My Life Without God

I’ll admit sometimes it’s annoying and other times it’s humbling the types of remarks my husband and I receive. We often hear things like “Your life must be easy, because your marriage is perfect,” or “your children are perfect”. We chuckle because we know WE ARE NOT PERFECT! Although we do aim for perfection because in Matthew 5:48, God tells us too! Side note: God never asks us to do something we cannot do. It’s achievable. The honest truth is we have conflicts in our marriage just like everyone else; we are guilty of yelling at our kids sometimes, getting angry, frustrated and disappointed like everyone else. What gives us this appearance that we “have it all together” is not because we spend countless hours looking for the best posed picture for Instagram or rehearsing how to “act” in front of others; it’s because we work HARD at keeping God the center of EVERYTHING.

God is the center of our marriage, parenting style, self-care, friendships, work, everything! We use His Word, the Bible as our instructional manual. We constantly turn the pages of the Bible looking for guidance, strength or direction. We’ve learned that when we seek God’s wisdom, we find a path that’s error-proof. It so happens, that when anyone seeks God, He gives grace and glory as a bi-product (Ps. 84:11). What people observe in our lives is not the greatness of Juan or Angelita. It’s the greatness of our God and what He can do in a family.

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One early morning, while I was in prayer, I began to thank God for all the blessings He’s given me. If you’re new to prayer, always start with thanking God for your blessings. Ps 100:4 says you enter God’s gates with a thankful heart. In that moment of thanksgiving, I thought about my life without him. Immediately I felt prompted to write this blog…”What would my life be like without God?” Truthfully, because I know how to recognize God’s hand in my life, I can easily write all day what He has saved me from, healed me from, redeemed from, delivered my from… you get the picture. I’m going to do my best just highlight a couple areas of really what my life would be like without God.

My Life Without God…

I would not have been married, but bitter and full of hurt. Because I struggled so much in my adolescence fighting against God’s love and will, I dealt with rejection after rejection in my relationships. While God was trying to keep me from hurt, it was like I was running to it. It didn’t take long before I felt battered and broken.

worried-girl-413690_1280Even early in Juan and I’s relationship, we had conflicts in our beliefs and how to live our lives. Outward influences constantly put roadblocks in our relationship. Not to mention, we were immature. We had no idea what healthy dating looked like or even what a healthy marriage was supposed to be. There were times we hurt each other so deeply, recovery looked impossible. We struggled with trusting one another, validating each other and managing conflict. It’s without a doubt if we didn’t have God, we would have never married! I would have never fought for our relationship through prayer. I can’t number the times I cried before God for my husband, my heart and our relationship. By God’s grace, He led us to a church that would show us how to be a husband and wife and teach use how to have a healthy marriage.

I would have had poor eyesight and Scoliosis. I recently shared with a friend when I was in sixth grade I had really bad back pain. I always assumed it was due to a bad fall. Until one church service, right before a minister prayed for me, I discovered I had one leg longer than the other. I had scoliosis. The man called my mom to witness and before our very eyes, God stretched out my leg to align with my other leg. In that same week, God healed my family’s eyes (we all wore prescription glasses) and he filled my Dad’s cavities (at that time we couldn’t afford to go to the dentist and my dad desperately needed fillings). I am convinced there’s nothing God cannot do!

I would have had chronic stomach pain. When I was in high school, for years I had chronic stomach pain. After countless examinations, tests and diet suggestions, the doctors were never able to identify the onset of my terrible pain. I remember crying night after night in horrible pain, until one night I cried out to God. I fell asleep and the pain never returned.

I would have been dead. Honestly, God has saved my life more times than I can count. One day I dropped off my husband at work and I wasn’t feeling well enough to drive. Despite my condition, I persisted. I was driving to Sac City College to double up my load while attending CSUS. I didn’t make it. I made a wrong turn and I ended up driving my little old sports car right under a 4X4 truck head on. My car was completely smashed. I walked away sore but without a scratch.

I would have been mentally unstable and socially scarred. At four years old I was molested by my Uncle. It went on for a while until one day my mom confronted me about my suspicious behavior. I was trapped in fear for so long and completely ignorant about the severity of the situation. After the truth had been revealed, so much division came upon my family and relatives. The situation haunted me for years, it distorted my relationships with significant others and effected my view of intimacy until God healed my brokenness.

I would have been depressed with a broken heart. My brother and I had a very close relationship to the point when I was in high school and going through some really tough times, I literally told God, “I don’t care if any one dies but please don’t ever take my brother.” I was ignorant, full of hurt and didn’t know God’s character as much as I do know. God doesn’t “take”, he “gives”. Yet here I was less than four years later after uttering those words, hearing the one person I didn’t think I could live without was no longer alive. My whole life felt crushed. I can remember my boyfriend (now husband) practically carrying me to the car as we left the movie theater. I happen to take my mom’s call during the previews. She told my boyfriend the news to prepare him for my reaction. A moment later she told me what had happened. Juan helped me out of the theater while I wailed. I’m surprised no one stopped him to see what had happened to me. God met me in my distress. He picked up the pieces of my broken heart, mended and healed me of my wounds. At that point in my life I had to know God was real. Church couldn’t be an event and faith couldn’t be a fad. I needed to know God as my Comforter. I had to trust Him like never before. Like a loving Father, He began to reveal to the answers to my questions, comfort my heart and hold me when I felt alone. I’m forever grateful for God’s love and the promise I have to see my brother again.

Honestly, I could never imagine the fullness of my life without God. Life without Him is inconceivable. He is the air the breathe. He is my source of strength and peace. He is my hope when I feel all hope is gone. He is my help when I don’t see a way of escape. My heart grieves for those that don’t know Christ. I couldn’t endure the weight of this world and all of its turmoil on my shoulders. God knows no can, which is why He had to send us Jesus.

So when people admire my family, my marriage or my life, I can’t accept the credit. What they are all seeing is the light of God within us and what He can do in a surrendered heart. There is no darkness too deep, He cannot deliver you out of. No act too horrible, He cannot forgive. No brokenness too scattered He cannot mend and heal. God is able to help, heal, recover, mend all who are willing to allow him to. He loves us all. There’s nothing we can do to change that fact. Still we are all given a choice. A choice to receive His love or reject it. I’m praying you receive His love. Believe me, you won’t regret it. As my Pastor says, “Life goes better when God is first.” I know it to be true.

Praying for you,

Angelita

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Random Acts of Kindness -Advent Calendar

Last year I started a new tradition in our household. I incorporated random acts of kindness with our advent calendar (or countdown to Christmas). As we countdown the days to Christmas, beginning December 1st, we do one random act of kindness each day until Christmas morning.

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Overcoming a Low Self-Esteem

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Read the entire post here.

On my birthday, my husband hacked my personal Facebook page and left the most beautiful, uplifting post about me. It was a message that probably gave the impression that I am a perfect woman. Which I am not! Regardless, he went on describing how I am this “superwoman” doing all these amazing things. As I read his post I kept thinking, “How is this me? I am in no way the woman he is describing!” Although his message was sincere and sweet, I had the hardest time reading it. My judgmental radar was up and I began to criticize every word he wrote. I wasn’t looking for any errors on his part, rather it was I who was on the surgery table to be scrutinized.

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Believing for a Miracle

My husband and I were married 8 years before we decided to start trying for a baby. I think we had many of our family members and friends convinced we were never going to have children. Yet, we honestly delayed what we felt was inevitable because we were enjoying each other’s company as a married couple. Before we were married, we spent a majority of 6 years dating alongside each other studying for hours. With my pursuit in science and his in engineering, it was rare for either one of us to have any spare time. Not to mention, the numerous jobs we’d work to avoid student loans and our devoted hours to church involvement. It felt like we entered a whole new world once we were married with our degrees, careers, and a new home. There was a freedom to experience life and explore the world together. So we did.

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Equipping Your Child for Success in Perilous Times

The other day, I had a conversation with a friend about the challenges children at this present time endure even at a young age. Between the shootings that have occurred at elementary schools, child prostitution, and unlimited, uncensored access to information, without a doubt our children are being raised in a different world than we were.

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You’re Being Watched! What is Your Life Teaching Your Children?

As I was scanning my Pinterest home feed I came across this quote:

“Based on how you spoke to (or about) your husband, today, what did you teach your son to look for in a wife?” – Matthew L. Jacobson.

After reading it, I immediately stopped and reflected. I honestly in that moment didn’t know if I was happy with the image I’ve been painting for my son, specifically what I wanted him to look for in a wife. Of course, I could go on and on about the characteristics of a good wife and what I’d hope he’d find in his future spouse. Still nothing can outweigh the constant display I’ve put before my son day after day. Whether I like it or not, I’m defining and creating for him a perception of what a wife is and what he may look for when he’s searching for her.

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I’m stressing out! How Do I Balance Everything?

It seems like the ultimate struggle in life is balancing it!  Honestly, how can we balance our lives without pulling our hair out? From work responsibilities, house chores, caring for our elderly relatives, parenting our children, being involved in our church and/or community to maintaining our relationships, we have more than enough tasks to occupy every hour of the day without any breaks. God forbid we neglect our health or hygiene along the way! Why does a mother feel like she has to be the Pinterest Queen of all things Martha Stewart, the Supermodel to keep the eyes of her husband, the Rachel Ray in her kitchen because the family gets bored with the same meals, and a walking Google search engine, since we’re expected to know and do everything at home? It’s absurd! We’re inundated with so many responsibilities and we’re pulled in multiple directions. To add to the madness, our society pressures us to look and be a certain way. We experience pressures of being successful,  drowning.jpgalways giving the perception we have everything put-together, appearing prosperous, and ultimately achieving the American dream. There’s judgments about how we do everything! It’s like there’s this vehement water current rushing at you without any mercy. You feel inclined to flow with it, but you’re losing ground and sinking seems inevitable. If you stop, you’ll be overwhelmed by waves and drown. No wonder we deal with such immense emotions of indecision and worry. We feel empty, exhausted, and drained!  What can we do? How do we balance everything?

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ABC Bible Verses

I’m so excited!! My little man has memorized all his ABC Bible Verses!  Take a look at my video of him reciting each one. It’s too cute!  I’m one proud Mama!

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I am so proud of my son!  I blessed him with a gift.  Matteo (3 years, 4 mos) received a Take-n-Play Talking Henry from Thomas & Friends.  Can you tell he’s excited?
My original plan for him was to learn two verses every month and be done by the end of the year. My son was so eager to learn them all; he was pushing me to teach him the last four scriptures within a week!

If you’re looking for tips to help your little ones memorize scripture, check out my blog post here. I go over some of the methods and tips I used in helping my toddlers memorize scripture.

Because some of you inquired, I also posted the verses I used below. I’ve also converted all of the verses into flash cards, so I can clear up some space on toddler’s playroom cork-board (where they are presently posted). Plus it will make it easier for me to review the scriptures with them now that they’re in a flashcard format.IMG_5045

If you’re interested in a FREE download of my ABC Bible Verses Flashcards contact me by filling out your information below. You can also pin them to your boards on Pinterest for other families to use.

Enjoy and God Bless!

~Angelita

ABC Bible Verses

A: Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Matt 7:7

B: …Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Eph 4:32 nlt

C: Casting all your care upon him; for he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

D: Do everything without complaining and arguing. Philippians 2:14 nlt

E: Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name. Psalm 100:4 nlt

F: Fear not, for I am with thee…  Isaiah 43:5

G: Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. Proverbs 4:23 nlt

H: Honor thy father and thy mother then you will live a long full life in the land the Lord your God has given you. Exodus 20:12

I: Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Eph 5:1 nlt

J: Judge not, that ye be not judged. Matt 7:1

K: Then keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies! Psalm 34:13 nlt

L:  Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud.  1 Corinthians 13:4

M: Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. Ps 98:4

N: Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Romans 12:17 nlt

O: Children, Obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Eph 6:1

P: Pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17

Q: Quench not the Spirit. 1 Thessalonians 5:19

R: Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Exodus 20:8

S: Seek ye first the kingdom of God. Matthew 6:33

T: Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy path. Proverbs 3:5-6

U: Understanding is like a fountain which gives life to those who use it, but foolishness brings punishment to fools. Prov 16:22 ncv

V: Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord. Romans 12:19

W: Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble. Prov 13:20 nlt

X: Exceeding great and precious promises are given unto us. 2 Peter 1:4

Y: You are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Matthew 5:14

Z: Zion heard and was glad. Psalm 97:8

 

 

 

How My Toddlers Memorize Scripture

I occasionally post videos of my son quoting scriptures from the Bible on Facebook (Click the links to view the videos (July 27, 2016, June 8, 2016, Feb 18, 2016, July 17, 2015, July 17, 2015).  Generally after a posting, my friends and family start asking me how do I get my toddler to memorize all these scriptures.  In this blog I’ve included some of the simple tips and tools I use; however to start off, it really boils down to these three things:

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