Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Half-versary.

Yeah, I know, that word doesn't exist. They should really have one, though (if you find one, please let me know).

Anyways.

This Monday and Tuesday, Greg and I celebrated six months of being married (legally), AND celebrate three years of being "together".

Monday night, with cheap pizza, milk, and the history channel, of course.
NERD ALERT.


Tuesday morning, we headed over to a coffee shop in Minneapolis.
His aunt, MA, gave us a gift card to this coffee shop when we got married. It was fun to make use of it! We splurged. We ended up paying .49 cents out-of-pocket.



After we left the coffee shop, we headed to a Maya exhibit at the Science Museum of Minnesota.
NERD ALERT #2.

It was SO much fun!
We learned a lot about the history "of [my] people", like Greg said. He was joking.

Sandals.


I believe these are stelae.


A Spanish friar ordered Maya books/writings to be burned because they contained work of the "devil".


Earrings.


Ball. I've actually seen this game played (entertaining purposes only)!
It's intense.



My Maya birthday!


Greg's Maya birthday!


Our Maya stelae.
These would be stone monuments that supposedly told a story of an important date, like the birth of a new king, etc.

My Maya name was "Radiant Flower" and Greg's was "Great Shark", so the last two blocks (glyphs) of stone would say, "Is born, Radiant Flower", "Is born, Great Shark".


Interesting, right?

----------

Could you please, please pray for Greg and I? I usually never ask for a prayer request, but this time, I just need peace. Peace about our present and our future. For wisdom, as we make big decisions. Thank you. I pray that in return, God fills you with His love and His peace.

Lord, fill me with Your peace. A peace that's beyond all understanding.

Love,
Gabby

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Autumn Days

Ah, who doesn't like autumn? Definitely my favorite time of the year. Winter stands close behind on my list.

This week, I traveled to Minnesota (I am still here), and...oh.my.word. I am in love with the weather.

Sweaters. Scarfs. Pumpkin-spice-everything.

Sadly (or luckily), I forgot my camera at home. On the bright side, I am spending more time focusing on the moments I have with Greg, and less on the moments I want/just have to capture.  It's a complicated feeling. ;-)

On our way to Pine Tree Apple Orchard in White Bear Lake, MN. Have you been there? It's awesome!


When I cross my eyes, only one angles inward and the other one stays fixed. I feel this. However, the eye I feel staying fixed is actually the eye going inward, and the eye I feel going inward is actually the one staying fixed. Just thought I'd share that weird fact with ya'. ;-)


But first, let's eat! I haven't had Quiznos since my sophomore year in college.


We joined these three, a baby nephew and their parents.


Before we go see the Apple Orchard, there is always time to play Ring-a-round the Rosie.
They did "fall down" after I took this picture.


We went for a quick walk around the orchard. The kids were picking apples, eating them, running and falling down everywhere. They are so much fun...and a handful. ;-)





They have a little cafeteria/store where they sold apple this and that. 
We bought an apple cider (first time trying it!), two apple doughnuts, and an apple cider float!
Yum!


During this "break", I had the opportunity to hold and feed the newest member of the family! Such a cutie.




And then, to keep them all together, we went on a Hay Ride!








Silly kids.



Sorting apples!



I loved the apple cider so much, I had to buy it.


Leaves...what?!


And last, but not least, a picture of a street with my mom's name. ;-)


Looking forward for more of these days. :-) How have yours' been?

PS. Three years ago today, Greg asked me to enter into a relationship with him! Happy Anniversary, my love! It's the little things. Can't wait to see what our Savior has in store for us. I am so, so, so blessed to have you by my side. A boy from Minnesota and a girl from Mexico...who would've known? The best is yet to come.

Happy fall!
Love,
Gabby

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Bride Wore...Off-White :: Is 'saving yourself' for marriage worth it? :: My Journey (Part 2)

(NOTE: I'll make this testimony into a series-ish. I'll (try to) post every Friday leading up to our wedding. So much I am called to share. So, stayed tuned! This is mainly targeted towards women, but...are you a guy? HEY! Welcome! Also, this is my experience. I am in no way condemning other women/men who chose and did otherwise. Don't worry, I will be as tactful as possible and not embarrass you by any sort of non-professional language. Please be respectful to others. I am head-over-heels excited to hear, err read, your thoughts! You can comment or email me if you would like. This testimony is full of how the grace-filled Gospel worked in me, and this is my act of worship.)


Picture belongs to my sister, Diana.


Teenage years. Oh my! Let me be honest, I was boy-crazy. My girlfriends and I talked about boys all.the.time. We talked about them, we dreamed about them. We even wrote about them in our diaries. Surprisingly, thinking about boys didn't lower my grades at school.  

During this time, I was still very involved with the church. I taught Pre-Kindergarten in Sunday School, was involved with the "youth" group, went and served in a lot of church retreats, and went to church every Sunday. You name it, I was there. I searched for God and all of His mystery. 

If I could describe these years in one word, it would be limbo. I tried to be a "good" girl, while still maintaining my sort-of-popular reputation at school. These two don't mix very well. I really wanted to be a good girl. I really wanted to know more about God. However, that boy who gave His life for me wasn't my priority.

When I was around thirteen, I began to develop this idea of wanting to wait for sex. My parents never really talked to me about waiting or the religious views on sexual intercourse. I've never had a "purity" ring or anything of that sort. Initially, I was too scared to "get pregnant". However, I didn't think about it too much. I just knew I wanted to wait for the right moment. 

I had my first, real boyfriend when I was fifteen. I was blessed and hurt a lot. I hugged, held hands and, yes, I kissed.

The peer-pressure to have sex increased as the years went by. I was called out "Virgen de Guadalupe" (Virgin of Guadalupe/Virgin Mary) every time the topic came up. Sometimes, I thought it was funny. Some other times, I was hurt. Those "right moments"? There were a lot of them! I was in love. I was never pressured, but there was a lot of temptation. Part of me did not want to run the risk of being pregnant at the time and another part of me just wanted to get over it. I mean, come on, I had been dating this guy for years and most of the girls were having it! It can't be that bad. 

God, on the other hand, continued working and tugging on my heart. Oh, He was so patient. I read deeper and deeper into the Bible and what He had to say about boys, relationships and sex. I found out He wanted people to wait to have sex within marriage only. I found out a lot about what He calls true love. But, Lord, it is so difficult! Why do you give me these thoughts and feelings if you don't want me to have sex, yet?

I don't mean to sound preach-y, but a verse in 1 Timothy was a source of discernment (and encouragement) during these years. "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example to the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity." (4:12)  

Don't let anyone look down on you...what am I supposed to say to these people, Lord? "HELLOOO, YES, BELIEVE IT OR NOT, I AM STILL A VIRGIN, SO CALL ME 'VIRGIN MARY' ALL YOU WANT!" Umm...no, thanks. Purity? What in the world is to be "pure"? Well, I already had a boyfriend and I had already kissed him...so there goes my purity. 

A lot of pretending and hiding went on. I didn't talk about sex or the fact I hadn't had it. I knew a lot about it thanks to classes and my reading, so that was on my side when the topic came up. People, besides my closest friends, had no idea I wasn't having it. Girls and guys who knew me called me regarding the science of sex, contraception, etc. I hid under this know-it-all mask and I was proud of it.

I never dared to talk to these girls and guys about God and about His will for us. I wasn't a living testimony of how God was working in me, in this area of my life, through the Gospel. 

It was like living two different lives.

. . .


Stay tuned!

Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires. Song of Solomon 2:7


In Christ,
Gabby



Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Hiking: Stillhouse Hollow Lake

On a lighter note (see my last post)... :-)

Last Monday, my sister, Diana, and I had the day off work, so we headed to Stillhouse Hollow Lake, located by a town called Belton, TX, for a "hike".

It was hot. However, the skies were blue, there was a slight (but, hot) breeze, huge clouds, there was absolutely no one around, so we had the entire park to ourselves. At the end of our hike, it started raining. The Lord had mercy on this crazy, Texas weather. Nothing to complain about, here.







It's always nice during a hike, when you "discover" water in the middle of nowhere.



My sister, lover of all things water (except fish), just had to pull her pants up and go into the water, of course.


I see you.





After about half an hour of walking/hiking, we decided this place was...beautifully creepy. Maybe because we were there by ourselves, or maybe because the trail was confusing...random dead-ends, no signs anywhere, and the place looked very old and definitely needs mainteneance. However, we had a really good sister time!



We headed towards where the lake actually was.






Isn't she lovely?



After the lake, we headed home and made a delicious chicken fajita meal!

I am so grateful for these moments that I spend with my sister.

Last but not least, an Instagram pic I stole, err, borrowed from my sister.


I haven't given into Instagram, yet, but I like looking through hers'. You can't have it all, right?

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Psalm 19:1

Love,
Gabby