Monday, July 29, 2013

Bloglovin'!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

(I guess I've joined the crowd!)

From what I understand, I had to post this link in order to claim my blog.

Something like that... I am not a very "techy" person. ;-)

I hope you have a blessed week!

Love,
Gabby

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Perfect Servant

So, today, I've been reading a whole lot about serving. Serving my husband, serving my family, etcetera. Even the Bible verses I read today were about serving (Jesus washes His disciples' feet). As I was reading, I was reminded of something that happened to me that I had been wanting to share for months now.

Anywho. Grab a cup of coffee/tea/cereal. Here I go.

Three summers ago (wow!), I had the opportunity to travel to Jacmel, Haiti on a short-term mission trip. It was truly a blessing, as the airplane tickets were donated for all four of my classmates, so we only had to pay room and board. My group consisted of nine college students from three different colleges and one group leader. We did everything on that trip. And by everything, I mean... everything.

Our main work was to work along side Haitian workers to build a missionary house for future missionaries. We also went to "tent" cities, loved on orphan children, helped with class at an "English" Christian school (held in a church), and on top of it all, to spread the Gospel.

One day, after a long morning at "work", painting the missionary house, we headed over to the school. When we arrived, we sang "Sanctuary" and "This is the Day that the Lord has Made" with the students and then prepared for class. The class consisted on having a conversation in English. The teacher separated us into groups. I was the only girl in my group of Haitian boys, and I felt a little intimidated since I didn't know much Haitian Creole.



The class was going smoothly and, suddenly, the boys in my group seemed very blurry and their voices were distant. I told one of them that I wasn't feeling good. Two boys carried me by the arms to the teacher's desk as I told the teacher that I felt faint. The teacher and the boys immediately took me outside and sat me on a chair, under a tree, on a dirt road between the green church and the neighbor's house. The neighbor, woman, who was outside, stripped me from my clothes, leaving me in undergarment and something else. I was mostly out of it at this point.

Then, splash!, she poured buckets of cold water on me! She began talking to me in Haitian Creole. When I was a little more awake, the woman took me into her house, dried me, and gave me her yellow t-shirt and her white capris.

No one saw what the woman did and I haven't shared this story with anyone (I may have shared it with two girls), not even the people I went on a mission trip with (they did wonder why my hair was wet and why I was wearing those clothes). Until now, that is. I feel I have shared a secret with a woman in Haiti for these three years.

I went to serve and love the needy, with a typical mindset of a short-term missionary of what I was to do and what was to happen, and God, funny guy that He is, turned things around for me.

I was the needy one. Physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually.

Despite the language barrier, different Chrsitian denominations, different countries, different color of skin, I was served, I was loved.

"He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, 'Lord, are you going to wash my feet?' Jesus replied, 'You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.' 'No,' said Peter, 'you shall never wash my feet.' Jesus answered, 'Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.''Then, Lord,' Simon Peter replied, 'not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!'...'Do you understand what I have done for you?' he asked them. 'You call me Teacher and Lord, and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him." (John 13: 6-16)

And that is just what the neighbor did. She obeyed the Perfect Servant.

----------

Now you know why Haiti holds a special place in my heart.

How are you serving your neighbor?

Love, 
Gabby

Monday, July 22, 2013

Presence


The Lord replied, 

"My Presence will go with you, 

and I will give you rest."

Exodus 33:14

My Savior is so good and so kind. So full of grace. 

Just like He told Moses, He is telling you and I today that He will give you and I what is promised.
Such an assurance.

I just love Your Presence, Lord.

Love,
Gabby

Thursday, July 18, 2013

One hundred days-to-go!

We've reached the one hundred days-to-go mark! This is a big deal, people.

Only one hundred days until our Christian/Church wedding ceremony! After that, God willing, we will finally "settle" into place we will call home.

I'am excited I will be able to share every bit of my life with Greg. I'am excited we will be able to say good-bye to this long-distance. Long-distance relationships are so difficult. Cliche, maybe, but it's true.

My rings. Simple, classic, timeless. 
The long phone calls before/after work.
The texting random bits of our day every hour of the day (almost).
Different schedules.
Trying to understand what each other is feeling via phone.
Crying over the phone after a "bad" situation/day.
Learing how to communicate. Not seeing someone's reaction face is tricky.
Missing birthdays, holidays, etc.
Skype (Thank you!).
Dinner dates via Skype.
Not being able to have a peaceful, Friday night, watching a movie.
Reading a book together via phone/Skype.
Building trust.
Scheduling flights.
Trying to look for good deals on flights and paying for them.
AIRPORTS (I will not see you as often, second-home). Security, I won't miss you.
Time off work to visit each other's family (mine lives in Mexico).
Driving from Minnesota to Texas and back.
Planning two weddings (civil/church).
Commitment!

Ah, I've learned so much about Greg and about myself in an entirely different level.

So thankful for this opportunity!

One chunk of Bible verses that has encouraged me and has kept me in check throughout this walk is:

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails...And now these three things remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8; 13

More than once, I've had to think about it and remind myself of this truth.

Tomorrow, we reach the double-digits mark. ;-)

Love, 
Gabby 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

First July 4th.

Well, this post was meant to be posted twelve days ago. However, I still wanted to share with you bits and pieces of our first Fourth of July as husband and wife - well our first fourth together (as in the same place), actually! I was glad I could stay in Minnesota for this.

 Early in the afternoon, we went to Keith's house for a cook-out. Notice the engagement party decorations are still up! ;-)




So handsome. 




I didn't get the silly memo. 


A and R, Keith's niece and nephew. 



Gotcha sister! 



A and Mrs. Lisa.


Diana made delicious quesadillas with cheese brought from home (Mexico) by my mom!


Next, Greg and I headed to Harriet Island to watch fireworks!

We sat on a hill and I was wearing a skirt. My legs were so itchy due to the grass. Thank goodness there were almost no mosquitoes that night! 













I really need to figure out how to clearly capture fireworks...maybe next July 4th. 

It was a really fun time and I was grateful I could spend this holiday with Greg!

How is your week going? If there was one word that could decribe mine, it would be "limbo".

Much Love, 
Gabby

Monday, July 8, 2013

Lay It Down

Everything I am
Everything I long to be
I lay it down at Your feet

(Lay It Down - M. Maher)

When I lack trust in You and Who You are, I lay it down
Fears, Lord, I lay it down
When anxiety kicks in, I lay it down
My marriage with Greg, I lay it down
My career as a nurse, I lay it down
Whether or not I move across the country, I lay it down
My family (and the fact that I don't want to move away from them), I lay them down
My happy comfortable life, I lay it down
Finances, I lay them down
Every idol in my life, I lay it down
Lack of self-control, I lay it down
Other thoughts and emotions, I lay them down
My past, I lay it down
My plans, I lay them down
The unknown future, Lord, I lay it down

The list could go on and on. 

Random picture I took in Jacmel, Haiti. Because, well, I miss it.
This Sunday, we sang Lay It Down at church. I had never heard it before. As I was praying/singing (is it even possible to do the two at the same time?) my heart started racing. I felt I was melting. I was brought to tears and to my knees.

So many changes are happening, so many emotions. I can just hear Him say, Gabby, are you willing to lay everything you are, everything you have, down at my feet?

Lord, I want to lay my whole self down at your feet. Complete, joyous surrender. Reckless abandon to You.

Has Jesus asked you to surrender something to Him, lately? 

__________, I lay it down. Fill in the blank.

Pressing forward, 
Gabby



Friday, July 5, 2013

Happy Birthday, America!

A quick second post for today. :-)

I wanted to wish a happy birthday to one of my best and dearest friends, America!

I met her approximately 9 years ago (wow)!

One of our very first pictures together.



Our first year in college. She was a Public Relations major and I was a Nursing major.


We would always go to this restaurant. 


Bridesmaids. 


During college, she asked me to be her Confirmation sponsor/godmother. 
We also became roommates that year!
(Now she wants a gift for every holiday, etc.)
;-)


Visiting Miami, FL (where she now works)



At a recent gathering. 


America,

     I love you so very much! I am so glad that, through the years, we have become more than just friends. You are my sister. Your family is like my family and my family is yours, too. You are one of the sweetest, humble girls I know.

     Remember how scared I was to go to college? You called me that first night and took me out to eat at Pot Belly. Remember all the times we shared clothes (and even dressed exactly alike one time!)? Remember when I used to drive you to work because there was no parking? :-) Remember we used to ride the bus together to your apartment? All those sleepovers? The late night studying at the PCL? When we took that class together (Oh, God...)? We would call each other when we where homesick. Being your roommate was one of my best college experiences! You screamed so loud when I told you I was engaged! Remember when...I could go on and on. Thank you for being there.

     May God continue to pour out His blessings over you....and may every day be better than yesterday (as Welo would say).

Love, 
Gabby (tu madrina) ;-)

Heaven Song

Captured this view on a flight from Texas to Minnesota

You wrote a letter and You signed your name
I read every word read it page by page
You said that You'd be coming
Coming for me soon
Oh my God I'll be ready for You

I want to run on greener pastures
I want to dance on higher hills
I want to drink from sweeter waters
In the misty morning chills
And my soul is getting restless
For the place where I belong
I can't wait to join the angels and sing my heaven song

I hear your voice and I catch my breath
"Well done my child, enter in and rest"
As tears of joy run down my cheeks
It's beautiful beyond my wildest dreams

I want to run on greener pastures
I want to dance on higher hills
I want to drink from sweeter waters
In the misty morning chills
And my soul is getting restless
For the place where I belong
I can't wait to join the angels and sing my heaven song 

Heaven Song - Phil Wickham
----------

Aren't you just getting restless to go to heaven?
Can you imagine just standing/kneeling in awe before His presence?

----------

You know, my eagerness for heaven is daily growing. It has not been easy. Why? Because I am selfish. I want to stay here on earth. I love my life so much. I can't imagine not being here. I can't imagine life without him or her. I could cry at the thought of it. I want to go to heaven, but death scares me.

And I told Him. I told Him how scared I was. I confessed I desired earthly things more than heavenly things. I asked Him to give me a love and desire for heaven.

I encourage you to tell Him. Confess it to Him if you struggle like I do. Because that place is where we belong.

Eternal Joy.

I can't wait!

"But our citizenship is in heaven..." Philippians 3:20

Not Home yet, 
Gabby

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Keith + Diana: Engagement Party

On June 30th, my sister's future mother-in-law hosted an engagement party for Keith and Diana (my sister), as well as for Keith's brother, Kyle, and his fiance, Linda! 

It was very nice to meet so many people that loved Keith's family and will love my sister. It was also extremely nice having our parents come to Minnesota! I've definitely missed them. And, as you might guess, I just love sharing these moments with my husband, Greg!

Everyone poured out so much love towards them! 

I'll let you see what I am talking about.


The Couples




The Party

With our parents
(this picture was before the party began, so we weren't quite ready, yet ;)


With Keith's mom
(I completely forgot to take one of the couple and his dad!)


And, of course, us two


Moving on to the party

These signs were outside the K's house



 Backyard



Lots of water, juice and pop, as they say up north ;)


Food and Decorations












They served a lot more food and we also had a lot of cake, but I don't want to make you hungry with so many food pictures!

On to Family & Friends

(random pictures)


My sweetheart. 






The future brides






Like us, all the way from Texas!



Keith's elementary teacher








Aren't these girls precious? 




The boys were "roaring" at the girls so they wouldn't get on the trampoline...


then, the girls "roared" back...


Eventually, the boys won at "roaring", scaring the girls, except the littlest one, Miss Madeline, who kept "roaring"!


The brave one!



Hutch


My dad is so good at this game!



My parents are silly!



We also had fireworks at the end of the party



Is it possible to be overwhelmed by so much love?

It was such a fun time!

Thank you for allowing me to share with you. This is one of the reasons I blog, so I won't forget moments like these.

"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." Ephesians 5: 31

Ah! I am so excited.
Love, 
Gabby