4.26.2009

I am married to a CHRISTIAN man! ;)

Praise God! My hubby got baptized today!!!! I have been praying, praying, and praying for this for 5 years!!! I am so proud of him. It was a long, faith-testing road but God prevailed! (I mean, honestly, if you have faith-He ALWAYS prevails).

Ohhh...Satan did plenty of attacking. Miguel and I have had one of the most strenuous relationships I have ever heard of. And thanks to all of those problems and God's help we are only stronger for it. I just know in my heart that we had so many attacks because Satan knows the tremendous impact Miguel will have as a Christian. He is so charming, so friendly, so honest, so fun... I can't imagine the things that are in store for him.

Today was great but we are going to need tons of prayers. I know that there will be a lot more attacking now and it will get pretty tough at times. But, don't worry too much. I know Miguel. That man just made a decision, and NO ONE messes with his decisions. Before, he may have been weak or ignorant to Satan's plans...but now, he is not gonna let anyone or anything take away this new-found confidence and wisdom. God just got an awesome player on his team!

It's like Christian said today in his sermon...there is some convincing worldly wisdom. There is no way that a non-believer can tell the difference. That's why we need to be different ALL THE TIME! We need to show those people our wisdom. Miguel had been living his life trying to search for any truth, any wisdom, that he could truly believe in. There was nothing. He was restless. Now, I have never seen him so calm since I have known him. He knows the TRUTH now. He has confidence in his God's WISDOM. I honestly get giddy thinking about the impact Miguel will have on others. I am so excited I can hardly sit still. (Hence, I am not sleeping and am blogging instead!!)

For some reason Christian's sermon today really got to me. I don't know if it's because he is close to my age or maybe it was the fact that every single one of my immediate family members was in church today (not normal). But, I realized I really need to try extra super duper hard to live my life (ALL the time) as a child of God ESPECIALLY in front of the people I am trying to be a witness to. We all fall short, I know that. One "slip" I am human, twice I am an idiot. The negative impact it has on a non-believer is just not acceptable to me, and certainly not acceptable to my Father. I have had so much guilt about not always doing what I preach, because then I am a hypocrite to non-believers. (And of course, enter Satan & whoever I was witnessing to just lost respect for what I believe in.) Whether it be one swear word or skipping church for a lame reason, I need to make better choices if I want to witness to anyone (my siblings, especially).

I will just keep praying. I know that since this is the first time I have really tried to be a witness to my family (out loud!) that I am constantly being attacked. Mainly anger and hurt "triggers". I need to think before I react, and I need to not be so easily offended by things that are unimportant. Satan knows just how to play us, folks. We can't ignore attacks. We have to fight them. Instead of arguing to whoever just made me mad or hurt me, I talk crap to Satan. Tell him "nice try, didn't work buck-o!" It works every time. I just gotta DO it!



So, any advice out there on witnessing to people you are extremely close to? I don't want to (and I am not going to) stop trying because these are the people I love the most in this world. I really can't stand the thought of not having them with me for all eternity. I just need support bc this is the hardest thing I have EVER done and I need all the help I can get.

On that note...night, night ya'll!

4.24.2009

Lost Innocence

innocence or purity: the state of being unsullied by sin or moral wrong; lacking a knowledge of evil

This has been on my heart so much lately. Due to some recent conversations with my youngest sister, I just have to vent....
So, I have 5 sisters and 1 brother. Our family is blended ("his, mine, ours" type of thing). There is a 5-1/2 year gap between the "older kids" and the "younger kids" (ages: 17, 15, 13). The "younger kids" aren't so young anymore. They are being raised so differently from my teen years. They have so much authority in the house. They can pretty much do what they want, say what they want, watch what they want, etc. It partly has to do with this ridiculous culture of ours, and it partly has to do with some type of mid-life-less-parent-more-friend crisis my mom is going through. (I am not writing to bash my mom, I just need to give a little background.)

The thing that's bugging me is...kids these days, including my siblings, aren't given a chance to be kids anymore. I mean, all music does is glorify multiple sexual partners, and kids clothing designers are making thongs, mini-skirts, and tube tops in size 2T... And adults, they are just letting it happen. Like my mom, she has just reliqueshed her authority over her OWN children! Not to mention, that since adults aren't being good examples, the kids aren't being taught the TRUTH. As in God's truth. The only truth that exists in our lives. For example, the other day my younger sister was in the car with me. It had just stopped raining and there was a rainbow. I exclaimed, "How gorgeous is that rainbow!" and "Rainbows always make me smile!"....and she said, "Ew! Why would the gay symbol make you smile, you aren't gay." I was floored. Did my very own sister not know what a rainbow truly represents? My heart broke for her. I explained to her the true, Biblical meaning. She was actually interested but honestly had no idea that meaning even existed.
WHAT is going on here?!?

I am a parent now. This issue bothered me before but I felt powerless to make any impact. Now, I just cannot believe that to be true because I have to fight it. I have to fight it for my son. I am most definitely not a prude. I have made many mistakes (and still do). But, I cannot and will not allow Alex to have these mainstream, anti-religion, selfish people be his idols. How can I possibly do that when they are everywhere?!? I am not going to be one of those parents who shelters their kids becasue then they cannot hold their own in adversity. I just hope and pray that I can educate him and be a good enough example that he can stand strong when his faith is tested.

As of right now, Camron (my 19 month old nephew who I watch all week) and Alex are only allowed to watch the younger cartoons on the Disney Channel (Handy Manny, Little Einsteins, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Imagination Movers) and the Christian movies I watched as a child. I don't want them watching cartoons that use violence and subtle adult humor (which, sadly, is most other cartoons). Also, I have found that the Noggin channel has some decent things. And this is when I let them watch cartoons. I don't think that cartoons let children develop their imagination and I think that is one of the key elements of innocence.

How can we ever expect children to live a happy, content, fulfilled life when at the age of 7 they no longer have the innocence necessary to be optomistic. I can't honestly believe that a 13 year old girl who is pregnant by her boyfriend of two weeks, a 15 year old boy who just found out that he has an STD, or a mother who just found out her middle school kid has a drug problem is happy. Those short-termed "highs" never last. Kids shouldn't even be allowed to be pressured by these things. It shouldn't even exist in their minds.

On the other side of this innocence problem, there are children who are out there trying to fight this. They are not being heard. For example,my youngest sister. She is having such a hard time in middle school. She sees herself as (these are her words) a "weirdo", someone who can never have a real friend, ugly, unattravtive, and a dork. Now, I have posted a picture of her. She is absolutely gorgeous. She is very smart, gets good grades. She believes in the Lord. She has a good sense of the difference between right and wrong, and becomes overwhelmed with guilt when she does break His rules. She loves her family. She loves her friends. She loves some of the most unloveable people. So why doesn't she love herself? Because the culture today doesn't agree with her. The mainstream society doesn't recognize these people. Her family ignores her... (The kids who cause the problems get the attention...negative attention, but attention nonetheless.) Only on God's power this girl has not faltered and still stands up for her beliefs, but it is taking a huge toll on her self-esteem. I know that people shouldn't do good things just to be recognized for it, but she is a KID. She needs encouragement. She needs to know that she is doing the right thing. No one tells her how great her ideals are. Her peers think she's weird that she doesn't do some things they do.... I can't stand it. I told her that God knows her worth. He loves her and appreciates her for all she does for Him. I told her that there are some people who are in their mid-40s who don't even know themselves as much as she knows herself. I am so proud of her. I want Alex to be like her. It's a miracle she has gotten this far on her own. Her innocence in the midst of all her wordly knowlege inspires me. I hope I can help Alex preserve some of that innocence as well.

Alright, now that I have written this novel, I think it's time to head to bed.

I have listed some books that I have found extremely helpful:


Bringing Up Boys by Dr. James Dobson
Dare to Discipline by Dr. James Dobson
Saving Childhood by Michael & Diane Medved







4.15.2009

geez-la-haven't-written-anything-in-a-long-time-weez!

so. my baby is a tank now. he is 7 months. 20 lbs. got two teeth. is a super-crawler. knows how to pull himself up. and stand by himself. and sadly, throw fits. i am so super proud of him. i could never have asked for a better little man.

miguel and i have been doing really good. and when i say really good, i mean we have been arguing up and down! but, it's the kind that we actually accomplish things and are learning more and more how to have a successful marriage. i never ever would have thought we would be so involved in church and going to small groups and all that jazz. it is so much fun. i have made so many friends. and i have never been so proud of miguel. or myself, for that matter. anyways. blahblahblah.

the only thing i have been super stressed out about is that my BFF was supposed to have her little girl in MAY. but, she got diagnosed with pre-eclampsia and two days later...there was Mackenzie after and emergency c-section and Val fighting for her life. (her bp caused her liver & kidneys to start shutting down. her blood wasn't clotting...etc.) the baby is doing great. she is so beautiful. val....well, she isn't out of the woods yet. her blood pressure keeps going up randomly and she is so tired. i love her so much. i am so worried about her. and josh...man, he is just beside himself. he is so tired and so scared. i feel so helpless to do anything. the best i can do is give them to God.... PLEASE PRAY!

there are some other things that are also on my heart. i am having such a hard time with one of my mentors. i feel as though this person let me down. they are not acting like they taught me. i feel so confused bc i looked up to this person so much. what do i say? what do i do? how can i tell them that they let me down? HELP! ADVICE?