Lo Que Empieza con Gracia Termina En Gloria

 

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Desayuno con las Mexicanas.

“Yo soy quien te manda que tengas valor y firmeza. No tengas miedo ni te desanimes porque yo, tu Señor y Dios, estaré contigo dondequiera que vayas.”

Josué 1:7-9

Hace un año y medio empecé a estudiar en el seminario. Dios contesto mis oraciones de poder estudiar mi maestría en DTS. He aprendido mucho en el proceso. Amo mis clases, mis profesores y trabajar para DTS. Pero estar aquí no ah sido fácil; definitivamente es una lucha espiritual, que sin oración obviamente no puedes ganarla.

El primer semestre, a pesar de que toda la gente era muy linda conmigo y las clases son buenísimas; se me hizo muy dificil adaptarme a este cambio drastico que de hecho escribí un blog cuando me estaba sintiendo así. Tenia muchos pensamientos negativos y parte de mi no quería hacer amigos; de verdad sentía que era un desafío agregar mas cosas al carrito, mas invitaciones, mas emociones, y otra vez empezar de cero; empezar a introducirme, a que me conozcan y a conocer. Ya tenia “demasiados amigos” de la uni, (que amo demasiado) y no quería abrir mas el circulo y según yo, mi tiempo iba a ser solo para estudiar. Pero se me olvidaba que los planes de Dios son esos que vienen con “todo incluido”.

Estaba equivocada al pensar que no necesitaba hacer amigos, sí las necesitaba. Niñas que estuvieran en el mismo camino, pasando por las mismas circunstancias, que me guiaran y me levantaran cuando estoy dudando, triste o estresada, para compartir mis alegrías y que tuvieran la misma pasión por Dios que yo. Y su gracia me encontró, por que aun cuando no quería Él sabia mi necesidad y me dio dos amigas con la misma nacionalidad que yo (Mexicanas!) Que están pasando por el mismo proceso, y aunque la escuela nos absorbe el tiempo, hacemos un tiempo para vernos al menos unas pocas veces al mes y platicar de todo todo (y comer).

Dios es un buen Dios que me ve y va mucho mas allá de mis necesidades básicas. Dios cuida de nosotros en los detalles. Génesis 16:13 habla de un Dios que vio a Agar cuando ella estaba sola. Él la vio en su aflicción y testificó que Él era Dios, el Dios vivo que lo ve todo y que no hay ninguna circunstancia en nuestra vida que se le escape de su conocimiento y cuidado de padre que tiene hacia nosotros. Mi condición humana tiene limites y a veces no ve mas allá de lo que puede ver visualmente. Dios esta de nuestro lado, y no solamente de nuestro lado pero tomando nuestra mano, cargándonos cuando ya no podemos y sosteniéndonos en sus hombros cuando no podemos mojar nuestros pies en el charco. Y aprendí que en donde quiera que vaya, Él ya ah estado allí.

Somos seres creados para conectar, para relacionarnos. No podemos estar solos; sin relaciones no somos nada. Efesios 3:17 habla de ser “arraigados y cimentados en amor” y “arraigados y edificados en Cristo” en Colosenses 2:7 y es uno de los propósitos de Dios hacia nosotros; que seamos amados por Él, y por otros, para no sentirnos aislados, aun cuando estamos solos.

Es importante mantenernos en oración para que Dios nos muestre su voluntad para que proteja nuestros pensamientos (negativos) y nos enseñe su camino. Debemos recordar que somos humanos y es normal no ver mas allá, pero Dios nos guía, nos da fe, paz, y la paciencia que necesitamos para seguir caminando firmes y en obediencia.

He aprendido a acudir a alguien cuando necesito un consejo, un punto de vista fuera de mi mundo, cuando necesito oración (aunque sea en horas randoms del día), a descansar en un abrazo, y a recibir palabra de Dios por medio de gente que esta conectada a Él.

El Juego Que Nadie Gana

Como todo el mundo me ve, cómo me veo a mísma, y cómo Dios me ve. Nos invita al juego de comparación. Un juego en el que estamos programados para perder, pero lo configuramos para ganar.

Como mujer tenemos un poquito mas de presión social a mantenernos fit, vestirnos de cierta forma, ser femeninas, peinarnos bien, etc. A algunas se les da más que a otras. Estes de un lado o de otro siempre hay una razón de porque y para que y puede ser frustrante o divertido.

La definición de belleza de la sociedad esta afectando y distorsionando identidades.  Ya no solamente estamos sofocados de revistas y anuncios con cuerpos perfectos, cejas on fleek y outfits super de moda. Ya esta en nuestras manos: nuestros teléfonos – con aplicaciones como Facebook e Instagram- ya no son las modelos y actrices que parecen perfectas pero nuestras amigas y amigos y hasta nosotros mismos jugando un jueguito que se llama algo así como #Perfección, #OnFleek, #LikeForLike, y #TantosTagsQueYaNoSé.

La definición que hemos creado socialmente y la definición que encontramos en la Biblia son totalmente diferentes.

  • Somos una creación admirable. Somos hechos maravillosamente y con cuidado por las manos de Dios. Y Dios no hace baratijas, pero obras de arte:

“¡Te alabo porque soy una creación admirable! ¡Tus obras son maravillosas, y esto lo sé muy bien!”
Salmo 139:14

  • La belleza real es la que nunca pasa de moda y no se basa en lo que los demás piensan de ella:

“Que la belleza de ustedes no sea la externa, que consiste en adornos tales como peinados ostentosos, joyas de oro y vestidos lujosos. Que su belleza sea más bien la incorruptible, la que procede de lo íntimo del corazón y consiste en un espíritu suave y apacible. Ésta sí que tiene mucho valor delante de Dios.”
1 Pedro 3:3-4

  • Ejercitarnos es bueno, trae salud y fortaleza a nuestro cuerpo; pero una vida espiritual que nos acerca a Dios, una persona que ama a Dios beneficia todos los aspectos de nuestra vida.

 “El ejercicio físico te sirve de algo, pero una vida dedicada a Dios te trae bendiciones tanto para la vida presente como para la del mundo venidero. ”
1 Timoteo 4:8

  • Ama tus debilidades, abraza tus heridas, entrégalas a Dios y se tu versión real de ti misma.
  • Toma un tiempo para darte cuenta de tus prioridades, gustos y estilos reales sin pensar en que pensaran tus amigos o familia de ti.
  • Deshecha las expectativas
  • Recupera tu pasión -la vida duele si no vives lo que amas- Si dejaste de hacer lo que amabas hazlo otra vez -canta, baila, escribe-
  • Recuerda que alguien te ama -Cuando reconocemos que somos amados sin condición podemos sentir la libertad de ser nosotros mismos-

Eating Healthy on a Budget

I believe that healthy eating should be more than a millennial trend. It shouldn’t be boring, hard or expensive. I’ve been checking out at the groceries store and the cashier gets surprised of so many fruits and vegetables, then she tells me she hasn’t even tried several of them.. heart broken sound. I also have friends that tell me that they don’t eat a single fruit or produce in a week and that makes em really sad. That’s why I am writing this post.

I used to spend $30 to $50 weekly on my groceries, but now I spend around $13-$20 no joke. The items in this picture are worth $13, from Sprouts (most of it) and El Rancho. This lasts me a week, plus some food that I already have in my fridge and cabinets (beans, oatmeal, coconut milk, dates…)

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Before you start into this, please do not compare it with fast food. Because, well, it is indeed going to be faster and yes probably cheaper but worthless.

Also, eating organic is expensive but you don’t have to buy all organic, it’s ok to eat some non-organic fruit (psst.. and you don’t have to buy everything from whole foods).

I have learned to spend less and less every time; and here’s what I’ve learned:

  • Look for special days in your store. (i.e. Sprouts on Wednesdays, Fiesta on Tuesdays) You can find this on the annoying flyers that they place in your mailbox.
  • Buy just what you need. Be realistic. Sometimes we mega plan while we are at the store, but then we end up throwing away vegetables because they became bad.
  • Use what you already have. Keep your fridge with fresh food, there should be very little food that remains through weeks
    • In the fridge (i.e. mayo, butter, eggs)
    • In the kitchen cupboard (i.e. oil, honey, oatmeal)
  • Use the most of every vegetable, fruit and food overall. (The pumpkin seeds, the pulp of the juicer, the core of the apple or pineapple)
  • Differentiate a need from a want
  • Buy in bulk! (Legumes like beans and lentils in bulk are so cheap and it will last you a long time)
  • It doesn’t matter how good the deal is, if it is going to end up in the trash (the 5 for 1 are tentative but if you really don’t need it, skip it!)
  • Bring your own tote bag (in sprouts they refund you 5 cents when you do)

But my favorite is:

  • Do a list and stick to the list.

You can also look the different prices in stores; I buy some in Sprouts and the cheapest ones in El Rancho.

Here is a website to help you to know how long your fruits and veggies can last.

https://www.thrillist.com/eat/nation/how-long-food-lasts-after-you-open-it

This is a list of the ones that are recommended organic and non-organic:

Organic

  • Strawberry
  • Celery
  • Spinach
  • Peach
  • Apple
  • Potatoes
  • Kale

Non-Organic

  • Onions
  • Corn
  • Pineapple
  • Watermelon
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Grapefruit
  • Mushroom
  • Cabbage
  • Kiwi
  • Cantaloupe
  • Mangoes
  • Eggplant

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One night in the middle of a messy life I finally decided to sit, breathe and think, and this phrase came to my mind. My life was a mess. And until I came out of it (in my mind, because it still is a mess), I realized how beautiful it was to be part of it. We normally get frustrated when what is on our control is out of control and when we don’t see results the next day from the goals we had set up to ourselves. Because, accept it we set high expectations for ourselves that, while running towards them, make us tired and thirsty emotionally, physically and spiritually and everything-ally.

Humans like to have control. We like to plan out our lives, days, careers, etc. and if something is not going the way we want, we get crazzzy. All of us demonstrate it in different ways; angry, depressed, frustrated and all in between.

We strive to accomplish perfection, to have it all figured it out and to show the world our lives are great. FYI, that’s kind of impossible, for the only reason that we are humans.

Think about how pretty it is to fall, to have flaws and to get moody. Yes it is pretty. It is pretty to be wrong, to be attracted to something that it is not cool, to be afraid, to apologize, because that is what makes us all humans.

Accept who you are. You don’t have to pretend. Keep your essence, because that makes you unique. You don’t have to be like the rest of the world. You a re a beautiful imperfect human.

“When we don’t embrace ourselves, we are not appreciating God’s own creation. We are unique, He has made us unique. Show the world that you are confident in whom God has created. Don’t believe devil’s lies -that you are not able to carry your calling- because you are. You carry a calling, you carry a purpose. You are created to set the captives free.” -Areli Villaseñor (@arelli_style_)

“What great delight God finds in the broken places within us. Not that our hurts bring Him joy. But His chance to heal us does. We are all broken. In need of great healing. And God, in His beauty and compassionate love, gets to heal us. It makes Him happy to get to heal us, I think. Then, we don’t put so much pressure on ourselves anymore. We give it all to Him. Because we realize just how good it feels to be taken care of by God”. -Natalie Edwards

Social Media Break

Call it break, detox, fasting whatever.. I am doing this!
Last month I tried the no-make-up break and my skin improved significantly. This month I am trying not going on any social media, yes! not even Pinterest nor Etsy. If you know me well, you know I am very extremista and yes this is another of my things on the list I have been wanting to do. Not just because I have so many papers and projects for school due the next two weeks or so, but because it is much needed; I have noticed lately that it actually soaks my time more than I plan on doing it. Have you ever do the 10 min break of your activity to go on Instagram or so. Well, I do.

Social media can actually make me loose focus and kill my productivity, distract me from a face to face real conversation, miss out on something going on in real life, or get that “screen blinded” feeling (this is when all you are focusing is your screen and people is like “did you see that!?, no- because I was totally on my screen), it also helps  fill out awkward moments (we all know this one) and I don’t know about you but I go on any of this before or after sleeping.

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This is something I have been dealing with, I know me well. And it does not means that I can’t control it without having to go through this detox, but I really want to see a change through abstaining from it. Focus on what I am really doing, get to fully enjoy the place where I am, the environment and with who I am, I want to be able to experience the art of be fully present. Who would ever think that we were going to go through this #FirstWorldProblems. I am sure generations that did not have technology were more committed and fully present, they were fully known and not known by their pictures or videos. They had to stick to the plans they made and be themselves. They probably got to hear the stories and had a mental picture of what happened.

Don’t take me wrong, social media is AWESOME and obviously used for great things, such as blogging, DIY projects, recipes, fashion and even devotionals or evangelism (I love it) it is just one of my top challenge-to-do and a me-experiment. Let the experiment begin!

If you wonder, I will be here, happy and alive doing smoothies, masks, swimming, yoga, hangouts, dates, flowers, kombucha (maybe?) HOMEWORK and stuff. And if I die in the process please bring me flowers. Jk, See you in a month or so?

Human Adaptation

Try to bring a butterfly live to your house. Our case, thanks to God’s grace, we are created different than butterflies and animals in general, our brain has a big capacity to CHANGE, by that means, we can ADAPT. We are always changing. As matter of fact, if they place us somewhere else, different from our habitat, we will adapt. For some of us may be easy, for some other can be hard, or it can takes us long or short, but we always adapt. It could be a new job, a new relationship or a break up, moving to a new place, losing someone you love, etc.

For me was starting a new stage of my life, that it always seemed so far away. I  started graduate school, moved to a new place, new people, new environment, looking for a new church, new job and new friends. Sounds predictable, but my brain was readapting without letting me know. While change, there may be drastical changes inside our brains. I guess mine was getting crazy. Poor baby.

I didn’t even realize that it was a big change, I was just trying to live as I-know-how-this-works kinda change. It is normal, it is actually part of the adaptation. Changes are always changes, big, smalls, wanted or unwanted, they have the same effect in our brains. Being unsure of what the future brings, makes me so anxious, even though I trust God completely. Uncertainty activates a part of our brain that brings, adrenaline, energy, and stops thinking about “unimportant things”. Which I also call a door open to devil to come in. You may stop caring about your relationship with God (What I did), about your health, such as sleeping and eating well. (It didn’t happen to me but it could happen to anyone).

Then our brain starts using that energy that was supposed to be used for the “unimportant things” to try to predict the future. but this just brings more worry and anxiousness. As humans we will never be able to predict the future, that’s silly and if you think you can, then call me I will contact you with the one who really knows the future. Lol.

I actually didn’t realize I was trying to adapt until yesterday, while I was sitting in the steam room, when I get to think about so much. There, I realized that my routine was gone, completely gone, no home church, no mom, no dad, no sleeping on the same side of the bed, no waking up with lots of noise, no nothing of that.By the way I am not complaining at all, it is actually a good change that was supposed to happen, it was just my brain readapting. I enjoy everything. I do miss my family but it is all for good. It is actually a blessing to be here. Silly me, it has been a month and just now notice it. I was in a new place, with new people, haha! took me a while to actually realize it. Good thing God remains the same, and we get to know Him even more when we have transitions.

Be kind to yourself when you are going thru change, I think I was not kind to myself. You might feel like you have no patience or  you have a smaller capacity to engage in situations. Be kind to you and to other people, sleep, rest, eat well. Talk to people, be transparent, say what you fell. IT IS NORMAL, we are all humans and we are made from the same ingredients. Reduce worry, if possible eliminate it. Pray and talk to the one who knows it all, God.

Go for a walk, physical activity has a baggy BIG part of our physiological state. It also reliefs stress and brings the feel-good feeling.

Do what you love. Either its painting, reading, working on your car, lighting up candles or running, sometimes for me is cleaning. DO IT, and don’t stop doing it.

XO,

Mara

Xänthé Biocosmetica Artesanal

Hace un mes más o menos fuimos a San Miguel de Allende, Gto. con mis hermanos. Ya sabes como se camina mucho allí  y la mayoría de las tiendas son super bonitas. Pero encontré una que de verdad me encanto, vendían mil cosas orgánicas, hechas en México. Tenían productos como miel, maquillaje, vinagretas, aceites, mascarillas, mil mil mil cosas de verdad. Mi hermana y yo entramos y duramos allí un tiempo tratando de decidir que llevábamos de tanto de donde escoger. De verdad siempre me han encantado las cosas naturales, bueno cuando era chiquita mi papa era el que le encantaban y a mi y a mis hermanos casi no, hasta que de verdad le encontré el gusto a lo natural por que descubrí que Dios había puesto una cantidad de cosas para que nosotros mismos disfrutemos, entonces entendí que lo natural era lo mejor del mundo. Literal. Ya cuando estaba en universidad me hizo vegetariana, y después hacia mis propios productos, mis propios aderezos, yo horneada mi pan y mil cosas así que le dicen ¨hippies¨ pero bueno, y volviendo a la historia de San Miguel, salimos con varias cosas entre ellas productos Xänthé. Como siempre me ah interesado eso de lo orgánico y lo natural, obvio me encanto Xänthé. Mi piel reacciono muy bien a sus ingredientes y mi acne ah desvanecido demasiado y me relaja mucho el olor de todos. Después investigue y busque a los creadores de Xänthé, que no estaban tan lejos de mi. Entre intercambios de e-mails y yo con tanta emoción me metí al negocio. Marissa, una de las chicas encargadas de Xänthé aparte de que me cayo muy bien, me dio mucha facilidad para entrarle. De verdad quería enseñarle a todos lo bueno que eran los productos y saber que eran mexicanos me encanto. Y si pudiera usaría todos! De hecho tuve una conversación con Marissa antes de entrarle y asegurarme que todo era 100% natural.  Y sí, de hecho todos a excepción de un ingrediente, todos son de Mexico, los aceites esenciales si vienen de Francia porque son un poco difíciles de procesar. Pero me encanta la idea de saber que Xänthé mismo cosecha y siembra muchos de sus ingredientes. Por ahora estamos comenzando con un punto de venta y entregas a domicilio. Pero no tienen idea de como me encantan los productos. Espero que tengan la oportunidad de probar y sentir lo que me hizo enamorarme de Xánthé!todosjuntos

Pulled over without liscence.

A police officer is here to make sure everything is right, to make sure the community is safe, and that everything is going well according to the law. How good to be around one of them and feel safe… but of course its a little scary when we are not doing the right thing, when we did wrong, or we have been pulled over, like me before, and now they scare us, and is not fun.

Everything has its consequences. We get a ticket when we did wrong. God want us to do the right thing, He wants to be sure we are safe, He seeks for us and take care of us. We avoid Him because we are doing wrong and it kind of scare us a little bit. What scares us? Him himself or the consequences, or actually recognizing that we like doing wrong.

I have been getting tickets with too many violations on each, not real ones but life tickets with life violations. The worst violations are the ones that are constantly happening, that sin becomes common in our lives, that I no longer see it wrong. If God was a cop and I was driving my life, I wouldn’t even want to ask how much I owe.

Same with God, we feel that whenever we want to get close to God he is going to ask us for something, or to stop doing something. But it is not like that, God is not waiting for us with a whip to rebuke us, He wants us to come to Him, and He is there with open arms waiting for us to give us love. And there will be consequences for what we have done without Him, but those are still on the loop of GRACE. To show us He wants us.

It is not about how much He is expecting us to give Him, He wants us to open the door for Him. How much we are wanting to open the door for Him in our lives. He has sooo much love to give us. He will do in our lives, whatever we let him work on it. Lets open all doors in every area of our life to Him. He will do beyond our expectations.

Fire Alarm

But Jesus didn’t trust them, because He knew all about people. No one needed to tell him about human nature, for he knew what was in each person’s heart. John 2:24-25

I cooked last week on the oven and it was delicious. The problem was that my fire alarm ringed. I tryed to do “french fries” without being fried. I used the oven instead. It was easy, peel the potato, slice them, next lay them out on parchment paper, spray well with Olive oil, then season as desired -salt substitute, and bake 425 for 25 min. I setted up my timer and chill. I walked every 5 min to see how they were doing, and they looked just fine. At the 25th min, for me they were still uncooked, because I like them crunchy. So, I left them there for other 5 min. And, Oh no as soon as I openned the oven my fire alarm stunned me. I seriously didnt even noticed the smoke or anything. Then, I tryed them and they were yum delicious. The fire alarm is such a drama queen.

I wish we had a personal “fire alarm” that warns us when we are getting burned. I mean, like when we are doing the wrong thing. So many times I have needed it, because we dont see it. It just doesnt seems wrong for us, it looks just fine. This world calls us and desires us, he wants us to be like it. As humans we think we can control everything, “Yes I can handle it”. Thanks God, He is good and He is here for us. He knows our pride, our slefishness and our itching palm. He knows us (John 2:24-25) so, He is there for us. Isn’t that beautiful? no fire alarm needed. Ha.

You will never change the world, trying to eb like it.

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26