Reminder To Slow Down When Reading Your Bible

Saturdays are busy days, verdad que si? Y pues, reading my bible on weekends is a bit different for me than the rest of the week. Asi es, I’m usually too busy to spend time on the slow lane and leisurely read. Me da vergüeza to admit it. Anyway, today I slowed down and I’m glad I did, it’s always an incredible time to sup with Jesus. Sup: To eat slowly by spoonfuls. Hijole! On weekends I tend to gobble up and swallow up whole chapters without chewing. Gracias a Dios that he helps me to slow down.  

I was moving along reading, and I kind of  stumble over a passage, but I kept moving forward. I had work to do. Pero that phrase, “the people began to complain…” that word that tripped me was still pulling on me. Porque? You see I always take these moments personally. Mira,

Complain: to express dissatisfaction, pain, uneasiness, censure, resentment, or grief; find fault:

Numbers 11:1 (NLT) Soon the people began to complain about their hardship, and the Lord heard everything they said. Then the Lords anger blazed against them, and he sent a fire to rage among them, and he destroyed some of the people in the outskirts of the camp.

Here’s a blurb of the backstory. In a very dramatic fashion, with signs and wonders the Hebrews are no longer slaves. God begins, through Moses, to set up laws and regulations for them to operate by. Now that they are no longer under Egyptian culture, they needed to establish a new government.  It took a long time, things dragged on because they had to sit and wait for Moses to get the entire plan from God. (Look up the book of Numbers in the Old Testament) Luego, when it is finally all said and done, it’s time to go and “take the land” that God had promised them. Pues, it turned out that moving was also going to be a slow process. Imaginate how hard all that waiting and waiting for them, it must have made them restless. Isn’t deliverance supposed to be like Bam? Listo! Live your best life Now! Instead they were now they could barely move toward that promised new life.  

Yikes! They complained. Doesn’t everyone complain? Well I was kind of indignant saying, Do you blame them? Pero fijate,  when they complained about the hardship, pain and suffering of slavery, God heard them and sent them a leader to emancipate them. This was a legitimate complaint. Later, in Numbers chapter 11, their complaining turned to whining and fault finding. Asi es, they murmured about the free food they were getting and about their leader. Quizas they complained about being bored, just sitting around and waiting? Bottom line is that this complaining came out of ungrateful and unbelieving hearts. Primero, they didn’t appreciate the incredible miracle God did by delivering them out of more than 300 years of bondage. Luego, they still did not believe in this unseen Omnipotent God and they showed it by their irreverent actions! They pointed an ungrateful finger toward Moses and God, “If you really cared…” It seems like they wanted to put him in the same place as the Egyptian gods that had infiltrated and diluted their faith. 

I asked God why are you pointing this out to me? And he hears me. No creas, it’s hard sometimes to wait on God. Praying for things that are not unrighteous or selfish, hoping, waiting, watching for a specific answer to my prayer. These times are hard for me, so I run to God’s pavilion for his strength and protection. These times sanctify me, they expose sin in my heart, sometimes I am ignorant of wrong mindsets and strongholds, or I want to suppress or hide it because it’s easier.

En conclusíon

Reading my bible is different and when I slow down, gracias a Dios. It prepares me to face the giants in my life and I chew slowly digesting His Word, it makes me so grateful for his great bounty. 

I am a Traditional Wife

I am still reacting to a podcast I listened to recently. I was one of the targeted women he spoke about; traditional wives. He said that it was considered by some, a “dangerous trend” “Trad wivesDe repente it’s becoming popular? This dialogue pulled up that long squished question which I sometimes still struggle with in my life, “What do you do Rosie?” My answer? “Well, I’m, ummm, I’m a homemaker” (a nervous laugh usually followed) “I take care of Ben and the kids” and the response was “Oh, ummm, well that’s good…” From there, I would descend into looking for and sharing things that they might consider “worthy” Hijole! More than 3 decades have passed and the question can still rankle me. Y porque sera?

Those long repressed feelings of vergüenza rose up to laugh at me. I went to college but never got my degree. Wanting accreditation is one of my biggest hurdles, asi es, pay attention, see what I’ve done! And what have I “done?” I’ve been a  traditional wife, a woman who takes care of the affairs of her home and watches over the needs of her children. I’ve been doing this now  for 34 years of my life. Where are my degrees? Where’s my accumulated wealth? It has definitely kept me humble. 

I respect a woman who has worked hard, been disciplined and focused and completes her educational goals, I may even be a little celosa. Jealous, because it’s something I didn’t do. Heavy sigh… but also, Shout out to that woman who puts away that degree for her family. 

My story falls somewhere in the crevices of those scenarios. I am a Christian woman. Jesus is the love and Lord of my life. Every crossroads I come to in my life, He has been with me. At 19, when I chose to drop out of school midway through my 2nd year of university, it was hard. My apa was disappointed. I was so sorry, I yearned for his approval, I was supposed to be a lawyer he could be proud of, but instead I let him down. My future looked bleak to me. How in the world would I survive? God helped me. As I was moving on, young and hopeful with my whole life ahead of me, I came to another crossroads of life, Marriage. It wasn’t in my plans, well at least not until I was old. God was with me and I made the right choice to marry my Benjamin. Very soon after that I was the mother of his children. I couldn’t decide on how to describe this last bit of my history. Doesn’t it sound a bit dramatico? “The mother of his children” y pues, I am, they are his, and it pleases me to say it, declare it on the roof tops of my blog and to anyone that will hear me tell of my life as a traditional wife.

I wish I could sit here at my desk and tell you how glorious it always was. It wasn’t. I wanted financial independence, it humbled me so much to depend completely on my Benjamin, but I knew it was what he needed and what I needed and then what our kids needed. I wish I could tell you that living on a tight budget was “no big deal” Hijole! It was, and it was harder still when our kids were growing up and seeing what other kids wore and did. It was hard to tell them, “no we can’t do that this week” I wasn’t purposely boycotting McDonalds, es que, it made more sense to serve lunch at home, picnics with homemade food were a must. There were plenty of mistakes we made and many things we left out of our lives, to a certain degree I wish I would have always had the financial liberty to buy our kids those name brands and fun things. Living on one income kept the door open for me to take care of our children. It was a sacrifice for all of us. In fact, I actually went out into the workforce on a few occasions to alleviate the financial burden. Pero, making more money never really helped. I spent more money, the house was neglected, I worried constantly, wondering if the babysitter would take care of mis hijos like I would. The kids missed me and worst of all it separated me from my beloved y no crees, the whole family could feel that shift in our home.

Being home put me into a good watchful position. A place where I could see my children when the possible dangers, the bad choices and the hurting moments arrived. Gracias a Dios for this position, how did I use it? I prayed, it was a burden I couldn’t carry alone or at all sometimes. There were times I intervened, when my child was in danger physically, verbally, emotionally and mentally. There were times that I had to let them work out their dilemma and definitely their salvation, I couldn’t force my faith on them, as much I wanted to. I didn’t catch everything, I’m shocked at the things my kids uncover now and I wonder how it passed by me?! and por supuesto there were things that I didn’t handle perfectly or even correctly. Many mothers suffer from condemnation,” if only I would have done…” I have fallen into that pit plenty of times, gracias a Dios that he pulls me out everytime. Sabes que? The children are gone now, but not too far away. I’m still a traditional wife, very dependent on my Cold Blooded Englishman. I’m still taking care of my Benjamin,and when I miss the opportunity to serve him, I feel ripped off. 

Daniella suggested that I write a nice job description of a tradwife? I don’t know if I could. It’s hard work, long hours, it’s messy most of the time and very few breaks. Why in the world did I do it?  I tried to say “because I wanted to” pero honestamente, when I was young I always thought and said I don’t ever “just” want to be a wife and mother; a homemaker, like mi ama

Pero pues the woman, the nurturer that I was created to be, rose to the occasion when that life choice presented itself and God made a way. I’ve experienced the benefits of love, peace and joy as we have worked on our marriage relationship. I feel such pleasure to see our children grow into good people in the community, happy to give back. I have felt incredible relief as I watch them still putting their faith in Christ, like we taught them at home. I hold on to a treasure of cards my children have given me over the years, telling me how grateful they are that I have been their mother. And what can I say about being able to maintain my home and receive my growing family, gracias a Dios, may I never forget all His benefits.

En Conclusíon

One dilemma I always faced was answering the question “Rosie what do you do?”  and sometimes it made me wonder. What do I do? Pero, mira nomas, now when people ask me “What do you do?” I’ll have the trendy right answer.

How To Manage Changes

I have made some changes. One has been to  increase my posting, y pues it is a challenge. I sit down to write and stare at my computer, I look at my phone… Oh! I gotta answer that text immediately. Hmmm…. I wonder what I can make for dinner? I am struggling. I don’t know if there’s a method, una llave? A special technique or touch that will open up the words, phrases and prose vault, where de repente, I’m flowing in writing fluency and writing good stuff regularly, like more than once a week. It’s coming, I know it, inspiration is around the corner.

 Mientras llega, I’ll share an essay (a rough draft, very rough) that I enjoyed rereading without my homeschooling teacher glasses on. No creas, I reread it and wanted to make all the corrections needed, but I remembered homeschooling days are finished! The essay was written by my 14 year old Benjamin Emery Greene, he was most likely in a hurry to get the assignment done.  Almost exactly 11 years ago, he was a very new brother in law. His older brother Jonathan and sister Daniella had just gotten married 2 months prior and he  was pondering on the big changes in our familia. It is always interesting to me the different perspectives people have, especially through the lens of children with life changing events.

Before the Weddings, After the Weddings

by Emery (age 14)

It was a week before the weddings and the house was crazy. We had guests living in our house until the weddings were over and we had my uncle staying in a trailer in our backyard. I suppose I would have been sad that my two siblings were getting married and leaving but there was no room in our house for that yet. The pantries were overflowing with pasta and our living room and backroom had wedding decorations all over. The fridge was filled with oranges and the closets had plastic plates and cups. With all the frenzy it was actually pretty fun. I liked the busyness, but then it came to a stop. After the two weddings were over, the guests slowly started to leave and the busyness vanished. Pretty soon it was down to just four; me, my little brother, my mom and my dad, but change can change you and that could be a good thing.

The weddings were beautiful. First came Jonathan’s. I especially liked his because I was a groomsman along with two of my cousins, Meno and Gerardo. I was super excited because I had never been a groomsman before and I really didn’t expect it. It was very exhilarating for me being able to sit at the big table and being served first. First we had to get ready at the house. It was actually really awkward at first because the photographers kept taking pictures of random things, like me buttoning up my shirt and putting my shoes on. But I had a lot of fun. Then when I was walking up the aisle and standing up I kept moving around because I had just heard that if you stand straight for too long you might pass out. I really didn’t want to pass out so I was really careful. Anyways it was a lot of fun. 

In Danielle’s wedding I wasn’t able to be a groomsman but I did walk down the aisle with her holding up her train with my little brother Thomas. In Danielle’s I didn’t have as much fun but it was still a nice wedding. Danielle’s was sadder to me though because she is my sister. It was especially sad when my Dad sang her a song. I think practically everyone cried. It was very sweet. Jonathan and I actually did our own song for her too. It was fun. The food was actually really good at both weddings and everyone had a good time. 

Before the weddings life was pretty different. I would say Jonathan was over more but that part hasn’t really changed. The only part that’s really different with Joanthan is that he doesn’t spend the night and he and Denise always kiss. When Jonathan first got married I thought he would never hang out with us anymore and he wouldn’t take me places but I can see now that I was wrong. I don’t go with them on dates anymore because they don’t need me. Three weeks after they were married I went to McDonalds with them. McDonalds isn’t the best place to go but it was still cool. I hung out with them almost all day because of the church outreach. It’s when our church goes around handing out flyers and stuff for church. Jonathan also came over a LOT, mainly to see his new dog, Oso. The day they got married they got a nice husky as their wedding gift. He has to stay at our house because their apartments don’t allow dogs. He’s very handsome. Denise also works close so when he gets off early he waits at our house to pick her up. As far as Danielle and Marcus, we only see them at church and sometimes a fellowship. They don’t come over much but she is really happy with him. It’s kind of funny to see the differences between Danielle and Marcus (compared) to Jonathan and Denise. Jonathan and Denise always kiss and hug but Danielle and Marcus, I don’t think I’ve seen them kiss other than on their wedding day.

Now that Danielle and Jonathan are married and have their own spouses, our life at home is a little different. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get my sister’s room but I guess I’m fine with mine. It actually feels really nice being the oldest kid in my house now but my favorite part of all is that we have more food and snacks. I guess you could call this whole experience a “journey” to help us grow and adjust. The hard part for me is the quietness. Our house is a lot quieter and less busy now that they’re gone. My schedule is also a lot freer now that I don’t have chaperone duties.  Chaperoning was fun mostly with Denise and Jonathan because they actually went out and got food and did stuff. They also included me in their conversations and laughed when I was funny. With Danielle they just went to some mountain or park and talked. They were also a good ride source for all the fellowships (church youth gatherings) and hangouts but now I need to find a new ride source. I really do miss the old times our family had; however there are benefits to our new family lifestyle also.

I have to say I didn’t mourn too much after the weddings but I definitely was sad. I am really happy for my two older siblings and their spouses and hope they have  good lives together. I hope they don’t leave their two little brothers and family out of their equation now that they’re married but remember all the times we helped and chaperoned them. Hopefully this experience has helped me grow and mature. Sometimes I don’t like the changes but as I said before. Change can change you, and that can be a good thing!

En Conclusíon:

I let the “writing bloopers” pass, it reminded me of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books without the cartoons. As I read Emery’s essay I was pulled back into those emotionally difficult days, y hasta ahora, I realized that the whole family was experiencing major changes. My Cold blooded Englishman exercised much self control as he sang a song to our beautiful daughter. My lil boys felt the loneliness of our quiet home. I mourned the loss of two children, not realizing that I would gain so much more. Por su puesto que Emery was right “Change can change you and that can be a good thing! Gracias a Dios for the many blessings that can come through changes. 

How To Follow A Recipe

We ladies love to talk about food. What we eat, what we cook, who we feed, how many people we were able to feed out of that one dish, Verdad que si? My bestie is in town and when she’s around I eat healthier and we talk about “creative cooking.” I’m not sure if that’s the best description of our food discussions. We’ve been working on easing me away from my Mexican food comfort zone. I tremble at the thought of using a recipe, es demasiado quehacer! Ya se, que exagerada, just how difficult is it to follow a recipe? Pues! Let me tell you that for me, it’s really hard to stay within the lines. Mira, here’s an account of another attempt to follow a “simple” recipe.

I have been talking a lot about stepping out of my comfort zone, cooking something that is not Mexican. The other day, I went all out and told Ben that I was gonna make breakfast for dinner. I told him I was going to make an egg bake, no recipe needed and it wasn’t Mexican. He said “ok” What else was he supposed to say right?. Caso Cerrado!  Until the afternoon when I was talking to my son Thomas about having an egg bake for dinner. He said, “oh…” imaginate the sad emoji with that “oh” I felt it. Especialmente when he said “Ma, I’m gonna be out so don’t worry about me for dinner” Wow! And I said “Maybe I should make a quiche with all the vegetables since…” My husband heard that and said “ooh quiche” and I had to quickly explain that I wasn’t really prepared to make a quiche. Ves, it required a recipe. Besides, I didn’t have the special cheeses and time and I couldn’t make a flaky crust and…I remembered my desire to go outside of the box. I told Ben I would find a recipe for a nice flaky crust. My flaco smiled.

The Recipe In My Kitchen

I jumped on youtube and found an easy recipe. I’m trying to keep my eyes from rolling, because again I confirmed the precipice of recipe climbing. All those details make me lose my way. 

Flour. Sugar. Salt.  Ice cold water. Diced up butter. Combine the butter, flour, sugar and salt, use your knuckles and fingers to work out all the clumps, until it’s all blended. Sprinkle in the ice cold water and use your knuckles to knead it and palms to fold it over, do not over knead it. Form into a ball and “chill” for 30 minutes. Then, use a pastry mat to roll out and transfer to fit your pie pan, remember to pinch off the excess. Luego, cut out parchment paper to fit and line the pie crust with it and freeze it for 30 minutes. Remove the frozen crust from the freezer, it was almost ready for a blind bake (huh?) Make a foil liner to fit into the frozen pie crust that is already lined with a parchment liner. Push it gently around the crust to shape it, weigh it down with pie weights (Que?). This will support the crust as it pre-baked at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

 That was the instructions for the pie crust. What of all that did I actually follow? I used ice water and fingers and knuckles. I baked it for 15 minutes. Let’s put it this way, I’m glad I wasn’t taking a test. Although I did learn two baking terms I didn’t know: “pie weights” and blind bake, I always called it pre-bake. I did not have all the ingredients for the filling, so I worked with what I had, como siempre. 

En Conclusíon

In my opinion, my quiche version looked really nice, pero, did my flaco like it? Yes he did, he asked for seconds. Did he love it? No se. I’m gonna try again, with the right cheeses and heavy cream, I used half n half. In the end I did make Thomas try it, veggies and all. He admitted that he was not a fan of quiche with all it’s veggies and pie crusts. Hijole! Why did I ask? He must have seen my disappointment because he then said “ It’s better mom, it’s almost flaky” maybe I was getting closer to flaky. Heavy sigh, Maybe the layers of tin foil with pie weights would have created the much desired flaky crust. I kind of want to run back to my easy green chile enchiladas.

My bestie says that she finds a recipe and always tweaks it, is that the case for most people? Does everybody do that? I want to know, quizas it’s ok to pick and choose parts of a recipe and let the “sazon” take over, I mean at the end of the day there’s got to be some magic in your fingers.

How A Dream Changed My Life

All through the day I’ve been scrambling through my mind and through my files to find a fun writing prompt or a happy one at least. It’s still raining in San Diego and so my heart is dreary and my mind is blocked. 

Pero mira, I found this thought I wrote last year. The year I was born again, the day, the hour, the place, all of it is still vivid. I’m glad I saw this because it reminded me of how patiently Jesus pursued me in winter, spring and summer that year of 1984. With all the heavy clouds I needed this reminder of his patient love.

“37 years ago my day began in the wee hours of the morning with a bubbly joyful laughter that woke my sister Patty up from her sleep. She shook me from that dream and when she asked what I was dreaming and why I was laughing, I said “Idk , but it has to do with your church.” When I got up for the day I knew something was up. And all day I watched for something, afraid of the unknown, and that evening (I had timidly gone to a church concert with my sister Patty) at the altar, Jesus Christ the author of my life met me and changed me (my heart and mind) forever. I was born-again.”

Como me acuerdo de esos días. Oh the turmoil of those days, the dissatisfaction I felt, the indignation of being told that I was a sinner. My empty heart pushed out Jesus, I already had religion. Mostly I remember the fear. I was afraid. “Changing” religions wasn’t something to mess with, what if God wasn’t provoking all this restlessness in my spirit? Was it possible that Jesus was calling me out of my religious habits and into a personal and intimate relationship with him? Did one individual matter so much? Jesus, the Savior of all the earth was seeking me? An awkward 18 year old girl. Why? Why wasn’t I ok in my religion? I questioned, I faltered, too afraid to offend and disappoint anyone, especially my apa and ama. What if? What if? As I write this I am thinking of the character Much-Afraid in the allegory book Hinds Feet on High Places. I was so “much afraid” to believe and accept the message of the gospel. 

To be honest, I don’t even remember the dream; the series of thoughts, images and sensations happening while I slept, except for the joyful laughter. Unspeakable joy that woke me up that morning and set my life onto a new path. I’m thankful that God did that for me, I was having a hard time doing what he wanted me to do. While I slept, all the questions, investigations and prayers I had challengingly put out to God came together and cleared the way for me. Me siento muy feliz, porque Dios esta conmigo siempre, y! I know that Jesus loves me so.

Out of The Pages of My Caregiving Diary

March 12th is a day to remember on the calendar for me. One of my dearest friends was born on this day, I am so grateful for her in my life. Y luego, my second grandchild was born on March 12, he also took a star position on that day. Hay mas! We also celebrate a special wedding day; Mr. & Mrs. Emmanuel Zepeda, happy anniversary Cita! Added to that beautiful day is the miracle God did for my granddaughter Rachel who was miraculously healed on that day from a dangerous hemangioma.

I had it all planned out to write something else with happy wishes on this post, and I did, pero, it didn’t feel right or good. In the midst of all those celebrations comes the cloud of loss. That day also brought loss for my apa. His second wife died on March 12. After his loss more change then confusion followed. As much as I do not want to go in that direction of mourning, I have remembered its sting.

Quizas la lluvia is adding to my mood, rain does that to me. My trip to Jalisco was beautiful, but also a stark reminder that of my apas 9 siblings, counting him, only 4 were with us still. Seeing my dad’s youngest sister at 79 years of age and his 93 year old little brother brought such sadness. Especialmente when he said “My brother was 96 years old when he left? Then I’ve only got 3 years left” She had commented “Ya nos estamos acabando” We are being finished off.

Looking through my journal I read about my caregiving days with my apa. It is with different eyes that I read those pages. I think I feel some guilt for feeling all that I felt. 

This page in my journal, dated October 26, 2019, arrested me as I remembered the turmoil of that season..

My Journal Page

10.26.19 Sat. Night

Maggie’s (this was one of his other caregivers) gone and I’m back on duty 😶 Lord I don’t know how to articulate what I’m feeling. Isn’t taking care of someone supposed to be to make them better? But instead, taking care of dad is about watching him grow weaker.

God I know talking to you should be enough. 

God these doctors seem to think or be leading me to accepting Dads death. Is this supposed to happen? God help me please. I feel so helpless. Dads weaker, Dads tired, dads lonely, I’m not making his life  better or mine. What did I expect by bringing dad here? (ves, in our attempts to help him and us, we had started to bring him to our home every month for two weeks, then back to his home. This only brought anxiety and confusion to him. When he was permanently in our home he knew it wasn’t his house, everyday that we helped him dress, he expected that it was the day he was going home)  

In my mind I thought maybe that he would find peace. I expected that salvation (ves I was praying for him to repent of his sin and ask Jesus to be Lord of his life) was gonna have him rejoice and be glad.

He’s not well, he’s not happy

I’m tired, maybe that’s what all this emotion is about?

God I wouldn’t want my kids taking care of me like this, my poor dad, so humiliating. What is the right thing?

The man he was is gone, maybe in a certain way that’s good?

I’m tired of having strangers in my home

I’m tired of feeling achy

I’m tired

God I feel such anxiety.

En Conclusion:

That was rough. The journaling did help and it helped now, but  so did talking with my sister. Lately I have been feeling a lot of emotion since I went to visit my apa’s siblings and his pueblo. It’s been a roller coaster, feeling high on the privilege that I was able to go to Jalisco, see the deserted little town of El Amparo. Y de repente, crashing down into loss, as I see his siblings also very old and frail. I realize again that mourning has no time table. For the most part the pain of loss does lessen with time, but triggers go off when you least expect it. Al fin de cuentas, I am glad me and my sis were with my apa when he needed us most. I am also glad to celebrate grandchildren, birthdays and wedding days with miracles. Thank you Jesus that you are always with us. 

Ama To The Rescue

El otro dia, my friend who is also an abuela, was wearing a t-shirt that said “Never Fear! Nonna is here” I loved it! Probably because it resonated with me. Somehow we abuelas always make a way to help our kids when we are able to. Pero ni se diga! For our grandkids we jump, run and maybe even speed up to help them, porque sera? 

Tuesday morning I received a text from my son. A text from my children first thing in the morning usually puts me on red alert. He needed help, mi nieta needed help. Por supuesto that I was available to help.

I left my cozy empty nest and went to help my daughter in law in her very full nest. It has been 20 years since I’ve had the daily life of raising little children and when I’m called to “mothering” like this, I’m shocked at the hard work it is. 

Here’s what my Tuesday To The Rescue looked like:

Denise walked out with Mari and closed the door behind her. Twilight Zone music is needed as we walk through this day.

Uriah, my 1 year old  nietecito had been awake for some time and he was hungry. In my opinion, mothers have a supernatural gift of interpretation. Denise, his mama deciphered through his grunts and cries. She not only discovered that he was hungry, but he did not want a cold breakfast, his gibberish screamed clearly “I want a hot meal!” Before she left Denise suggested that I make him a “huevito con wieny” She was sure that he was asking for a scrambled eggs mixed with a fried cut up hotdog. By this point his littlest big sister Rachel was up, gracias a Dios! Pero, she was too concerned about her loose tooth to pay attention to Uriah. He was demanding and protesting by throwing the dry cereal and drink off his high chair table. The mess had only just begun. 

I managed to cook up the hot meal, without too much damage to my nerves. Adevina what he did with “his ordered breakfast”…. Asi es. I needed to stop and take a deep breath. Rachel managed to eat her serving of breakfast despite her hanging bottom tooth. Y ahora, enter Nevaeh, aka Ve, pronounced Vey. Are you still tracking? Because the morning had only just begun. Ve also had a loose tooth and a worried face. I served her breakfast, but she wasn’t quite ready for it.

Uriah was done, or maybe he was undone?  I couldn’t tell if he had actually eaten, since most of his breakfast was on the floor, but he was moving to the next thing. And wanted off his high chair. De repente it was school time. Homeschoolers don’t necessarily have to get dressed right away. It does avoid at least one morning calamity, especialmente with 3 girls trying to get dressed for school each morning. In homeschooling, they can work at their desk in piyamas. Except that Ve said she preferred to wear a dress while school was in session because she noticed, (I peered into the screen) that some of the other little girls were wearing dresses, she had to hurry. I wasn’t prepared, pero gracias a Dios that Ve was on it. She came out in her dress ready for school. I guess it didn’t matter that her hair was messy. She quickly helped Rachel log on to her bible lesson, it was the first order of business for her. y luego I had the privilege of hearing Nevaeh recite the pledge of allegiance to the United States of America. It was music to my ears. 

With their headsets on, they had settled into their routine, Uriah’s clatter and clamor didn’t bother or distract them too much. He seemed to be listening to their recitals and interaction, going back and forth between the girls. Three year old Jeremiah rose from his slumber groggy and wet. Since he’s still in potty training mode his overnight diaper needed to come off and he was handling it, “very nice Jejo go through it in the trash” Then he stuck both legs into the same leg opening of his chonies, “D’ma, Dma can you help me? He was stuck in his underwear. Rachel needed help with her worksheet and Uriah wanted something, it sounded like he wanted breakfast again?! 

I did it! I got Jeremiah’s underpants on him, helped Rachel, quieted Uriah, caught my breath and then…. Everyone was hungry again. Back to the kitchen. Round and round we went. We played outside. Nevaeh coordinated a nice quesadilla and orange wedges lunch which I served. I cleaned up the kitchen, worked on more school work, worked on my blog, asi es, I managed to squeeze in some writing.  Did I mention that the puppy, Darius? Pues, he believes he’s the real baby of the family and was seeking my attention too! Y pues he got it. He got in trouble with me for interrupting my game with Jeremiah; “Iron Man and his lady friends.” Pobrecito, he didn’t know you don’t interrupt ama with a wet nose to the face, especially when she’s focused on her role play. 

En Conclusion:

 Y ahora, now that I’ve recovered, le doy gracias a Dios for my life. Technically I would write my gratitude list in my gratitude dairy but I think it fits right on this page.

Primero, gracias a Dios that everyone was well, that the urgent doctor visit wasn’t so urgent after all.

Luego, I realize that I’m still living that “stay at home and raise my kids life” only now I’m available for my nietos. Thanks to my covering; Benjamin Greene, who has taken good care of us, his family for 34 years.

Tambien, gracias a Dios for my daughter in law, God bless her and give her wisdom and strength to teach, influence and pray my grandchildren into God’s Kingdom.

Y finalmente, I am grateful for my grandchildren, they add so much sugar and spice to my life. Nevaeh was a wonderful little helper, and all the others were little angels of course. My son Jonathan says that they’ve got me whupped!” Hijole!

You know you’re a grandparent when you laugh when your grandkids do the same things that made you so angry when your kids did them.” – author unknown

How To Benefit From Your Bible Journal

Daniella added a Bible Journaling page to my blog and, in strong latina fashion I’m feeling all kinds of emotions about it. Journaling is already a great tool for any person trying to figure out life. I call it my free therapy sessions (writers, you get me). I put it on paper and see my issue, not just feel it, somehow it helps.  When I add bible reading to the process, the living Word of God, journaling helps me absorb it. I find answers to all the questions of life. 

I have found the facts in the bible incredulous! Así es, the stories are also super dramatic and even scandalous at times. I love it!

I get so excited about the secrets I uncover that I find any opportunity to share my findings. I’m probably too much for my flaco, but my friends indulge me and my kids, pues, they stop and listen to me, I am their mother after all.

I am looking forward to sharing, but I’m nerviosa because everything I write es gran cosa. I want others to be amazed with my grand revelations. Ojala it comes out nice and crisp, porque pues my journal is blotchy with tears and smears. 

 There is this thing, this lurking vanity that says “Mira, she’s so organized”….. like my thoughts are ever organized, hijole. Here’s my “nice diagram” attempt to show you what my journaling process might look like: 

Pero ya sabes, it’s not really that neat and orderly. Ya te imagínas! 

En conclusión 

I told Daniella to be more dramatica about the title of this page but she’s not convinced it needs to be. Really! A strong Latina woman and her journals?! 

Bible journaling is so incredibly helpful, I strongly recommend it, and you’ll see que Dios te va a bendecir.

Celebrating 33 Years of Motherhood

Let The Redeemed of The Lord Say So

Tomorrow is my firstborn’s birthday and I want to shout it on the mountain tops that Jonathan Esteban Greene es mi hijo. I labored very hard on March 5th, 33 years ago and out of me, imaginate, came this beautiful baby boy who captured my heart. In my really loud voice, I want the world to know that I love him so much. That handsome young man is a product of our marriage covenant, he is our blessing and I love to tell anyone that will listen who my children are. My pastor always quotes “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so” 

For 33 years I’ve watched and prayed for this son of mine, he is a man that doesn’t share his heart too much, too many words are just that, too many words. Acuerdense, he is Benjamin Greene’s son, my Cold blooded Englishman, man of few words. Pero as his mother, sometimes I just know when I must pray and pray.  I’ve held my breath as the pages of his life have turned. 

  • His adolescent years were angry ones as he was fighting God. He wanted God in his world sometimes, only when necessary, and it ticked him off when God convicted him of his sin. Why was everything he liked a sin? God was boring, God’s ways were boring and God obviously didn’t care for him. 
  • As a teenager, when he got out of that gawky weird stage and he turned into a fine young stud, the girls were looking his way and he tried to hide his “god” into a nice “Sunday only” religion. In high school he was considered a “nerdy white boy” He was determined that things were going to change.They did. He had to figure out adulthood, more schooling? Working? Girls? He went back and forth too afraid to go all the way into the dark alleys of the world but sick of “religion.” How uncomfortable it is to know the scripture in Mat 28:20 “…I am with you always, even unto the ends of the earth” when you crave things outside of God’s path.
  • When sweet Denise captured his heart, he gave in to God for just a little while, maybe just maybe there was something good in God’s plan after all. He didn’t pay too much attention to God as he recited his marriage vows and made her his wife. Gracias a Dios that He was with them, marriage can be wearisome to put it nicely, pero sin Cristo? Hijole! 
  • When he became a father and he didn’t know what to do with this fragile little bundle, he remembered God again and then again as the children came, pero aun asi, Jesus needed to be Lord of his life, all of it.
  • Then came that life changing encounter with God that propelled him into his true destiny, the road to salvation, the road to peace and to his calling. 

In this manner, my first born has battled through a few things, tripping and falling on his face at times, but he is clinging to Jesus, he remembers what he’s been pulled out of, and with that knowledge I rest. This weekend I will celebrate his birthday with such pleasure. Mi hijo es, como dice el dichoun hombre hecho y derecho” He is a man’ s man! A hardworking tradesman by day; go ahead and call the plumber. Mas importante, he’s God’s man. He has responded to his calling to preach the Gospel of Jesus and is a pioneer pastor, he’s out in the fields gathering the crops and then gleaning for the Lord of the Harvest. 

“Mi hijo, is a good man!” Feliz cumpleaños a mi Primogénito! I love its intensity in español. To my first born I say “Que Dios te Bendiga Jonathan Esteban” and your Tata would say “Echale ganas!” 

How To Management When Your Empty Nest Fills Up

Deja, te platico about my Empty Nest experience, in case I haven’t already. Wikipedia describes it as “a feeling of grief and loneliness” When my first born was “muy hombrecito” and it was time for him to move at 19 years old, my heart felt like something was torn out of it.  Que feo! That brick in my heart was heavy. I cried silently and wore death on my countenance, hijole! It hurt so much. Then just as soon as I had recovered, que pasa? Both of my young adult children choose to get married, one right after the other, a week apart.  I still had two more boys at home, shouldn’t I have been too busy to feel that Empty Nest Syndrome so intensely? It was muy dramatico, In a very latina fashion. Now another son is married and moved out and the youngest is grown and spreading his wings. Pero gracias a Dios,  I have overcome and adjusted.

Those things I dreaded have been conquered!

Benefits of and Empty Nest

  • A quiet house- it took a minute to get used to it, the chatter at the dinner table I do miss at times, but a quiet house can be so restful. 
  • No worries about a babysitter- We come and go, not a bit anxious about how the kids are doing. Well maybe a little bit for Thomas still, but he doesn’t need a babysitter anymore.
  • Housework is cut in half! Or less, it’s easier to keep it up.
  • Going out on a date is so much easier-now. just about finding a free night or making a slot in our busy schedule. I do wonder how it is that we continue to be so busy with no kids filling our schedule? 
  • And last but definitely not least is that after 34 years of marriage and 4 raising kids, we want to be friends and enjoy one another’s company. We are relearning each other and enjoying this phase while at same time totally enjoying our adult kids and our grandkids. 

We, Ama and Apa have embraced the Empty Nesters life. Kids and grandkids visit then go home. Every few days we gear up because our Empty Nest gets full of adult children and grandchildren and sometimes Ben and I feel like we’ve gone through the “drain & spin” cycle of our washer. During those visits, I’ve got 3 hats on; mom, ama and hostess! It gets crazy to maneuver through the chatter and make sense of all that’s going on. When we recover with a moment of silence, sometimes lasting up to four days, we wonder where everyone is at why haven’t they come over?

Yesterday the grandkids visited us. It was very exciting. Each one of my nietas came loaded with a backpack and large drinking water bottle. Mari, the oldest, was also carrying a grocery bag full of goodies. While they were diligently distributing their hugs, first Ama then Apa, I asked “Wow! Are you moving in?” Nope! They were just visiting, but they came prepared because at amas house there are no toys anymore and they weren’t sure if I was gonna have enough food for their little army. A disclaimer is needed, I am always prepared or quickly get prepared when it comes to offering food, I wouldn’t be a true latina otherwise!  As for their backpack full of things to do, asi es!  I got rid of the toybox! Although they constantly leave some of their toy accessories behind. Our quiet house exploded in noise and activity. “Ama what are we going to eat? Ama look what I can do! Ama what are we going to do? Let me tell you the funny thing that happened to us.” Uriah the baby woke up cranky and hungry. Ama and Apa had barely fastened on seatbelts! We’d been out of town for a couple weeks, so it was a whirlwind evening. I missed them and the good conversation I get with my daughter in law. Thomas, our last one still at home, who is not too adjusted to our quiet house, was loving the chaos. 

Apa making popcorn with our nietos

En Conclusion:

Gracias a Dios that I have the best of both worlds. I love being Ama and I love quiet days, with some conversation and alone time with my flaco.