Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Dirty Work

If I'm being honest, today I feel burdened by the uncertainties and unknowns of life. And if I'm being even more honest, I feel the weight of others' sufferings that I'm aware of. I believe that God has placed me in a season of uneasiness. Not because He wants to see me burdened or suffering, but because He wants to bring my faults and sins to the surface and have me grow closer to Him - how merciful is He? During this time, I would say that He has given me the strength to follow Him during this storm - to depend on Him, find my joy and strength in Him, and be encouraged by who He says He is. But man, it's exhausting and today, all I want is peace and rest.

I said before that I was also burdened by others' sufferings. There is a lot of hurt occurring to a lot of people I know and love... it seems as though I am not alone in my season of uneasiness. As I have been listening to the different struggles and decisions that have been made, in some ways I am blown away by how faithful His children are being - absolutely blown away. But in others, my heart hurts when all I see is...well, quite frankly, stubbornness. I have recently heard that in times of need and hurt, you can do two things: hear what you want to hear or hear the truth. Hearing the truth is a lot harder and the rode to recovery is at times draining beyond belief, but in the end, the truth always provides and brings an unmeasurable amount of peace and joy. Hearing what you want to hear won't live up to what the lie says it will bring and in the end just becomes another idol you must battle with. So why don't we so called Christians, run to Christ and allow Him to change our hearts when we know that's what we need to do?

I am the first to admit that I constantly struggle with pride - I, like the rest of us, love my happiness, needs...basically, I love myself - I would even say I think I'm great. But I would be a fool to not admit that  there are things in my life that I need to fix. I hate the way I react to certain situations and people and I hate some of my worst characteristics. It's hard to face reality, but the reality is that I desperately need Jesus no matter what the circumstance because He is the only One that will ever be enough.

So to those who join me in being in a difficult season of life, I'm praying that we run to Christ, allow Him to change our hearts, and that we may be receptive to doing the dirty work.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Mind Racing

This upcoming Friday will be my last day of student teaching. I can't seem to think of anything else. Where did the time go?? 

With this bitter-sweet realization, it's hit me that I need to get a job. College is almost over and that means I am about to enter into the "real world". So, here are my goals: 

1. Finish my last week of student teaching with a bang. 
2. Don't trip during graduation. 
3. Find job. 
4. While waiting for interviews/job offers, enjoy my free time and try not to worry. 
5. Enjoy my summer! (I have a feeling this summer is going to be one for the books.)
6. If I don't get a job by the school year, find rest in the Lord and settle for substituting. 

Cheers to finishing! 


I thought I would also share with you my current obsession: "I Wont Give Up" by Jason Mraz from his new cd Love Is a Four Letter Word. Yes, some of you might say that the only reason why I like this song is because it fits a certain situation of mine (ha), and I would say that you are correct BUT it's also a beautiful song. Oh, and did I mention I'm going to see Jason Mraz in August with my wonderful friend Raychel?? Woot! 

I'm also reading Matt Chandler's new book The Explicit Gospel and my mind is blown away every time I pick it up. I would recommend this to anyone - believers, nonbelievers, believers who aren't living a Christ centered life, and believers who are. Great truth. 

Also, here are my favorite pictures from the weekend just for grins: 

My clothes are actually large for someone. ;)

Just some brother-sister bonding. 

The Houdek's dog, Daisy. Love. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Family Galore

This weekend was full of family, parties, food, donkeys, chickens, lady bug cupcakes, and everything in between. I love family weekends. :)

I didn't plan on doing anything new this weekend because I knew it would be packed with family, but I found myself doing many, unexpected new things. Let's take a look:

The night before Lucy's big birthday party, Elena, Alex, Mom, and I went over to Mike and Marisa's to help decorate and frost cupcakes. I have never decorated cupcakes so elaborately. It was fun, but man did my hand hurt after attempting to make 50 cupcakes look like lady bugs!

This was Elena's mistake, but we laughed about it for a good while. It was by far my favorite cupcake. 

We all helped until 11 that night for our lovely Lucy... and don't worry, Alex is just sniffing glue in the background - the usual. :) 

The party was a hit! Bounce houses, children, food, and a rather large tutu on a small child. What more could you ask for? 

Before Lucy's party, Elena, Mom, Alex, Papi, Cameron, and I traveled to Anna, Texas to visit our sweet Aunt Yeya on her birthday. We not only fed donkeys but also got to pet Vanessa's horses and chickens. Cameron was very excited to say the least...

Cameron and Alex feeding the donkeys. Cute, cute. :)

Petting chickens. Now, I have never pet a chicken before so this was actually exciting for me. 

The gang, minus Mom. 

Today, Mom, Papi, Alex, and Elena came to The Village. After I served I actually sat down with my family at church...something that never happens. Since Mom and Papi go to Stonebriar, Alex and Elena to their church in SA, and the rest of the siblings to Watermark, it was really nice to sit in church with my family since it rarely happens. During the sermon, I was reminded how blessed I am to have the family I have been given. The love that we have for one another is something that is rare to find in days where divorce, abuse, neglect and other unfortunate tragedies are common. I consider myself blessed! 

Great family, great weekend. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Hunting for more than eggs

This week has been crazy. With tornado sirens going off, observations, and getting sick I am amazed I'm able to write this post. Let's get started with this week's adventures:

On Tuesday, I had the lovely privilege of being a part of a real tornado drill. Being in a bathroom full of first graders is interesting to say the least. I will say this, when you have first graders crying and wanting their parents, the best thing to do is quietly pray for everyone and play the game Telephone (it gets everyone distracted and quiet). Thankfully, nothing hit us and we were all safe and sound but going through that type of situation reminded me that life is so unpredictable. Thank goodness I have a God who is the complete opposite.

I had Friday off and enjoyed hanging out with my friends Chelsea and Angela. We went to see Titanic in 3D and it was legit. It was a lot of fun seeing them and wearing those 3D glasses for 3 hours straight... hint: sarcasm.

Saturday, I enjoyed the lovely weather by having a Chick-fil-A picnic with my two wonderful friends Natalie and Raychel at SMU. Sadly, I don't have a picture of our adventure but it was so much fun to have good conversations, card tricks, and just some good old fashioned hang out time. Love them.

I also got to see Cameron and Alyssa later that day and of course was reminded how much I loved being an aunt.
He's too cool. 

I was also super impressed with his writing and drawing skills, so of course being the teacher that I am, I had to show him off. 
A lefty, eh? 

I just came back from Mike and Marisa's where we had our Easter bash. It was loads of fun and it was great to see family and watch the little ones hunt for eggs. 

Ha! I love this picture for so many reasons. I look overly excited and Cam looks disgusted. 

Lucy didn't get the whole egg hunting thing - she just stuck with one egg and was completely content with that. :) 


I really love this picture. Fantastic!

Cam: "My candy, my candy!"

I challenged myself this week to be on the lookout for God's blessings in my every day routines. I was amazed at how often God blesses and gifts me with encouragement, love, and with repeated messages. This week He continued to remind me that He is working in all things and there is nothing that He cannot do. And as I write this on Easter day, isn't that the point of the cross? 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Only Through Peace

This week went by really quickly. Student teaching is moving at a rapid pace and the fact that my college years are almost over is beginning to take root. With everything that this new phase in life brings, I can't imagine finding the strength or perseverance without my Jesus. This week I decided to stop trying to figure out my life and find the blessings He has given me in my every days. This is what I found:

Mom was gone all week visiting Elena in SA and I didn't realize how much I missed her until she came home. Throughout the years, Mom and I have become extremely close. She is someone who I look up to, respect, and feel overwhelmingly blessed to call her as my mother. Spending time with her after a week of not being able to, was very much welcomed. 

Katherine and I went to high school together, were in the same sorority at UNT, and were roommates for 2 years. I was lucky enough to see her while she was in town this weekend. It hit me that our friendship has developed and grown because of Christ. We have helped each other grow in our individual faiths, have prayed for each other, have been each other's accountability partners... I even had the privilege of baptizing her. With all of this to say, it's amazing who God places in your life. I love her and her willingness to take a pre-graudation picture for my mom. :) 

"When I appeared to My disciples after the resurrection, it was Peace that I communicated first of all. I knew this was their deepest need: to calm their fears and clear their minds. I also speak Peace to you, for I know your anxious thoughts." - Jesus Calling, Sarah Young
One of the things I have learned through my quiet times this week is to let things go. Like I said before, I've stopped trying to figure out things and have allowed God to rule in my heart. In return, He has given me hope, joy, peace, and discernment. I couldn't ask for more. 

One last thing... 
As you all know, I have been given an interesting and testing season of life. I praise God for it because He has given me a time to run to Him and trust who He says He is. Within this time and through the pain, one of my prayers has been to bring people in my life who I can share this experience with in order to help their hurting hearts. I don't care who it is, I just want to go through this for someone. God answered this prayer. Today, I will be meeting with a friend who reached out to me after a heartache. God is good and faithful. 

May you stop trying to figure things out on your own and let God rule in your heart. He won't disappoint.