Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Love Stories + Lessons

I wanted to share a God-written love story with you all. I'm not married yet, so this won't be about me. It's about a couple who has inspired and taught me so much—my parents! They met when they were kids, as their two families were both new Christians and they would fellowship from time to time. My mom was friends with some of my dad's sisters (he has 6 sisters!) and saw him as a friend. However, she admired his godly qualities and obedience to his parents from a young age. They got to know each other in group settings and were pretty good friends. My dad told me that he secretly admired my mom too, but was scared he didn't have a chance with her. When he was 16 years old, he left from Mexico to the USA to start working. My mom's hopes were almost her mind she thought, "surely he'll find someone over there!" I'm not sure how much time passed, but God used one of my aunts to encourage my dad to write my mom a post card. (Thank you, tia Mela-love you!) 

And guess what—she wrote back! Thus began a 3-year correspondence of letters from Mexico to the US. In all the time they courted, they only talked on the phone three times and saw each other ONCE in Mexico. Imagine that!!!

  There are many more details to their story, but I'll keep it short. ;) Fast forward through time...they have now been happily married for 23 years. 

They have a beautiful, God-centered marriage, and their love for one another has grown. They're by no means perfect, but I've learned so much from their example and words of wisdom. 

Here are FIVE things I've learned from my parents' marriage:

  1. Keep God first, pray for each other, and live out biblical manhood + womanhood. My father is the leader, protector, & provider. My mother is his helpmeet, she lovingly submits, and takes care of the home. They both submit to God. 
  2. Humility is key. Whenever one of them unintentionally hurts the other or has a misunderstanding, they quickly resolve it! 
  3. Be loyal + respectful. Something my mom has told me time and time again is to never make fun of your spouse. They're trusting you with their flaws, their strengths and their weaknesses. You're the person that knows them best, so to publicly humiliate or lightly joke about something they struggle with can cause their trust to be broken. You're on the same team—support each other always and stay loyal. 
  4. Stay sweet. Just because you're not dating/courting anymore doesn't mean you can't surprise them. Sometimes my mom hides little love notes in my dad's lunch, writes on the peel of his fruit (works best with bananas), or in between his folded clothes in luggage when he travels. 
    She asks him what he wants to eat and surprises him with his favorite meal or dessert. Sometimes my dad will give her compliments in front of us kids, take out the trash for her, help with the dishes, or send an encouraging scripture, or sweet text. They're so cute! 
  5. Be selfless and giving. Give more than you take. Put the needs of the other person before your own. Don't just say that you love them--show it! ❤️

Well there you go, FIVE little things I've learned watching my parents' marriage. A lot of these principles also apply to the way we treat others. I get to practice humility and forgiving quickly with my siblings, to not make fun of them or point out their flaws, to surprise them with little notes of encouragement, not talk bad about each other, to support and love one another no matter what. It's good to practice now and be prepared to selflessly love another human being in the future! The way you treat your family will later transfer over to the way you treat your spouse. God bless you all, may His love and strength be with you! 

Learning little by little,


What's something you've learned from your parents (or from your own marriage if you're married)? Comment down below! 

Friday, December 29, 2017

Lovely Friendship / Guest Post / English


"...a threefold cord is not quickly broken." (Eccl 4:12)
Meditating on this text and applying it in what is a FRIENDSHIP, we find that a three-fold cord is not easily undone; each one of us is a fold and we need the help of other folds to make a good cord.
Currently we are located in Purépero, Michoacán, Mex. And by the grace of God, He has allowed us to walk together. We are very different people (tall, short, brown or fair skin), something in the physical we have in common are our lovely curls, but not only in the physical do we identify ourselves, also in the spiritual we can see ourselves reflected, in some ways, we identify ourselves and in others we do not; God made us different but also made us equal, we know each other and sometimes we do not know each other; This is how God has allowed us to walk in this friendship. The Lord has helped us to know and understand that we need each other and in that need, to recognize every virtue that exists between us.
Friendship is very important and you have to be very careful-- there are friendships that bring us, in a unique and special way, to be in that intimate relationship with God; just as there is another type of "friendship" that does not benefit at all. It may be that a friendship hurts and gives advice that is not honoring to God first and then the family or brothers of the congregation, that friendship is wrong! We need friendships of blessing and not of curse.
If your friends are Christian and are in the same mind "
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in UNITY!" (Psalm 133), it’s important to keep them alive, you know why? Because God likes a pure friendship, without jealousy or strife or vainglory. Our enemy (the devil) does not like that the daughters of God keep us together, because it is very difficult that "three-fold cord" break, and what better to be united with God, because God also had friends "... Abraham believed God and was called FRIEND OF GOD" (James 2:23)
God our Lord gives us the example we need, the enemy does not like that there is a fellowship between us.
On one occasion, the devil put in us doubts, disinterest, arrogance, and even jealousy- those were very difficult days for us and so we stayed that way for several days until the time came when God had mercy and broke those chains that the devil placed, we had stopped talking and striving. And so we have definitely gone through many uncomfortable moments, but thank God that He takes away that bitterness that begins to grow in our hearts, because it really affects and not only our friendship but even the relationship with God. There is an ingredient that our human condition does not like, and that ingredient that we use so that our friendship does not break is HUMILITY, that is why it is important to be well bound with that cord of LOVE and HUMILITY. Our adversary, do what he may, will not be able to break it.

1.- PRAYER. "
Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving" (Colossians 4: 2)
2.- HUMILITY. "With all humility and meekness, with patience enduring one another in love" (Ephesians 4:2)
3. BROTHERLY LOVE. "Let brotherly love continue" (Hebrews 13:1)
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! (Psalm 133)
He that covereth a transgression seeketh love...." (Proverbs 17: 9)
6.-GRATITUDE. "Give thanks in everything ..." (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
7.-LAUGHTER (A LOT OF LAUGHTER). "Even your mouth will swell with laughter ..." (Job 8:21), "Strength and honor are her clothing; and in the last day she will laugh "(Proverbs 31:25)," Rejoice evermore "(1 Thessalonians 5:16)

This way, we can be a blessing and help our friends with their burdens and problems. There are situations that we do not want to talk about with anyone, but deep in our hearts, we want someone to ask us if we are okay. First we must remember and be aware that God is listening to us (because God is also our friend) and God puts the right people in our walks who do us good.
God, in His Holy Word took time and space to make mention of this treasure, and it is best to take care of it and always strengthen it with His Divine help. Remember that pure friendships bring you closer to God and God blesses those friendships, so take care of them. If the enemy makes it difficult, with the help of God it is easy; If you have humble friends, do not let someone come and destroy her.
Hoping that this writing will be a blessing for your life and your friendships- always seek the counsel of God. May this LOVELY FRIENDSHIP be clean before the presence of God.
God bless you.
-Lucero, Cinthia and Betsi.

Encantadora Amistad/ Guest Post / Español

“… y cordón de tres dobleces, no fácil se rompe” (Ec. 4:12)
Meditando en este texto y aplicándolo en lo que es una AMISTAD, nos encontramos que un cordón de tres no fácil se deshace, cada una de nosotras es un doblez y necesitamos la ayuda de otros dobleces para hacer un buen cordón.
Actualmente nosotras radicamos en Purépero, Michoacán, Mex. Y por la gracia de Dios nos ha concedido caminar juntas, somos distintas personas (Altas, chaparras, morenas o piel clara), algo en lo físico que tenemos en común son nuestros adorables rizos, pero no solo en lo físico nos identificamos, también en lo espiritual nos podemos ver reflejadas, en algunas nos identificamos y en otras no; Dios nos hizo diferentes pero también nos hizo iguales, nos conocemos y en ocasiones nos desconocemos; Así es como Dios ha permitido que caminemos en esta amistad, el Señor nos ha ayudado a saber y entender que nos necesitamos y en esa necesidad reconocer cada virtud que hay entre nosotras.
La amistad es muy importante y se tiene que tener mucho cuidado, existen relaciones de amistad que nos allegan en una forma única y especial a estar en esa relación intima con Dios, al igual existe otro tipo de “amistad” que no benefician en nada, puede ser que esa amistad lastima y da consejos que no son para honrar primeramente a Dios y después a la familia o hermanos de la congregación, ¡esa amistad es errónea! Se tiene que corregir con amistades de bendición y no de maldición.
Si tus amistades son cristianas y están en el mismo sentir “Mirad cuán bueno y cuán delicioso es habitar los hermanos igualmente en UNO” (Salmo 133), es de continuo mantenerlas con vida, ¿Sabes por qué? Porque a Dios le agrada una amistad limpia, sin celos ni contiendas o vanaglorias, a nuestro enemigo (el diablo) no le gusta que las hijas de Dios nos mantengamos unidas, porque siendo así es muy difícil que ese “cordón de tres dobleces” se rompa, y que mejor estar unidas con Dios, pues Dios también tuvo amigos “…Abraham creyó a Dios y fue llamado AMIGO DE DIOS” (Santiago 2:23)
Dios nuestro Señor nos da ejemplo y nos necesitamos, al enemigo no le agrada que exista un compañerismo entre nosotras.
En una ocasión, el diablo puso en nosotras dudas, desinterés, soberbia, y aun celos, fueron días muy difíciles para nosotras y así estuvimos por varios días hasta que llegó el momento en que Dios tuvo misericordia y rompió esas cadenas que el diablo colocó, pues nos dejamos de hablar y procurar. Y así hemos pasado por muchos momentos muy incómodos, pero gracias a Dios que nos quita eso malo que empieza a crecer en nuestro corazón, porque realmente afecta y no solo nuestra amistad sino aun la relación con Dios. Existe un ingrediente que a nuestra condición humana no le gusta, y ese ingrediente que usamos para que nuestra amistad no se rompa es la HUMILLACIÓN, por eso es importante estar bien sujetas con ese cordón de AMOR  y HUMILDAD, nuestro adversario haga lo que haga no lo podrá romper.

1.- ORACIÓN. “Perseverad en oración, velando en ella con hacimiento de gracias” (Colosenses 4:2)
2.- HUMILDAD. “Con toda humildad y mansedumbre, con paciencia soportando los unos a los otros en amor” (Efesios 4:2)
3.-AMOR FRATENAL. “Permanezca el amor fraternal” (Hebreos 13:1)
4.-CONVIVENCIA. “Mirad cuán bueno y cuán delicioso es habitar los hermanos igualmente en uno…” (Salmo 133)
5.-PERDÓN. “El que cubre la prevaricación, busca amistad…” (Proverbios 17:9)
6.-GRATITUD. “Dad gracias en todo…” (1 Tesalonicenses 5:18)
7.-RISAS (MUCHAS RISAS). “Aun henchirá tu boca de risa…” (Job 8:21), “Fortaleza y honor son su vestidura; y en el día postrero reirá” (Proverbios 31:25), “Estad siempre gozosos” (1 Tesalonicenses 5:16)

Así podremos ser de bendición y ayudar a nuestras amigas con sus cargas y problemas; hay situaciones que no tenemos ganas de hablar con nadie, pero en lo más profundo de nuestro corazón anhelamos que alguien nos pregunte si estamos bien, primero hay que recordar y estar consientes que Dios nos escucha (porque Dios también es nuestro amigo) y Dios pone a esas personas adecuadas que nos hacen bien.
Dios en su Santa Palabra tomó un tiempo y un espacio para hacer mención de este tesoro, y es mejor cuidarla y siempre fortalecerla con la ayuda Divina. Recuerda que las amistades limpias te allegan a Dios y Dios bendice esa amistad, así que cuídala. Si el enemigo hace que sea difícil, con la ayuda de Dios es fácil; Si cuentas con amigas humildes, no permitas que alguien venga y la destruya.
Esperando que este escrito sea de bendición para tu vida y tus amistades, siempre busca el consejo de Dios y que esa ENCANTADORA AMISTAD sea limpia delante de la presencia de Dios.
Dios te bendiga.
-Lucero, Cinthia y Betsi.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

What Does a Godly Girl Look Like?

Hello friends! I just found a draft of a blog post I never posted. Here it is:

So I recently found one of my old journals. From 2013. As I was going through it, I found many delightful nuggets of wisdom hidden throughout the pages. I used that journal for church notes, morning devotionals, recipes, thoughts, anything! I found a couple of pages that I had written when I was 14 years old. I was making a list describing a Godly girl. I read it almost 3 years later, and was surprised to see some of the things I had written. I also took it as a chance to ask God to search my life and ask myself whether I've grown (as a woman of God) over the past 3 years.
I'd encourage you to do the same!

Here's the 4-page-list I wrote:

a Godly girl...
  •  is a woman of prayer -Esther 4:15-16; Luke 2:36-38; Acts 16:13-14
  • carries herself with dignity -Proverbs 31:25
  • is discreet -Titus 2:5
  • chaste (pure) -Titus 2:5
  • helps out at home with anything she can -Ecclesiastes 9:10
  • loves her siblings -1 John 4:20
  • only has to be told once (obedient) -Ephesians 6:1
  • has a servant's heart -Matthew 20:28
  • doesn't jest -Ephesians 5:4
  • strong in God's Word -Ephesians 6:17
  • asks her parents for their guidance/wisdom -Proverbs 1:8-9
  • doesn't gossip/slander -Proverbs 20:19
  • says only words of kindness & wisdom -Proverbs 31:26
  • is grateful for what she has 
  • kind/tenderhearted to EVERYONE -Ephesians 4:32
  • is humble and thinks of others better than herself -Philippians 2:3
  • forgives easily/quickly/genuinely
  • isn't envious of what other people have 
  • counts her blessings instead of complaining about what she DOESN"T have
  • doesn't take part in rumors
  • trusts in God wholeheartedly Prov. 3:5
  • doesn't waste time
  • always busy with the things of God (things that will be of benefit not only to her, but to others)
  • Humble James 4:10
  • is wise about her entertainment choices
  • uses social media wisely & for the honor and glory of God
  • understands/accepts the will of God Prov. 3:6
  • filled with the Spirit
  • joyful in EVERY circumstance
  • doesn't do things grudgingly & complaining or murmuring Phil. 2:14
  • dresses modestly
  • does her absolute best in everything and leaves the results up to God
  • is like a rare & precious ruby among young women Prov. 31:10
  • inspires others
  • fears the Lord 
  • realizes that her inward appearance is more important than her outward appearance (hair, makeup, outfit, shoes, etc.) 1 Peter 3:3-5
  • isn't always trying to buy new things: is content with what she has Phil. 4:11
  • deals wisely with her finances (saves more than she spends, gives her offering & tithes, only buys things that are absolutely NECESSARY)
  • honest, but not rude, tactful
  • respectful
  • not slothful/lazy 
  • does not procastinate (I need to work on this one! *Hahaha oh my word! It took me 2 years to actually post this blog article. I DEFINITELY need to work on this one!!!!* Pray for me girls. 
  • willingly does things for others without expecting anything in return
  • shares her God with those around her
  • does NOT follow her heart because she realizes it is deceitfully wicked
  • encourages others -Ephesians 4:29
  • asks for prayers humbly
  • worships God freely
  • she has no evil intentions
  • doesn't speak of others in a way that will bring them down James 4:11
  • realizes she can do NOTHING without God's help 
  • gives God ALL the glory [100%]
  • rises early to get a head-start on her day
  • considers others better than herself with sincerity
  • not afraid of failure -Phil 3:14
  • fasts with right attitude
  • prays for others 
  • puts others' needs before her own Phil. 2:4
  • content when her parents' answer is "no" 
  • doesn't give attitude/does not answer back rudely to anyone
  • diligent
  • sets right priorities
  • organized
  •  patient
  • doesn't always state what she thinks or what her opinion is
  • talks more than she listens
  • listens more than she talks James 1:19
  • uses all her talents for God
  • chooses God-fearing friends wisely, asks them to keep her accountable
  • Mentors those younger than her (Titus 2: 3-5)
  • grows daily and allows the Lord to mold and shape her character
  • Asks Him for strength! 
So I know that's a lot to take in. WOAH. I still have a hard time believing that 14-year old me wrote that list. This is by no means meant to be an exhaustive set of rules. It's just observations I made about the godly women around me at the time. It's been almost 5 years since I wrote that, and trust me when I say this... I by no means claim to have it all together. Oh how I wish I did! But that kind of perfection won't be achieved on this side of heaven. :) Serve God out of love and gratitude, with all your heart, and allow Him to transform your life. Remember! It's all about the grace-full process, day by day! Let's keep sowing to the Spirit! Galatians 6:7-9 Love you all,

Why We're Never Satisfied (apart from Christ!):

Contentment. This word can cause a variety of different responses in just one group of people. It's something that has been on my heart and mind a lot lately. 

Isn't it so easy to place our happiness on things, people and events? Isn't it so easy to tell ourselves, maybe even without realizing it, that we'll be happy just as soon as we have something or have someone? 
We think it's easier to be joyful when we have what we want and our circumstances are good. 
"I'll be happy once this season passes." Once this trial is over. 
Once I have this job. Once I graduate. Once I get a relationship. Until I'm married. Not until I have kids will I be truly happy. Once I make more money. Once I buy this or that. Once my home looks better. Once it gets warmer. Once it gets more fresh. ENOUGH! Sorry, didn't mean to yell at you in caps lock or seem aggressive, but c'mon. It's like trying to chase the wind. 

All those things are good gifts, but they are not meant to completely satisfy our souls. It's like we all have this God-sized hole that only He can fill. Trying to satisfy ourselves with "whatever's next" is an endless pursuit. It's like trying to fill an ocean with drops of water. When what we really need is for God to flood us with His being and fill us till we overflow. The things of this world will always leave us hungry if we are not satisfied in Christ. 

I once read a quote that said...
As a rule, man's a fool
When it's hot, he want it cool
When it's cool, he wants it hot
Always wanting what it's not

It was spring, but it was summer I wanted,
The warm days, and the great outdoors.
It was summer, but it was fall I wanted,
The colorful leaves, and the cool, dry air.
It was fall, but it was winter I wanted,
The beautiful snow, and the joy of the holiday season.
It was winter, but it was spring I wanted,
The warmth and the blossoming of nature.
I was a child, but it was adulthood I wanted,
The freedom and respect.
I was 20, but it was 30 I wanted,
To be mature, and sophisticated.
I was middle-aged, but it was 20 I wanted,
The youth and the free spirit.
I was retired, but it was middle-age I wanted,
The presence of mind without limitations.
My life was over, and I never got what I wanted.

What if...WHAT IF we were satisfied with where God has us at this PRESENT moment? What if we were satisfied with the way He made us and with the things He has given us? I just know His peace would flow so freely in a heart that is not full of discontentment. 

Hebrews 13:5

Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

I interviewed one of my friends about contentment in singleness. Her answers were of encouragement to me and I know they'll be to you as well. 
*this is not the exact conversation word for word, it's just a summary. 

Me: "What would you say has helped you be content in this time of singleness?"

Her: Definitely busying myself in serving God. But also... you know, we all want to have a companion, have a family of our own and have a home of our own. But something I asked myself recently is "what if there is no other season?" Would I be content serving God as a single? I don't want to see this as a "season" to just get over with and move on...

Philippians 4:11
Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

May our Lord Jesus help us to be truly content. Delight in Him, let Him be your sole heart's satisfaction. ❤️ 

PS. If you'd like to start being more content, but don't know where to begin...let me tell you the secret...start by counting your blessings. Be grateful for what you have and thank  God for all He has done, what He's doing, and what's He will do!

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 

Learning to be content,