Thursday, March 20, 2014

Special Memories

I found this today...

I miss my grandfather soooo very much! I wish he was here to meet Emil and my new family. If it wasn't for this incredible man of God, I wouldn't be where I am in my walk with the Lord today. Te quiero mucho, abuelo! Gracias por tu ejemplo y espero que podemos pasar a nuestros hijos el legado que nos pasaste.

Written July 2011:

Today I was able to go see my grandparent's grave. It was really difficult, but it was a great opportunity to have some closure. They passed away in April of 2009. I was not able to see them before they passed or even attend their funeral. Last time I spent time with them was when they came to the United States in 2000.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Rio de La Plata and More...

Hoy fuimos a visitar Rio de La Plata...sorry I'm starting to get use to speaking Spanish here and my first response is Spanish, even typying.

Take 2: Today we went to visit "Rio de La Plata, " a river here in Buenos Aires. Mi Tio Ale took the day off of work to drive us around. He took us to the most beautiful part of Buenos Aires. The streets were full of people, the shops were super fancy, the streets were paved with stones, the houses were ancient but built with such beauty, the trees limbs shaded the streets, the artisans filled the beautiful parks...the tour was trully bellisima. We ate at a coffee shop and shopped at the artisan's tents.

We came home and ate the best Argentinian pizza (made by a sweet old couple that are in there 90s) and mom's delicious soup. I'm afraid I will be returning to Houston with at least 10 lbs on me. Well maybe, Tia is telling me that we are going to go walking. Anyway, I will let the pictures do the talking this time... I'm sorry that pictures really don't do the beauty justice, but I guess it will have to do for now :)

Tia y yo

Rio de la Plata

Mom, Dad, y Tio Ale

Rio de la Plata

Sigue La Vaca (meat is a big deal here Argentina)

apartments in Rio de la Plata (near Martinez)

Jose Martin statue with a juggler on the street

Mom & Dad

Tio Ale y yo

Shopping Center near Martinez (wealthier part of Buenos Aires)

artisan tents

San Isidro Cathedral

orange tree

beautiful houses

work of art
(look closely at the message: solo Dios basta/Only God is enough)

Thursday, June 30, 2011

En la Bellisima Argentina

Today we slept in and ate some delicious breakfast with dulce de leche and tea. Mom, Dad and I left to el centro (Downtown Buenos Aires), while Tia y Tio were at work. We were planning on updating my passport. Because we didn't have a car we had to find a "taxi." Well my friends, it's not really a taxi... it's some guy from the neighborhood driving his personal vehicle with no seat belts, holes in the seats, windows that don't roll up all the way. Okay, so it doesn't sound all that bad, but when it's combined with Buenos Aires drivers and traffic, then we are talking about a fear of loosing your life. Driving here is a little different. Drivers don't drive within the lines they drive wherever they can fit. Stop signs are very rare and the traffic laws aren't as closely enforced here.

Well, we made it back to Tia's house safely. We ate una parrillada (more meat) and then took a nap. After our nap we sat around the kitchen table solving all the world's problems with our tea time. It's so nice to sit and enjoy conversation with my family. At this point, Tia was home enjoying the conversation with us. We decided to go to the grocery store at 9 pm to buy food for tomorrow. Tio Ale came home and we ate dinner and sobre mesa (sitting and chatting after dinner).

Later, Tio took me to feed the dogs next door that are located in the chapel courtyard. The dogs eat once a day only because mi Tio Ale feeds them. They are so excited to see him every night. Super cute dogs! I'll take a picture of them and post them soon.

Anyway, it's so funny to me how much I have slept and ate since I've been here. Soon enough we will begin our tour of the city. Let the adventures continue en la Bellisima Argentina...

awesome downtown graffiti

el rio

la Casa Rosada (similar to the U.S. White House)

Granaderos (Guards)

Bellisima Aregntina Architecture

Obelisco de Buenos Aires (similar to the Washington Momument)

mas rio

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Adventures in Argentina

It`s hard to believe that I´m typing this blog in my aunt`s house in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

I was born in La Plata, Argentina in 1981. I was given the opportunity on March 22, 2011 to buy a plane ticket to visit my family in Argentina. I haven´t visited Argentina in 28 years. Most of my family members I haven´t seen in 20 years. I`m so thankful that the Lord has given me patience to wait for this specific season. He is so faithful, even when we are unfaithful!

Today, I flew to Argentina with my mom and dad. It was a rocky start to say the least. We were all packed and on time when we were about 2 blocks from our house, when my mom asked me if I had my passport. I told her "no, you have it". She said, "NO!" We turned the car around to head back to the house to look for it. We ran around frantically searching for the missing passport, when it occured to me that my mom gave it to me when I was playing and showing off my new camera. I had placed it in my camera bag without even knowing. I was so upset, stressed out and anxious already, the passport situation really didn´t help. Good thing mom and dad scheduled 4 hours for us to get to the airport and through security.

We arrived at the airport with plenty of time and had no major problems. Mom gave me a "relaxing" pill for the flight and I slept the entire way. I woke up just to eat and then fell back asleep. Later, I woke up to find myself in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

My dad turned to me, while we were waiting at baggage claim,"Hey, look who is over there..Luis Scola." I couldn`t believe it. Luis Scola, a player of the Houston Rockets, was there welcoming me to Argentina. What a greeting! To make the arrival even better mi Tia Raquel, who I haven´t seen in 20 years picked us up at the airport. We are staying with her in Buenos Aires. We went home took una siesta and then went to a delicious restaurant to eat MEAT. The food here is so flavorful. The city is very eclectic. I`m looking forward to the many adventures that await me here in la bellisima Argentina. So far it´s off to a wonderful start!

Luis Scola and I

Mom and Dad in line at customs

the delicious restaurant

mi Tia Raquel y yo

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Wizard of Love

Summit (Houston's First Baptist Single Department) just had their annual retreat. They usually plan a late night show on Saturday filled with skits. This year the theme was Summit Night Live (mimicking Saturday Night Live). Our class did a skit that imitated Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan's What is love? (I'm not sure if this is the name of the skit, but the song sings, "What is love, baby don't hurt me no more..."). It was real fun to be a part of the class skit and a blast to watch other classes participate.

So, all the planning and acting for this year made me think of the skit I participated in 2008 at the Summit Retreat. It was called Wizard of Love. Check it out:

I look back at it now and it cracks me up, especially since I have the eHarmony background knowledge. I'm so thankful for my community...good times! :)

P.S. If they filmed our skit this year, I'll be delighted to share...stay tuned.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

I Will Wait For You

I know it's been a while since I have shared my thoughts with you, blog world, but the Lord has been doing a great work in me and I can't help but share it.

The following YouTube video explains my hearts desire perfectly.

Amen! I get goose-bumps when I hear this. I pray, ladies, that this would be a huge encouragement to you as it has been for me. There are some truths in this clip that may ring true. It sure has made an impact on me.

I feel so encouraged about this perspective. No more dating men who have the "first name Luke and last name Warm". I will know you are him because "when you speak your wisdom will remind me of Solomon's wisdom, your ability to lead will remind me of Moses, your faith will remind me of Abraham, your confidence in God's word will remind me of Daniel, your inspiration will remind me of Paul, your heart for God will remind me of David, your attention to detail will remind me of Noah, your integrity will remind me of Joseph, the ability to abandon your own will will remind me of the disciples, but your ability to love me selflessly and unconditionally will remind me of Christ. But I won't need to identify you with any special Matthew's or any special Mark's because His word will be tattered all over your heart."

I have been praying for a heart that is so vulnerable and open to the Lord's will. I feel for the first time in my entire life that no man can ever satisfy me. The Lord is my satisfaction. I know the right godly man for me will only complete what God has planned for my life, not complete me, but His will. I desire to go where God goes, stay where He stays, move where He moves...if this life I lose I will follow. I will serve Him as I wait. I will not worry as I wait because I serve the author of time and a God that gives good gifts to his children. He does not give a stone when we ask for bread nor does he give us a snake when we ask for fish (Luke 11:11). He is the giver of good gifts and gives them to whom he loves (Romans 8:38).

But as I wait, I pray you will find me with the "boldness of Esther, warm closeness of Ruth, with the hospitality of Lydia, a submission of Mary, engulfed in the tears of a praying Hannah, I will be the one drenched in Proverbs 31. Waiting for you!"

It is my heart's desire to find a man that is godly to serve with, to love, to witness with... but oh Father only if you see fit! If you call me to a life of singleness, then may I glorify you in it.

This is my heart's desire...I surrender! I will wait for you Lord more than the watchmen wait for the morning (Psalm 130:6). I WILL WAIT!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Don't Let the Bed Bugs Bite

Summer had finally arrived. I was super excited to start my summer vacation with a nice get away to Colorado Springs. My brother, Chris, and sister-in-law, Nikki, were moving to Colorado Springs and invited me to drive up with them. They encouraged me that it would be a great chance to get away and relax. Little did I know that I was far from a relaxing vacation.

Our adventure to Colorado Springs began on June 9th. We made an over night stop in Oklahoma. It was my first time to ever stay on an Air Force base. It was so nice! The hotel was an apartment. I had my own room. We woke up that morning ready to complete our 18 hour road trip to Colorado Springs. We made a pit stop before heading out to go caching. Caching is a world wide scavenger hunt. You use your IPhone to find them with a compass. We found one close to the Oklahoma Air Force base we stayed at. The cache was in a small little magnetic container. It was so cool! I was incredibly thrilled to see that I was well on my way to the fun and relaxing vacation that I desperately needed.

Caching in Oklahoma

We finally arrived in Colorado Springs later that night. Chris and Nikki placed some of their luggage in storage and then we drove to Denver. They were scheduled to check into Colorado Springs on June 11th, which meant we had 2 nights to spend in a hotel in Denver. Chris wanted to go watch the Rockies vs. the Astros baseball game the following night. After eating a good dinner at Olive Garden we drove to our hotel. The hotel they reserved looked much better online than in person. It was super sketch. We were all determined to find a new hotel. Little did we know that it would be difficult to find a decent affordable option. All the hotels were booked due to a convention in town. We were really tired of traveling at this point and just wanted to find a hotel to just sleep. So, Chris and Nikki decided to go with Motel 6. It wasn't that big of deal because all we were going to do was sleep there and find another hotel for the next night. Yeah, it wasn't that big of a we thought.

I woke up at 4:50 am itching...yes itching! I ran to the bathroom to see what it was and I had red bumps all over my upper thighs and stomach. I turned on all the lights and woke my brother and sister-in-law trying to look to see what was in the bed. I didn't see anything. We were all creeped out. We went to the front desk and showed them my bites and told them we wanted a refund and left the hotel. We were so tired that we crashed at our new hotel room. We woke up and did some research. It turns out that I was bit by bed bugs. We later come to find out that my brother got bit too. My sister-in-law was spared. The saying, "sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite" is a true statement.

Research says that they are nocturnal. They only bite you at night between the time of 2-5 am. They hide in the mattress. The bed bugs find a vein and begin to feast on your blood like a buffet. They suck for about 5 minutes and then they poop on you. Gross! We went to IHOP and wrote out a plan of attack. We called it- Operation Kill the Bed Bug Blood Suckers Piece of Craps.

We researched how to get rid of them. The bed bugs travel with you in your suitcase (they followed us to the new hotel and bit us some more). We read that we need to get rid of our luggage or burn it in the sun. We wanted to be on the safe side so we threw out our luggage. We bought new clothes (including under garments), towels, laundry detergent, Benadryl, Cortisone cream (for the itching), and trash bags at much for an affordable hotel room. We spent more money and time getting rid of them than paying for a decent hotel room.

We took all of our clothes out of our luggage and separated our clothes into delicates, whites and darks in the Target parking lot. We threw all of the garbage bags into the car and went to the laundry mat. We didn't want our clothes to shrink by washing in hot water and drying in high heat, so we decided just to dry our dry clothes in the highest heat for several cycles. We headed to the gym to sit in the dry sauna, showered and put on our new clothes. Research didn't say to sit in a sauna, but we wanted to do what we could to make sure we were rid of them. We bought bed bug spray and double sided tape to see if we were successful. Nikki counted and circled all of my bed bug bites and Chris'. I had 61 bites and Chris had 66. Before we went to sleep that night we surrounded our bed with double sided tape to see if we could catch the bed bugs. We knew how many bites we had and if any new bites appeared we weren't rid of them and we would have to take more drastic measures (at this point we were back in Colorado Springs on the Air Force base).

We had finally conquered the bed bugs! Now all we had to do was heal from the bites. Research says that it takes about 2 weeks to stop itching and then about a month to no longer see the bite marks. It's August and I still see a slight shadow from where they resided.

So, through all of this experience God spoke to me. Bed bugs are like sin in our life. We need to go to drastic measures to get rid of it. Not to respond in a lackadaisical manner and alter some things that cause us to stumble, but to get rid of it completely. Not to hold on to things because it is too painful to let go. I loved my luggage (a nice Nike bag I got for Christmas last year) and I really wanted to save it. I also was reluctant to loose my clothes to shrinkage, but we had to be extreme if we wanted to be rid of them. The bites are like what is left after sin has feasted on us. We are left itching, uncomfortable, and with scars. We must take medicine to get us through the itching and pain. The medicine to our soul is God's Word. We can't get through the sin without medicine. Sin causes inevitable wounds. The wounds will heal in time and with God's help (medicine). The scars are a good reminder of where we've been and what we should avoid in the future. I was eventually thankful that I experienced these bed bugs because God used this trial to shed some light.

After the first week of Bed Bug drama, I was able to enjoy my vacation. We went site seeing and truly experienced the Colorado beauty.

Rockies vs. Astros Game (Astros Won!)

Compassion International

Pikes Peak

USA Olympic Stadium

Praise the Lord for trials, for it is in them that we draw nearer to Him and are sanctified. Sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite...