to myself, cry, read aloud, and carry on. (I won’t mention the laundry bag I had misplaced about six months ago. Maybe you heard me laughing when I threw it all in the wash.)
And now my friends―the closet’s done. Every time I go in there, I make a 360-degree turn and stare. It pleases my heart and lifts my spirit. Those ants do it right: “…watch them closely; let them teach you a thing or two.”
And you know what’s really neat? I so enjoyed that little project I decided to paint the house. The living room ceiling is now red. I’m lovin’ it!
Enjoy your life. It’s a gift…and you only get to live it once.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The current theme in our lives

no matter where we go, what we hear or read, this message keeps coming up!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Father's Day

Um...a little late, yeah?! :)  I just realized I didn't share our lovely photos we took of Tyler on Father's day!  And, for those that would have loved to see Mother's day pics - those got lost in our breakdown of the drive :(...

Not these, tho!

One of the tricks daddy has taught Emma is to give him high-5.  I say give to him because she'll do it for him EVERY time he says it, but me only sometimes :)  So for now, it's their special fun.

Sometimes Tyler has her play the drums on his head, which I think they both enjoy equally :)

sometimes, she's not quite so loving ;)  You just want to hug and kiss her...and here's what you get

Here's a good pic of the two of them together

and a couple of them looking at the flowers

what a beautiful family I have! :)  These pics make my heart melt!!

Of course, we took a ton more (why quit clicking when it's all free?!).  To see all the fun we had with taking pics, click here :)

Friday, July 15, 2011

The To-Do List Abyss

The To-Do List Abyss
Gwen Smith
Today’s Truth
Proverbs 31:17 (NIV) “She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.”
Friend To Friend
Many of us check off neatly penciled boxes. Some draw lines through the tasks we’ve finished. A select few of us even add tasks that we’ve already completed to our list so that we’ve got accurate accomplishment records at the end of the day! (Present company included!) Some of us keep track of what we need to do each day in our heads, while others track progress of daily goals electronically.
There are days I fluff up my list. Instead of simply writing, "Do three loads of laundry," I’ll create twelve list items to check off that read:
  • Wash whites
  • Dry whites
  • Fold/hang whites
  • Put away whites
  • Wash colors
  • Dry colors
  • Fold/hang colors
  • Put away colors
  • Wash darks
  • Dry darks
  • Fold/hang darks
  • Put away darks
Oh, how I love to check boxes! Why? I want to be a productive woman. I want my work to matter. It's pretty much a daily struggle for me. As an eternal optimist, I wake up anticipating that the seconds, minutes, and hours of each day will bend to cooperate with the demands of my list.
Yeah, right.
I'm such a dreamer. It just never seems to work out that simply or efficiently.
I’m guessing that you are in this daily struggle with me. Right? No matter what it looks like, thinks like, or prints off like, many of us feel overwhelmed by the abyss of a rarely satisfied to-do list. We face constant demands that call to us and vie for our attention. We sift through the essentials and the fire drills, then we go to bed, wake up, and do it all again. The abyss of a to-do list can be so exhausting!
The good news is that we don’t need to face our lists alone. God offers to come along side of us daily to provide the strength, perspective, and wisdom we need. He helps us prioritize our days when we turn to Him in prayer. In the Bible, we read of a woman who approached each day with God-power and God-perspective:
“She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks” (Proverbs 31:17, NIV).
Though this is an impressive statement about her work ethic and though it seems this fictional woman dominates her daily to-do list, it’s important to consider the source of her strength: God. At the end of the chapter, Scripture shows us that she “...fears the Lord...” (Proverbs 31:30, NIV). Her source of strength is rooted in faith and in her dependence on God. Ours should be, too.
Your list looks different from mine. We all have unique ministries, friendships, jobs, responsibilities, and families. Whether you are in the work force, unemployed, or retired or a stay-at-home mom, a single mom, or an empty nester – a wife, a widow, a single woman, or a divorcee – God can and will give you strength for each day when you prioritize Him and fear Him.
Consider the following verses:
“Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?” (Galatians 3:3, NIV).
“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:28-31, NIV).
God longs to strengthen your arms for the tasks on your to-do list today. Place time with Him as your first priority. Check your God-box. Go to Him now. Pray. Listen. Call on Him for direction, wisdom, renewal, and strength. Strong arms await you, girlfriend!
Let’s Pray
God, I was created by You and for You. Please forgive me when I rush into a day without calling on You for my strength. I need you, Lord. Please prioritize my heart and my list today.
In Jesus’ Name I pray,
Now It’s Your Turn
Read Proverbs 31:25-26: “She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.”
How closely do you relate to the above verse?
What steps need to be taken in your life to move toward a deeper dependence on God’s strength verses your own? Are you willing to go there? Take a moment to talk to God about it.

Siesta Scripture Memory

Psalm 86:11 “Teach me your way, LORD, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name” (NIV).

Thursday, July 14, 2011


How easy is it to become jealous?  Super, right?  There are a few words I've tried to eliminate from my vocabulary, by weighing their value by what they mean.  To be jealous of someone or something is a lot more than just saying it in passing.  If I'm feeling like the words are going to come out of my mouth, I'll stop and say to myself, " I truly jealous? Am I placing this person or item on too high of a pedestal? In doing so, am I placing this person or item above you?"

Usually I realize that I don't feel THAT strongly about whatever it is, and there you have it, I choose a different word to describe my feeling (and have a little 'how do you really feel about this' moment at the same time).

So there's a little ramble from me today:)  It comes from the blog post on Lysa TerKeurst's site.

Click here to read the post.

Enjoy :)  Have a great weekend if I don't get a chance to post before then.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

When Worry Makes Me Wonder

I know today's supposed to be 'wordless', but the Lord honored mine and my hubbies prayers and sent me this devotional email this morning that spoke to EXACTLY where I am at the moment.  I had a mini-melt last night after dinner, and another this morning.  Ahhh....I never thought about God sending emails :)  Makes me smile.  He speaks to us however He can get our attention!  And I'm thrilled about that.

The following is from the P31 Ministries "Encouragement for Today" email.  You can click here to subscribe to their daily emails and see what God's trying to say to you ;0...enjoy.

OH and I did get the best pictures ever of Ms Em this morning...will have to use them for next Wednesday's post :)

When Worry Makes Me Wonder
Renee Swope

"She came to him and asked, 'Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!'" Luke 10:40b (NIV)
When life gets overwhelming, do you ever wonder if God notices everything you have going on — like how you're trying so hard to take care of everyone and everything? Staying up late to pay the bills, and feeling stretched between relationships at home and in ministry while caring for aging parents, commuting to work and carpooling kids?
Several years ago, I couldn't keep up with all of the commitments I'd made. I felt like I was suffocating under everything I needed to do. Slowly, I let worry weave it's way into my thoughts, making me wonder how I was going to do it all. I knew I should trust God more, but I was concerned that if I stopped worrying about everything and everybody He would too.
Eventually, I came to a point where I was exhausted and ready to resign from just about everything. I ran out of fuel. I didn't have enough energy to handle all of my roles, relationships and responsibilities.
I also ran out of faith. I started doubting my ability to manage my life, to hear God clearly and to do all I assumed He wanted me to do.
And all those worries that made me weary, also made me wonder. I wondered why God wasn't doing something to make life easier. I wondered if God noticed and cared about all I was doing for Him, and others.
One day I was reading my Bible and noticed how Martha's worries were making her weary, and making her wonder if Jesus cared that her sister left her in the kitchen to do all that work, all by herself.
And listen to how He responded: "'Martha, Martha,' the Lord answered, 'you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.'" (NIV)
So, how do we choose what is better? How do we let go of our worries and take hold of confident peace that assures us God notices and God cares?
First Peter 5:7 tells us: "Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you." (NLT)
The apostle Paul tells us the same and he tells us how: "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7, NLT)
It sounds so doable, but why is it so hard? I think it's because Satan whispers the opposite. He tells us, "Don't be calm about anything; instead worry about everything. Tell God what He should do. Then take control if He doesn't listen. And concerns that consume you will become like acid in your heart, eroding your confidence with worry and doubt!"
Instead of giving into the whispers of worry, spoken by the enemy, let's listen to God's promise for peace. When we feel overwhelmed by life this week, let's commit to ...
Stop worrying — Press the pause button on our consuming concerns.
Start praying — Talk to God about all we're doing. Ask if there's anything we need to cut back so we can seek Him as much as we serve Him, and others.
Keep thanking God — Thank God for what He's done in the past and will do in the future. This helps us remember how good He is at being God.
Lord, when my concerns consume me, help me remember that You are with me, holding me by the hand and guiding me. I want to seek You as much as I serve You and others. Help me balance my life and give my worries to You, knowing with confidence that You care about me and are good at taking care of me! In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Related Resources:
This devotion is taken in part from chapter 9 of Renee Swope's upcoming book: A Confident Heart: How to Stop Doubting Yourself & Live in the Security of God's Promises. To order your copy, click here.
Join over 5,000 women who have signed up for Renee's "7-day DOUBT Diet" — you'll receive a week's worth of FREE devotions from her new book, A Confident Heart. To find out more, click here.
Visit Renee's new website where she's offering a free download of her favorite peace-giving promises and giving away two copies of her new book, A Confident Heart.
Application Steps:
"Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you," 1 Peter 5:7.
Write your concerns on an index card and physically give them to Jesus. I have a table-top cross by my bedside where I lay my "concerns card." Maybe you could get one, too. Then, when you start worrying, go back and write more on your card and commit once again to cast your cares upon the Lord.
Are there concerns that are consuming me? Have my worries made me wonder if God notices and cares about the details in my life?
Power Verses:
Psalm 138:7. "Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life. You stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes; with your right hand you save me." (NIV)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Shurl the College Grad!

Last month, I had the honor of passing the college graduate torch (10 years later) to my niece, Shirley.  She's second generation to go to college and get a exciting.  She graduated from CSUEB with her degree in Communications.  

It was a an early mornin', grad day was ;0  We left the house as soon as Emma woke up, about 6, and drove to Hayward.  This was that wonderfully summery weekend at the beginning of the month that WAS COLD!!  Good thing I over pack and think things for felt silly, but not sure what we would have done without it since we wouldn't have been able to watch from the car ;)
(how adorable is that double chin?!!!)

We were able to find her a midst the army of grads...
if you look at the center you see her waving at us :)

and the whole Alvarez and Aguirre clans were there to show our support for her!

Afterwards she had us go to ChaChaCha, a place that is known for their sangria...and boy was it tastey!!

A couple of weeks ago, she had her party...
Not only is this cake adorable, but this lady makes DELICIOUS cakes!!  Almost made me willing to drop some cash to have her make Emma's bday cake...almost;0

Diana's heels were pretty sassy, and since here 'usual attire' consists of flip-flops year round, we had to snap a shot :) 
Here's my beauty!!!
we were thinking her stinkin' cute outfit gave cousin Shurl a run for her money on being the cutie of the party!!
...and she may have agreed :)
(don't be surprised if you see a swap out of red tutu and bow for purple!)

we just so happen to match the color scheme from the invite and party ;0

the proud Tere
My cousin, Lila, who works her tail off and is in a pretty tight race for mother of the year with how much she's involved with her two kiddos while working full time plus (mouthful!) took a breather and had to snap proof that she was unwinding with a beverage...I think it's the first time I've seen her drink;0
Isaiah was proud of his auntie
Marisol just may be one of Emma's biggest fans ;)

the grad's proud parents
this picture makes my eyes well up with a few tears.  he (Uncle Joe) resembles my dad so's the closest we'll be to seeing what it may have looked like for Grandpa to hold his little Emma
all-girl cousin pic...But we couldn't get Emma to look at the camera because she wanted to be on the dance floor with the other kids (and looking at the lights!)

SO...our many congrats to the grad. So proud of how much you've accomplished!  Make-up school in LA, Cosmetology school and a certified Nail Tech...and now her bachelor's under her belt too!  We're hoping that next on the agenda will be a Masters ;0

to see all the pics, click here