Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Life Motto.

Greg soaking up the beautiful view.
Do you have one? You know, a motto, an expression, a sentence, a quote...some wise words you live by?

Mottos (or mottoes) are often found through verses in the Bible, a sentence in a book you love, a street ad, on Pinterest, or they could be passed down from a family member.

Approximately six years ago, I began volunteering at a busy Emergency Department. My jobs included: restocking nursing supplies, greeting and ushering, running errands, transporting patients, cleaning equipment, changing linens, etc.

One day, a nurse approached me and asked if I was studying to be a nurse. I told her that being a nurse was my calling and that hopefully I would be able to get into the university's program.

She then started talking to me about what I do as a volunteer and the nursing profession. One of the last words she said was, "I am just going to tell you one thing I hope you never forget. Take everything as an opportunity rather than a personal inconvenience."

Take everything as an opportunity rather than a personal inconvenience

I don't know if she acquired it from a book or from someone else. I've looked it up on Google for years to no avail. However, that little sentence is how I [try] to see and live life, especially as a nurse.

I could give you a dozen (or more) examples of daily activities that are inconvenient. I could tell you about the dozen (or more) times I've caught myself about to complain or complaining.

But...I'll just tell you...those little inconveniences...those uncomfortable moments when life doesn't go your way and at your time...they are opportunities.

Opportunities to grow, to learn, to mature, and to sanctify.

Living by this little quote has shaped up the way I respond to others and to situations. It has enabled me to find joy in the ordinary. And yes, I do have other wise words I live by, mostly words taken from the Bible or from my parents. However, this is one that I remind myself of every day.

Do you have a "life motto"? Would you mind sharing it with me?


P.S. And if somebody just happens to know who is the author of my life motto, please do let me know! :-) And a big thank you to that random ER nurse, who took the time out of her busy day to encourage me.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A peaceful Sunday.

Two Sundays ago, Greg and I went for a drive down to Stillwater, Minnesota (possibly my favorite town). We also went to visit his aunt and uncle for a bit. Well, that "bit" turned into an entire afternoon! His aunt and uncle are so good to us.

Doesn't this picture make you want to jump into this fluffy pool of trees?
I was amazed at the color of the leaves, the water, the sky.
Gosh, it's beautiful. Please excuse this Mexico/Texas girl who has never had a real autumn before.

My patient driver who stops whenever I just need to take a picture or when he sees a pretty sight.

So peaceful and contemplative.

According to Greg, this swing has been there since he was a little boy. Isn't it the best? 

Max likes autumn, too!

"Fishing". ;-)

After this picture, his uncle suggested that Greg and I go canoeing. Of course, I didn't take my camera for this. We took the time to be still and at peace for a few minutes. We enjoyed the silence of the woods, the wind, the movement and sound of the leaves, the sound the water made as we paddled, the chirping of the crickets. It was heavenly.

Thank you for stopping by!
I wish you a great week.
Be sure to set time aside to contemplate upon God's word and His love for you!


Sunday, October 26, 2014

A first wedding anniversary.

I can picture it as if it was yesterday.

I am pretty sure I was the first one to wake up. My sister, my cousin and I slept together, on the same bed, for one "last sleepover" before the first one of us headed towards the altar. Just as any other day, our family had breakfast together. Pretty normal. Except, today I was getting married to Greg.

I savored many "lasts" that day. The last time I would wake up as an unmarried girl, the last sleepover, the last day I would share a room with my sister, the last time it would be just us six at the kitchen table, the last day I would be under my parents authority, the last this and the last time that.

I also savored many "firsts" that day. The first day knowing that as of that day, life as I knew it was about to change. The first time wearing a wedding dress (and I felt like the most beautiful girl in it). I was also the first one from the grandchildren to get married. The first time wearing a wedding ring. The first kiss as husband and wife. The first time calling someone my husband. The first day as one flesh.

That first day, leads us to today, another first.

We've had many, many "firsts" since that day. We've also learned so many things about each other and about life. But for now, I'll leave you with a few of our stories. [Warning: A lot of links and long posts, just in case you are bored. :-)]

[I just realized I never posted the rest of the wedding pictures! Whoops.)

There are a lot more posts I wish to share on this post - but that means linking to every single post for 2013, and I am not torturing you with that! ;-) 

Thank you for looking through them. 

On another very important note, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MY LOVE! You won't have another huge "birthday party" like last year, but I promise this will be the best one yet. ;-) 

Praising God, from Whom all blessings flow, with a heart that is bursting with joy and gratitude,


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Of an apple orchard run and a cook out.

Last Wednesday, my sister called and asked me if Greg and I wanted to participate in a 5K run, hosted by a local apple orchard business. I then invited my friend Ana and her husband. Ana graciously informed me that it wasn't a "5K" run we had signed up for...but a 5 MILE run.

Needless to say, 5 kilometers = 3.1 miles, not 5. #whoops. Ana and her husband couldn't make it to the event, but Diana, Greg and I decided to go for it.

Here is a lovely combination of I-phone and camera pictures. ;-)

It was a cold, lovely morning.

And of course, we had to get some apples post-run.
And apple cider, and cider doughnuts and oatmeal cookies.

So what do you do after a 5 mile run (besides taking a long nap)? Invite friends over for an evening cook out and a game night! Because hamburgers. ;-)

My sister joined us for the lovely afternoon. Later that evening, Ana and her husband came over! However, at this point, I had abandoned my camera.

My sister looks like she is modeling back there.

I just love that tiny, old, green bridge that connects those two buildings. 

And I love my cook. :-)

Later that night, when it was already too cold outside, Ana and Caleb introduced us to Dutch Blitz! 
They patiently explained to us the rules. We had such a fun night with that game and lots of conversation. My husband kept calling it "Dutch Oven".

I believe Caleb won several rounds, as well as Ana, Greg won one round, and I won zero. Now I have to buy this game so I can practice! 

Thank you for your friendship, Ana and Caleb! I have especially enjoyed forming a sweet, friendship with you, Ana. Your love for God shines through and inspires me! It's also fun to navigate the newlywed season as wives to our husbands, encouraging each other in Christ!

That was our lovely, autumn Saturday. Thank you for looking through the pictures!

"Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It's splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world." - L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

My vocation is...Love?

Stairs leading to a small beach in Mazatlan, Mexico.
This past weekend, I finished reading the autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux, Story of a Soul

In it, she talks about her family life, her many faults, Catholic feasts, sickness, Catholic sacraments, her experience as a religious sister, sainthood, and the subject that fascinated me the most: her vocation of love for Jesus and others.

There is a story she writes about a religious sister in her order that had "the faculty of displeasing me in everything, in her ways, her words, her character, everything seems very disagreeable to me." (pg.222)

I didn't think this would hit so close to home. I mean, I don't really hate anyone. If someone displeases me, I tend to be prudent with my words, ignore and move along.

And still Jesus called them His friends, His brothers..., for He said: "Greater love than this not man has than that he lay down his life for his friends."

Dear Mother, when meditating upon these words of Jesus, I understood how imperfect was my love for my Sisters. I saw I didn't love them as God loves them. Ah! I understood now that charity consists in bearing with the faults of others, in not being surprised at their weakness, in being edified by the smallest of acts of virtue we see them practice. (pg. 220)

Wow. How many times have I not done this? How many times have I just ignored and moved along, instead of bearing with their faults, instead of thinking positive things about the good they have done to others, to Jesus, etc... instead of that displeasing act against me? 

When I wish to increase this love in me, and when especially the devil tries to place before the eyes of my soul the faults of such and such a Sister who is less attractive to me, I hasten to search out her virtues, her good intentions; I tell myself that even if I did see her fall once, she could easily have won a great number of victories which she is hiding through humility, and that even what appears to me as a fault can very easily be an act of virtue because of her good intention. (pg. 221)

Jesus, help me love others by You loving in and through me. Help me practice true charity. Create a pure heart and mind in me, instead of a heart and mind who choose the right words and actions, but are really judgmental, full of grudges, and of filthy language. Lord, let others see Your love in me. Sanctify me.

Thank you for reading. What I am doing on my personal road to sainthood (sanctification) and how I am practicing true love (with my husband, my family, friends and strangers) have been on my mind these past few months. I hope you were encouraged as much as I was. 


Friday, October 10, 2014

There is always something to be thankful for. 8.0

So, looking back through my "There is always something to be thankful for." posts, I realized I made TWO 5.0's and named my last one 6.0, when it should have been a 7.0. Therefore, this one is named 8.0.


These past few weeks (months?) have been absolutely chaotic. Nonstop. I feel like I've been running a marathon since August. You should see my planner. Weddings, trips across the countries (we literally traveled across the USA and across Mexico), babysitting nieces/nephews, birthday parties, church, meeting with friends, bridal showers, helping in the remodeling of a house for days/weeks, looking for a house, packing, moving, moving again, blogging, reading, killing my plants, homemaking, time with my husband and on top of

It's humbling, I tell ya'. And I am so thankful for the beautiful, organized, peaceful chaos that is my life right now.

Mom, me, & Diana trying to do the jumping picture
1. I am thankful for the weddings that took place. The new families. The new family members. I am also thankful and praying for the weddings to come (God willing).
2. That being said, I am thankful for my roots, my family.
3. For my marriage. Y'all. We almost hit the one year mark. So much has happened to us in the past year. We've learned so much together. I hope the next 49+ years are ever more beautiful.
4. I am thankful for the trips made and the memories made.
5. For my sister and her husband's new home. A lot of work, blood, sweat, tears and a minor burn to the skin - ask my sister - have been put into it. The house is full of love from friends and family who helped in the remodeling of this older home.
6. New friends! Well, kind-of-new-friends. It's so refreshing to be friends with someone who has a similar belief system that you do. It's the first time (with the exception of my husband and my sister) that I feel I can talk (in real life) about everything - including my Savior - and not even thinking/feeling judged because I talk about Him like that.
7. Moving. So, long story short, we had told our apartment complex we were leaving. We placed an offer on a house. The owners decided the next day not to sell it. Our then apartment was already rented for the next year. We had no where to live. Our apartment complex helped us out by renting us a "guest suite" for a week with all of our stuff crammed into the already furnished suite. And then we found an apartment in the same complex and moved into it. Whew! We prayed and He answered. And as a little blessing, our rent is so much cheaper!
8. Our jobs. Even though sometimes they are not very flexible (time wise). I am so thankful I found and get to live out my vocation - caring for children and their families.
9. Speaking of vocations, I am so thankful for my top vocation - being a wife to Greg. I've learned so much about physical and spiritual home keeping. For Pete's sake, I still can't figure out how to make an omelette, though. It breaks, it sticks...something always happens to it.
10. I am thankful getting to see how God pursues my husband. I can tell you this, it makes my heart burst with joy.

Alright-y. Thank you for making it through my rambling. ;-)

What are you most thankful for this week? Do let me know. Feel free to ramble. 
Also, if you are in need of a prayer request, check out She Prays.




Tuesday, October 7, 2014

12 months of dates gift : Date #2 (October)

Wow! Another month flew by. October is by far one of the best months of the year for us. In a few days, we will be celebrating Greg's 28th birthday, our first year anniversary (Yeap! We married the day he turned 27), and my birthday.

Well, on October 2nd, my sister and her husband opened the second wedding gift of twelve, as it marked their second month of marriage! She came over today, and I stole borrowed the pictures from her phone.

For this month, Greg and I wanted to encourage them on doing something fall-ish. You know, like pumpkin carving!

The folder

The instructions. ;-)

I was talking to my sister today and told her we should do a double-pumpkin-carving-date. There is a really nice pumpkin patch/farm here in town that Greg and I have visited in the past few years. Hopefully we are able to go this year!

What are some things you love doing during this season?
Have a good night!

"I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers." - L.M. Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables)