Tuesday, November 17, 2015

There is always something to be thankful for. 11.0

Two Harbors, Minnesota.
     It’s thankful-for-everything-season, and to be honest, I am not feeling really thankful. I mean, I am, it’s just really, really difficult.

      I don’t want to share about this yet, but Greg and I have been through some tough times in the last four (?) months. Greg has had to remind me of the character and goodness of our Lord over and over again.

     I was on Pinterest the other day and I saw a pin with a graphic that said, “And if not, He is still good”. Also, the lyrics from the song “Who You Are” by JJ Heller popped in my head – “I don’t know what you are doing, but I know who you are”. Did I believe that? Did I believe that He was still good? Did I believe in His character?

     Ugh. YES, LORD. I DO. I DO TRUST YOU.

     Well, I believe it’s time to end my un-thankful pity party. So, here goes something. 

1.  I am thankful for my husband. Seriously. God knew what He was doing when He gave us the gift of marriage. Greg has been holding up the fort for us. He is constantly pointing me to Christ.

2. For children. I work with children for most of the day, most days. Children are really a blessing. It’s an honor to take care of them (as a nurse) and to teach them (as a faith formation teacher).

3. My faith. I’ve been learning so much about Christianity (in general and also specific to Catholicism) lately. Tradition is awesome – and so difficult to understand. But that is another story.

4. My church! Remember that limbo stage Greg and I were in? We kept going from church to church, back and forth for a year and a half. I think we finally clicked in a community and found our home. The pastor/priest is awesome. Last Sunday, he talked and encouraged us to have personal relationships with Jesus. Wait, what? He said the PRWJ phrase. In a Catholic church! ;-) No, but really, he is on fire for Christ. And he is funny, too, which helps. ;-)

5.  My family. Family really is everything. Enough said. Also, not to brag, but I do have the best sister in the world. And she has the best sister in the world, too. ;-)

6. Traveling. We had the opportunity to travel “up north”, Minnesota, twice in like…a month. We celebrated our anniversary, did some of our favorite things (like hiking) and attended a wedding. It was a great get-away! I’ll be sharing pictures soon.

7.  A last, nice weekend before the snow and never-ending, gray days come. We went on a motorcycle ride. It was so fun (and so scary because I am a nurse, and well, I see stuff, you know?).

8.  Instagrammers. This one is kind of weird, but I do love Instagram and all the lovely posts from fellow Instagrammers (some of them, of course). Some of the posts are very uplifting. I also love looking through other people’s pictures, in general.

9.  My husband and I being able to take Christmas off to go visit my side of the family (God-willing)! I am very excited to see my family. Greg is excited about my Mom’s food.

      10.    Answered prayers…like that 100 dollar riding lawnmower we bought. Many thanks to my sister’s husband for finding it for us! We were about to invest in an over 1000 dollar one because we needed one, and then, bam, here comes a used one in very good shape. I've had many other answered prayers, of course, but this one was just awesome. 

I hope you are having a very nice week! He is good. He is so very good.
In everything, give thanks.

What are you thankful for?

Love,
Gabby

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Happy fall!

Hello everyone!

How has your October been? It's the most wonderful time of the year, isn't it? I really do love fall.

I wanted to share some pictures of our first fall at home. We received quite the surprise when our four front yard trees started turning four different colors (well, one just stayed green). So far, we have a green, red, yellow and an orange. It's fall heaven over here, I am telling y'all.





Do you have any plans/check list for this fall? 

I am hoping we can go to the apple orchard one of these days. It seems kind of silly because we do have an apple tree. However, it hasn't been pruned in years, so it doesn't produce very good apples. We are hoping to prune it this fall (or early spring) and hopefully by next fall we will have delicious apples! I also want to visit a nearby, small town and take pictures of all the beautiful trees in their fall "peak". Also, Greg and I will be celebrating his birthday, our anniversary and my birthday in a few weeks...so that's that. :-) We hope to get some hiking done before the frost! 

Anywho, now I am rambling. I hope you are having a great week! I'll try and do some more life updates this week. 

Life has been full. God is so good, and I am so thankful. 

And, like one girl we all know once said, "I am so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers." (L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables)

Gabby


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Catech-isms: Volume 1.

Hello everyone! As I told you in my last post, I started teaching 3rd grade faith formation (or the "catechism") at the church Greg and I attend. And let me tell you…it has been so fun and so interesting. I love it! Children are so honest and definitely ask/say whatever is in their minds. Let me share some bits of it.

(For privacy reasons, I will refer them as “A”, “B”, “C”, and so forth)

Lesson 1: Who is God? 

I had a poster board that said “God is…” in big letters. I asked each student to come forward and write whatever they thought God was. Some students wrote “loving”, “kind”, “fun”, “powerful”, etc.

One student decided to write “Our King”.

A: “If you say God made us in His image…does that mean I am a king, too?!?”

How do I even begin to explain this…

----------

A to B: “Why would you write that God is “God”? That is so silly!”
B: “Because He is!”

#thegreatIAM

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Lesson two: Creation. 

I bet you can imagine how this one went.

A: “When you say that God created the sky…do you mean the atmosphere?”
B: “So…how did God know where to place the sun so we wouldn’t melt?”
C: "In what day did God create dinosaurs?"

NO idea, Einsteins. 

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Me: "God made us stewards of His creation…Do you know what the word “steward” means?"
A: “ME! ME! ME! I know…Stuart is a guy!”

GOD HELP ME.

----------

Me: Reading Genesis 1. “Does anyone know how God made the woman?”
A: “From Adam’s ribs!”
B: “That’s kind of disgusting.”

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Me: Reading about the fall, the garden of Eden, heaven, hell and free will.
A: “When God lets us into the garden again…will He make us have no clothes on like Adam and Eve?!? Eww.” Insert disgusted face expression.

----------

Me: Saying the word “hell” (as in the place/state where we are eternally separated from God).
A: “Mrs. Gabby, you just said a swear word!”
Me: “No. Hell is not a swear word. I guess it depends how you use it.”
B: “She’s right! My mom put that word on Facebook.”

Okidokes.

----------


Well, there you have it. I am sure there will be more “Catech-isms” to come. Enjoy! :-)

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these. " Matthew 19:14

Love,
Gabby

Monday, September 14, 2015

I just can't keep Him to myself.

I clearly remember the first day of fifth grade Sunday school (held on Saturdays in my hometown). I was the only student in the fifth grade class. Where were the other students? Well, back in the day, Catholic children received their Confirmation in the third grade and their first Holy Communion in the fourth grade. After those grades, most students didn’t come back. Their initial faith formation was “over”.

That particular day, it was decided that I would assist the third grade teacher for the remainder of the year. That particular day, a tiny seed was planted in my heart.

From that day forward, I just couldn’t keep the Lord to myself.

Long story short, Jesus has recently nudged me about this over and over again. While these past few years have been of immense spiritual growth (for me), He has continued to push me, to press forward.

He wants me to share Him.

Jesus doesn’t just want me to share Him on my blog, or with the people I feel most comfortable with talking about Him, but with the most vulnerable of them, with the ones who don’t know Him that well, yet – children.  

Greg (my husband) and I were recently at church when a lady went up to the microphone during announcements. She started talking about intentional discipleship, about spreading the Gospel, and about how desperate she was for volunteer teachers for the Faith Formation program. I couldn’t help but smile and roll my eyes at Jesus (#truestory #sorryJesus). We had barely made it to church that morning, but He had already planned it all out. He knew I had to be there.

Well, by now you might have guessed it. As of this Wednesday (and every Wednesday after that), I am going to be in charge of twelve third graders in the Faith Formation program. And you know? I am so scared. Freaking out, to be exact. I mean, come on, God. I’ve never been a real teacher before. Am I really equipped for this? Scared as I am, I know that God is telling me to go, for He is with me, and that gives me peace.

Could you please pray for these twelve, little disciples-in-training and I? It is my greatest desire to make Jesus known to these children. Please pray that their little hearts and minds might be open to Him and His love. Please pray that a small seed is planted, so that when they grow older, they might bear witness to others of His love. Also pray for their families, for true faith formation starts in their homes. And lastly, could you please pray for me? Please pray that my own relationship with the Lord grows even more. That I might abide even more in Him and be led by Him in the classroom.

Thank you for reading through and for your prayers. Please let me know how I can pray for you!

Happy week!

For His glory,

Gabby

Monday, August 17, 2015

Girls weekend in Nisswa, Minnesota.

A few weekends ago, my sister-in-law invited me and two other girls (her friend and my other sister-in-law), to Nisswa, Minnesota, for a "girls weekend" (they also called it "mom's weekend", but I was the only one in the group who wasn't a mom). We stayed in a cabin at the beautiful Grand View Lodge.

Here are some pictures I took with my neglected camera. ;-)

First, some cabin decor.





Right outside our cabin.


More cabin decor.



Main lobby.




We saw quite a few weddings taking place down the stairs, with the view to the main cabin/lobby. Imagine the bride and groom walking down the "aisle" and the guests seated on the lawn area. So beautiful!






More cabins. I felt like I was at camp! ;-)


The next two pictures are c/o my sister-in-law. The lodge had a ton of [free] activities for the guests. We rode a banana boat and paddle boarded! It was so, so fun. Some older (think 60's) ladies rode the banana boat with us. It was hilarious. One lady mentioned we were them 40 years ago. ;-) Another lady pushed her friend off the banana boat!


And last, a picture of us four girls. 


Thank you for looking through the pictures! If you ever visit Minnesota, make sure to visit Nisswa. It is a gorgeous little town with a lot of cute shops and delicious scones (ask about these). Hopefully I am able to go back and stay at the lodge with Greg!

Love,
Gabby

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Ice-cream selfies and friendship.

Almost two weeks ago, my friend Ana and I decided to get together for a little catch up. I met her at her house and then walked over to an ice-cream shop. It was so good!




Ana, thank you for pointing me to Christ and for being my blogging-turned-real-life-friend! :-D

Love,
Gabby



Monday, August 3, 2015

Backyard party at our new casa.

Hello everyone!

I feel it has been a long time since I last blogged. I want to blame it on how busy life has been, but I won't. I have a lot to share, I don't even know where to start! But I guess I'll start from the beginning. :-)

A few weeks ago, Greg and I invited our family (and friends) to our new home! We had been wanting to have a get-together since we bought it. What better time to have one than when my Mom and brother came to visit us?

My Mom and sister, Diana, made delicious hamburgers. Delicious, I am telling you.



Greg was in charge of setting up the games...and table, and chairs. 






The three girls. We were so glad to have my Mom visit us!


My other sister (Greg's sister), L, and her little one, C.


We also invited Keith's parents (who've been so good to us) and Diana and Keith's Aunt and Uncle (who are like an Aunt/Uncle to us).


Mr. P (Keith's Dad) and Greg preparing our [very small] grill.


Sister-in-law, Sister-in-law, Aunt (Greg's), Mom, Father-in-law, and niece greeting her Grandpy.


Diana and M (nephew) playing horseshoe.


Bouquet of flowers made by Keith's Aunt D. 


B and A playing.


We love our Mom's. :-)


The girls modeling. ;-)


B.


Climbing a tree (thanks to Uncle Greggy).


Mom watching the game, little nephew getting into all the coolers, and the teenagers in my kitchen. ;-)


Playing volleyball. This game was a hit that evening! They (and a few other teenagers who later joined) played for hours. Everyone loved it, and I definitely loved seeing our backyard full.


Sword fighting with sticks. ;-)



And as with all good backyard parties, we ended the evening with a backyard bonfire and smores. 
And tons of mosquitoes.


Thank you for looking through the pictures! Family love was definitely overflowing that day. :-) 

Mi casa es su casa (my house is your house), so if you ever stop by Minnesota, please feel free to come visit!

What are you up to this summer?
I pray that you have a great week!

More to come!

Love,
Gabby