Saturday, March 24, 2007

Reality and Dreams

My week was alright; I barely worked, had two days off. For some reason, I was depressed this week. I'm the type of person who will smile half-heartedly, do things sin ganas, just do it, because it's gotta be done. Slip into dark thoughts, just because I can...

Call it hormones, pressure from two people I love dearly in my life, boredom from not working, maybe disappointment because there is not a job opening in my field yet, desire to sleep, realization that I've gained weight and my clothes are getting snug around the waist. I had to seriously change my capri pants earlier and put on stretchable material, like what's going on? I felt better though when I talked to my good friend, Maria. She told me that I will lose the weight, because during the winter we usually are not that active, but during the summer, we move around more, so I should lose it. Yay! I did exercise with my new exercise ball, stretching and feeling my muscles ache, as if saying, about time you use me!

I did take one of my final tests required by the State for my certification; it was actually easy - praise God! I did get tense though and feel the anxiety; I torture myself with worry. I did get a new Ana Castillo book to read that I am already enjoying!

I did feel myself crying a lot... I try not to whine on here, confide in God, my friends, pour out in words. There for awhile, some of you know, I was real ecstatic about becoming Catholic, feeling like there is where I belong! God, I feel you right here, in my heart, a light is forming! A hunger and thirst was born for more knowledge of Catholicism. Not because Tony, el amor de mi vida, is Catholic!!

Why do people around me like mi familia think that? Think that I have changed myself for Tony, because he is a Mexican man who can control me and manipulate me. Why people gotta think that way? Put me down so much, that I start hitting this rock bottom point where I'm falling backwards and landing on cold hard stones that press on my back, then when I try to get up, I start stumbling on rocks and find myself falling again. So, I turn to prayer, the Psalms & Proverbs - my favorite books in the Bible. And, I light candles.. Episodes of confusion occur, and I don't even know how to express it myself, and Tony gets mad, hurt, upset, (I can hear it so clearly in his cold tone of voice) because he thinks I'm not being honest. No, that's not it. Please Tony, just hold me and let me cry, and tell me over and over how much you love me, and it's going to get better, because God is on our side, right?

I just don't know how praising God and growing closer to Him, can be so wrong because my mom is constantly throwing rude remarks about how much she dislikes the Catholic Church, and they are all hypocrites, according to her, etc etc etc. It's like who do I serve? You know what I mean? I have such a bad mouth that I quote scripture to her, remind her, God is the true judge, who do you think you are? I don't feel the Holy Spirit at the Baptist church anymore, sometimes I do, but it's so much stronger @ the Catholic Church! That's just me, that's what I feel.

Then she proceeds with the lecture about there being one God, and it's about God, not religion, so I should go to any church and understand God.

-Ok, then why you wanna say I can't go to the Catholic Church? Huh? What's the difference?
Regardless, I have a Blessed Mother in Heaven, who I have started praying for intercession, very powerful when I do. This picture on the right, gave me so much hope and comfort to see. The artist name is Ricardo Hernandez, and his site is linked on the side. Such clear beauty that speaks straight to my heart.

I don't know... the other day, Tony's padrino talked to me, and told me I was old enough to make the decision myself, and make sure I was doing it for myself. He called me a liberal woman. Smile. Yeah, like I'm going to give in like that and submit to the man; I don't think so. I'm thankful to have an older wiser person talk to me on a spiritual level like that; I have no one else. I don't even have a pastor/priest that I can sit down with and cry my heart out, then feel comforting prayer. That's the reality of my life... what I've really been feeling - in spirit.

Now for my dreams...they reveal things to me. I know I'm too old for nightmares, but I have nightmares still sometimes. I had to look up a bunch of religious remedies/prayers/rituals to prevent them from happening, so I could get a good nite's rest. Thank God they have slowed down some.

Other dreams I've had - three dealing with engagement/marriage. 1) choosing the rings - big sparkly diamonds- *note, I don't even like those big diamonds - call me crazy, but I am not that materialistic, and I fell in love with a marquise shaped diamond from Kay Jewelers, even went over there and tried it on in real life (now, that is crazy?)* 2) shopping for a wedding dress and not finding my size - they were all size six, but then I was in a little bitty boutique 3) THE CRAZIEST DREAM - the wedding day, and I couldn't find my dress! My mom had handed me this ugly blue dress that was hideous, because we couldn't find my real big poofy dress. I don't even like big poofy dresses because I got big hips, and I don't want them to look bigger! the whole time in the dream, I was worried about Tony waiting for me at the altar! Other dreams - Thursday night, this was weird... I dreamed I was a ghost. I had died; I don't know how, but came back as a ghost, and I felt this amazing lightness airy feeling, and I was floating...around the mall, going to Dillard's! I was also looking for my friend, Ralph, who I feel I have a real strong soul connection with. So I was a ghost, floating around the Mall, haha - I hope you're finding some humor! Hehehe!

Then last night, I dreamed Tony had quit his good job @ HEB to go flip burgers at McDonald's for $6/hr, and I was so pissed at him! 1st of all, Tony doesn't even like food service, absolutely hates it. 2nd - for $6/hr, and 3rd - he doesn't even like McDonald's that much, so why would he work there? My 14 year old cousin was me, too and we were going to eat Big Macs, when I spotted Tony in a McDonald's uniform.
I woke up, like so relieved that it was just a dream! I'm telling you, I had a crazy week, I hope this next one is better!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Mis Palabras

I have been doing a lot of writing; I'm going to start posting up more poems, so be sure to come back. I have been editing my novella at full force, wiping out chapters and moving onto the next. Making progess. I am proud of myself. I am settled in this year of 2007, praying it works out. I have not bee worried about much lately, just taking every day as it comes, and doing some major relaxing.

The job is going great. It gets boring sometimes, you know being a substitute, because I am not creating lesson plans or actually teaching, just kinda giving out assignments and making sure they work. Can't be any harder than that. There are bad days, but more good days than ever. I've taken advantage of my time and did some writing and enjoyed some interesting books like The Mambo Kings Sing Songs of Love.

Tony was sweet to rent the movie for me, but let me tell you, READ THE BOOK! It's much better!! Always is that way, right?

Speaking of Tony, our relationship is going great. Every day my love grows more and more. I look into his dark romantic eyes, see so much light, and I know in my heart, that's he's being true. We have ups and down, what relationship does not? Through all those downs though, we still see things the way we should, and it only strengthens our relationship. So, I won't take words back or wish something did not happen. He's done so much for me, taking me down roads that have been twisted or narrow or so wide- I cannot decide whether to run in the other direction or pull closer to him, in the end, I feel his warm lips gliding over mine, and there's so much love there, I wouldn't trade it for the world.

We had a fun special Valentine's Day (we even gave out V-Cards with photos of us), we celebrated early. I worked @ the Mall the weekend before, something I do for extra $$$. He showed up w/ a bouquet of flowers, a big gift bag with an extra large pink teddy bear that said "kiss kiss!" a card with our photo and sweet words inside, a box of chocolates, that's all I can remember right now. He took me out to eat for fettucini alfredo - yuuuuuuuum!! I bought him some really nice dress shirts from Dillard's. It was great, our 2nd V-Day together, so all special and sentimental.

We still talk about marriage, he still has not propsed, but I am not rushing it, just ecstatic that he wants to marry me and spend the rest of his life with me! :) Ecstatic because he reminds me every few days. Ecstatic because of the change in me- three years ago, i was not man-hating, but i was selfish and did not like the thought of marriage, never thought I'd be where I am today, but here I am, and loving it!! Amazing what happens when we stop thinking of ourselves and leave everything up to God, He blesses us with joy!

I made an important decision a week or two ago, I am going to go ahead and puruse my Master's, here in Victoria. I have to stay here in this area because of my certification, so I might as well take advantage of what is available here. I can get 2 Master's, one in English and one in Comm. in about 2 years at the max. (I am hoping I can do it - grabbing those ganas I used to get my Bachelor's) I talk about pursuing dreams, and going after what we want all the time, well you know what? I am also always talking about living by example, I gotta start walking that talk now.

Something else great is happening - I am falling in love with faith, my roots, I'm going to convert to Catholicism. This is MY decision, not Tony's. Try to convince people that. He's asked me three or four times on a serious note, "Are you serious about this?" Yes, I am serious; I've never felt more at home. I was baptized Catholic after all. Both my grandmothers were Catholic, it's in my blood. Tony's padrino will probably be mine, too. We are going to talk to the priest, and I may be able to get my sacraments as soon as Holy Saturday of this year. I am looking forward to this conversion, because I feel like it will complete me, because it's how I approach God and my savior, Jesus Christ, and I want to approach Him in the most comfortable way possible. I am still learning the ways, and Tony has been so nurturing. I admit - there for awhile, I was "lost" spiritually. Tony kept saying I was growing, but I was battling conflicts. In the end, I've learned to trust in the Lord with all my heart.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Saturday, January 13, 2007

“One Plan, One Confession, One Loss, One Life, One Heart”

2007 will be a positive year; I am on the right track. I have been positive. One Plan-that I know with God’s grace I will succeed – to be a teacher – be the best teacher that God wants me to be. Everything else – screw it. I will pour out on my heart and soul into the career – this calling – this job that is my mission field. If I am being selfish, I told God to please let me know. There is no greater joy than knowing the difference in the lives of the students that I teach every day. It is not a role that I like to brag about – sometimes it’s a nightmare. Sometimes, it’s a warming fire I keep running toward, knowing that the flames can lash out and burn me, but I keep running with the wind right behind me. Sometimes, I am running against the wind. Sometimes, I fear I will wake up and realize that – I have let life pass me by and I still have no real friends to just grab a drink with or grab a bite with.

I have a confession to make – I am layered –I always come across as this positive optimistic person, but inside I am the most negative fearful person you will meet. A constant battle in my head – serving God or serving myself or just whatever, live for the moment. I am full of confessions – maybe I should become a Catholic to let those confessions out to a priest – maybe I would feel lighter, you think?

I have issues, and I am going to solve them – it’s not just emotions; there are thoughts that go through my mind – mood swings moments when I close my eyes and shut out the light… but it all boils and simmers down to the fact that I know it will pass. Not like a – life-changing or life-ending experience.

I always say that tragedy is so powerful; my favorite topic to write on in English courses. I closed a Shakespeare paper with Juliet’s wail of “O Happy Dagger.” I tried to understand David’s pain when Jonathan died. Tried to understand the loss of a best friend and how can one live? Let me share that tragedy – one of my best friends, Mia, passed away. We were not close in location, but we were close in heart – nothing else matters. We had a bond like sisters, but much stronger because, we pick our friends; we can’t pick our families – just accept the one we have. Something out that free will of choosing her to be my friend and choosing her to confide in. She knew my dreams and my goals – I told her things I had never told anyone. I feel like a part of myself died with her. We were like two sides to a coin – one side shiny – the other needing to be wiped so it could shine again. There were our moments when I would comfort her; we’d giggle on the phone like high school girls having their crushes. Then there were those moments when she would comfort me, always telling me that I kicked ass and I “rocked.” I was flipping through some e-mails, and the tears are still wet. They still fall so freely from my eyes. I am at that point of anger now. Inside my mind, I am screaming at God, why did you take Mia? She was so young! Why? Now, I feel so lost; I can’t pick up the phone and call her. People around me are telling me that she is an angel now, and I need to remember her light and carry that with me for the rest of my life. I am trying…God, I am trying…

Her death helped me realize something… we have one life…therefore, we should do all we can to live it. I am going to write more – seriously, I am. I have signed up for this writer’s workshop group, and I am going to do a Young Adult novella. Life is my muse. I’ll give a hint about the topic… Sometimes, I fall asleep – crying inside – I cry for the dead that I miss; I cry for the living. I cry inside for the innocence that has been tarnished or erased; I cry inside for the broken spirits that God puts in front of me. I cry inside for myself. Because to a certain extend, I can say although I do not say, I know how they feel…

-One heart we are given

-One heart that beats

-Keeps our bodies going

-Keeps our lives moving

-One heart… where the spirit lives…

-That makes the soul come alive.

There’s a quote that reads “Love someone who makes your heart smile.” I love Tony with all my heart and soul, but I must pray that the heart stops bleeding…

More to come in the next chapter of my life...

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Closing Chapters, Holidays, and Bells

Last time I blogged I was really excited about my new classroom. It was great and such a wonderful learning experience ~ the whole month it lasted. The district had to hire a "certified" teacher. Since I barely began the process, I am not "qualified." The process has been stressful, but I have been studying and taking everything one day at a time. Honestly, I knew it was God's will when it happened. The principal wants to hire me in August though, so that's a great thing! I miss the kids a lot. They sang some songs to me and made me pretty cards. I was close to tears on my last day before the new teacher took over. The tears were also of joy because, the kids and I grew so close. I truly realized what a difference I made in their lives. They are wanting to invite me to their quinceaneras and saying how cool I am. It was tough to love every student the way God wants us to love His children, but I managed. I learned from them as much as they learned from me. Before I left, we had started this enjoyable short story collection, Local News by Gary Soto. Spanish words were flying through the air, and students were enjoying and relating to the stories. Those are some sweet memories.

The holidays are approaching. I am looking forward to the time off from school. I have a holiday job already lined up with Fossil. So this will be the "fifth" year I spend Christmas in retail, but it will be nice to be in customer service again. Not to mention, I will be working in the same city as Tony, so I will get to see him.

As for our relationship, it is wonderful. Lately, Tony has been telling me how he never gets bored with me, and I am amazed. Truly amazed to the point that I am speechless. Because I am such a unique individual! We've been going to church together, and Sunday, he actually visted my church and felt the message speak to us. Our spiritual connection is growing stronger every day. I pray that every couple can enjoy this type of bond as Christians - the way God wants us to love. I am not going to say our relationship is so smooth that we never fight. But, I can say that we never stop communicating, and there are times I close myself up and struggle, and try to struggle by myself, but he's always there reaching out for me. I give thanks to God every day for that. More and more each day, we realize which direction this relationship is heading. Every day, I talk to God, and I tell Him, how everything that has happened in my life is HIS plan, not mine. The joy and peace I have is infinite - as large as the galaxies of stars in the night sky. It's as bright as the morning rays that pour over me at daybreak. The direction we are going - ......................... marriage.

Of course, we have struggled to accept this. In my mind, I question if I am too young or if I have lived enough or what of finances? or what about grad school? But then I turn to my devotionals and scripture the way I do in these times of doubt, and God will comfort me. Statements will jump out at me like "two is better than one, because one will hold the other when one falls. Two will keep warm, pity on the one who is alone." That's scripture, Ephesians 4:9-12.
Then there are those moments with Tony, when all I have to do is look at him, and any troubles just melt away or he has an answer for my questions or he feels the same about something. We are alike; it's like looking in the mirror sometimes. One of my students used to tease me because I had pictures of us on my desk. He would say that my boyfriend looked my cousin, lol. I guess we have truly became part of each other that we're starting to resemble each other, lol.

He has not formallly proposed yet, but he said he's going to and it's going to be special. I am excited, but I also know how serious this is. Forever. Commitment. Sure, I think of the wedding festivities, and I do have my colors picked out (red, gold, and ivory,) and I have an idea of what my dress is going to look like. I also have a theme in mind, something of angels and gold stars. A biblical theme. Revelations. But...........

there is spiritual preparation. Mediation of Scripture. Reading books like "the Five Love Languages" by Gary Chapman. Bible study.Prayer. Drawing close to God. That's what matters more to me. Not all the decorations and dresses and festivities. But, the vows and the sincerity I will have when saying them. There are ways I will learn like praying the Rosary with Tony. Learning what is necessary for us to get married by the Catholic Church, because I was not raised Catholic.

We want to continue growing and there is the constant struggle between the world and God. We are willing to fight the "Good Fight," though. We know that we will not be a classic Romeo & Juliet tale, but live through this triumphantly.

I am excited about what is going to happen in my life, but at the same time, I must give it to God and allow him to guide us and provide His Divine Direction.

In closing, I hope I can blog again and keep all my readers and blogging buddies up to date. I wish everyone a Happy Holidays! Let us not forget that ~ JESUS IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

My Storm, My Testimony, My New Beginning

Months ago, I was battling and struggling with a storm in my life, but I was growing closer to God -complete surrender. For the first time in my life, I put most of my worries away, and put Jesus in the driver's seat. That's why I played "Jesus Take the Wheel" by Carrie Underwood for the longest on this blog. Within, I was fighting the enemy and my heart. My heart was telling me something else and the enemy was telling me something else. A true emotional tug-of-war. Yet, I prevailed. At one point in my life, some adminstrators told me that I should not be a teacher and abused their power in a horrible way that degraded me. I stood firm to my belief and stated my purpose yet was punished for stating the truth. Amazing how bad experiences can scar us. I wanted to stay away from public education. I did not want to deal with these issues again. I was going to avoid it, but then, my life took a turn. An angel appeared before me in a vision, and suddenly, I knew there was this calling inside me to teach again. That's why I pursued substitute teaching again, and that familiar joy lit me up inside -that fire rose within me and I could smile again with the knowledge of God's blessing.

I share this because it is a testimony in itself. Things happen in our lives, but we learn despite all the darkness, God is going to bring light again in our lives.

When I suffered from anxiety,
lack of sleep,
tossing and turning,
because I did not know
which direction to go

God showed me the way
not only through
the children that I teach
the lives that I touch
but other people
who spoke about the need
for positive role models

Then that burst of light
fell upon me
bathed me
cleansed me
guided me

I sang the song,
crying out to God
"Take me, mold me, use me, fill me, I give my life to the Potter's hand.
Call me, guide me, lead me, walk beside me
I give my life, to the Potter's hand."

He showed me His purpose for me. A great Revealation.

Then last week, an opportunity was presented before me. A teacher I had subbed for is leaving; she approached me about taking over her class. I was unsure, but I agreed.
I just told God, "You know what is in Your plan for me... my life is in your hands. You are my strength." The teacher and I discussed it, and then she said she would recommend me to the principal so that I could begin and take over her class. I prayed on it immediately on Wednseday night.
Thursday morning, my boss sent me back to the middle school, so I knew that I needed to approach the principal. I was not nervous at all, but relaxed and confident. He said that he would have to consult the personnel directior about me taking over the class.
Thursday night, I prayed again, but not so much that I had anxiety, but enough to let Jesus know that he was in the driver's seat.
Friday morning, the principal showed up outside my classroom door, and asked me if I was serious about teaching the 6th grade Reading class, and I nodded, not able to hide the smile and gratitude that was shining on my face. Wow! My own classroom. It has always been my dream since I was a little girl, and here I am, living my dream.
Amazing how I used to play school, and I worked hard during college to be on my way to a Master's degree, and here God places me in a classroom, mentoring, shaping, and molding the next generation. Thanks to God!
I still have the teacher certification process to complete, so that I may receive benefits and the teacher salary, but that's another struggle that God is going to help me with.

I've spoken about new attitudes - little did I know that my new attitude would bring me such blessing. I did not expect this so soon, but it's an answer to my prayer and those innocent dreams I had as a little girl.
I am ready... ------------ to embrace this new beginning in my life.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Revelations and Realizations

I have grown closer to God through prayer, Bible-study, church, and experiences. He is helping me every day of my life. Credit to God for the above photo - the good news - ... Tony and I are back together!! I say that in exclamations, because I am very grateful. All this time that I gave him back to God; he showed up back in my life a month ago. Some days I feel like he never left my side, and other days, I feel as if I am with this brand-new man who God has placed by my side for only reasons He has yet to reveal. Right now, we are enjoying each other; we still have some bridges to cross, but we will cross those bridges with faith. We're not letting go. The first days were filled with tears of forgiveness, peace, and joy. I still cry sometimes, because I am so thankful for him. I love him that much, that when I am with him, I feel myself exploding with joy.

Why do I love Tony so much? Because of his vision and perception. When he looks at me, he sees my soul, my heart, my mind, my desires, - most importantly, my faith. I dated/talked to other men while we were apart, and none of them saw me the way that Tony sees me. He does not just see "a woman who has a lot going for her.." but sees a woman who loves God and is commited to her relationship with Jesus. I learned this over the summer - that's how I want a man to see me. I never thought Tony would come back and see me that way, and stare into my eyes with such warmth and understanding.

I cannot believe a month has passed since I last blogged. I get so wrapped up in my life; I am not even a full-time student anymore, but still find myself so busy. A lot has taken place over the past month. Wonderful exciting news. I am still a full-time substitute, and let me tell you that ~God is using me every day~ to help those kids. I just got a call to go teach 7th grade Math; the teacher actually requested me. Neat-O!

Over the past month, I realized a lot of things like "I got so much love to give..." I am thinking of the Barry White song hahaha. No, but seriously, I know the joy that God gives me in his Divine Love. I am also ecstatic that I have Tony in my life who never gets bored with me, but instead, we have these amazing conversations and experiences together. We are getting to know each other on a different level, not just physically, emotionally, but also spriitually.

The revelation that has taken place... a few weeks ago, God showed me where I need to be right now. You know, I was struggling about teaching and going to grad school all the time - worrying, surrendering to God... then, He showed me where I am most needed right now. I have a gift for working with kids; I understand them; I relate to them. Grad school is gonna wait. One evening that Tony and I spent together, we went to a football game, got rained on after about 20 mins, and then ran to the car, tried to dry off, then talked to each other. He was amazed at how close these kids are to me, and how I know exactly what to say to them. He told me how I had a gift, and that touched me greatly. I felt an incredible joy while at the football game, almost like a celebrity because the kids were just running up to me to hug me and yell out, "Ms. C!" Those kids @ that south side middle school will always have a special place in my heart, because they have spoken to me and said in so little words, "You are the coolest! We need you! we look up to you." Ahh, they do. They copy the kind of clothes I wear, even the way I talk, I've caught some girls doing that. Or whatever I say, they believe me. They see me as an example. I gotta be there for them. So, I am going to start teh teacher certification process - it's an extensive fast-paced workshop, but by next August of 2007, I should have my own classroom so woohoo!!!

We went to chruch that evening, and I felt a wonderful wave of peace pass through my body that I thought I was goign to pass out from hunger or the Holy Spirit or maybe a combination? There was a sermon about working with youth and how they need Godly people to lead them not only on the right path but to Jesus. I understood, and I saw myself doing that, continuing to do that, and it was then that I kneeled on my knees and offered praise and thanksgiving to God.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Teaching in Spanglish - I Still Got that Fire

God is so good! That's what I thought this morning as I drove to work. It was around 6:50 a.m. and the sun was rising above the water in a bright pink. I had never seen the sun look so beautiful. I listened to Praise & Worship music and praised God the whole way. Sunrise - the start of a new day. Ironically, ,the song that came on was "New Day" by Avalon, this great Christian group I enjoy listening to. By the title, you can see....yep, I am back in the classroom.

I signed up to a subsitute in another school district, and my heart is just filling with joy as I teach again. I had the wonderful opportunity to teach bilingual classes this week. At first when they called me on Monday, I agreed but prayed, (b/c my Spanish is not perfect) that I would make it through the day. Fortunately when I arrived, the little 2nd graders were talking English! I was suprised! Then one of the little girls told me, "We learn both Spanish and English." Wow! What a neat program! It was so neat to point to the pictures and say "libro - book, espejo- mirror." The little girls told me I was beautiful and called me "Miss Pretty." I couldn't stop blushing. I learned from them as they learned from me - a super awesome experience.

I had high schoolers yesterday, that age of "I know who I am" "I know everything" and I'll think about respecting you. I don't mind high school, but there are a lot of "knowitalls" and that can be irritating when the students think they know more than me, but nonetheless, I enjoyed it! Before I forget to mention, the power went out FOUR times, so there I was sweating for 30 mins and hearing freshmen whine about "I can't breathe." There was one window up high, so there was no way I could it open. We were trying to read all in the dark! At least, we got dismissed early! I got to teach Spanish once again. There were some kids who come from a culture that knows both America and Mexico, and they KNOW that we have it so much better here, and they actually appreciate it! Now, how's that for some maturity?

I realized today with my 6th graders when they started hugging me and drawing me pictures and telling all their friends how nice I am - that, I still got that fire. A motivational speaker was talking to kids once then he shifted to the teachers and said, "And you TEACHERS, what happened to that fire? Why don't you smile at the kids anymore? Why dont you love your job anymore? Don't you know that these kids NEED you." No words about teaching had ever touched me as much. They rang back at me today as I stood there outside the classroom door, somewhat baking in the heat, but watching the children and saying inside "I belong here."

What more can I say? I am thinking of delaying grad school; I get so attached. But I keep thinking that right now, I am young and I should get it over with. It's always been the plan to go directly to grad school. I also have this wild hair about getting ceritified in bilingual edu. BUT, it costs so much - the whole teacher certification - not to mention the time.
I don't know... God knows though.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Time, Trials, and Treasures

Time seems to go by so quickly. It feels like just yesterday I was completing my B.A. and now, I realize it has been nearly two months. I still have no job. I told God, "Thank you. I am where you want me to be right now." I'll do what I can with my time. I have slept half my days away and read some interesting books. I have written some love poetry, a few short stories that are only strings waiting to be knotted and completed..and...last week, I made the commitment to start working on chapters of my novel and actually asking people to read. I have some readers now who are offering some great criticism and some techniques that are really helping me. I have never made such a commitment like this before to my writing; I am glad I have. It's so easy to say "Yeah, i wrote a novel." Anyone can say that, but you know what? I do not want to be just a talker; that's not me, I want to say that I've completed and working on getting it published. Final Editing Stages - that's where the novel is - after a whole year. I cannot believe a whole year has rolled by. Amazing how Time just goes by.

-Trials - I am facing a trial right now. My faith is being tested. I don't like not having a full-time job and I hate to look at the numbers in my bank account reduce to only two digits, when I am so used to seeing three or four digits. I am getting frustrating, seeing the bills roll in one after another. I always preach about being so positive, yet at times, I feel myself drowning in my own emotions. Then I get mad at myself for wasting my time, moping around or sleeping half the day because I am bored. But it's getting better - my friends call me and cheer me up or ask for favors, and I gotta be the cheerful bright Elsie. I gotta remind myself over and over.

-Treasures - Thursday, I went to the movies with a wonderful patient gentleman who's in my life, and I thank God for him every day.
It felt good to relax and unwind. Without the burden of a relationship and thinking I am gonna miss this man when he leaves to go work in Houston, but instead stating - the distance might do us some good. I notice that he's not all wrapped up in my outside image, but instead we have actual conversations. Last Friday when my best friend Abee and I went out, I was doing some crazy daring stuff that made my heart race. I wanted to scream in laughter. Saturday night was the same with the girls - all loud and crazy inside Chilis. But all fun... Nice to know that Life still has treasures.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Presence of People, Photography, and Prayer Works!

I find that when I am around people, I am experiencing one of God's most precious creations. I find that life feels so much richer and interesting. Last week, my best friend Abee and I went out to garage sales, resale shops, pizza, expensive jewelry store, the library, the book store, chinese food buffet- we went to a variety of these places during the week.

It was fun talking to different people as we shopped and got great bargains. At times, we wanted the same things - like the silver cross with the sun and moon snuzzled closely together. I said, "Abee - lemme get some Christmas ideas for you!" People look at us and see this connection - like brother and sister. I've truly believed that we're soul mates - connected so well.
That sun and moon reminds me of us - because the sun is bright and round (like me) and the moon is slim with that twinkling star in the eye - like Abee.

There's something about being around people that brings me home with stories blossoming in my imagination. I don't just "see" people; I take them inside my mind and wonder why they do the things they do or where they come from. For instance, the Mexican woman with dyed black hair @ the resale shop, "Milagros." - told me "that's a dollar." as I bought several little trinkets. She spoke great English although she kept talking about "Mejico" as her home. I thought that stereotype that they all have accents is not true! She gave me a Christian fiction book and said "God Bless You, mija." She sold me one of those scented candles in dark red that are normally like nine dollars @ JcPenney or Dillard's for only two dollars as she gave me that blessing with a genuine sincerity in her eyes.

When I immediately told my mom that I went to a resale shop called "Milagros." She frowned and asked me what was there. She then told me that "milagros" means miracles in Spanish - what a wonderful translation, but then she explained how sometimes those stores actually have amuletos, oils, "voodoo" stuff, candles scented with certain oils for love spells. She started to reprimand me asking if I asked for something to get my ex-boyfriend back, and I started to laugh so loudly! No, I am not going to mess with free will like that and God is my father, and He's in control!!

Photography is one of my passions. Last time, I had some alone time with my camera - I took ths photograph @ this wonderful place where I might be working near... I can already see myself with notepad, Bible, camera, cell phone, hopes and dreams, surrounding me, as I enjoy the peacefulness of the water and hear the comforting touches of the waves on the pier. Starting a new job is almost like falling in love and wanting to see that person and getting so excited, I cannot rush though and say that everything is final, because I am still waiting for the answer. But i gotta admit that the excitement is here.

It's what I've been praying for - just totally surrendering to God - although it was difficult at first. I have to leave y'all in suspense about the job offer, but I think it's my calling and God had to show me a few things before placing me back on that path, and I have to continue praying. But I must admit that I am so ready - for this new beginning - that all my pretty clothes is out because I want to shine again. I have to start getting to sleep before - well 4 a.m. *blushes* I know I am such a night owl.

Maybe that red candle with the beautiful scent - has something to do with it. I've been lighting it every night and it fills me with a sense of peace and joy...... wink wink

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Pulling Back the Curtains

Uncovering the skin
Revealing my identity
Blowing away the ashes

Surrounding me with hope
pulling back the curtains
I emerge
as my "own two feet" carry me forward

with elegance
with beauty
with confidence...

Pen grasped in hand
Fingers ready to type
I share

Glancing in the mirror
Seeing my face
But hearing
the music of stories

No more looking back

the chapters of my life

move forward
the pages turn...

No stopping me now
I have the baton
in this race of life
I will not stop
I will continue.

Gazing forward
with hope
goals to achieve

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Every Day is a New Day - Every Day is a Beautiful Day

I've been repeating this saying over and over, "Every day is a new day, every day is a beautiful day." Last summer, Iknew this wonderful co-worker who was a cancer patient, but she always had a smile every morning. She had a good heart; she brought me closer to God. We'd pray every morning before starting to work. We'd pray for all kinds of things - like good health, strength, blessings for the customers who would come through the door, we even prayed that I would get a boyfriend, and it worked! The Power of Prayer - I'm telling you - it works! I knew for awhile that I needed to get close to God again. I had planned on doing it, and I knew I needed to do it - once my heart was ready. I felt myself inches and inches closer, and then all of a sudden - I was there - close to God again, and recommitting my life to Christ.

I taught Vacation Bible School all last week, and it was a beautiful experience. Each day we spent time on topics like "worship, thanksgiving, forgiveness, obedience." When we discussed thanksgiving, I said that line "Every day is a new day, every day is a beautiful day. I glanced at the cloudy day outside and remembered last summer and my co-worker. We worked inside an office that appeared to be made of glass because there were windows surrounding us. We'd watch the days change from cloudy to sunny. We'd watch the cars pass and people come in and out of the office. I'd remarked one day "it's so ugly outside," referring to the rain. My co-worker said "No, Elsie, it's still a beautiful day. Some days with the sunshine are just more beautiful than others. You know why every day is beautiful?" I shook my head. "Because every day is a blessing from God." How true that is!

I shared this a year later with my students, ages 10-13. On Friday night, I sat down with my students and listened to them as they shared what they had learned. One little girl who had just commited her life to Christ days before, who had been filled with questions about this awesome friend of mine named Jesus, she smiled at me and repeated the line to me, "
Every day is a new day, every day is a beautiful day." I smiled so big and let her hug me. I reminded myself to take my own advice and follow what I preach to so many - and it's hard - to achieve balance between living in the world and trying to be a strong Christian. I'm working on it.

Amazing how these words stay with me. Amazing how I can share them. I shared them again @ an event today where I was reading one of my poems in an effort to inspire the young freshmen girls. I did this a year ago, and I've changed so much. I keep moving forward - I keep changing - I think in a way, I do - I keep getting "better and better" like one of my favorite authors Ana Castillo. I can say this though - I am growing every day - enjoying every day.

I've gone back to the Rose Garden - not to remember October kisses - but to smell the roses.

I've gone back to the Rose Garden - not to dream of a wedding there - but to smell the roses.

Last night, I enjoyed the warm night. I was driving around with a fairly new friend, we had a great conversation, and he admitted that he liked the way I just say what's on my mind, and I realized that he can read me like a book. We talked, and I laughed - enjoying his light-hearted sense of humor. Then, he said "what you need is someone who will respect YOU and LOVE you for who you are and ACCEPT you for who you are." That's a truth..........

Monday, July 24, 2006

Life's Just Too Short

That's what I thought at the funeral on Wednesday, July 19th, 2006. It's here one minute and gone the next. It's up to us on how rich and full we want to make our lives. I was in North Carolina on my 22nd b-day, not celebrating, but mourning the death of my mom's half sister. I realized that life's just too short. We gotta live every day to the fullest. I know that's a cliche that has been used over and over, but we must follow that - try our best to be thankful for every day. Because every day is a new BEAUTIFUL day. Some days are more beautiful than the rest because of the bright sunshine, while others are dark, but the sun still peeks from behind the clouds.

Wake up with thanksgiving, instead of focusing on what we don't have, but being thankful for the blessing of every day. Every day is a blessing. To live and do God's will. Bring glory to Him and not ourselves.

I am going to make these goals and try to make them. I want to quit dwelling on who I was a year ago- quit dwelling on my past - quit wishing i could change what happened - quit wishing I was still 21 and could live all over again and do some things differently.

I am going to look forward to today and tomorrow - and be a better person - not who I was a year ago. I want to blog more - share my thoughts with the world the way I used to - be more positive. Write just to write - who cares if no one reads or comments?

I am closing a chapter - beginning a new one.

I'm letting go - read and discover.

I know that God is giving me a test right now. I have my Bachelor's degree, but no job yet. This area is small, and there aren't many available jobs for an English/Communications degree. I am not sure what to do - expand my photography business - keep on looking for clients?? Apply for a low-paying job?? Move to a bigger city? I am waiting, praying on it, having patience. I did apply for one job, but discouragement plays with me because it's been over a week since I submitted my twelve page application packet. I know that SOMETHING has to come up - God will take care of me...

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Defining Our Freedom

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Happy 4th of July! - even if you're reading this after the 4th.

I love this holiday because I am thankful for being an American. I remember sitting in government class and hearing the professor praise the American woman. I remember feeling my cheeks beam and a gratitude fill my heart, and thinking that's me, I am an American woman. Later, composing the verse of "Real Live Woman."

Maybe, we take our freedoms for granted sometimes. Why do people remain silent about something when they know we have freedom of speech? Why fall victim to something they do not understand? Why submit to fear? Why hold onto pride and not get an education? Why are there more people in prisons than in colleges?

I value my education. I am so thankful that I have my Bachelor's degree now, and I think, if I wasn't an American - I wouldn't have this opportunity. This opportunity to express myself - hold onto cultural roots of being Mexicana and Tejana, yet at the same time, understand liberty and the Founding Fathers of my country. Study history and see what it tells me instead of reading the facts - trying to understand the humanity of past civilizations.

I got angry once when a student did not pledge allegiance to the flag - I made him do it twice, actually nearly three times. I told him, "Men are dying so you can stand here in this classroom. Now, I want to hear you say that again. Clearly." I stated firmly. We should acknowledge this holiday with thanksgiving.

I also enjoy my freedom of religion. I've grown closer to God these past few months. Something I knew for awhile that I needed to do for awhile - something I had placed on hold, but now I am where I need to be, and constantly moving toward where God wants me to be. I am a Christian and that's what matters - all different faiths - one God. Right?

Like our country in her beauty - different cultures - one country. That's the essence of our beauty. To me, that is true freedom - being able to be surrounded by people of different colors, religions, ages, etc. and not being judgemental but welcoming with open arms. Looking @ history, there were times when people stayed together. Just to mention a few - the Revolutions, Civil Rights Movement, Women's Movement, - why didn't I live then? I would've been someone leading the crowds. Look closely though - were there differences? Maybe some - the picture cannot be flawless, but look again - unity - the opportunity to fight for one cause - freedom.......