Thursday, February 26, 2009

True Love

God has REALLY been speaking to me lately. I can’t believe how absolutely amazing His power and understanding is. This morning I was thinking about love. I started reading a book called Hinds’ Feet On High Places by Hannah Hurnard and I found myself meditating on the power of love. When I first met my husband I was such a lost soul inside. I couldn’t understand how this guy actually liked me. Of course, I didn’t know the One true love there is, God. How did I expect to know how to give love, if I didn’t know what True Love really was.

Gradually, I began to get lifted out of the pit I had dug for myself. Looking back I can see it in slow motion, first my hand reaches for the skies then my body follows. My feet are the last to be taken up. I do not drag with remorse; I do not weigh much… I am raised as if gliding through the air like a light feather. That is how easy it is for God to raise us up. So many times what hindered me were the perceptions I had of myself that weighed me down like a ball and chain does to so many. I can see myself sinking into the blackness of the massive ocean. My breaths are diminishing, the oxygen in my lungs is running out…I look around in the claustrophobia of my mind and see no one to hold on to. Nothing. Not even a rock to grasp onto or even a simple leaf floating from its rooted base. The heaviness of the iron ball is pulling me down into the abyss…I cannot breath. Oh Lord, help me!

"I love those who love me; And those who diligently seek me will find me." Proverbs 8: 17

And as soon as I uttered those words in my deep desperation, there He was. His hand punctured through the wall of the surface of the ocean. It rushed down and reached my faint hand. Out of the nothingness I was in, there was the perfect, strong hand that allowed me to hold on to. The heaviness of the attached iron ball disappeared no longer sinking me down, isolating me from the world above. There was hope. Even though there weren’t any more breaths to breathe, the hope and inspiration of the ever-waiting air I’d soon be inhaling were enough to propel my body into a courageous survival mode.

"...and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us." Romans 5:5

Life was just a few moments away, welcoming me and myself. It did not mock me nor let any prejudice mask its judgment about me. I was soon to be free and let life embrace the new love I had to give.

His love sees no boundaries. His love accepts anyone and many. His love is without guilt or humiliation. His love is perfect and whole. The best part is His love is guarded individually for your every need.

"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13:34-35

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Listening to God

I got what I thought was a crippling phone call the other day. It was from our life insurance broker telling me that he could not find a company that would insure me. My body reacted first the way it always does. First, I felt a rush of warmth go through my body finally landing in my heart. Second, a massive uncomfortable knot began to make its way to my vocal cords eliminating my ability to speak. Third, my eyes were conquered with childlike tears…I felt horrible and my first thought was, Nobody thinks I’ll make it through this disease.”

When Hector got home, I didn’t tell him right away. I kept the depressing feeling to myself. I found myself being that person from long ago…the one that would keep things bottled up deep inside; never letting anyone know what was wrong or even letting anyone attempt to help me. It was tough though, to keep it to myself. At bedtime I finally gave in and told Hector that there wasn’t an insurance company out there that would insure my life. You know what his response was? You don’t need any insurance company to insure your life. God has already done that for you.” That was all he said in the darkness of the room before falling asleep. Lingering in the calmness of his voice I closed my eyes and prayed. I gave thanks to God because He was able to speak to me with such simple words yet they filled me with substantial security and peace. I slept so well that night.

Sometimes God speaks to us through many different means. I’m glad He uses my husband to speak to me at times, but it’s not always Hector that He uses…Sometimes it comes from children or even through prayer. Sometimes He speaks to me through pictures or words or even movies. I pray that I will always listen to His voice. So many times before I was lost asking to hear His voice but never realizing that all I had to do was listen.
"But whoever listens to Me will dwell safely, And will be secure, without fear of evil." Proverbs 1:33

Friday, February 13, 2009

Your Legacy After Death

Until recently when I was diagnosed with Pulmonary Hypertension I began to actually think about Death. I was so overwhelmed with the information I was reading on the internet that I couldn’t find anything positive to think. I read that ten years ago most diagnosed patients were dying within a matter of two years. Two years. I looked at my children and thought, “I will never see you grow up”. The more I began to learn about the disease I realized that through the many medications irrupting in this rare disease life expectancy has been raised from five years to twenty years and even more in some cases…(

Nobody wants to talk about death but I think it’s important…It is one of those topics we prefer not to deal with. The first thing you might think about with this topic is what death is like? But I think we’re missing the point. We should be asking ourselves: what kind of legacy will I leave behind if I were to die tomorrow? What contribution did I leave in this world? I know there are lots of agnostics out there that see this in black and white. We live and we die, that’s it. But those that are left behind, what about them? We’re in a time where some want to do everything possible to save the Earth, stop Global Warming, The Fight Against Aids in Africa and everywhere, Feed the Children, but what about people. What can we do but to live a life where we exemplify plain old values and moral beliefs that will eventually lead to uplift all these other great efforts? If we really cared about these causes then we’d surely practice what we preached. We would try to be better people through our actions not just words.

Do people really know you? Or do they just know your face and what you’ve told them. Do people really know what you’re all about and what your stands are? When I was in the eleventh grade taking Literature, my teacher taught us to show, not tell in our writing. I think this motto should be used in our daily lives. We need to SHOW people who we are by being an upright example; not just TELL them who we are because ultimately words are just words, until you put some action into them. For example, if you’ve given some form of advice to someone, was it given from the heart? Or were you feeding your ego by saying the words you knew they wanted to hear? Is your life a leading example of what you preach? Can we truly live with one foot in and one foot out? Be one person here and another there? In your good intentions have you lead people by giving godly advice for a life fulfilled in blessings or have you given the advice and then not bothered to ask years later how they’re doing.

“Words of the wise, spoken quietly, should be heard Rather than the shout of a ruler of fools.” Ecclesiastes 9:17

I have started to reflect on my life and the way I’m living it because that is how I’m showing the world who I truly am. I can say all I want to people; that I’m a nice person and love to do this and love to do that, but nobody should believe me until they’ve actually seen me do it. Right? Are we followers or are we leaders? Do you enjoy spending time with that person because he/she makes you a better person or because he/she is cool and lets you slide in the areas of your life that are not right?

“It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise Than for a man to hear the song of fools.” Ecclesiastes 7:5

We all know deep inside when we’re doing something wrong. You can say all you want; what’s right to one person is wrong to another…but deep inside you know. We all do. We can cover it up as much as we want, we can bury it way back there where nobody –not even you, remember it. You can remove yourself from the people that will scorn your wrong doings, but nothing will ever take away that little voice in your head. The voice that’s there all the time, you try to disguise it, you try to overlook it, you try to be smarter than it…But it’s still there. Knocking at your soul, wanting to get in. Telling you what’s right and what’s wrong. How long will you live like this? Have you ever experienced the freedom of letting go? Letting go of all that is unworthy in your life. Being a true person to those that surround you should be what we leave behind after we die.

"For the living know that they will die; But the dead know nothing, And they have no more reward For the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished; Nevermore will they have a share In anything done under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 9:5-6

What will they say about you? He was a nice person… she was so pretty… He was so young…I knew him through such and such person. What will they remember about you when nobody else is listening…He belittled me…she made me feel like I was bad in this…He criticized me all the time…-That’s it? Is that the legacy that you want to leave behind?
How about this: He made me a better person. She gave me hope and made me feel important. He was always there for me… she taught me this and he showed me that… I’m going to continue his or her journey to be this or to do that…Better?
I’m not saying we won’t make mistakes…I’m not saying I’ve been perfect. None of us are; but we can certainly try. The Lord knows when you’re trying to do what’s good, even if those around you don’t even notice it. He is everlasting and is even in your thoughts. Your good deeds will not go unseen. Let us walk with our hearts and not just talk the talk but also walk the walk by showing with our actions what we’re all about.

“I thought about my ways, And turned my feet to Your testimonies.” Psalms 119:59

“Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.” Ephesians 4:28

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


I remember feeling so excited to hear someone’s TRUE emotions and whatever was going on in their spiritual life when we got to the Bible study session at Church that day. A few of us had joined this intense form of 'psychotherapy' with a visitor from another church, it was a Bible study like none other and who knew it would change my life forever? Every session consisted of the passing of a sackcloth bag filled with different colored marbles. There was only ONE WHITE marble amongst all the others. Before each session we prayed for God’s magnificent power to rain upon us. The visiting speaker, Molly, said that this day had been planned by God from the beginning of time. And whomever in the lottery, as I called it, got the WHITE marble that person was the CHOSEN one to come up front and sit in front of Molly and bring out whatever had been kept deep inside. This was God’s way of liberating those chosen, week after week.

The room was cold that day and every one of my friends was there. It was my way of supporting friends that brought me there in the first place. It was never meant to be a reflection on my own life. I had accepted Jesus as my Savior years ago and really didn’t feel like anything was wrong in my life. As the sackcloth bag was passed around like an offering tray, I mumbled and giggled with those sitting next to me. I got hold of the bag and reached in to get my pretty marble, I didn’t even think of looking at the color. Surely I’d get another pretty color as many times before. When I took a glance at my marble, I screeched inside and felt a wave of heat go through my entire body finally landing in my heart. THE WHITE MARBLE! Oh Lord, it’s a mistake! I looked at the sackcloth bag making its way down the aisle and felt a rush of emotion at the thought of the wasted energy that everyone was going through by picking their own marbles, afterall I was the one with the doomed future. Finally everything became quiet and everyone started looking around because everyone had gotten a marble without having chosen the white one. Molly was sitting up front on stage and looked around at all the faces with those almost psychic eyes. She knew! I finally got the courage and stood up, “I have the white marble. I guess it’s my turn.”
When she began asking me questions it was as if Jesus was reminding me of those dark times in my life long ago. I had buried them so deep inside that I didn’t even remember anything until that moment. Little by little everything came out. The years I spent in depression as a child and throughout my early teens was revealed. I felt as if I were walking naked parading in front of everyone so they may see and criticize all the imperfections I had covered up. I remember crying and feeling that Jesus was truly liberating me of all those lies the devil had gruesomely fed me. I believed I was worthless, ugly and unimportant. I believed I would never amount to anything. I believed I had to do things with friends just so they’d like me or so I’d become more popular. Feelings of jealousy and envy dominated my alone time. Nobody knew what I was going through. Outside all my elementary school friends thought I was just ‘Funny Elizabeth’. But inside I was battling my own lonesome fight against the massive beast I called suicide and depression. Not even those closest to me like my own mother and father knew what I was enduring. As I closed my eyes and pressed the tears out, the image of myself in my room as a child with the door closed was so clear and vivid. I use to sit in front of a mirror wishing I was gone. I asked God one too many times why I had to hurt so much. Not ever realizing that He was there, gathering all my tears into his heart and magnanimous throne.

That day at Bible study, I realized I was not alone. Never alone. I learned that depression was an evil and selfish lie. I learned to look at others with love and not envy or jealousy. I learned to look into the eyes of a complete stranger and recognize the cry for help that I had had at one time. I learned to notice when others needed Christ’s everlasting love. I learned compassion and joy and mercy. You do matter. You matter to so many people. I believe God puts certain people in your life for the sole purpose of lifting each other up even if it’s just for a moment in time. But you always matter and have purpose. I learned to look outside the world of Lizzy and finally saw so many out there in need of love. Through God’s mercy we can help eachother become Godly people so that His perfect will may be done through us. It was then that I was finally liberated.

"My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory; The rock of my strength, And my refuge, is in God. Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Psalms 62:5-8

"The Lord God has given Me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to hear as the learned." Isaiah 50:4

Friday, February 6, 2009

No Worries

I was talking the other day with Hector, my hubby; we were remembering what life was like as children. He told me about living in Mexico with his mom and two sisters and how hard it was to be away from his dad. While awaiting the approval of their U.S. residency, his dad was working in the U.S. sending whatever money he made to them in Mexico. He mentioned how life was…playing in the dirt outside with his cousins and eating all that yummy Mexican candy. As a child he didn’t worry about how the bills or utilities were going to get paid. He didn’t worry about not having enough money for medical insurance or what kind of clothes he’d wear. Happiness to him was the times he spent with his grandfather and mother and sisters. A few of his relatives use to get together every week for bible study. He did not understand much about the Bible but one thing he loved was singing songs of praise to the Lord while his aunts heated up a pot of coffee. He calls it ‘CafĂ© Con Leche’…to this day he enjoys a good cup of coffee along with ‘pan dulce’. He remembers his grandfather talking about the book of Revelations and about all the stories in the Bible. These are the memories he treasures. One of our greatest desires is to provide meaningful memories like these for our own children.

The other night, Jacob came into our room and hopped onto our bed hoping we wouldn’t scorn him away to his own room. We didn’t. We opened our arms and embraced his little body in between ours. The smile on his face and the warmth of his little feet brought such peace to me. I realized then that this little three-year-old boy looked up to us for comfort. His eyes did not have any worries or stress. He counted on us to hug him and make him feel secure. And that is exactly what we did. His happiness consists of feeling his parents near him, not having a bunch of toys or even going out to play, but just to have us there with him. Whether he scrapes his knee or bruises his head, I’m there to hug him and nurse him back to health. Mothers and fathers, our hugs and our kisses mean the world to our children. That’s all they want from us. Just like our Father in Heaven wants to comfort us, let’s go to Him for security, warmth and love.

“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; Yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? ...But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
Matthew 6: 25-26, 33

The Happiest Place on Earth

The Happiest Place on Earth

Peaceful Hawaii

Peaceful Hawaii