2/27/2009

Me again


How many times have you read a portion of scriptures and never got much from that particular portion, and one day the Lord uses it to encourage you in a way that turns that portion into one of your favorites.

That has happend to me many times. I remember right before we came to Spain, I was afraid. What a responsability!.Would we dissapoint people? Would we dissapoint God? Am I ready? Psalm 91 was a great strength for me. Satan knew it was time, and it was trying to get me to be afraid. This parts were of great encouragement

vr 2: my God; in him will I trust.

vr 4-5: He shall cover thee with his feathers,and under his wings shalt thou his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror, by night; nor for the arrow, that flieth by day.

God knows we get scared easily, and in His mercy He has given us 366 verses about not being afraid. There is no God like our God.


Psalm 18: 1-3 has been close to my heart for many years now. "I will love thee, oh Lord my stregth". When things get complicated those words are like medicine to my soul.


Psal 107 has been a help to me today, especially verses 4-7. You know, sometimes God allows us to go on "our way" so we can realize there is no way but His. In our stregth there is nothing but failure. In His stregth there is hope.


Last summer I had a couple of ladies coming to the church we were helping with. They both came with difficult backgrounds religiously. God used a portion of Acts 18 to give me boldness "Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace: For I am with thee". Within two days both ladies got saved.


So this is what I ask from you. I would love you to share with me one time, pick one, where God touched your heart during your devotions with a verse. It is amazing how many times I read comments from other people and God used it to bless my heart or speak to me. So go on, please share.


2/25/2009

Update

Little update on Noelia paci detox: It is all over, or at least seems like it. For the last two mornings we have had our little happy alarm clock back (she is so much a morning person, she gets that from her daddy), and haven´t ask fot the paci during the day. I am proud of her. Could this be a sign of how easy potty training is going to be? I can´t complain it took a couple of days to potty train the other two so....

As for me, my computer is in the shop and it seems like it may not make it..... Right now I am using Matthew´s, but I can´t get a hold of it as often as I did with mine. I miss my computer!!!


2/23/2009

Could this be the end?

No, I am not going to get all Apocalyptical but certainly the end of something could be close. The end of Noelia’s baby stage….. my baby….

Last Friday we went to the park. On our way home we realized the last of Noelia’s pacifiers was gone. We lost it. She only had two left and, as she told us herself, the second wasn’t working. She bit a hold on it. Not suitable any more for her taste.
So with one left we went on, deciding not to buy any more. So on Friday the last one was gone. Two choices: 1.- go to the pharmacy and buy one or 2.- stick to the initial thought, let’s wean her out of it. She will be 3 in July so, the second choice was certainly the best one.
Since then nap time has been like going through detox. Paci detox I should say. 8 am hasn’t been pretty either, it makes the waking up routine a lot less pleasing to me (I am already not a morning person). She is actually my alarm clock. She goes to bed at night just fine though, strangely enough, but hey, I take what I can get. She asks for it sometimes during the day, especially when she falls.

Crying was the time to give her her paci. Yesterday she was crying a lot, she had waken up from her nap rather early and she was crying and crying. I couldn’t get her to stop ( if I actually have had a paci left that would have been the end of paci-detox). After a while she just looked at me with this pitiful face and told me “mommy, I am crying!”. It was like “come on lady a little compassion here!”.

In the movies they always say that the hardest time of detox last 3 days so…. Maybe tomorrow I will have a less whiny alarm clock…. My poor baby…. Potty training is close coming.



2/21/2009

The princess and the ladybug

No, I am not about to share with you the newest kid's book (it sounded like a good title for a book uh?).
Friday, it was carnival in the girls school. No, it is not Halloween in Spain. Yes, it last the whole weekend and at night adults will use this as an excuse to sin while pretending to be someone else.
But in elementary school it is just a fun time to dress up and be able to go to school while dress as a princess or a lady bug. So, we didn't give it any thought and we had fun picking the costums with the girls. Both wanted to be princesses, but once Nicole found the ladybug outfit it was all she could think off. Her little antenas were so cute :)!


In the morning I got some colors for the face and draw little things to make the whole thing even more fun. They were so excited, their smiles were priceless.



Kayla decided she was Princess Liana from one of their new princess movies. Her dress looks a lot like the one in the movie, so, if she says she is Princess Liana, who is going to fight it? Seriously, have you seen such a smile ?

This is Kayla and some of her friends. One of the treats of the day was the little parade they did. They got outm and walked a couple of blocks around the school. The parents could dress up too, and some did, but anyone that knows me would know that I am just not that kind of person.

This is half of Nicole class. Nicole is somewhat in the middle of the photo. Notice her teacher dress up.


After the parade we had some time before picking the girls up from school so we went to a playground nearby (we are really enjoying the warmer weather). I got a chance to take some cute photos of Noelia. Here you can see two of them.




2/20/2009

Exciting update!

Hello ladies, remember my post about the class on "Education for the Citizenship" ? I have a good update to share with you about it.
We have been trying to meet with the director of the school even since I wrote this post to find out what to do. Finally today Matthew found him (he has had meetings out of the school all week). He told him that many parents have come to him with the same concern. See, being in the south, and because we live in a small town outside Granada, most people are catholics and are moraly against this class just as we are. Kayla tells me that her and another girl, are the only two that do not go to religion class (they teach catholism). She is in a class of 25. Not good for our church but good for this case :).
He told me the law is out but the school is taking it slowly (elections are in 2 years and if the other political party comes out -more conservative one- they promised to take this class out). Next year they will start in 5 grade and then every year they will come down and add one grade until they get to 1st. That means that we should have 2 years before we deal with it (right on time for furlough), or at least we have next year for sure (in case they can hold it longer). We see once again God's hand on that. We know not all schools are doing the same. The girls getting to this school is probably going to give us some extra time. We have seen God protect the girls so much this last couple of years. He is so good to us.
Thank you so much for your prayers, I appreciate it more than you know it.

2/19/2009

Me the missionary II

I am new on this thing of being a missionary mom and raising strong faith children. We pray with them every night. We start conversations about God. We tell them Bible stories before going to bed. We try to do a ‘Bible lesson” as they would have in a class as often as we can after lunch. Now, I am just like everyone else, so there will be times when those things don’t happen for a reason or another. Still we try to be on top of it.

Still, as MKs they are lacking so many things they would get if they were back home, in our great home church…. I miss our home church….

To understand this, and in case you don’t know, we are in the early stages of church planting. Really, really early… as early as we started in December. We didn’t start with a group of people, here you need a building first, or at least this was the way we felt God wanted us to start. So we are canvassing and doing what we can to invite people to the services. We have a couple of faithful girls (one is leaving us to go back to Germany in a week) and more often than not it is them two and us. So, if we rarely have adults, there is not need to say we have not children.
My girls miss children’s church, Sunday School, Patch the Pirate, Pee-wee Pirates, Awana, VBS, and any other things that any church may add for their children ministry. Of course that means they don’t have Christian friends to play with.

So it is not us adults as missionaries that leave behind many things, but those little ones leave so much more.

In the States, on top of being a good Christian parent, you get all those helps to help you help your child to live for Christ. Here, we are all they have. And we are people that fail just like anyone. If we mess up, we do it big time, we are all they have.

I remember when I got saved, I was already a teenager. I remember hearing about a white dog and a black dog fighting. The stronger dog that would win would be the one you fed the most. Of course they were talking about our old nature and our new being. The one you fed the most would be the one that would gain victory in our spiritual life. I try to give my kids as much as I can spiritually.

At times you realize you are failing in your job when one of them come to school telling you about something they were taught that you know it is against God. You asked them what God says about that and they can’t remember (my girls in school are 5 and 6). It is bad when that happens, humbling, puts things into perspective, but helps you realize your priorities and it is like a strength pill.

If you are not careful that happens to us as adults. We get (at least I do right now) one service a week and Sunday School while trying to keep my little one entertain. I get my devotionals and prayer time (again, I fail at times just like everyone else). I listen to preaching tapes every now and then. But I don’t get the 6 services a weeks that I got before (I went to Spanish and English church), we don’t get missions conference, Super Conference, the burst of spiritual energy that Revival Week gives you.

So, all this to say, if you are a missionary, you are not the only one… I don’t know maybe I am the only one…..
And if you are not a missionary, pray for the ones you know. Be thankful for what you have.


2/18/2009

No comments

Hey everyone. I am sorry, I am not sure what but I did something and it doesn't allow anyone to comment on my last post...... I know everyone wanted to comment on my cute family.... ;)
You may use this one to do so.... Okay, now don't make me look bad and comment hhehehehe

Oh great..... now I don't know what I did and my signature disappear...... I think I better go for tonight....... :)

Photos from out trip to Madrid

I was going to post today about the pity party I am having with myself about my weight. But since I am not doing anything to change it I figure I didn't have any wrights...

I did remember I have said that I was going to post some photos of my trip, so I figure I needed my "yea to be yea" :). Sorry to those that do not know my family.

My daddy and Sergio, his youngest grand-grandchild. I praise God He has given my dad so many years to live, he is not saved yet. Pray for him if you would remember.

My dad and the Alberto Puente Jr Family. They are doing great in Madrid. Alberto is still looking for a job though. They are taking over a church there (extra blessing- it is the church where we all got saved) while the missionary is out on a short furlough.

My dad, two of my girls (Noelia wouldn't smile so we kicked her out :)), and Sergio.


My niece Carolina and her son Aitor. So funny, we were having some laughs remembering when we were little. Somehow I always thought I was older than I really was and always boss her around. We always got along really great and to pay her back for bossing her around I let her come with my friends whenever she was in town or with me.

My girls and two of my younger nieces (my brother's daughters), Cristina and Pilar. They love to be together, they have so much fun.

While I was there I got to meet with my old friend (not because of age but because of time) Montse. We were good friends in high school and afterwards we kept being really good friends. But when I moved to the States we lost contact. Facebook brought us together (hehe). She is expecting her first baby in just a couple of weeks.

One more of the Puente Family.


The little one. You can tell he is the youngest uh? he gets the most photos.

My hubby got to play football in the play station with my brother in law. We all have fun in Madrid. :)

A cute shot of Aitor. What a cutie, he has a smile when he wants!

My nephew Javi and his youngest daughter Alejandra. A fact: Javi is my oldest nephew and also 1 1/2 year older than me. All of my friends got a crush on him.... and he knew it :)

The one in the center is my oldest sister Manoli. Carolina is her daughter.

Right before we left back to Granada the Puente's met us for lunch. I got to hold Sergio a little longer. They girls were all over him. Noelia told me she wants me to buy a baby too :). She thinks it is just that easy. Forget the nine months... hehehe.

2/16/2009

A little taste of Spain

A couple of weeks ago I heard something in a tv show that really disturb me. It was kind of the type of show where they give the latest news many times with a little extra because they like to do little debates on each issue afterwards. Wasn’t sure how trust worth trust this show was.

The issue. A new law passed by the supreme court in Spain about a “new” class. Education for the citizenship. This class interferes with whatever moral education you are giving your children, which is our responsability and not the educational system because then would be idelogical tool for whatever political party is in rule at that time.

I should back up a little bit. When we were coming to Spain I started praying about God’s perfect will for the girls schooling. Now, I am not against any of the choices there are out there. But we all know that the right choice for one person may be the wrong for another. I say this because I don’t want anyone to take anything personally. Okay??
Anyhow. I started praying, I didn’t really want to homeschool. Nothing against it, just didn’t think it was for me. I don’t have the patience or the education to give my children the right education. But, I was willing to do it if it was what God were to want for my family. I am not much in contradicting God when He gives me a clear direction. I am smart like that J
I didn’t want to do public school. I was afraid of the teachings, the freedom and the lack of involvement. Now, I grew up mostly in Public School, so those thought were fully based on personal experiences.
My thinking was Private School. No Christian schools here so there was not a choice like that, otherwise there would have not been any doubts. I search, all catholics and very, very expensive.
I prayed, I got frustrated waiting for my answer, I cry, asked ladies in my church to pray, and prayed some more.
My answer came with disbelieved on my part. Public school was my answer. But there was so much peace that I took that path and have been really happy since then. I knew that in a couple of years, when the girls were a little older, I may have to reconsider, but I thought I had a couple of years.

So back to present time. I heard about this class. It would teach about tolerance and civil rights (equality in the home between man and woman, different “kind” of families…..) I don’t think I have to tell you what that means. But a little phrase that puts the fear on me is “this class would teach the children to identify and put away any opinion or attitude that would lead to intolerance”. Another head line in the news explains what that “tolerance” really means “the gays, lesbians and transsexual groups are excited about this step forward”…. Do I have to say anything else?. We all know that when they talk about “tolerance” and “respect” they never mean to Christians.
Now, I will educate my children to respect the sinner, but the sin??? No way!

I started investigating and it is just like the show explained. There would start implanting that class as a non-optional class. They would start in elementary (I need to find out which grade), and there is not an option (rule passed the 28 jan 09) to object to this class (meaning you can’t choose to keep your child out of the class), you can’t file for it, but you know in advance by law and by others trying it anyway that they won’t allow you to. They are planning to do this sometime soon in all schools in Europe.

So what do I do? I will talk to the director to see how long do I have to make a choice. Stay in school to take that class… No way.
Homeschool in Spain? It is not illegal, but not legal either, especially when your passport is Spanish. Pretty much they make your life impossible and they threat you to take your kids, or put you in jail, until you give up or move away.
No many appealing options uh?
So I need to inform myself, and pray lots. Pray for us please.

P.S. I know I didn’t explain myself very well, my head huts, and my heart aches, but if you get the idea at all, please pray that God would tell us what to do.

2/14/2009

What a nice surprise!


We came back from Madrid last night, after a nice week full of precious time with my family. Checking on you guys I found a nice surprise. Heidi gave me (and another four missionary wives) the "Fabulous Blog Award". I don't think I deserve it, but anyone that knows her knows how nice she is, and so it is so exciting anyway I will take it :).

Now let's see if I can follow the instructions right. I am to give this same award to another five blogs, and then let you know five things that I am addicted to.

So I am passing this award to :

Jill because she writes so well and she is so much fun to read that she can make me come back to her blog everyday just so I can know the end of her trip to the dentist. Those that reads her knows what I am talking about.

Heidi because although she gave it to me and I am not sure if it is within the rules to give it to the person that gave it to you, she is great and I just LOVE reading her blog.

Nina . I am pretty sure she got it from someone else too but, what can I say, I think her blog is fabulous!

Arancha because she takes great photos, and although this is her bussiness blog, she always shares insides of how God is working in her life and it is so great to see her grow (She is also my lovely niece).

Laura
. I am not doing a link to her blog because she has it private, although I think she should open it up because she has such a heart, that could be of a great blessing to so many. She talks about simple everyday things in a way that reflects her love for God and her love to her "job" as a wife and mother.

Now for the five things that I am addicted to. My husband and children and God would definitely head this list, but I will try to be a little more original :)

1.- Starbucks Coffee Fraps
2.- Dr Pepper
3.- A good book
4.- A good night rest
5.- Hersey Kisses

Bummer: I can't get H. kisses, Dr Pepper and Starbucks unless I drive 4 hours, but hey, I am grateful I can still get them.

Please read!!!

Hey everyone,
Yes, I am back, and I will try to update you guys on everything about the trip in the next couple of days, but I was reading a friend's blog and thought this couldn't wait. I won't be able to explain it like she did so I am just adding a link to her blog, and to a page that she linked.
Issue: Child pornography and the new nomination to the one to lead the Justice Department. Shouldn't have anything in common but unfortunaly it has a LOT in common.

What is happening to our world!!

http://www.citizenlink.org/clspecialalert/A000009315.cfm
http://momsministryandmore.blogspot.com/2009/02/exploited-children-serious-stuff.html


2/07/2009

A day in the park... or not


After 3 weeks of constant rain we finally woke up to a sunny day… at least so far :). It looks like the clouds are trying to fight it and sometimes you can see a dark spot. Still, so far it hasn’t been any rain.
Of course after all those days at home, as soon as I woke up and saw the sun I told everyone, “get ready, we are going to the park”. I was all excited, we were going to get out and walk, walk, walk… yeah!!!
So we got ready, headed to a big park with a really nice playground (if we were finally going to get to do it we were not going to settle for a small place) and after driving around the block for a parking a few times unsuccessfully (benefits of being in the city) we decided to pay to park in a private parking. After all it was our only chance.
We got out and then…….. soooo coooolllllddddddd, beautiful sunny day but windy and sooooooo cooolllllllldddddddd. After all, we are in February. We went back to the car, no chance for the park, you can imagine the conditions of the ground after 3 weeks of rain. Somehow the excitement of the sunny day didn’t allow me to think that 1.- we are in February and surrounded by snowy mountain which turns Granada into a freezer and 2.- It had rain for so long that the ground is now muddy and there are fun, fun puddles all over.


Note to myself--- Purchase rain boots by next year.

I didn’t want to give up on the fun of playing in a playground still though, after all my girls were now all excited and I didn’t want the party pooper. So we went to an inside playground and they play there for an hour. Nice and warm, and just as fun. To top it all we went to McDonalds where after a nice low fat lunch… yeah right….. they were able to play in their playground for a while longer. Still, I had a great morning with my favorite people- my girls and my husband.

Did you guys ever watch the “Ultimate gift”? So good. I watched it last night and it was great. Rent it, buy it, download it, do whatever but watch it. One thing though, keep the tissues close by.

On Monday we are going up to Madrid to the American Consulate to take care of the renewal of the passports. We will spend a few days there to be with my family. I didn’t get a chance to see them last time, and not much in Christmas, so we will be taking advantage of the trip we already had to do anyway. Guess what my first stop is going to be? He, he.
I will check on you gals as I can but I probably won’t be able to post until I come back. Miss me.


2/05/2009

It is pouring!!

I don’t know where you live, but in my corner of the world it hasn’t stop raining for the last 3 weeks. And I am not talking about a soft thin rain, but pouring rain it is.

How much can it rain? And I am used to rain let me tell you. The place we lived before this, for a year and a half, it was the type of place that it would rain for 300 of the 365 days that the year has.

We have been stuck in the house pretty much for all this time… :) I am going crazy.

It is amazing how the weather can affect your mood. I do have to say that it is not the case right now, but it is amazing how much we allow circumstances to change our mood, emotionally and sometimes even spiritually. Of course, now I am not just talking about a few weeks of rain.
I am finishing my last few pages of the book “Lies that women believe …”. Just yesterday I was reading about this very thing. It is impossible to control our circumstances, but it is possible to control how we are going to let them affect our lives. This is what we can see if Paul’s life in Phil. 4:11-12. When something hard comes to my life, I run to God. But I run to Him in a wrong way. I go asking Him to free me from the difficulties, instead of asking Him to allow me to learn from them in a way that His glory would be shown. There is a paragraph that I am going to try to translate for you because it holds a lot of truth. I am reading the book in Spanish, so, as always, forgive me for my English. This is taken from page 207 of the book: “Dear child of God, your heavenly Father would never take you to a place where His grace cannot sustain you. We would never put a burden on you that would exceed His grace to carry us through. If the path before you seems infinite and distressing, be encouraged. Look up to Him. Look for that day when all suffering will end. And remember that in His presence all tears and all sadness of life won’t be more that shadows next to the beauty and glory of His face. Without any doubt you will say: -His amazing grace brought me with safety home-.”

It is funny because last night I got a call from a friend that needed to talk because she is going through exactly that. Difficult situations in her life, things that she can’t control, are controlling her so much she in discouraged in her service for the Lord. I was able to share what I just read and while I was on it, let it soak in my own life. I have gone through that before and I am sure I will through it again.

2/04/2009

Do you want to trade a book with me?

Hello everyone,
I have something new for me, although it may not be for you, and I wanted to know if anyone was interested. I am a book freak, I think everyone knows that by now. I love to read. The books are acumulating and I need some extra space as well as some new books, so here is the deal.
I have several books that I would like to trade for a book that you may have that you may be willing to give up. For example, I have a list of books right now (although I am sure I will come up with more once I have time to look some more):

*The Shaping of a Christian Family by Elisabeth Elliot
* He speaks to me by Priscilla Shrirer
* Consolation by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman
* The Home: Courtship, marriage, children by John R. Rice
* Growing up God's way by John A. Stormer
* Woman, the Assembler by Beverly Hyles
* Created to be His Help Meet by Debi Pearl
* Dressing for the Lord by David Cloud
* Losing my Mind by Thomas DeBaggio

You may want to google this books for info about them. I have only read 3 of those books so I don't know what the others are about.
If you are interested in any of this books leave me a comment or email me at pilar@spainforchrist.com. I will send this book to you by mail. The only thing I ask in return is that you will give me a list of books that you may have and are wanting to give away and I will pick one of this books so you can send it to me. Remember, I do live in Spain.
I also have lots of books in Spanish in case any of you are interested on those. If you want one of the books that I have posted in the right side of my side bar I will be willing to give those up too... some anyway ("To Cross the widest ocean" is not one that I will be wanting to share)
If you want one of the books in the list but don't have anything to trade with also let me know.

Now scroll down and look at the cute pictures of my girls that I just posted :)


January Photos

I just downloaded some photo from my camera from the month of January and thought I would share with you guys since some of you are family and any more, I am not very good in sending photos by email like I used to.

My #1 and my #3 child
My #1 and my #2

My three girls... so beautiful


Got milk?... Or yogurt in this case :)

My baby is not a baby anymore :(

Kayla with out "spanish smores" on a Sunday evening

Lauren, Olga and I (from church) in my living room sofa on a Sunday evening

Kayla and Nicole making bracelets. They both told me that when they grow up they want to be jewery designers... among other things.. :)



2/03/2009

A couple of photos

One more thing :),
I forgot I told you guys I will post photos from my super quick trip to Madrid but Olga didn't send me the photos yet (I forgot my camera). I did take a couple with my phone so there they go.

Starbucks, I love you!!!!!!!! For you guys Starbucks may not be a big deal, but for me is a 5 1/2 hour trip treat that I can only get when I go to Madrid so... understand me please :)

This is me in front of the Royal Palace.

And that is it, at least until I have some more. We just realized that Matthew and Nicole's passports expired, so we have an appt. for next week in Madrid in the American Consulate. Starbucks here I go again. This time we will take advantage that we are all going to stay a couple of days with my family and see them.