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Friday, May 18, 2018

A new season

There aren’t many seasons in Guatemala like in USA. There are about 2 months of “cold” nights, 2 months of heat and then there’s rain. It rains close to 6 months out of the year, but not every day nor all day. The grass gets greener and the flowers blossom. This is my favorite season in Guatemala. 

As I get closer to a new season in my life, I am filled with many mixed emotions. There are days when I feel like I didn’t get to do all I was here to do and I have days when I feel  fulfilled. 

Did I fulfill my purpose? If I haven’t I hope that I at least made a difference and inspired at least one soul to live without fear and do something, not for themselves, but for a higher purpose. 

I went to a funeral last weekend and something tugged at me that left me thinking about something that usually comes up in my thoughts; am I good friend? I want to grow in this area of my life. I’m good at giving and leaving, but not good at maintaining. When people ask me who my best friend is, I don’t have an answer. This has to change. I need to invest and allow others to do the same with me. New goal: make a best friend. 

Here is Claudia, a woman gone too soon. 






Thursday, April 26, 2018

Hope

Two months from now I will be finishing up with my job in Guatemala and getting ready to close my chapter living here. If you would have told me 4 years ago that I would be moving back to California, I would have not believed you. I honestly thought this was going to be my forever home. My plan was to get my residency, get married and be working in an orphanage or group home. I was able to get my temporary recency that will be expiring mid June.

All I can say is that through all of this upcoming transition I have something deeply rooted in my heart; I'm not done. There are so many things that I want to do and live through and I get so excited about it.

My family is waiting for me and I can't wait to eat my mom's home cooked meals and hear my dad cheer on his favorite soccer team (Las Chivas), having the niece and nephews visit and hang out with my siblings.

I have a job waiting for me and I will be doing what I enjoy; working with children with special needs. I prayed about this a lot and I didn't want to leave without having a job in place. I got a few dollars more than what I was hoping for, but I still need to figure out my hours (I really want to work full time).

I guess you can say that things are falling into place in regards to coming home.

Prayer request: for my car to sell in July so I can have a down payment for a new vehicle.

By the way a Friend here got married and here are some pictures of that special day.


















Saturday, December 9, 2017

Obedient even when I am afraid

I have been reading a devotional with three other women and it has been a breath of fresh air. "I will be obedient" These words have been an echo that has been following me since 2013. I kept asking God to show me where the center of His will for my life was and I promised to be obedient.

So here I am, three and a half years in Guatemala and I'm still praying the same thing. There's this fear that has come and gone throughout this journey.

This morning's devotional was on Matthew 8:23-27. It's the story of Jesus sleeping on the boat and his disciples start to freak out because of the horrible storm. They disrupt Jesus' deep sleep and He responds by making a statement then asking a question, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" As I sat there reading the verse I had to ask myself the same question.

I'm praying and asking my Lord to lead me towards His will and help me not to stray away, yet I lack faith and there's fear of what the answer will be. My spirit, my soul wants to do the right thing and please Him. "I want you to be proud of me." is what usually comes out of me. Deep within me I know that no matter what I do His love will not change.

Soon there's an answer that I will be given regarding a prayer that has been put forth. Whatever the answer may be, I will be ready to obey Him through the storm.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Consuming Fire

"...for our “God is a consuming fire.”" Hebrew 12:29

Getting closer to my 3 year mark living in Guatemala and I have been contemplating many things about life, and purpose. 

I heard this scripture today as I was listening to this guy talk about The Spirit of Christ. Being Holy is not about going to church every week or "being good". It's about allowing myself to give of me over to Him and allow Him to to consume me. I don't know if that makes sense...I don't know if I even understand it.

So I went on a prayer walk and I realized that I allow things to consume me that only gratify temporary desires and wants and at the end of the day I feel empty and unfulfilled. 

I came to Guatemala to serve a purpose and I have been feeling like I have lost something very important...a spark, a light. I have lost that consuming fire. I think "lost" is not the correct word, because I don't think that we can lose something so beautiful and so good. I believe that I have put it away and not allowed it to take over me...it has been replaced by "self".

I want to make changes and I am excited about them. I honestly do not know what exactly will happen, but I do want to be different. 

Some praise me for what I have done, but it's not for me. All of it is for my creator, my love, my LORD, my consuming fire. 



Friday, April 28, 2017

Sleepless nights

"Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart's desires." Psalms 37:4

It's past midnight, I can't sleep so I decided to share what is on my mind tonight.

I finally posted something on social media that has been on my mind, thoughts and prayers; I want to move back to California. Once I put it out there for people to see I got scared and I started second guessing myself.

I thought that maybe people would look at me as if I had failed or did not complete a mission. Then a friend said something that gave me courage, "...remember it's your relationship with God no one else's..." (Thank you Shanelle).

This beautiful relationship has taken me places and been able to live a life that has been filled with joy, laughter, fear, leaps of faith, tears, courage, failures, etc. I do not have any regrets.

I have been volunteering at a local orphanage on Sunday's and I feel so happy doing this because of what I have been able to bring, but most importantly what it has created within me. This, my friend, is what holds me from leaving. However, I hear The Spirit saying, "I'm not finished"

What is keeping me up tonight? A simple thought that popped in my mind, that has been lingering for weeks, possibly months, but I have not entertained it as much as tonight. My heart desires to work with children with special needs once again. I worked for Apple Tree for 10 and a half years. I learned so much working for that company. It wasn't so much the place, it was the children I was able to serve. It challenged me and pushed me out of my comfort zone.

I work about 11 hours a day, 5 days a week to be able to pay bills and feed my cute cat so it is difficult to quit and do what I would like to do here. Opportunities here are scarce.

I started to think of the children I have worked with in the past and would like to do that once again. I will still be able to serve once again going to mexico for the Tecate trips (click here for info).

I will continue to pray for guidance and see where and when God will take me.
Our last speech therapy session 

Monday, October 3, 2016

Trust also in me

“Simon Peter asked, “Lord, where are you going?” And Jesus replied, “You can’t go with me now, but you will follow me later.” “But why can’t I come now, Lord?” he asked. “I’m ready to die for you.” Jesus answered, “Die for me? I tell you the truth, Peter—before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me. 
Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going.””
John 13:36-14:4 NLT
                  



What an incredible scripture! It's a reminder that though Peter was going to disown Jesus, there was a promise. A promise that involves forgiveness and love. I can picture it, Jesus speaking the truth about his future sin and even then He says "don't let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God." He was telling me, "Ana, trust me! Keep calm"

If you haven't heard of this guy named Brant Hansen, well it's time to get to know him. I started listening to him on a radio station and when he left the station I started following him on Facebook. He is funny, but most importantly he is a man who speaks truth about God without the glam. Well, in his own way and perspective. 

My guilt comes from not understanding God. In my last post I spoke a little about how I have been feeling and God wanted to take care of my heart. Knowing God and his love for us does not involve a sheet of rules; It involves our hearts. 

No matter how "bad" we are His love for us does not change. I saw a video of Brant talking about this reminding me of something that I need to be confident in.


One thing that I have seen throughout in church culture (even the church I go to) is how people are lifted high for their achievements. In reality the people God has chosen are not those who stand out in public. It's those who stand out due to their hearts. I love to be praise and God allows my heart to be humbled because the glory needs to go to Him. I hope that as I write about things happening in my life, it does not reflect me, but reflects Jesus' heart. If it was up to me I would stay home and watch movies, but the Spirit moves me to serve the least. 

Some may not understand why I am not serving at church teaching English. This has made me feel insecure and guilty, but I know that it was part of God's plan to move me out of the way and have someone else step up. I was tired and overworked. I was not doing what fills my soul, which is serving those who have gone through abuse or have been abandoned. I believe with all of my heart that God will use my story, my journey to help others. 

I hope that you feel super loved and cared for by God, even in times when you have made decisions to step away. God wants to reassure you that He loves you, He is good and will not let go of you no matter how far you part or what religion tells you. The bible tells us so much about His compassion and forgiveness, don't forget about that!

Take some time to watch Brant






Thursday, September 29, 2016

Flight to Mexico

I don't believe in coincidences, I believe in GODincidences.

I'm currently on a flight to California, but prior to this flight I was flying to Mexico from Guatemala. On my flight I met the sweetest lady. We talked the full 3 hours and we waited for the next flight together though we we were going our separate ways. 

We talked about love, finances, health and Jesus. We laughed about life, talked about deep rooted issues and the scriptures. She was on her way to New York to meet up with the love of her life. Her story blew my mind. It reminded me that God has a perfect love story for each one of us. His word is a love letter to us filled with sacrifice, compassion and reminders of how much he loves us. 

Forgiveness was one of our topics. She asked me if there was anything that I was holding on to. She made this association with my health. Sometimes our bodies react to our emotional state of being. It got me thinking of so many things and circumstances. I do hold on to things and allow them to hinder me. I've been feeling guilty which is a feeling that has followed me since I was a little girl. I need to ask God for healing, reconciliation and peace. 

I really needed someone like that today. I needed to be reminded of my perfect love story with my Lord. I need to get back on track and allow the Spirit who lives in my to flourish and allow it to do its work in me. 

I can't wait for December because that's when my new friend will be back in Guatemala and we can continue our deep conversations. We will be meeting in two months for coffee. I am looking forward to it. God is good all of the time and sends us people right when we need it. 

“Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!”
Hebrews 13:2 NLT