Joshua 24:15

...choose you this day whom ye will serve...but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." Joshua 24:15

Monday, December 31, 2012

Adios 2012

Yet another year come and gone. 

We started off this year with a heavy heart and great loss in our family. My grandfather passed January 3, 2012. I am thankful for the hope in Jesus Christ that I will one day see him again. (You can read my remembrance blog on his life here.) 

What followed in the months after his death have been a little surprising to me. I have been on a roller coaster of sorts this year. Many mini trials have tested my faith. I have been contemplating and praying about how much of the ride I should share in the coming year. I hope to follow up on this blog with some of those experiences.

My writing is not for venting, boasting, or searching for acceptance and/or understanding. I write because I am a writer, albeit, not the greatest! :) It is a SMALL gift from the Lord I embrace and choose to pursue. It is my creative outlet. I have other outlets as well, but nothing allows me the freedom to pour out my heart like writing. Lastly, I aim to please, honor and glorify my Savior first of all. I pray that anything that is said and posted on this site will be a blessing to someone else's heart.

I am ending this year on a high note! Though trials come and go (and some stay) I have always found my victory in my Savior! He has always been there for me. He always will! I can think of so many ways that God chose to bless me this year. So, as I look back on 2012 I am looking forward with my banner held high...Come what may, Christ is on my side!

Happy New Year and blessings for 2013 from our family to yours!

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Return of Homeschool Mom


Five years ago we started our adventure as a homeschool family. I have to admit...I wasn't exactly thrilled about it. Our decision came as a result of living in an area with very few, affordable, high standard of conduct and dress Christian schools. After much prayer and deliberation the verdict was in...we were taking the plunge into unchartered territory...homeschool. I tried to embrace it...really I did! I even got excited from time to time. But in the depths of my soul was unrest, doubt, fear, and exhaustion!

After three years we decided to bite the bullet and drive the 100 mile daily journey to school. We enrolled the girls in Christian school. And yes, you read that correctly, 100 miles every day! Fast forward two years later...our finances and wear and tear on the van have forced us to take a second look at our decision to send our children to school. We prayed...and prayed...and prayed some more...our friends prayed...and the leading of the Holy Spirit could no longer be ignored. In reality, we didn't WANT to ignore Him. We had asked for direction and we were excited that the answer was SO clear!

So here we are...again! Except, this time, we have peace in our hearts that this is EXACTLY where God wants us to be - on so many levels and for so many different reasons. And this time I TRULY am embracing it! I am very excited about my second chance. I am very thankful for a God of second chances!!! His mercy and grace always amazes me!

We all have work stations, but we seem to be more productive
when we're together at the kitchen table! 

Monday, March 26, 2012

With My Whole Heart

God mends my heart
My husband stole my heart
Izabella gave me a mother's heart
Sofia strengthens my heart
Ivana brings laughter to my heart
Andres melts my heart
Christ is the keeper of my heart



Thursday, March 22, 2012

Somtimes Things Aren't What They Seem to Be

I was thinking today while I was cleaning that sometimes things aren't what they seem to be.

For example, sometimes I walk in to the girls' room and it's picked up so it passes as 'clean'. But then if you look under the beds, in the drawers or in the closet...well, not so clean anymore. Sometimes, food 'looks' tasty or smells 'good'. But, then you bite into it and...well, not so good.

Sometimes people are that way. Some people put on a front like everything is OK. Nothing seems to bother them or affect them. But, inside they're hurting. Sometimes, people are really kind and your face. But as soon as you turn your back...eek! Watch out! Sometimes people seem distant or not so kind. Then, you get to know them and you realize that they are very kind, loving and loyal people.

The bottom line is that we never truly know a person. We really never know their inner thoughts, fears or insecurities. We might not even know their dreams and hopes. Like the saying goes... "Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle." (Plato?)

My challenge for today is to remember that nothing is ever what it appears to be. Good or bad...

I don't know why I thought this was a good picture for this post. It just seemed fitting...

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Heart Stopping Moment

Have you ever had one of those know the kind...

A while ago I wandered upstairs to take care of some small chores. Ivana was playing with her baby doll and didn't want to come with me. It was feeding time and her baby was in the middle of lunch. :) After I finished what I came to do I sat for a few minutes to finish a blog entry I had started some months ago (see previous post). After a while I didn't hear any sound coming from downstairs. As most moms, I headed downstairs, hamper in hand because every good mom ALWAYS has something to do on the way to do something else. I loaded the washer and started out to look for Ivana. I thought she had wandered into the basement to get a toy. I called out. No answer. I did a quick sweep of the downstairs and...nothing. Checked the doors. All locked. Headed upstairs. Nothing. The only room I didn't check was hers because the baby is asleep in there. So I headed downstairs again. Nothing. This time I went into the basement into all the corners. Nothing. By this time I was imagining her near the water heater passed out. Or in the garage helplessly caught in something. In my trek I must have passed the couch several times. So I was headed upstairs again...heart in my throat...she must have snuck into her room and fell asleep.

Well...she was asleep alright. As I was passing the couch to head upstairs AGAIN...there she was...

Clearly, it's nap time.

Set Your Affections

I have to admit, 2011 ended on something of a sour note. Without going into details, let's just say that when people do things with the intention to hurt...well, it usually does. Sadly, I let some incidents get to me and instead of pondering all the wonderful blessings of the year I ended up focusing on all the trials I had experienced through out the year.

In my sadness, I cried out to the Lord (sometime around 2am when I had insomnia)...

fast forward...

This post was started on January 1st. Some short days later I would get the call that my grandfather had passed. It is now MARCH 1st! WHERE oh! WHERE did the time go?!

It has been two months since this post was started. Approximately two months since I flew out to be with my family and bury my grandfather. Two months to and death. I'm sure there is a lot more I still need to learn, experience and be grateful for. The truth is that "life" really isn't that complicated. Live a life that is honoring to God. Period. BUT, we tend to get in the way. Our selfishness and inner desire to be first, to not be wronged, to come out on top, to have the most/best toys, to have the perfect family. Our pride gets in the way. It's conquers us, like a determined hiker conquers Mt. Everest. It takes over our lives, like the mold on that sandwich you left in the fridge some...umm..weeks ago. Eww! And we forget the beauty of JUST LIVING. Of JUST LOVING. ACCEPTING. ENCOURAGING. LAUGHING. BUILDING BRIDGES. BUILDING MEMORIES. And most importantly, sharing the truth about a Christ who came to shed His blood, die on a cross, and RISE. He should be the one to conquer our hearts. He's the only one who can wipe away every earthly desire and put our hearts back together. And when we allow Him to do this He rebuilds our hearts inserting into the very core of it a desire for HIM!

This year I have set my affections on Christ. Already, I have failed. God has allowed some things into my life and I have not responded how He wanted me to. But, in the moments I have come to Him and asked for another chance...He has given it to me. I'm so glad I serve a LIVING God and Saviour. (can I just say... *phew*)

These pictures are a reminder to me... Life is like a vapor. La vida se va como el viento.

Monday, January 16, 2012

A Legacy

One Man's Heritage
Late Tuesday night, January 3rd I lost my grandfather, the patriarch of our family. I have avoided blogging about him because I'm not fully ready to get on the emotional roller coaster I know will begin. The longer I avoid writing and thinking about 'it' the longer I will spare myself the flood of emotions, tears and confusion that death causes me. I don't take death very well. I don't do funerals, memorials and burials very well. They cause me to contemplate life and death. I end up dissecting life and trying to figure out HOW we even exist. By the end, it all seems so weird and confusing. It drains me and haunts me for months. Alas, I know I have to deal with it. I have to deal with my emotions.  Not only do I have to deal with his passing, but also his life... his legacy.

My grandfather was very 'old school.' There are many aspects of his life that will remain a dark mystery to me, mainly, because that's the way I'd like to keep it. But these things I DO know about him...

My grandfather, Esteban Elizondo, was born to Spanish-Mexican parents from Basque country. From everything I have read and have been told, the Basque people are beautiful and warm people. Basque country itself is one of the most amazing places in Spain. Sadly, there is a lot of terrorism there also. The Basque people, as loving and warm as they are, are also hard and passionate about their beliefs. It is no surprise to me that my grandfather carried these traits in his blood! (The passion - NOT the terrorism!) He had a rough upbringing, of which I know very little.

He married my grandmother at or around the age of 20. They were married for 65 years!!! The marriage was hard and at times painful. But, neither ever gave up. My grandparents were traditional and believed that once you married you stayed married. (My grandmother is a wonderful example of what a Godly mother and wife should be!) My grandfather left behind 14 children (1 died during birth, 1 as an infant, 1 as an adult and several miscarriages) and many, many grandchildren (close to 100) and great grandchildren. He taught my dad dedication, respect, loyalty, love for family and to work hard. When my grandfather suffered his stroke almost a year and a half ago my father drove 12 hours every other, sometimes every, weekend. He would sleep while my mom drove, then care for his dad night and day while he was there. He almost never left his bedside. My dad respected his father. At times my dad would apologize for something my grandfather had said or done, but never once spoke a word against him. My dad was loyal and fulfilled his commitment as a son. I believe that my grandfather was proud of him and that in his final months, when words were no longer his to speak, he contemplated the love and loyalty my dad showed him. I'd like to believe that he was at peace with himself. I choose to believe that God gave him peace and the knowledge that his sins were forgiven. I am thankful that the next time I see my grandfather will be on a street of gold, with a new body, probably young and vibrant like he once was, like his children remember him.

Many of our family gathered to say a final good-bye to the man that was such a huge part of all of our lives. I heard people say things about him that were very sweet and touching. But, I was not prepared to hear my grandmother's final good-bye. Her words will stay with me forever. They have changed the way I view my marriage. The words she later prayed in the living room of the home they built together will remain in my heart as a pillar of my faith. My grandfather's legacy is a part of me - a part of all of us. Every family member will carry him wherever we go. His memories, his laughter, even his moments of anger, will stay with us. I am proud to be a part of this family, the Elizondos. We are all so different, yet we are bonded by the love of two people. I loved my grandfather, and I choose to remember the good times. I choose to live my life in a way that would make him proud, but most of all in a way that would honor and glorify God...the God he loved and found on his journey of life...the one True God, from whom true forgiveness and love and the peace that passes all understanding overflows.

July 16, 2009