Monday, April 27, 2009

A Legacy

Another phone call came yesterday morning from my dad saying that my grandfather had passed away. I was at IHOP with my mom whom I had just picked up from the airport. I knew my gandfather would not last long without my gandmother, but I didn't think it would be this soon. I'm really sad to see him go from this world, but I cling to the fact that he really lived here. His life was not in vain. I'm so thankful that I can truly celebrate his life today.

My grandfather was an incredible man of God. He loved the Lord with all his heart, with all his mind and with all his soul. He lived his life for HIM. My grandfather was a pastor of many Methodist Churches in Argentina throughout his life. He was such an influential pastor that the Methodist Church in Argentina asked him to be a bishop for the country (in Argentina they only have one bishop in the Methodist Church unlike the U.S. who have several regional bishops). My grandfather turned it down because he didn't want to be in an office shuffling papers. He wanted to be with his people. He also served in prison ministry. My mom told me that a man who was in prison came to her and shared about his coming to faith because of my grandfather. He was the perfect example of the hands and feet of Jesus. He was on his knees before the Lord daily. Abuelo Tito had astonishing faith. He was a man full of love. He loved Jesus Christ, he loved his wife of 59 years, he loved his children, his grandchildren, his family and the people.

Last night 200+ people packed a little church in Buenos Aires, Argentina to share how much my grandfather impacted their lives. The service had lasted 2 hours when they had to cut people off from sharing. More people wanted to share, but it was getting late. The church was so full that some people were standing throughout the entire ceremony. This packed house shows how much of an influence mi Abuelito Tito had on the people of Buenos Aires. I wish I was there. However, I have a good idea of the kind of impact he had on the people their because it was equivalent to the amount of impact he had on my life, if not more. He is one of the major reasons for where I am in my faith today. If it were not for mi abuelo I would probably not know HIM. I'm so thankful that he showed my dad the way to be rooted in truth. I pray that I will be a woman of God that will lead my family to Christ as mi abuelo did. I'm thankful that he is in no more pain and that he is with our God and with mi abuela.

Thank you, abuelo Tito, for the legacy you left for me and my family. I owe it all to you. May I leave the same kind of legacy to my family, my friends and any person that I come in contact with.

I love hearing the song by Mercy Me-I Can Only Imagine, because I can only imagine what he did when he saw Jesus. It brings me joy knowing that he is with JC now, a little jealous even.

Also, the song Legacy by Nicole Nordeman is exactly how my gandfather lived.

How will they remember me?
Did I choose to love? Did I point to You enough
To make a mark on things?
I want to leave an offering
A child of mercy and grace who
blessed your name unapologetically
And leave that kind of legacy...Just want to hear instead, "Well Done" good and faithful one...

I know that God has said to mi abuelito Tito, "Well done good and faithful one."
I pray that you would live life on purpose. Live for HIM and leave a legacy!

Te quiero Abuelo Tito! Gracias por tu ejemplo. Gracias por tu amor. Gracias por vivir como Jesu Cristo. Nos vemos en el cielo. Por siempre tu nieta, Paulita

Thursday, April 23, 2009

In Loving Memory

This morning I received a phone call from my dad saying that my grandmother (Abuela Oma) passed away. I'm super sad, but joy comes when I think of her wonderful life with us.

My grandmother was such an incredible woman of God. She stood by my grandfather throughout his several years of pastoral ministry in Argentina. She loved and cared for my dad and his siblings. My grandparents did the best they could to bring their children into a God filled loving home. She was a beautiful woman inside and out. She had such a beautiful singing voice. I would always love to hear her sing a special prayer before each meal... "La mesa esta servida ya gracias buen Dios que pan nos da gracias a Dios." The other song she sang was "Por estoy bienes o Senor te damos gracias hoy..." I especially loved hearing her sing the hymns at church.

The memories I cherish most of my grandmother were when she would come visit it us from Argentina and we would sit outside on the patio on a hot summer day and drink. Well, she would drink matte (famous Argentina tea) and I of course would drink juice with a few sips of her matte. While we sat outside we would play a game called "Veo Veo." The game as we know it is Eye Spy. I loved playing the game with her. We would also go for walks around the block and talk (al rededor de la mansana). Another fun memory I have of her and my grandfather is that we would always make "Capuchon" (a stew with squash, carrots, potatoes, corn, chicken...). After the entire family, Dad, Mom, Chris, Bryan, Shawn, Abuelo and Abuela, would finish we would all sit around and listen to stories about my dad's childhood and some stories about me and Chris. The time spent talking after dinner is called "sobre mesa." We would talk and laugh for so long that we would eventually be hungry again for some hot tea and dessert. So, then we would sit, laugh and talk a little longer. I miss those days so much!

My grandparents celebrated their 59 year Wedding Anniversary yesterday. One special story I remember my Abuelo Tito (my grandfather) telling me was how he knew that my grandmother was the one to marry. He told me that he was interested in one of her friends until one day when they had a church picnic. They had many games organized for the youth. One of the games was a relay race with an egg and spoon. You know the one where you have to travel a certain distance holding the spoon with an egg and trying not to let the egg drop? Well, they were playing and my grandmother was running with it to win and she saw that her friend fell so she went back to help her up and didn't care that she was going to loose the race. She just wanted to help her friend. My grandfather told me that he knew that something was different about this girl. He didn't really think much more about it until that night when he says that God gave him a dream about my grandmother and he just knew that she was the one.

I love remembering this story because it reminds me of my grandmothers sweet gentle and loving spirit. It also reminds me that God has a purpose for all things. I know that I will see her again on the other side of glory absent from pain and suffering. Praise you Father for such sweet memories!

Te quiero Abuela Oma! Tu querida nieta, Paula

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Happy Birthday Becky!

Becky is my best friend. She turned 27 this past Tuesday. I have known Bec since we were 3 years old. We have been friends for about 24 years...isn't that crazy!?! 
It is definitely a friendship I treasure and will always.

Here are the top 27 things I love about knowing Becky (Smith) Kiser

1. Her incredible passion for the LORD!
2. Her enthusiasm for life
3. Her desire to inspire and teach women to grow in their walk with the Lord
4. Her many hair colors throughout our life 
5. Her spontaneity
6. Her ability to convince me to do anything 
7. The road trip back home from Dallas to Houston ;)
8. The farm days-boom boom!
9. The many many memories in the red room 
10. Movie nights from our Pollywood video and Becbuster's collection
11. A rainy Saturday morning in the red room- hint hint Mr. Incredible
12. Plans to own our own Women's World-we even made a contract with Pawpaw
13. Her love of sweet tea
14. Her love for New Kids On The Block (this picture shows how perfect we are together-the sublte crazy-ME and the obvious crazy-Becky of course)

15. Her incredible shopping skills
16. Her great fashion sense 
17. Her magnificent hair styling skills-Bec would always sacrifice her fun Sunday afternoons before MYF to straighten my hair with a real iron (this was before flat iron days). She would always start strong and then get tired and bored...there were a couple of times when she actually drop the iron on my head :)
18. Her honesty and desire to be authentic
19. Trelis Spa days :)
20. The movie Beaches
21. Her desire to hold out for God's best 
22. A great listener-many crazy nights where I would put her to sleep with my wonderful stories
23. Her fountain of wisdom
24. Her little shimmy dance move
25. Her unbelievable writing skills
26. The best event coordinator ever
27. A great visionary and a huge encourager

I have been incredibly blessed to know Becky. I'm so excited for the next 24 years. Happy Birthday Becky Janette Smith Kiser!!!

This song is for you: 

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Belated Birthday Chris Kiser!

I know it's a little late but...Happy Birthday Chris Kiser!

I have been truly blessed by knowing you. Here are just a few of the many things I love about you, my friend:
I love seeing how you love my best friend.
I love spending time with y'all and capturing a glimpse of what life could one day be like.
I love watching your pursuit of God.
I love how you took me in as your best friend without questions asked.
You lead your family with wisdom. 
Your passion for justice and truth is contagious.
You pursue God with such fervor.
You have taught me that godly men like you are not a figment of my imagination. 
You have truly inspired me to hold out for an amazing man of God. 
Becky definitely has a great man and is truly blessed to have you as her husband. 

I'm so thankful for you and your friendship. Thanks for being such an amazing man that lives for Christ. Love you, friend!