Wednesday, December 30, 2009

This is a story I receive from a group we belong to called "Christian Surfers". This young man's story made me cry and made my heart swell at the same time. Praying it does your heart the same and more...


Micah Ramsey's Message

Another New Year is around the corner. In 2010 what will be your focus? Where will your priorities lie? Take your lead from 15 year old Micah Ramsey (who takes his lead from Jesus). Micah has been battling Ewing’s Sarcoma – a rare and aggressive cancer. His words were published on the front page of his local paper and are repeated here.

“We as Human beings were created by God to worship and glorify HIM. It is what we are designed to do. God also has had a plan for us since before we were born. Apparently one of His plans for my life is that I am to fight cancer. This is so that I can glorify and serve Him in some way. I don’t know what this way is. What He is doing, I’m sure, my simple mind cannot fathom. God is all-knowing and I am not. He is going to be GREATLY glorified through me fighting cancer. Not because I’m some great person, but because He is a great, mighty, and totally awesome God. God has my life in His hands, and He can do whatever He thinks best. I know this sounds like the best “churchy” answer, but I want you to know that this came straight from my heart.

Yes, I am not comfortable, I hurt, I’m not sleeping very well, but God is doing what He needs to do through my life. People are being drawn closer to God through this; His will is being done. That is the most important thing right now. I will endure pain for Him; He has endured the ultimate for me. The Lord is working through all this and HE WILL BE GREATLY GLORIFIED!!!!”

-On Dec 10 Christian Surfers sent an email to Micah to encourage him that his story would be going around the world through CS and that it would bless and challenge many. His Dad said that it put a huge smile on his face and he said, "I told you God was going to use this cancer for His glory." That was the last email he read. On Dec 12 Micah went home to be with his Savior.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Moving day! In all honesty its been moving "week". I used to be able to do so much more. Now to avoid overdoing it everything is stretched out. Guess there's a lesson in patience there somewhere that I'm still struggling to get. Anyway, we spent last weekend painting. Just Chrystal's room and two walls in the dining area, a project nonetheless. I didn't enjoy it as much as I wanted to but we did it together as is everything in our lives now and that makes it special. But now as our date to be out of the old apartment approaches I am finding it hard to keep my eyes dry. I am definitely excited about our move, my life as a wife and mother, another chapter written by God himself. Yet, as I pack and remove photos off the walls I can't help but remember all the other chapters written here that make us who we are today.

Chrystal and I have been in this apartment since she was five (ten years). She went to first through sixth grade across the street. I still remember the last day of sixth grade, I watched her walk across the street from the bedroom window for the last time. Oh, I cried that day. She was growing up and I felt like I had missed so much already. She learned to swim in this pool. I still have it marked on the calendar the day she swam from one end to the other and the day she swam underwater to "touched the drain". When we first moved in she couldn't even touch the faucet on her own. I remember the day she said 'look' and I turned to see her hand stretching to show me she could finally do it.

We've had wonderful neighbors moved in and summers filled with playing down at the pool with everyone. Some of those same neighbors have moved out, all along promising to keep in touch. It never happens. Guess God has filled thier new lives too.

We were here when 911 happen. I remember holding her very tight that night, I think she even slept in bed with me when we could sleep.

We were living here when Tov and I started dating. In fact October 28 was the day that I told him I'd go on a date with him and today is the anniversary of our first date five years ago. Then the big one, just three months ago I walked out of this door a "Miss" and came back a "Mrs."

We've had broken teeth, a broken arm and a fall down the stairs here. We've had laughter and tears, arguments and forgiveness. So much love has flowed in this place. Christmas', Thanksgivings, birthday parties!

I had my back injury and two years off of work in this place. Two years with no income. Ten years as a single mom struggling back from a life of addiction and stupid choices, wanting more then to live for just today. And that was the one that got me this morning, I found God here. Through it all, He has been with me. Even in my unbelief He stood beside me. I still remember the day I believed again, I was in the hallway when I heard God speak and fell to my knees with tears streaming down my face in shame and then gratitude. And through this memory I realized that not only did Chrystal grow up here, I did too. The realization of how deep God's love is brings me to see how much I need and depend on Him. How the Lord alone has carried me all this time. And I can't wait to see how these next chapters unfold.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Winter weather, coffee good,
warms my insides like it should.
Starbucks counter near I stand,
with some money in my hand.
Quiver as my turn draws near,
cookies and muffins, I tremble with fear.
Just coffee is all I need,
my sweet tooth I shall not feed.
One minute then I'm free,
but a scone under glass my eyes do see.
Excape is useless from this crutch,
coffee and scone I love too much.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

"As One"

This has been amazing. So different from anything you can imagine. Everyone keeps asking us how it is to be married, or how's things are going. And its all good but very different in a good way. It's hard to explain. Marriage feels magical. When God says you are joined as one flesh, you are very literally one. And you just don't know until you are experiencing the miracle. I can't wait to see what years of knowing one another will bring. How much more deep and intimate our relationship will become. I knew this man loved me with all his heart, but I am ashamed to say I didn't know his heart was this enormous. I would've never dated him had I not known how precious his heart was and his love for the Lord. Never could I have dreamed it was this intense. I feel so warm and taken care of, peaceful and protected, comforted and whole. Oh my goodness, how can I ever stop praising God for this joyfulness He alone has given to us. It's only because of Jesus' love for us that we are able to love in return. Wow! I am left speechless just looking at my life right now, especially compared to where I've been. Only the true love of our creator could bring such...fullness in my soul. Thank you Father.

Monday, August 3, 2009

How do I share my excitement? I am five days away from being join as husband and wife to the man I prayed for. Its almost like I told God what I was looking for and He molded this man into that and more. How do I declare what God has done for me, how He is blessing me, how He is knocking my socks off as we speak? I have no misnomers about how tough marriage can be. I've been watching others and studying God's word for the answers. My biggest fear is that I will disappoint this man I love, even disappoint Jesus my savior in how I treat my husband. My love had some good insight into this, he told me its guaranteed that we will at some point let each other down, but that fear is good. It shows we care deeply for one another and for the Lord.

Father, may we always look to please you. Not wanting to please our own desires but to do your will alone. May loving one another the way you have intended all along be so fulfilling we desire nothing else. Lord, bless this week ahead, our plans, our family, those attending and those who can not make it. Our fondest wish and hope is to glorify you in all that we do. May others see that in our actions, may we be quick to see our failings, quick to ask for forgiveness and even quicker to forgive. Father, I can hardly sit still. Please also help me to work well this week, to work as though I was working for you and not for man. I can never thank you enough, and yet you bless me just the same. Use me today, may any interuptions to my days and plans be those of opportunity to share your truth. Prepare my heart to receive all that you have to give. Thank you Lord. Amen.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

1' "Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter." 1 Peter 4:16.

Perhaps the greatest secret of the saints of old was-
- their ability to praise God amid the afflictions of life.

Saint Francis de Sales-
- once wrote to a friend who was undergoing stresses at home, saying:

"The many troubles in your household will tend to your edification, if you strive to bear them all in gentleness, patience, and kindness. Keep this ever before you, and remember constantly that God's loving eyes are upon you amid all these little worries and vexations, watching whether you take them as He would desire. Offer up all such occasions to Him; and if sometimes you are put out and give way to impatience, do not be discouraged, but make haste to regain your lost composure." '

This is great! God never told us bad stuff won't happen. But what He does want from us is an attitude in our heart and our outward actions that say, 'Things stink right now, but I know that God is in control and that means I'm going to be fine." God doesn't want us to hide that fact that tough times are with us either. How is anyone else going to know that tough times happen to Christians too. Its just that as believers in Christ we should have a hope of better things to come, a look about us that's not stressed out but trusting that our God is bigger than our problem.

When I had a back injury and was suffering through alot of pain a wonderful friend put it this way for me, she said that God uses our situation to show others how they should act in similar situations. That just freed me up so much. Instead of being struck down with an injury God was using me. Me of all people, to be an example to someone else. That is how we glorify God. Not by hiding our failings, not by saying we're ok when we're not, instead by going through it with grace and tact and humility knowing that God has such a bigger plan for us than we know.

I believe it is in James that the bible says to count it all joy when trouble comes. That's because we tend to see the trouble and not the lesson, we feel the pain and think there is no end. And that's ok too, but after you find yourself on this path...dust yourself off and walk forward toward the light. God doesn't love your neighbor more than you, He loves us all the same. And the coolest part is that He loves the one who doesn't believe as much as He loves the believer. God is the author of our lives, what we see as trouble, the Lord sees as opportunity. Change your perspective and you can change your life.

1) Taken from "My Manna" July 4, 2009

Monday, June 29, 2009

These three things I pray:
to see Thee more clearly,
love Thee more dearly,
and follow Thee more nearly.
These three things I pray for each one of us:
that God would live and thrive in our lives daily,
to know that everything good comes from the Lord,
that each of us would recognize how blessed we are.

Friday, June 19, 2009

August 8th, 2009 - Our Wedding Date

January 4th, 2009 - Our Engagement

October 30th, 2004 - First Date, Universal City Walk

August 14th, 2004 - Dear Diary,

There's this guy I really like but I don't know if he likes me the same. I mean, its silly but when he calls or talks to me my heart runs away with ideas of a future, what it would be like if he kissed me. It's been so long since anyone worthwhile paid attention to me. It's a little confusing because I really like him alot, yet everytime I try to meet with him to talk and find out if we're an "item" or just friends we can't seem to get together. I just want to know where we stand, my heart wants to go, my head says stay put.


Please send someone to love me. I would love for it to be Octavio, yet if its not your will I can accept that. Please send me someone who loves the outdoors, who loves you Lord with all his heart, someone who will pray for me, look out for me, and have my best interest at heart. Someone who will love my baby girl as well, someone to be the head of our home and my very best friend.

Lord, I know I pray this to you all the time, I hope you don't tire of hearing the same thing from me over and over. My heart just aches to share my life with someone. To be as one and have even more to share with this world.

Thank you father, I know someday you will answer me. Until then form and shape me into the woman I need to be as a wife and mother. Amen.

God answer prayers. Nothing is too big or too small. He hears each word we speak and longs to hear your voice. Think about your father on earth and how he cares for you and wants to provide for you, your Father in Heaven cares so much more. He will only give to you what He knows is the best for your life. Be anxious for nothing, but with prayer and fasting continually seek His will. He longs to bless you.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

It's amazing, I've been thinking alot about my past since the last post. And I am amazed at how we can forget from once we came. Remembering the homeless lady who helped me and how my heart had become hardened to such a one, then I was remembering all the nights I slept in a van because I had no bed, no home, because the choices I was making in my life left me somewhat alone. Not completely however, I did have family that loved me intensely yet refused to be part of or continue to enable my disfunction if you will. My life choice at the time was drugs, mainly speed/meth, but at some points lots of other drugs too. I find it strange how we can forget where we've been and no longer remember the lesson that was intended. We need to remember that the enemy wants to use any circumstance in our life to bring us down. Yet the love of God brings us to our knees by His grace and mercy. See even in my loneliest moments, I was never alone. The Lord was watching out for me and allowed me to make my own rotten choices because He had other plans. Plans to open my heart to share with others, plans to soften my heart to the trials of others, plans to grow my heart to the things of God.

I praise you Lord, love of my life, for being my father. For loving me enough to correct me, for the glory of the cross that washes my sins away. For looking at me and not seeing what I see, but rather what you want me to be. May my life be a reflection of that love.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

This one is a bit long, but has been touching my heart again lately. I wrote this after it actually happen sometime last fall. It constantly reminds me that however the Holy Spirit prompts you in your life, listen! God is speaking.

I feel compelled to share something that happen to me a few weeks ago, in the hopes that some one else will get "something" from my experience. That you too can see how much God loves us and what he'll go to show us where we are failing so that we can once again come to Him and He is able to use us. Joanne Jimenez once sent me an email that ending with "don't wait for God to throw at brick at you", that just about sums up the story that I have.

It was a dark and gloomy Friday (just kidding, thought I lighten up a bit). It was Friday though about two maybe three weeks ago. I was going to see a client and had stopped for lunch. They put red onions on my sandwich (yuck) so I had taken them off, not wanting to smell when I went into see my client I tucked them away as well as I could in napkins and the bag. When I parked in front of their office I was looking around for a trash can to put the onions in (didn't want to throw them away inside, they were quite strong). There was a trash can by a bus stop, with a catch, there was also what could have been a homeless person pushing a shopping cart near the bus stop. The way I saw it I had two choices, 1) I could cut the corner and walk across the grass, bypassing the "dirty homeless person who would no doubt ask me for a handout", or 2) walk around on the sidewalk and just tell her "no" when she inevitably asked me for money. So I'm getting out of my car still haven't decided which route to take, going across the grass my heels might get stuck and so I came to the back of my car BAMMM I am slammed down on the sidewalk, hands and knees. Still not realizing what has actually happened my first thoughts are my back, and then the pain in my arm, then Oh God that homeless lady is asking me if I am ok. Yeah, I'm fine a say back to her, trying to keep her form coming over to me. Here she come's, she's left her cart and is running across the grass to me. I'm now at least in a seated position and she comes up beside me still asking if I am ok. She puts her arms under mine and from behind me picks me up. Between hurting and reminding myself to keep an eye on my purse which still lies on the sidewalk I realize that this woman is strong, much stronger then a woman should be, actually more like the strength of a very strong man. She tells me it’s alright that she's fallen before and someone else had to pick her up. She's now about four feet in front of me as she says this and I look up to see her and I'm still taken back by how strong she was picking me up. As my eyes rise to see hers, as God is trying to show me something that I am failing to see, I see her baseball cap says "Obama Girl" and my heart hardens again. She looks straight at me and says "God bless you". My thought, my icky nasty stupid thought, was "they always say that too" "those homeless people always use God".

Yes, I know at this point I have failed 200%; trouble is I'm not finished.

I go into my clients determined to be strong and hold on to my pride, not to let on how much I'm hurting and want to cry. We exchange pleasantries and I sit down at the computer, but as I put my right hand on the keyboard pain shoots in my wrist. So I calmly ask for a favor, do you have any ice? Why? Here come the tears...I fell outside and my hand is hurt badly! This woman takes me into the lunch room and only has ice cream, but gives me an ice cream container to put on my hand. Gets out the first aid kit and starts to put ointment on me, bandaging me, comforting me. I'm thinking, she's afraid of a lawsuit. (I'm still falling, in case you haven't noticed. And, I know what you’re thinking; can this woman fall any further?)

My client sends one of her workers out to get ice packs, she says she needs them for her first aid kit and I need one too. I finish my work and leave before the ice pack arrives, embarrassed that I fell, embarrassed that I cried, oh I just wanted out. There was more to what was happening to me but I wasn't seeing it, yet.

Back at the office, in pain and not wanting anyone to know, thinking that I tripped and that people will just laugh I go to the restroom. That's when it hits me. I don't know why it’s always in the restroom or the shower, maybe because that's when I am finally alone with myself, but it hit me... I didn't trip; God threw me down, literally. I was totally ripping on one of His children with my dirty filthy thoughts about the homeless person and He was just done with my unloving, selfish self. My thoughts about everyone were nasty and snotty; this was just the end of a long road as of late in my life. I don't even know when it started, I so didn't see my heart changing, and God was hurt seeing my hardened heart. Still in the restroom I am now crying but for a different reason. My heart hurts because of how I have hurt God. I crouch down and begin to pray and apologize, confessing my horrible heart. And yet still not seeing the whole picture. Because when I get out and back to my desk, that sweet lady, who I thought was afraid of a lawsuit, has left a message on my voice mail, "Just wanted to make sure you were ok and that you put some ice on your hand". Crying again I return her call and thank her, sincerely this time. Boy I am a fool.

That evening I shared my story with Octavio who told me the homeless woman could've been one of God's angels, I believe she was. She was way to strong for any person, when she said "God bless you" it was different then any other time I have heard it said. It was very deliberate G-o-d B-l-e-s-s Y-o-u. It was from God himself. At every turn in this whole thing God was trying to show me, hello you're falling Christine, your falling and I love you enough to knock you straight I can't use you like this.

I was up probably at least half the night running these events through my head. Now that I know what was really happening I didn't want to miss a thing. I now see so much more to this, God was at and in every turn even though I kept falling He didn’t stop trying to get my attention. He really loves us and wants our hearts right with Him.

The next day we went to meet our surf group, Christian Surfers, at the beach. That's where I met Brandy, a drug addict with horrible teeth, a bad mouth, and a scared young woman, who I saw as a beautiful child of God whom He has called. She needs some work, nothing that is beyond our God. But where she's been is very similar to where I have been with drugs. I was able to minister to her, share with her, love her with God's love. You see if God hadn't set me straight the day before, He couldn’t have used me the way He did. I was amped and filled with the spirit and a renewed love for our God. What He won’t do to get our attention. How stubborn we can be and not see. If Friday hadn’t happened I would’ve saw Brandy as an intrusion to my day at the beach with Chrystal. As it happens, Chrystal who knows my past was very taken to Brandy. Went out in the water with her and I could see she felt very attached to her. Wanting to help her, to show her the way that is so much better then the world. The rest of us sat on the beach in wonder at how awesome God is to bring us together that same day that Brandy decided to hang out with the group, how obvious it was that God was mighty and the spirit was truly moving.

I sure hope this comes across as strongly as I still feel it this day. Heed the Lord's gentle calling, when you wait its painful, literally. He loves us more than we know. He wants our hearts right with Him, Useable, Loveable and a reflection of Jesus. I love all of you, may God bless each one and may my failings bring lessons to all of us.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

So this is a little crazy. Other people getting to read the babbling that goes on in my head, hmmm. Wondering if this was a good idea. I guess its only babble when the Lord's not involved. Fortunately for me He is and I am blessed to be His child. So two more months and the day I have waited for like forever will be here. God will join us as man and wife and a complete new journey will begin. I am exciting beyond expresssion. I have waited a long time to be blessed with this man as my husband. He is good, God fearing, and filled with love. He loves my daughter and she has immense respect for him. Who could ask for more. Thank you Father, thank you that you care for me enough to see my tears, to fill my life with such joy, for calling me, of all people, your friend.