Friday, May 31, 2013

Don't be driven by fear

Fear can be debilitating. This past week there has been many times where I have felt this feeling or state if mind. When I think about moving to Guatemala there are many thoughts that pop in my head: finances, leaving my family, am I capable of dealing with other's distress, will God use me, health, etc. the list just goes on and on. One thing that was a bit of a barrier was expressing to my parents my interest for moving to Guatemala. I have mentioned it, but never to the extent where it seemed solid. I finally had that conversation the other day. It went well, but there was sadness in my dad's eyes. I'm an adult and have been somewhat independent for many years. I guess I will always be their "niƱa". 

I am working a lot of hours and even picked up some extra hours a few weekends each month since a co-worker is on medical leave. I am paying off what I owe to make the move permanent. I know that there's a lot of work to still be done and in order to make the move sooner than 3 years from now (when I will be completely done with paying things off) I will have to fundraise. I  am super grateful for my friends who want to help me with this. Typically, asking for help is not my forte and God is always taking out of my comfort zone to show me his intense power. He can do "immeasurably more". Trust and obedience is what He is teaching me. 

I acknowledge the fear, I know that it's there and I have choices; let the fears debilitate me or trust in God's will and allow him to guide me through it. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Playing with Clarisa at the monkey bars

I have been thinking so much today of Guatemala and trying to refocus my mind  to get back on the mission that's in my heart. Been feeling distracted through the business of what is considered life here in the states. This scripture came to mind:

"Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect." (Romans 12:2 NLT)

I am becoming a busybody, doing, doing, doing to the point where I felt physically sick this evening. "Slow down" is what was being heard in my head. I sat down for about 30 minutes today (waiting for a friend to join me for dinner) and came to the realization that I was not letting God transformed my mind, thoughts, actions. The circumstances around me were doing that which have ended me here. Thanks be to God for helping me and reminding me of what His perfect plan is: to live in the center of His will. 

This brings me to being reminded of Clarisa. While in Guatemala this past February I met this super clingy, somewhat fussy little chunk of love. This was the second time she had been at the orphanage because she had been taken from her family due to a judges decision and placed at the Hogar (this is what the orphanage prefers to be called; "Home"). We were informed that it took Clarisa a few months to get adjusted to being at the Hogar and had to be taught and guided through her emotions. Before being reunited with her parents, she was a happy, good tempered girl (this took a lot of work from the women in the Hogar). When I met Clarisa it was her second time being sent to the Hogar. We were told that all the hard work from the previous time of getting her to be a little more emotionally stable, went to the gutters when she went back home and they were starting all over again. Though Clarisa was a little bit of an emotional wreck, well for her age, I had a good time walking around with her and playing with her. I'm not sure if Clarisa has been sent back home or not, but the work that the women do is breathtaking! It takes a lot of dedication and hard work on their parts to help a child control their emotions. This scares me a little and brings things into perspective that God is asking me to work. However, this is not me, it's Him working through me and in me. I'm looking forward to seeing how God is going to continue to transform the way I think. It's scary and exciting! 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Running the race.

Today I participated on a 5K called The Color Run. I had been training since I am not a jogger. One scripture comes to mind:
Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27 NLT)

Ok, so I was not the best at training. I did however have a goal; to finish in one hour. Guess what? I finished in an hour. I would push myself every so often to jog and not just walk. This "race" is not timed and therefore many people walk the whole time. There were also a lot of children who participated. It was nice to see their excitement as they crossed the area where they were being showered with color. 
My favorite part was the end. Haha! Not because it was over, but on the last part of the race my coworker met me there to finish the run together. That was very touching. 

Made me think of something very important. The scripture above does not mention anything about training with a partner or running the race with others. However, there are so many scriptures that talk about helping each other and loving each other. I am looking forward to doing this again and hopefully I will be able to jog more. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Feeding the Homeless.

I would like for you to meet Jessica. She is 19 years old and has a beautiful 3 year old daughter named Liliana. I had the privilege of meeting both of them as well as others in Santa Ana this past Sunday. A friend started "Operation Feed the Homeless" a few years back. He is an inspiration because he saw a need and his desire was to provide for the people In Santa Ana. This past Sunday I went for the first time not knowing what to expect. I knew that not all of the people who come to grab a meal were homeless. However, I knew that I would encounter something different than what I am used to. My cousins came and wanted to participate by bringing food and gifts for the 2 children whose birthday they were celebrating.

Jessica was telling me that she has decided to go back to school and get her diploma after being out of school these past 3 years. As we talked I could see a sense of pride in her eyes. Not the bad kind, the kind that brightens up the world a little more. I'm so proud of her for making the decision to go back and finish what she had started. I asked about college and she said , "Isn't that expensive?" I know that God has a plan. The scripture that comes to mind is Jeremiah,
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.” (Jeremiah 29:11-14 NIV)

My prayer is that Jessica knows that there are people rooting for her to succeed on life and that God is cheering even louder for her as she continues to persevere.