Friday, November 30, 2012

Two hundred moments

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Today is Little Gosh's post #200! I am so happy I listened to God's prompt about this, and the fruits I've been reaping from it have been wonderful. Having an outlet to vent and to digest things has truly helped me be a better person, and I just love all the support and comments I get. Thank you for that!

To celebrate, here are some of my favorite posts:

My favorite Five Minute Friday: Wide

The most accessed post: Project Simplify's Craft room reveal

My favorite 31 days post: On love

The post that changed the direction of this blog: Well, hello there...

Enjoy! And thank you for sticking around!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Resolutions schmolutions

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As we approach the last month of the year, I figured it was time to stop. Smell the flowers. And do some analyzing: how has 2012 been so far? If it has been good, you still have four weeks to make it better.And if it wasn't, you have four weeks to start turning things around.

This has been my first year blogging. And in this sense, blogging has really helped me. You see, I am one of those people who tend to forget New Year's resolutions by mid January. Kid you not. But when you blog, it's all here. I could claim I forgot it, but all I have to do is search. No excuses.

I came up with my list at the end of February. That's when I finally sat down and took it seriously enough to make a list of things I wanted to change. To improve. 

I checked it in May because I tend to get all excited with new stuff and then simply forget it after a while. It was a good thing I did, because I was totally slacking in some of them.

I checked it again in July. It was officially the middle of the year, and it sounded like the right thing to do. Yay, meticulous, organized me.

And then? I never thought about it again. Not once. Oh well...

So today I am taking some time to ponder on it a last time. You see, I am moving on. I've had wonderful and scary things coming up in my mind about what I need to work on for 2013. Or as of today. Why wait for a January 1st anyway?

I won't go through my 2012 list with you guys. That would be boring for you and maybe too much information from me. But I leave you with the thought- how have you been doing with your resolutions this year?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

This Momentary Marriage Book review

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This past week I just finished reading a book that had a tremendous impact in my life: John Piper's This Momentary Marriage. 

I know it may sound odd, but I didn't really know what marriage was about. I had a wordly view that it was about living together, having babies, sharing a double income. Lately, this topic has been flooding my life. We talked about during a couple's night. I found this wonderful book by John Piper for free. Our church is preparing for a couple's retreat. I've been reading stuff about marriage literally everywhere. 

This book covers pretty much all basic topics in a discussion about marriage. Love. Sex. Patience. Forgiveness. Leadership. Submission. Faith. Divorce.

It would be foolish of me to try to improve on John Piper's words, or attempt to sound as if my 2 1/2 year old marriage has taught me great lessons. There are many heartaches, joys and lessons Andre and I have not yet been through.

Nothing the book talks about is new. It's all there, folks. Right in your bible. But the manner in which John weaves stories, combines cultural beliefs to scripture, and talks about Jesus, it's overwhelming. Especially the Jesus part. I had no idea marriage was so much about Jesus. 

There is a part on singleness as well, which makes the book perfect for single people and those about to get married. There are lots of questions people should ask before saying 'I do', and the truth is that not a lot of us do ask these hard questions. 

For all you kindle users, I urge you to download it for free. For the paperback lovers, it's totally worth the price you'll pay for it.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Dressed to impress

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This is what I wore for Thanksgiving:

Horrible Iphone picture, I know.
That's my mom and I making 'Puff-a-bellies'
(aka Yorkshire Puddings) for our Thanksgiving feast.

Say what? A What I wore post is so out of character here. I know. It is. So hear me out.
I've always considered myself the ugly duckling of the family (and social circles) when it comes to putting oneself together. I don't own any high heels. I don't really know how to put on fancy makeup. I don't feel comfortable in short skirts. My wardrobe consist of Old Navy, Target and Walmart, and could be mistaken for an 18 year old's closet. 

In my mind, I am up against skinny, glamorous friends and family members who have perfect hair-dos and flawless looking styling that costs more than half my wardrobe and involves way much more time than I am willing to spend in front of the mirror. The result is they look better put together for a barbecue than I do for a wedding. 

Now that I am married, I know why I am this way. I am perfect for my husband. He is all about comfort, and each time I dress up a bit better I can see he feels awkward. He usually decides to change into something nicer when that happens. You may think great, you'll dress up better and he'll dress up better, and you'll be a stylish couple someday. But that's not how things work. That's not me, and that's not him.

So after the third try for a Thanksgiving outfit, I decided to ask myself what would Andre like me to wear? And I immediately knew the answer: my Green Bay Packers shirt, which was a present from him and he comments on every single time I wear it. 

Instantly, I recalled several different conversations with some girl friends. One who mentioned she dressed up to impress other men, so her husband would look good somehow. One who admitted to dressing up to compete with the other women in the room. One who proudly stated that her trademark shoes were so often worn because her husband hated them. Thinking about all of this made me quite sad.

As a wife, I believe I need to ask myself: whose attention do I want to draw with my clothes? Who do I want to dress to impress? What and who am I wearing this for? And as a Christian wife, I believe there is only one answer: I dress to impress, to please and to seduce my husband, and only my husband, for the glory of God. 

(And thank the Lord he loves to see me in comfy jeans and t-shirts more than he does in short dresses and high heels)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Weekend links

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I cannot tell y'all how much I love having internet at home. I am not a big fan of plopping myself in front of a computer screen at home, especially because I spend most of my day in front of one at work. I do, however, love the fact I can go through my bloglovin' roll every night and read some awesomeness that is out there.

Source - I loved her Service advent calendar!

Saved sister wrote about Eve, and I must tell you, it changed the way I look at her. No more of that oh, you know I'd have known better stuff going through my mind!

Although I went back to eating meat sporadically lately, I really appreciate simple Bite's post on welcoming vegetarians to the holiday table. I know what it's like to be left with all sorts of side dishes, and although it sounds ok, it gets old after a couple of dinner dates. 

Edie over @ Life in Grace wrote about poverty in a week of abundance. I was nodding along as I read the whole thing. Can I get an Amen, sisters?

Joshua M. Hood wrote a letter to stay-at-home moms. Even though I am not (yet) a stay at home mom, I loved it. Thanks for doing that, Joshua! I agree 100% and that is the main reason why I know I won't be able to give anything but my all to motherhood.

David Mathis wrote about The True Story of Thanksgiving over @ Desiring God. His points are wonderful! It's a long post, but a very good one!

Have a blessed weekend, filled with turkey leftovers!


Friday, November 23, 2012

Five Minute Friday: Thank You

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Today we are joining Lisa-Jo Baker (am I the only one who still referred to her as The Gypsy Mama?) for her Five Minute Friday. Here is what she has to say about it:

This is where a brave and beautiful bunch gather every week to find out what comes out when we all spend five minutes writing on the same topic and then sharing ‘em over here.

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.

3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..
OK, are you ready? Give me your best five minutes on: THANK YOU

Words cannot begin to express, and five minutes are certainly not enough to whip up all the thankfulness I have for you. You are the bravest woman I know. You love unconditionally. You cheer unconditionally. You give your all.

Over 30 years ago you made the bold choice to put your own dreams aside to immerse yourself with reusable diapers and home made baby formula. You breast fed. You potty trained. You taught us to eat our vegetables and say please. You turned the dining room table into a fort every time we had a sleepover. You cooked meals from scratch and gave us the best birthday parties we could afford, which usually meant doing everything yourself.

And you still do it. You still practice hospitality, even if nowadays it often happens at your kids houses. You are the silent giver, the humble server, the dream instigator. 

I will never be able to repay you. And I know that is not the point. What I can do is pass it forward, and that is my promise to you. I will be the best mother I can possibly be because you are the best mom you can be, and that I could ever ask for.

Obrigada mãe. I love you. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Gorgeous, isn't it? The original file is free for download @ The Pretty Bee

My wish for everyone is for a blessed Thanksgiving. 
May you always focus on your blessings instead of your shortcomings. 
And may you always remember that our greatest blessing is Jesus Christ!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

On reflections

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Last Saturday I intended to add this post to my weekend links. I forgot to do it before it was published, and felt a bit sad because I knew it was something I wanted to share. Actually, I wanted to share it so much, that I kept milling about it, so I decided to write a post on it!

First of all, if you haven't come across Jaime's blog I suggest you do. I found her through the 31 days series as she was creative and cool enough to write on How to seduce your guy in 31 days. I was quite afraid it would be all gross and Fifty shades of greyish, but she kept it clean and sweet, and I loved her for that. 

Anyway, back to reflections...

In my household, we've been discussing them a lot lately. That's probably why her post struck me as it did. And before I go any further, I ask you an honest question: what or who do YOU reflect on your life? Your words, your actions, your feelings, your beliefs...what do they show others?

For me, that is the hardest thing about being a Christian. I don't get to say Oh, I dunno for an answer. The answer is quite clear: We are to reflect God on earth.

Yes, we were made in His image. But it doesn't stop there. There are literaly tons of scripture that talk about what we are doing on earth and why we exist, but they all come down to the same answer: for the glory of God. 

We are born for the glory of God. We go to school and learn everything we do for the glory of God. We get married, or not, for the glory of God. We prosper, or we struggle, for the glory of God. We have kids and raise them for the glory of God. That is the true circle of life.

So how do we know if we are trully doing these things for the glory of God? I think the answer is in 2 Corinthians 3:18:

'And we all who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit'

I think that is the beauty on those little WWJD bracelets, or anything else for that matter, that poses the question: who are you reflecting right now? Because the truth is, it's not easy to reflect Jesus when trouble, conflict and doubt come. It is a daily lesson we need to learn, a daily cross we need to carry.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Baby steps - Part 5

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Sorry for breaking the groove on story telling yesterday, but I think it was worth it. This is how my Baby steps story ends. Click here to read it from the beginning.

We took the dog to the vet. I named him Tiago, which means James in Portuguese, because that was one of the books we had just looked at during Bible Study. Tiago seemed fine and genuinely thankful as the vet clipped his long hair and got gross bugs out of him. She gave him medicine and flea stuff. The next day the lady who bathes and grooms dogs worked, so he was scheduled for some pampering time and loved it. He had an X-ray of his leg and some blood work done due to the amount of ticks he had, and all results were fine. 

The vet was so impressed with the story that she charged us a fraction of what it should have cost. His stay at the vet overnight alone was a mere US$8 plus bringing his own food, when it should have been US$20. I'm pretty sure that won't even cover his water, light and care cost. God is good.  

After his results were ready, we took him home, which was a big mistake. One dog, Jack, loved him. Delta and Indy? Not so much. Tiago has a bite on his neck to prove Indy's low regards for him, so he is up for adoption. The vet took him again and we have been visiting him and walking him. Once all the medication he is taking is done, we'll give him his shots and get him neutered, hopefully between today and tomorrow. Then he'll be able to go to a lovely home.

And by the way, my hand is fine. I am in the process of taking 5 anti-rabies shots (three down, two to go!), got medication for the pain, and will survive to rescue more dogs (being wiser, from now on). In a way, I kind of hope that this bite leaves a scar. A scar to remind me of what happens when I ignore my husband. What happens when I try to take matters into my own hands. What happens when I try to rush. And how although I may mess it all up, God's grace makes sure I end well.

Monday, November 19, 2012

On living vicariously through other people

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I know I am in the middle of telling a story, and I am sorry to say that today you won't know how it ends. However, this interruption is worth it.

Today is one of my cousin's birthday. Happy birthday Natalie! May God bless you today and always!

I don't usually post happy birthdays on the blog, otherwise the blog would end up devoted to that, and forgotten family members would certainly get upset. However, I do want to talk a little bit about her, about me, about us today.

The first thing you need to understand is that Natalie is the baby in the family. And yet she is already in college. I not only remember her as a baby, I remember much of live before her. Which makes me sad and old-feeling.

I wasn't much part of Natalie's life, because when she was seven I went to college in the States, and I only came back when she was sixteen. Then, at eighteen, it was her turn to leave the nest. So although we are family and we love each other, in many aspects, we are still strangers.

My life in Georgia was amazing, and I have fond memories. Therefore, I cannot help but live vicariously through her. I want her to enjoy her free classes. I wish she will have good roommates. I sympathize with her for having to put up with college food. I push her to get involved in student organizations. 

But I've learned that living vicariously through someone is unhealthy. It makes us get frustrated at the things we wish they'd do. It makes us forget about what we are going through. It makes us constantly live looking at our neighbor's grass. And it definitely makes us see them through our distorted glasses, never allowing us to truly know each other. 

So today my birthday present to Natalie is a promise. I promise to stop asking her how is college going. I promise to never again insist that she join a group. I promise to stop giving un-requested advice. 

Within a little over a month, the two of us, along with her sister, mother, my mom and husband will make a life-long family dream come true. We are going to Disney World together. I have waited for that since I was a little girl, and since Natalie was a baby. And I promise to take those short nine days and enjoy as much from her as I can, so I can learn what kind of woman she is. What she enjoys. What makes her laugh. What annoys her. And specially, what kind of shopping she is into ;)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Weekend links

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We have (yet another) long weekend. That's something I love about Brazil, the long weekend that allow for rest, stillness and the assurance of God's providence. 

If you haven't yet, read my Baby steps miniseries. It started on Tuesday, and I still have somethings to say.

Tiny Twig published a guest post about making lists. I am totally guilty about this and totally needed someone to tell it like it is and make me realize how totally unhealthy this is. Like, totally. And by the way, if you like the post, check out the author's blog. 

Pete Wilson wrote a short but great post for the microwave generation in all of us. I am guilty of trying this!

Angie Smith is teaching her nine year old about God's love. What a wonderful lesson!

And I read about Tope Koleoso, which brought me goose bumps. Go read the incredible story of this bold man of God!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Baby steps - Part 4

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I've been telling a story. It starts with part one. This is part four. 

While I drove and heard the man, Wanderley, tell his friends about Jesus, I could only think of one thing, Matthew 5:41.

When someone asks you to go a mile, go two.

As soon as we got to the outskirts of town, Wanderley told me I could drop them off. I asked them exactly where were they going, and he seemed embarrassed. They needed to cross town, through the slums. That's ok, I said. They thanked me. Thank Jesus was my reply.

As I drove back, I could only think about the heat, and how many hours it would have taken them to walk that much. God is good.

When I got back to my husband, the dog looked half-dead. Andre was gently tugging him towards the car, but he could barely move. He looked like he was going to faint in the middle of the road.

That's when I went into overdrive and did something stupid. I stopped listening. To me, my husband was clearly afraid and not able to get the dog into the car. Nevermind he was telling me to be careful as the dog had already bitten the other guy, I was busy getting things done.

I reached down to gently scoop the dog into my arms. I just knew God wouldn't allow anything to happen. I heard his squeal of pain and felt his teeth in my hand. As he ran towards the car, afraid of me, all I could see was the blood. And all I could think of was: rabies. 

Andre drove while I prayed. The pain was incredible. The blood wouldn't stop flowing. I was sketching out scenarios thinking who dies of rabies nowadays?

It's amazing how one set back can take our eyes from the Lord. As I looked to the back seat expecting to see a foaming, wild looking dog, I saw gentleness. I saw delight in the wind that was blowing his ears and refreshing his tongue. Asides the fact that he was filthy, there was nothing wrong about him. He looked like the kind of dog people would pay to have. Like the kind of dog who allows your kids to tug his ears and sit on top. Like the kind of dogs I have at home. That's when I heard God's assurance that I would be ok.

(to be continued on Monday)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Baby steps - Part 3

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This week I've been telling a story, this is part three. Click here to read part one, and here to read part two. 

Fast forward a couple of days, it's Sunday. My husband and I left Bible school talking about what we learned that day. I asked if it would be ok for us to have leftovers, he wanted to go to the grocery store to get some stuff to grill.

We have been conservative about spending lately, so we got a few things, but we did splurge on some sausages and ice cream. As we drove back home, the heat was really something. Our non-air-conditioned car felt stifling. We thanked God for having a car. 

Later I found out my husband quietly asked for God to allow him to do a good deed in His name. As we turned a corner, we saw a man in the middle of the road, slowing cars down. In front of him was a dog who seemed quite disoriented.

I was shocked to see that clearly something was wrong, and yet no one was stopping. As I drove by him, I asked if he wanted help. I was actually surprised when he said yes. We drove until a safe spot and pulled over, and my husband went to help.

Within 30 seconds of waiting in the car, three men came up to me. Their van had broken down and they needed a ride to the nearest town. The opposite way. I must have looked dumb-struck as I processed they were actually asking me to turn around to take them the other way. And without even thinking about it, I said yes.

My husband stayed with the man and the dog, who turns out had been hit by a car and was dehydrated. I watched as three strange men pilled into my car, thinking about how God works in us in baby steps.

One of them was a Christian, who kept telling his friends only God would take care of His children like that. All I had to do was agree. 

(to be continued)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Baby steps - Part 2

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Yesterday I began telling a story. Click here to read the first part.

As I pulled home, I saw two women. They are cleaning ladies who work at some neighbor's houses, I know one of them pretty well. They waited at the door step, hoping that the rain would slow down. 

You know what I want you to do. Put them first.

I told them to get into the car, I'd drive them home. They live quite close, but in the pouring rain, the walk would be horrible. They started arguing with me that I was home already, why would I want to leave. I told them to just come.

As we drove, I could feel the tension. Three people had been shot in the city and the schools had sent kids home early. One of their nephews had left the city hours ago, but wasn't home yet. As they tried to hold themselves together, I began to talk.

I talked about how God is supreme, and nothing happens without His knowledge or consent. How He uses everything for His glory. How He will not allow for pain without a reason. How we may be in the dark, but He is not, so there is no need to fret. How He can comfort our hearts beyond understanding.

I knew that was a gamble. The could literally tell me to go to hell for trying telling them not to worry. And yet, at that moment, all was calm. They agreed. They praised God. They knew He would not forsake them. And I praised and thanked God for giving me an ability I knew was not mine. 

(to be continued)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Baby steps - Part 1

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I am always amazed at how God works in us in baby steps. When facing the new and scary, we are afraid He'll be like a mamma bird who throws their babies of the nest. I have come to know, however, that He gently nudges me as I make myself willing.

Last week while driving home in the pouring rain, I felt God prompting me to take an alternative route, which would mean driving through a dirt road. My first reaction was of sorrow, I felt God wanted me to get stuck in the muddy, rainy road. 

I don't want you to get stuck. I want you to offer someone a ride.

Say what? I actually made a promise to my husband I wouldn't give rides to strangers. I live in Brazil, literally in the middle of nowhere, in one of those neighborhoods where you know no one will hear you scream. Ok God, just make it be a woman, please. I don't really want a strange man in my car.

Trust me. 

As I kept driving I saw someone, a man. At least he had an umbrella. But as I got closer, I saw the umbrella did little to keep him dry. His pants, his bag, his back were all drenched. And to make matters worse, each car that drove by splashed him. To top it off, he was a little old man, walking quite slowly. My heart broke. 

As I pulled up he could not believe his luck. We drove as he told me that he is a night guard, and talked about his job. It turns out that he works just by the dirt road, which means that 99% of the cars that drove in that main road would not turn, and yet, I did not have to go out of my way.

He got out of my car and blessed me. I blessed him. After dropping him off, I thanked God for using me. But I wanted more. I asked God to give me the boldness, to put words in my mouth. To enable me to talk to strangers about Christ.

(to be continued)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Thank you. And by the way, please forgive me.

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Remember I mentioned a new challenge for this month? I am sticking to it, not because I want to, but because I think I need to. I am one of those people who can really hurt others, not intentionally, but with my tone of voice, rolling of eyes, inconsiderable mean streak. I really don't mean to do it, but more often than not, I do. 

When I read Elizabeth's original post, I pretty much outlined all the people I needed to thank. But then the week happened, and God worked in me. And I realized I cannot plan that much ahead.

The first person I thanked was a colleague, and let me tell you, it was not easy. Mainly, because things happened, stuff got said and feelings were hurt. Both hers and mine. I really don't feel confortable adding details to this and exposing it online, but what matters is that although I did not feel I had done anything wrong, God showed me he could use this for His glory. So I did it. And although I did not hear a thank you and I'm sorry too, it's ok. I did it to please Jesus, not other people, and I know I achieved my goal.

The second person I thanked and asked for forgiveness was my husband. Y'all have no idea of what an amazing Godly man he is. Just when I think I know him well, he blows me away once again. 

What about you? Have you thanked anyone lately?

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Weekend Links

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May your weekend be filled with hours of rest, doing nothing and being still. And laughter. Lots of laughter. 

Here is what I recommend this week:

Annie wrote over at (in)courage about how God needs to speak louder than Nutella sometimes. As a sweet tooth, I can relate. 

Wendy has a seven year old prayer coming true. God is good!

Emily Freeman wrote just what I needed to read.

And last, but certainly not least, I finally took some time to watch Sara's story. When you do, I hope you watch it too! The video is extremely touching, and it reminded me of why I started this blog in the first place. 

As you can probably tell, I am suggesting about half of my usual number of weekend links. That's how busy my week has been, and how much God has prompted for me to look for Him in His Word instead of other people's lately. Nothing wrong with reading blogs, I just need to keep in check how long I spend doing it!

God bless,


Friday, November 9, 2012

Five Minute Friday: Quiet

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Today we are joining Lisa-Jo Baker (am I the only one who still referred to her as The Gypsy Mama?) for her Five Minute Friday. Here is what she has to say about it:

This is where a brave and beautiful bunch gather every week to find out what comes out when we all spend five minutes writing on the same topic and then sharing ‘em over here.

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.

3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..
OK, are you ready? Give me your best five minutes on: QUIET

Why balloons, you ask? Anyone who's been hot air ballooning knows you need to be up and ready before the sun, as the temperature rises with the sun in the sky. So for me, balloons equal quiet mornings.

After being branded by my family as a sleepy head, and spending the first two decades of my life sleeping in until hunger actually woke me up, I know better. When I started working in schools I quickly learned that there is no sleeping in for teachers, and often you get to wake up before the sun rises. 

It took me a while, but eventually I learned the benefits of waking up even earlier than I have to. I slip out of bed while the first sun rays are coming out. All is quiet. All is still. 

I can move about in my own slow pace. Make tea. Grab my Bible. Grab a blanket. Sit. Be silent. 

I love my husband, but quiet is one of the last adjectives I'd pick for him. We complement each other that way. And when it is the crack of dawn, he has no interest in being up, so that is when I come and God works. In me. Through me. With me. 

Before my mind starts rushing about job problems. Before I can notice the pile of laundry. Before I have time to think that I need to lose weight or schedule a dentist appointment. When my mind is quiet. That's when I feel His comfort. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The eleventh hour

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Today all I want to share with you is a song that has been in my mind for a while. I've known it for a long time, but lately it's been taking a new meaning in my life:

Jars of Clay- The eleventh hour

Trace the shape of my heart
Till it becomes more familiar 
To your eyes

I've been lost without you
Cold without your love
It's taken days and nights
To make me realize

Rescue me from hanging on this line
I won't give up on giving you
The chance to blow my mind
Let the eleventh hour quickly
Pass me by
I'll find you when I think 
I'm out of time

Take the place of my heart
Till I become a stranger to my life
I've been down without you
Wrong without your love
In time will I be what 
You're thinking of

Monday, November 5, 2012

On burned fingers

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Every so often I get myself onto Martha mode. You know the feeling. Do, do, do, please, please, please, serve, serve, serve. Somehow I slip back into thinking that pleasing others is the Christian thing to do, and that doing something is what brings me closer to God.

I get into "the groove" and impress myself with the stamina I possess. I may clean my entire house, prepare a nice meal and iron clothes never stopping to assess whether I need a break. Just three more things and I am done. And then the three turn to eight, and then twelve.

Yesterday, with a sick husband at home, I got all Martha-like. I was on a roll, serving with a smile and loving it. Grocery store? Check. Scrubbing floors? Check. Cooking pasta? Check. Yet another glass of orange juice for the hubby? Check. 

All the while focusing on the next thing. Vacuuming while taking note of the shelves that need dusting. Dusting while considering what the next load of laundry will be. Loading the washer while thinking about what vegetables to serve for lunch.

In the midst of this whirlwind I did something so stupid. I reached for a skillet that was sitting on the stove, and as I held it, the handle burned my hand. It took me a whole five seconds of figuring out why was it hot since it's burner wasn't on. It was like a slow motion scene in a movie, when you know the reasonable thing to do is drop it, but you just keeping wondering why is this happening.

It turns out the skillet was touching the pasta pot, so the heat got transferred. It looked harmless, but touch proved otherwise, and was enough to keep my fingers in a bowl of iced water for a couple of hours after that. And maybe my lack of quick response proved that although I felt fine, I was reaching exhaustion. So a little burn was the way God made me stop and be still. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Weekend links

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I usually post weekend links on Saturday mornings. However, I feel I can get off the hook for two reasons: I just finished a 31 days series which wasn't a walk in the park, and also because today is a holiday in Brazil and I deserve a break!

We are spending the weekend with some cousins that could use a boost after losing a beloved family member, so we are aiming for an uplifting and stress-free three day weekend. In the mean time, here are my suggestions for weekend links:

Ruthy shared some joyous news last Friday. If you haven't seen Parker Penny yet, go fall in love with that cutie!

Elizabeth is starting a new challenge for November (which thankfully does not include posting every day- boy, am I beat!). Join us!

Looking for a good recipe? How about this seven-layer dip? Looks delicious!

This is quite controversial.... but Jennifer wrote a post about Halloween I really could relate to. I don't have kids yet, but I'll keep her arguments in mind when I do!

Oh, and sweetie Alesha's Etsy shop is now open. Look at all that gorgeous stuff!

Have a blessed weekend y'all!

Thursday, November 1, 2012


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"I don't see anything wrong." were the best words I've ever heard a doctor say.

On October 1st I had a routine check-up at my obgyn, in which she calmly finished examining my breast and quietly asked for an ultrasound to 'double check' a lump she found. I glazed over asking her if I should be worried and finishing the end of the consult. As I got in the car, the peace I felt overwhelmed me.

Whatever it is, let it be for Your glory.

When I casually mentioned it to my mum, her eyes teared up and she said it would be nothing. My reply was that if God wanted, it would be nothing. If He wanted, it would be something and I'd beat it. And if He wanted, it'd be something and it'd beat me.

Whatever it is, let it be for Your glory.

When I told my dad, he assured me that due to his current projects and some past experiences, he literally knows the who's who of doctors who deal with breast cancer, and all I needed to do was let him know to schedule a consult with the top doctors in the country.

Whatever it is, let it be for Your glory.

My doctor had asked for a specific specialist, who was only available on October 31st. I cannot help but see God's humor in making me wait for the entire month of October for a diagnosis.

Whatever it is, let it be for Your glory.

I kept my cool until about 15 minutes prior to my exam. My husband was there with me, because he is the best hubby in the world. Then, all of a sudden, something began to overwhelm my body. I felt heart palpitations, dizziness and a dry mouth.

 Whatever it is, let it be for Your glory.

No words had ever kept me so calm, for so long. Just before embarking on this journey I had read an excerpt from Joel Osteen talking about how we often crave delivering faith, but need to look forward to sustaining faith. I can tell you I experienced sustaining faith for a whole month, and now I can enjoy his deliverance. And they both feel extremely sweet. Praise God.