Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I Was A Big Fake

On June 11, 2011 as I was driving towards my mom's house I asked Jesus to come into my heart.

You are probably, wondering what is she talking about?  Especially if you are one who knows me since I was a little girl.  I am a preacher's daughter and grew up "in church."  I've grown up being active in church and have served in multiple ministries, taught various Sunday School classes, sang in the choir, led worship and I could go on.  When I was about 5 or 6, I don't remember the details, but I asked Jesus to come into my heart during a revival.  I really can not remember anything about that day.  I was baptized when I was 7 or eight.  When I was 9 years old my family and I moved to Georgia.  As I grew up I became involved in church.  But honestly I didn't read or pray daily, I didn't have a personal relationship with Christ and lived through the motions.  In many occasions I would sit and think and was scared that if I died I would go to hell.  I remember one night on our way back from church I shared this with my mom and she prayed for me.  But the fear of going to hell continued.  During numerous alter calls throughout the years I remember going to the alter and telling the preacher that I wanted to rededicate my life.  But the emptiness and scared feeling continued in my heart.  I brushed it off and convinced myself that it was the devil making me doubt my salvation.  

I continued through life, graduated high school and went to college.  I remember going to camp with Joseph's church the summer before going to college and really getting into God's word.  I would read the bible and I studied my devotion, but it always felt forced.  There were even times when I would read my bible to try to gain my dad's acceptance or to show him that I was a good girl.  The time came to pack up and go to college.    During the first few weeks I continued my routine of reading my bible, but slowly my bible found a permanent spot on the shelf.  Here comes the part of my life that I am not proud of... I started to hang out with the wrong crowd.  Many of them from the place where I worked.  Here is where the drinking and smoking began and slowly the clubbing and bar hopping followed.  My life rapidly became a total disaster and to my embarrassment I was still very involved in church.  Not so much for myself or God, but for my parents I think. I kept telling myself that I would change my life later when I got married and had kids.  Slowly I pulled away from everything that I knew.  I quit going home on the weekends, lied to Joseph and to my friends.  I spent not only weekends partying, but slowly my weekdays were spend partying also.  I broke up with Joseph and did things that I am ashamed of doing.  My life was a total wreck.  Joseph and I were engaged and I returned my ring to him.  On that night I went to a party... my DD ended up drinking and I had no way of getting home.  I called Joseph...him and my friend came and picked me up.  During our break up he spent a lot of time hurt and hoping that I would come back to him, but on this night he was done with me.  He was ready to drop me off at my sorority house and drive away.  We sat and talked in his Jeep for hours...mostly me begging and telling him that I was going to change.  After that I promised him I would be different and I was.  I "grew up" and we were married.  Years went by and we struggled to find a church where we were both happy.  In September or October of 2008 we went to watch Fireproof.  After the movie as we drove home, I remember Joseph telling me that he was scared he was not saved.  He asked me what I thought and I told him I didn't know.  He asked me if it was possible for someone not to be saved after spending years in church.  Honestly I didn't think it was.  I told him maybe he had to rededicate his life.  I remember sitting in his mom's living room and her and Rob telling us about a man who I believe was a deacon and realized that he was not saved.  She told Joseph he needed to get right.  The following day Joseph asked Jesus to come into his heart.  The transformation in him was amazing.  But I was still left wondering about my own salvation.  I summed it up to needing to rededicate my life and that's what I did...again.  Truth was nothing changed because how could I rededicate my life when I had never fully dedicated it to begin with.  

A couple of months ago, God started working in me.  I looked at my life and realized that I had a dirty heart.  I felt ashamed at my attitude and how unloving I felt I was.  I truly felt like a big fake.  Things in my life could not be better, but I still had an emptiness in my heart.  For weeks during the alter calls, I would feel a tug in my heart.  But I continued to ignore it.  On June 5th we began a new journey.  We started visiting Maysville Baptist Church.  The following Monday Pastor Brian and another couple from the church came to visit with us.  But most importantly he asked us two questions.  Have we trusted in Jesus and asked him into our heart and know for sure that if we died today we would go to heaven?  And the other question was have we been baptized after making that decision?  Of course Joseph's answer was an immediate yes... and I answered yes also.  I told him about the time in the car when mom and I prayed.  He asked about being baptized and I told him that I had not been baptized since the time in the car.  I didn't want to feel like I was dishonoring my dad since he was the one that baptized me.  His next response was well "your dad can do it!"  He left me with no excuse and told me to think about it.  

I thought about it alright.  I did not feel right asking to be baptized if I still had this doubt in my life and the fear of dying and not going to heaven.  I would try to do my quiet time on a regular basis, but always failed miserably.  I would read and not get anything from it.  On June 11th as I was driving and enjoying my quiet car (the big kids were with Joseph), I started talking to God.  At that moment I knew...I knew that I needed to ask Him into my heart and that is what I did.  I told him that I was tired of this doubt and I surrendered my life to Him!  At that moment I knew where I was going if I died and that was straight to heaven to see Him face to face!  Never in my entire life have I been so certain that Jesus lives in me.  I wake up ready to read His word and spend my quiet time with Him.  I lay down thanking Him and feeling blessed and so grateful for His grace.  I understand now what being "in love" with Jesus feels like.  

I struggled with writing this.  I was so ashamed for living my life as a fake.  I went through the motions for years.  I was not only kidding myself but all of you around me and I want to apologize for that.  I am sorry for being a hypocrite and for being a big fake.  I thought I was right...  I thought it was the devil making me doubt, but honestly I was giving the devil too much credit.  I am so happy to say now that I am totally and madly in love with Jesus.  

If you are my friend on Facebook you know that I've been reading Radical by David Platt.  I am so thankful for this book because it has opened my eyes even more!  It has also made me realize that I'm not the only one out there who has lived a "fake" christian life.  The following is from Radical,

"We have taken the infinitely glorious Son of god, who endured the infinitely terrible wrath of God and who now reigns as the infinitely worthy Lord of all, and we have reduced Him to a poor, puny Savior who is just begging for us to accept him.  Accept him?  Do we really think Jesus needs our acceptance?  Don't we need Him?

I invite you to consider with me a proper response to this gospel.  Surely more than praying a prayer is involved.  Surely more than religious attendance is warranted.  Surely this gospel evokes unconditional surrender of all that we are and all that we have to all that He is.

You and I desperately need to consider whether we have ever truly authentically trusted in Christ for our salvation.  In this light Jesus' words at the end of the Sermon on the mount are some of the most humbling in all Scripture.

Not everyone who says to me, "Lord, Lord," will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  Many will say to me on that day, "Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?"  Then I will tell them plainly, "I never knew you.  Away from me, you evildoers!"

Jesus was not speaking here to irreligious people, atheists or agnostics.  He was not speaking to pagans or heretics.  He was speaking to DEVOUTLY RELIGIOUS people who were deluded into thinking they were on the narrow road that leads to heaven when they were actually on the broad road that leads to HELL.  According to Jesus, one day not just a few but MANY will be shocked, ETERNALLY SHOCKED, to find that they were not in the kingdom of God after all.  The danger of spiritual deception IS REAL."

I wish I could put all of chapter two on here, it is so eye opening and it scares me to think that there are many more like me out there.  Living through the motions thinking that they can live however they want because they have a "ticket to heaven."  But as David Platt says "the gospel demands and enables us to turn from our sin, to take up our cross, to die to ourselves, and to follow Jesus."  Are you taking up your cross everyday?  Or are you living life as you please, camouflaging in the world and enjoying all that the world offers?  My prayer is that if there is any doubt in your life you will also turn your life to Christ and set all your doubts down at the foot of the cross!  I love you all, every single person that reads my blog, whether it be 1 or 100 I love you all and pray that Jesus is in your heart!  Gosh! Don't let one more day go by...I was blessed to have June 11th to settle my life, but what if I hadn't? 

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes..." Romans 1:16

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

Did you know that you are the best daddy in the entire universe?!?! Your kids and I voted, and it was unanimous!!! I love you with everything that I have. Your love as a husband is incomparable, but watching you be a daddy is priceless and amazing. I fell in love with you all over again the day you became a father. Thank you for everything that you do for us, but most of all for the Christian example you show us everyday and for being the spiritual leader of our home!!! Happy Father's Day!  We love you!!!! 

P.S. Next year I'll remember the toast ;)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


My husband is not really "into" reading books, but this one has him hooked!  He's trying not to get too ahead of the study, but I'm excited to watch him read.  So excited that I decided to read it also.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Happy Birthday UNCLE Jrob

Picture from the cake fight at the wedding :)
Happy Birthday Jonathan
The Eterno Family

Friday, June 10, 2011

They're Back!!!!!!!

Gosh!  Y'all took long enough ha!  The newlyweds got back from the beach safe, sound, and with a broken side mirror ha!  We welcomed them back by dinner at Chili's.  We missed you guys!

Lunch in the Car

My kiddos were being super sweet today while we ate lunch before going to Target.  I am not brave enough to get out at a restaurant with all three by myself so we use the drive thru and then eat in the car!  I don't mind it and my kids are normally pretty good!  I've learned to not get mad about the spilled fries and just pick them up after we are done eating.  Trying to not stress about the little things and enjoy my kiddos!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Rolls, Rolls, Rolls

And I don't mean like fat rolls on your body, but if my son continues to eat rolls like he did tonight he might have some fat rolls here soon ha!  So I went to take out the rolls from the pantry and found six missing!!!!  Six, yes six!  Oh my did my kids get in trouble and then Josiah finally confessed that he had eaten them all!  I was so mad at him, but upset that Sissy got in trouble for something she didn't do...  That's been happening a lot lately.  Needless to say, we have had many talks on getting in the pantry and lying to mommy and daddy.  Oh Josiah, you never cease to surprise me!

Monday, June 6, 2011

A Full Sunday

Oh me...  we are so exhausted around here!  I think it will take days, weeks to recover.  Gabby's wedding was amazing, but those that stayed behind cleaned up after they left.  My poor little feet are feeling the effects of the very tall, sparkly, cute shoes!  After a busy Friday and Saturday we couldn't end the weekend without a busy Sunday!  We went to church...aimed for the 9:30 service, but made it to the 11!  Josh met us at church and afterwards we met my cousins who were in town for the wedding and their kids at Fuego in Buford.  After lunch we walked around the mall and turned the tuxes from the wedding back in.  We headed back home, I ran in to get some clean bottles for Mackenzie Faith and we went back to church.  After evening service we went to my mom and dad's to tell our cousins good bye!  We really enjoyed getting to see them and meet Leah and Adrian, but I wish they would have stayed longer.  It's so hard living so far away from our family.  Thank you Yazmin and Judy for driving and flying out to Georgia to share Gabby's special day with all of us!  Come back soon and stay longer!! Here are a couple of pictures from our Sunday.

Josiah at Fuego
Judy and Sissy
I think Adrian had a question ha!
It was tough keeping them all still!

Such sweet memories...
When Josiah woke up this morning he said he wanted to go play with Leah and Adrian.  I told him that they had gone back home and weren't at my mom's anymore.  He asked where do they live and I said far away.  He thought for a moment and responded, "mommy, can we get in the car and drive far far away?...Do you know where that is?"

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Giving 110%

This little Ring Bearer gave it his all today!  He was absolutely amazing.  Josh said he followed all of the photographer's instructions and did so well.  No wonder he totally passed out during the ceremony!

This little flower girl...well let say she gave it about 50% and not happy while giving it ha!

She does not like dresses, bows or attention...so being a flower girl is definitely out of her comfort zone!

My Little Sis

I can not believe that my little sister is a married woman ha!  Everything turned out wonderful.  Gabby and Jonathan are so blessed to have some incredible friends not to mention an incredible family (amazing sister and brother in law...cough...cough haha).  Everyone came together to make their special day the best that it could be.  Most of my pictures are on facebook but as soon as the photographer finishes up I will post the link for all of you to see!  Jamey Moore did a wonderful job, we've already seen the first batch and can not wait to see the rest!

The Bride and I...I should have gone to the tanning bed!
The Bride and Groom with the Ring Bearer and Flower Girl
One last good bye...he kept saying he wanted to go to Target with them haha!

And here they are!  Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Roberts!   Thank you all who took part in their special day!  I wish Gabby and Jonathan pure happiness and joy!  Keep God first in your lives and NEVER take your eyes off Him!  I love you both so very much and I am such a proud sister!

"Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preserves.  Love never fails..."
1 Corinthians 13.8

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Embracing My Imperfections

As I rocked Mackenzie Faith tonight and reflected on my life I've realized I have spent entirely way too much time worrying about the appearance of "being put together."  You moms know what I mean.  We want to appear as though we have it under control.  We want to be graceful as we unload the double stroller, herd three kids, grocery shop and not lose our minds in the process.  I've struggled the last few weeks and went through a week of almost depression.  But tonight as I took Mackenzie Faith upstairs and as I held her asleep in my arms I felt so incredibly blessed.  As I type this I have the dinner dishes in the sink, a load in the dishwasher I need to unload, a load of laundry in the dryer and washer, dirty clothes on the floor in the laundry room waiting to be washed, my living room floor looks like a sticker book blew up, and none of my beds were made today.  A few weeks ago I was so overwhelmed with my house and myself.  I felt like a failure as a mother and wife because my house to me felt like a tornado had come through, I had not put make up on all week and I believe I stayed in yoga pants and a t-shirt almost every day.  But as I think about how much the Lord has blessed me I am bursting in gratitude.

No, my house does not look like something out of a Southern Homes magazine, my car...well lets say the tornado that came through my house went through my car too!  It's hard when I read other mom's blogs and ask myself how do they look so put together?  I am lucky if I get my teeth brushed before lunchtime and out of my pjs before mid afternoon!  But as I sit here tonight I am embracing my dirty dishes in the sink because I am thanking the Lord for providing the food I cooked tonight, for a husband who worked all day in this heat to provide for us and enable me to stay at home, for sweet kids who ate from those dishes.  I am embracing those unmade beds because I am thankful that my children have a bed to sleep on.  I'm embracing the stickers on the floor because a sweet little girl played with those stickers for an hour while I cooked dinner.  I'm embracing my dirty car because I am thankful to have a car to take us where we need and want to go.

I am blessed...and today I am embracing my unperfect life because I have a perfect Heavenly Father who loves me and cherishes me.  Who loves me unconditionally no matter what I look like, what my house looks like.  I am done.  I am done feeling "not good enough" and "unfit."  I am refusing to stress about every little detail in my house.  I will clean and upkeep, but I will take time and play with my children.  I will take an extra five minutes to rock my sweet baby girl and I will spend time on the couch with my husband.  Even if that means that the dishes have to wait until the morning when I wake up.  Life is precious and no one is guaranteed the next hour or minute or second!  Embrace your imperfections!  I don't have it all together, but God's got it under control for me.  And I'd rather He have it under control than me have it under control!  

Thank you Father for everything you have blessed me with.  Forgive me for being so selfish and ungrateful.  You are awesome and you love me just as I am.  Thank you for everything you have blessed me with.  Thank you for a husband who loves me and cherishes me.  Who is true to me and our vows.  Who works with his hands everyday in this heat to provide for us.  Thank you for Bubba, Sissy, and Baby Girl.  They are my three precious treasures and I love them with all of my heart.  Thank you for trusting us enough to raise these precious babies.  Thank you thank you thank you!  I love you so much Lord and I praise and worship you.


Memorial Day (Monday) Saved the Best for Last

The best part of Memorial Day was the slip and slide and water sprinkler we bought for the kids.  Joseph just couldn't resist and had to join in on the fun.  He said he needed to "show" the kids how to slide... sure baby sure haha!  The kids and Joseph had a blast! I think we've found our summer relief activity!

After her diaper was so soaked it fell off and we chased her around in her birthday suit she let us put her swim suit on!

Haha!  I thought this one was funny.

Taking a break to eat lunch

Sweet Sissy

Round #2 included Uncle Josh coming out to play

And this is what happens when the neighbor's dog gets loose... spoiled the fun and inside for baths ha!

Thankfully Sissy continued to play...  My fearless girl!

Memorial Day Weekend (Monday)

 Joseph decided to take the day off.  It was so nice having him at home all day.  Mom, dad, tio Gualberto, tia Leonor, Tia Chela, Tio Marcos and Josh were all coming over for lunch.  Joseph and I woke up bright and early.  Joseph brought the ladder out and we dusted and cleaned our high ceilings.  My hubby is a little scared of heights so he held the ladder and I climbed and cleaned.

After cleaning up, Joseph and the kids went to the Mexican grocery store in Gainesville to buy meat and veggies.  It's so much better when you buy it there and cheaper too!  On the way there they stopped by Nana and Papa's house to check on them.  Papa is war veteran, I thought that was sweet of Joseph to go by there with the kids on Memorial Day. 

When Joseph and the kids returned I went to Kroger to buy a couple of more things and then came home to start preparing the meat.  We celebrated Memorial Day...Mexican style!

My uncle has got to be the best "griller" out there!  He does an amazing job at grilling the meat.  It's juicy and tender and well done! 

The finished product!  Carne asada, rice with veggies, pico de gallo, guacamole, salsa, chiles and no Mexican meal is complete without tortillas! 

I was so happy to have my family over for lunch.  Also happy because they all helped with lunch.  It's so nice to have family close by and to see them often.  Most of our family on my side live in another state or country.  It's nice to have my tias and tios (aunts and uncles in spanish) here for a while!

Tia Leonor made the pico and guacamole

Tio Gualberto

Tia Chela made the salsa

Such a nice afternoon with family!

Memorial Day Weekend (Saturday)

This was a weekend to remember!  On Saturday Joseph had one of his "big and important" clients call him with an emergency so off he went to work for a couple of hours.  I stayed home with the kids and cleaned up around the house.  I had planned to go to the tanning bed that morning, but I was seriously in a major lazy mood!  Joseph came home with our regular weekend boiled peanuts and we ate lunch.  After lunch he decided it was time to go pick up his new "project."  You see my hubby has developed a new itch... flipping cars.  So he saw a good deal, we talked about it, waited a couple of days and the time was finally here.  Now this is a flip that I'm not sure will get sold.  Not because of lack of interest...but because my hubby will not want to get rid of it.

The plans are to get new bigger tires, add some more chrome, and a new paint job... can't decide if we'll stick with red or black.  What do you think?

He was ecstatic!  Joseph LOVES Jeep Wranglers and now my kids do too!

This was the first time Joseph's driven a Jeep with two car seats in the back!  Let me let y'all know we rode around in two cars all weekend.  Not only because my hubby wanted to drive his new ride but also because the kids refused to get back in mommy's car.  

Later that day we drove (in separate cars) to my mom's.  She kept Mackenzie Faith while the four of us met our family for dinner at Mellow Mushroom and Sweet Monkey's for desert. Saturday would have been Vince's birthday.  We miss him more and more each day.  

Those were the only two pictures I took that night.  But they sure were good.  Two beautiful girls!