Monday, December 03, 2012

Home Sweet Home

Since coming back from the US, Gabo and I have found a new appreciation for our little apartment. We love thinking about how our little house will change and expand with the babe on the way. 

I am not going to lie, I have been a homebody the last couple of weeks. First of all, Mexico City gets a little crazy in December with even more traffic and more people in stores. Secondly, I am just tired. Thirdly, we returned when the semester was ending and students are in finals now and there is not much going on in the universities so I am doing lots of meetings, discipleship and training and those fools just like to come to my house. 

As we look around our house, we see pieces of friends...mostly expats that have left before us. It's funny when people leave a country and have to purge all their belongings, a lot of that stuff ends up in my house. Just from one year missionaries from my same ministry, I inherited about 14 phone charges, 5 map books of the city and a stack of books in English that I have no desire to read. But there are other cool things that have ended up here--nightstands, christmas tablecloths, surround sound speaker system, etc. 

When Gabo's family come over, they always ask where things come from. I think they think that we are loaded with money. :) I find myself saying all the time..."Oh that was a gift from my friend." or "That was a gift from the wedding." or "Our friends thought we would want that." We also find ourselves giving easily to others from things from our house because so much has been given to us. 

Two of my good friends will be leaving this December. My heart is sad because both ladies are very special to me in different ways. Yesterday my one friend dropped off a couple of things. Although, I am so touched by her and her husband's generousness, I will miss them. The rugs in particular that they gave us were MADE for our space. Gabo came home from work last night and we were just so excited for how our little space evolves as it fills with touches from our friends. The other girl will be giving us a silver and glass top desk that will work amazing in our new "office space" because our office now will become the baby's room. 

It's funny to look around our house and realize how little we have bought personally and how much our friends have given us. It's like our house is a little testimony of the people that touch our lives. 

To those reading that have been generous in giving to us, thank you. You have touched our lives in more ways than one!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Where do babies come from?

I wanted to share with you guys the fun and sweet story that we have of how we found out we were pregnant. If you want to know where babies come from, go ask your mom. :)

Gabo and I had actually been trying for a year to get pregnant. We really wanted to start a family and my poor husband wanted to be pregnant since the crazy honeymoon but I stopped the dream real quick cause this lady needed some time to adjust to living with a boy and such. 

It was kind of a difficult and weird year. We had other couple friends get pregnant, some miscarried and we felt the pain with them. We learned that baby making although it seems easy is a little miracle from God. We learned to be patient and we sympathized and prayed for other couples that had been trying for a lot longer than we had. But it was weird because here in Mexico people just come right out and say, "um hey, when are you guys going to start a family?" Or as I have mentioned before, they use the tactful art of spiritual manipulation by telling us that we are thwarting God's plan for our lives by not reproducing. About June, I started to become indifferent and began to explode on those peeps. I mean there are probably a 100 different and nicer ways to say to them, "we actually want to have a family. so instead of scolding me, pray for us." But I just said to them, "get out of my bedroom business." Quite appropriate right? 

Anyways, with all of the stress of the spring and not getting pregnant, we decided to make an appt with my OBGYN when we were going to be there on home assignment. I thought if I could just get my hands on some clomid, I'd be fine. So we went to the States and the first week there we had our appt. I remember saying to Gabo on the way home the night before the appt if we should buy one more stupid pregnancy test just to make sure before I go in there begging for meds. He said yes, I said I am too lazy so home we went. 

At the dr the next morning, we were told that it was probably something with ovulation and clomid was the best bet. The dr explained to me all the deets and then asked when was my last cycle and I said July. She asked if I had taken a test and I said no, because my cycle was always like that. She said I could take one in the office to make sure it was negative before we started the treatment. So I went in to go use the facilities but I couldn't go. I came out and I said to the nurse, "I have stage fright." and my dr started cracking up in the adjacent room. She said, "Stage fright? You crack me up. We call it shy bladder around here." So we left with no pee test but with instructions to take one before we started. 

We had my niece Lucy that day so we went and picked up the meds and some tests and went back to my sister's where I took a test. It came out 2 lines--which is positive but one of the lines was lighter than the other. Gabo and I had never seen a 2 liner but it didn't register that it was probably positive. So I called the dr and they sent me for blood work. My sister came home and was sassy and told us that for millions of years women had been taking these tests and 2 lines your prego. We thought she was crazy and we HONESTLY didn't believe it. 

The next morning, we finally got a hold of the nurse as I was mildly stalking her and she said, "Hey shy bladder, yea it's positive. You don't need clomid. Congratulations!" We fell over! We were so pumped up. We cried and prayed and thanked Jesus for this little crazy miracle. Gabo was especially pumped because he hates medicine and wasn't too excited about me doing the treatment. 

Morning sickness started about a week later and being pregnant lost it's zeal. We are over the moon excited for our little bundle to arrive in May. We love how God works out his timing and we love that only He can decide when these things will occur. 

So that's our story. Any other hilarious, "holy smokes i can't believe we're pregnant" stories out there?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Hiatus, Home Assignment and new stages.

I might be the World's Worst Blogger. When I am in a routine, I rock it out but being in the US for 2 1/2 months really threw me for a loop. We have so many things to catch up on. :) 

Gabo and I were on Home Assignment so that we could work on raising new support for our ministry here in Mexico. It was great and tiring. We had a blast seeing so many friends and family. 

We got to celebrate my niece Lucy's first birthday. 

We also celebrated Cath's 29th Birthday...she is looking so young!

And we were of course there for my brother Ryan's wedding. My handsome hubs tickled the ivories.

For my mom's Birthday, we gave her an extra special gift....

Yes, we are pregnant! We are so excited. Here's our first official picture together. 

 So it was a very crazy, busy trip to the US and there is so much more to share. I am working on some posts today to give you the full story of how we found out that we were expecting and other fun things to come. 

But for now, we are back in Mexico City and we are happy as clams to be in our cutie little apartment and hanging out with our friends and students again. 

We are looking forward to celebrating Thanksgiving this week too! I promise to be in touch.

Monday, August 27, 2012


I never got to meet Gabo's mom. My mother-in-law died before I even came to Mexico. I can say that before this experience, I have never mourned the life of someone that I never met. I miss her. I feel like in our family dinners, there is an absence.

Gabo was his mother's favorite. All of his siblings say he was so spoiled by her. He had a special place in her heart. He's a great man and sensitive and noble because of her patient care over him...and probably thousands of quesadillas that she made for him.

This past weekend I had the privilege of meeting Gabo's aunt--his mom's only living sibling. Tia Tela lives in Los Angeles and just came back to visit.

She is a fresh glass of water. Tia Tela has a sweet and tender personality and loves her family a lot. She prays with power and is excited about everything. She loved me. She said that Gabo's mom would have been so excited about his choice in a wife. I felt tears come to my eyes as she spoke.

I sometimes tell Jesus that it is unfair that I won't get to know my mother-in-law until after a lifetime with her son. She raised him and I get to spend every day with him and then I can thank her.

I am waiting for that day in Heaven when I can introduce myself. I don't have much theology on Heaven and I know that Jesus will be my focus. But in my heart, I hope that I can pick her out.

Being with Tia Tela was the closest experience I will have to having lunch with my suegra (mother-in-law) is what Gabo told me yesterday.

I am so grateful for that experience.

Thoughts from the Chaos

Well friends our life is going to get a little hairy the next couple of days. We are transitioning back to the US for a few months. I get to enter the full time of raising support for my ministry. I am a mixed bag of feelings right now. Tomorrow we board the plane.

It has been a busy summer and an especially busy last couple of weeks. Gabo and I run in 2 different directions until the point we leave for the airport. He currently is finishing an arrangement now as I write! We are tired and we need some quality time together and with Jesus.

I am so excited to see my little nephews and nieces. I am excited to go to Target and eat at Chipotle and have one good swim in Eagle Lake on Labor Day. I am grateful that we get to see Lucy celebrate 1 year of life and be at my mom's bday as well. I am ecstatic to have a double date with one of my besties in Cheesecake Factory right before she goes to serve Jesus in Greece with her hubs. I am excited to share about our ministry and talk about changed lives....even though asking for the money gives me nerves in my stomach.

If I were to be honest, I'd prefer to stay here. Don't get me wrong. I love a vacation to the US but my heart still is here in Mexico. People often ask us when we are moving back....I am just not ready. I had a great last couple of days seeing friends. My relationships, my friends, my ministry has a special spot in my oh so full heart.

Mexico has changed me in so many ways. It has been good to me. And I am so excited to come back. So if you read this blog, pray for full :) So we can rest and enjoy and come back with our batteries charged.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Boots

My parents recently came to visit us in Mexico City. It was a long time coming for us and Rog and Cath. We had a great time.

As usual, we ordered some things online and had them shipped to my parents who graciously filled their suitcases for us.

I ordered some rain boots. I am in love. I probably love them as much as Gabo loves his Blackberry. 

As you can see here, I am pretty stoked. As you can see here, I have always been a fan of rainy season here. Now I can enjoy it even more.

It's my perfect accessory. :)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Making my Own Tea Wreath

So I have obviously been trying to be creative here these days. I guess the truth is that I am trying to do all the things that I should have done all summer when I was sitting on my torti and spending it in the city with the students.

I am a fan of Pinterest (I pronounce it as P-Interest). I found this Tea Wreath on there a LOONG time ago. I am finally putting my dreams in action.

Original Link--click here!
I cut a ring out of cardboard and carefully covered it with my fabric that I bought.

Then I spray painted some wooden clothespins. 15 pesos in the market.

Here is the finished product. I am not very exact and my spray paint was running out.

I tied a cutie ribbon on the top that I bought in the market. (only 4 pesos)

I glued the clothespins with the glue gun onto the wreath.

Then I pinned the tea packets on.

Here's the finished product. I also moved the coffee maker over to the dining room side for a little "drink station"
 I feel like I have been pretty incredible in sprucing up my house. I have a bunch of left over fabric that I might try and make some pillows for my couch. I don't want to saturate the place but I think it would be cutie as well.

Thanks PINTEREST. You are awesome!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Emily is becoming quite the houesewife!

So I bought some fabric yesterday.

To make this kitchen look beautiful. 


I have been wanting to make a cutie little curtain to cover that mess under the bar. So I used the squares on my floor as a template.

I am high tec like that. And then I proceeded to forget to take pictures of the next steps. I am new at this idea of "do a project and blog about it". Let's be honest friends I don't know how to sew. That caused a problem. I originally wanted to go with this idea from one of my favorite blogs but they don't sell super duper double sided fabric tape in Mexico. I brainstormed with my friend Hutch and she suggested the hot glue gun. So that's what I did. I used the glue gun. It was easy and looks great!

Here's the final look.

Gotta say friends, I am in LOVE with my curtain. Gabo was impressed too. I am really excited how it ties the colors together in my lil' apartment.

Here's a picture with the kitchen cleaned up..for once!

Stay tuned for some other projects I have worked up.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

My LOVES in Mexico

I never want to send the message that I don't love my life here. So without further ado, I've decided to share some things that I love and that Mexico does right.

LOVE me some public transit.
It's most of the time faster than cars, cheaper and you get to be crammed in with 400 of your closest friends. I can go to and from campus in one day and pay less than $1 USD in transportation. It's reliable and dependable and makes for some great stories later. I don't know how I lived so many years without it.

LOVE me cheap fruits and vegetables. 
There is a market 1/2 block from my house and I can go and buy all the fruits and vegetables that we need there for under $5 most of the times. For those that go way back with me, you know that I used to not eat many vegetables. I found out in Mexico that I love cooked veggies--squash, green beans, carrots, etc are some of my favorites. We can get all types of fruit as well.

LOVE me some great friends. 

Yes, I had this in the States too but I am recently coming to accept that our community is priceless. I have some of the best friends of my life around me these days in Mexico. I laugh so hard with them. I also enjoy spending time with Gabo's family. Just about every 2 weeks, we spend all day Sunday with his dad and some one else from the family. Mexicans are great at loving people well and helping others feel included. I love this about the culture. 

These are the tops but I also think that Mexico does a great job with:

- drinkable yogurts. Yum! Delicious.
- celebrating their Independence.
- being hosts to everyone
- driving defensively

There are so many things that are great about this place. I know that Mexico gets a bad wrap in the news a lot with the presidency, drug cartels and immigration but I feel completely blessed to live here.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Celebrating 3 years...

The fourth of July is a celebration for Gabo and I. I have the story here. We celebrated with friends and family on the 4th at our house.

I invited a bunch of random friends over and then I realized that not a lot of people knew the others. Whoops! Nothing like making new friends at a 4th of July party in Mexico. We had a great time. My husband was a rock star like usual and went along with my crazy plans and ran to stores and carried things out of cars, etc.  Then we did our usual clean up activity afterwards. I dominate the kitchen while he sweeps, mops and takes out all the trash. We have it down to a routine which actually makes us enjoy the parties a lot more.

Here are some highlights from the party.
We go big or we go home friends. Yes, that is a flag cake and 2 APPLE PIES!

My friend Whitney was in charge of decorations and she hit a home run.
 These decorations may or may not stay in my house on the walls for awhile. Gabo does call our apt the United States. :)
Here is the love of my life leaning over all the food we had. 
 I am so excited that he took a chance and talked to the white girl hostess 3 years ago!
This picture is for my sister Amy. I took this out of her garage sale box last August. I knew I would use it!

Tim with the "American Star Root Beer" that I found at Waldo's. The American guys were so excited!

Our littlest party goers Dax (L) and Lydia (R) celebrated their first 4th with us!

Lining up for the Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest. It was a grand time!

Some bi-cultural couples and their babies with Gabo and I. And a small random child named Angel. :)
It was a very fun day and I am glad that I got to spend it with my friends and American food. God Bless America!

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Presidential Elections South of the Border

On July 1, Mexicans made records in showing up at the polls. We have definitely stayed up to date on the candidates and prayed about who to vote for. I will not share any names of who the candidates are. You guys can read CNN and connect the dots. :)

Voting here in Mexico is a little bit different from the homeland. First of all the IFE, which is the federal voting agency here in Mexico, requires all that want to vote to register months beforehand. The people are divided by address into sections and in each section they have a couple of locations to choose from (at least that is the case in the federal district). Here's the deal. People are selected and required to be part of the process. I would compare it to Jury Duty in the states. So the election booths are sometimes in houses, garages, etc. It was strange. Then they painted Gabo's finger with a permanent marker so he couldn't go to the other location to vote again. Crazy huh?

In Mexico, there is a history of rumored fraudulent voting that takes place. Mexicans are adamant in using a crayon or marker to cast their ballot for fear of someone erasing their pencil mark. In the past some parties have "bought" the election booth for thousands of dollars--meaning they pay off all the workers so that they win the district. Even here in Mexico a local church was pushing the republican candidate and giving an offering of $50 to each church member to camp out and observe the voting booth in their neighborhood. Ultimately, we don't know how much that happened this time...but it is completely possible.

There were 3 main candidates. Up until 12 years ago, one party controlled and won every election leading up to the year 2000. This party has a history of being really into themselves and have been consistently linked to ex-governors that are leading the charge in the drug cartel. Pretty shady stuff full of corruption and all that jazz. Some people trust that party regardless of the history went with the "tradition of Mexico" and wanted to go with Old Faithful.

So we watched on Sunday this guy win. For me it's not that our guy didn't win, it's about who did. This guy's resume is not pretty.
  • He was the governor of the state of Mexico and did nothing.
  • His wife mysteriously was murdered and he never talks about it. 
  • He has no idea about the basics of being a normal Mexican i.e. the price of a pack of tortillas
  • He brings his own supporters and hides in bathrooms from opponents
  • He can't name 3 books that changed his life.
  • He makes no sense in debates and his future policies. 

So there are 2 possible choices that happened on Sunday and excuse my bluntness. 1. Ignorance of people or 2. It was rigged. 

I think it's a little bit of both but mostly ignorance. You see the majority of voters in Mexico are not connected to social media, they never heard him speak in a debate or interview, they don't want YouTube to see his blunders. They are just voting on tradition.

As someone that sees the potential for growth in Mexico, I am deeply saddened by the tailspin of the elections. Mexico cannot advance without exposing the truth and education of people.

We feel more than ever that we need a Revolution in the minds and hearts of the people. Will you pray with us?

Monday, July 02, 2012

3rd World Kitchens

Friends, there are some things that really get me down about comparing my life to the life that is very easily accessible in the US of A.

Kitchens. They are a beautiful gathering place and a space to create. The average house or apartment has counters, a dishwasher, full size oven, etc.

Take this kitchen...

spacious, gorgeous, lighted (Cue Debbie Gibson singing "Only in my Dreams")--this would be my dream in the States.

Here in Mexico, things are a little different. When we moved in last September, we looked high and low for the basics of what a little Expat girl like me would need. Frankly speaking an oven was a necessity. My husband often said to owners, "I'm sorry. We cannot rent here. My wife needs an oven."

So here is the best we can find. And I actually love this tiny little thing.

 See the difference? I liken it to a kitchen in a condo in Orlando, FL that you use on vacation. I am trying to spruce it up. In July, I want to make a cutie little curtain to hide the under-the-bar part. I try to keep things orderly and less cluttered. Which it might be time to pear down the fridge.

But on Saturday, we bought a rug at Costco. I LOVE COSTCO. It sometimes is like my home away from home. The rug said 2"x6" and I said to Gabo that it was probably the exact size of the alley between the bar and the wall.

 And I was completely right.  Above is my empty floor. And below is my new beautiful rug!

It makes a world of difference actually. It's soft and catches all the water that falls from my dinky sink and dish rack.

I am looking forward to other improvements that I can do to maximize my space and make lemons out of lemonades.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Be Fruitful and Multiply

No friends, this is not a pregnancy announcement. This commandment has been something that has caused me angst for most of my adult life. The church typically takes the phrase-

"As for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it." 
Genesis 9:7

and thinks something along these lines....

courtesy of
and so that was what I was taught. Until I start popping babies out, I can't completely fulfill this job. 

I would even go as far as to say that last August, a couple at our church was "scolding" us for not having kids yet. The man said to me, "Emily, why don't you want to serve God?" Which then I proceeded to get angry. If he only knew...I was and am serving God. I am making spiritual children. And my heart wrestles with the stereotypes of married women and their job in childrearing. I have seen great friends marry, have their babes and then disappear from the mission field. I believe that some women can do both. I hope to be one of them some day. 

A good friend recommended a book to me. It's called "Half the Church". It can be a little controversial. People say it's about equality between men and women in the church and women leading. So far I've gotten from it is that women serving and stepping out. I just finished a chapter addressing this topic. I want to share a little bit about what the author says. 

"If the command to be fruitful and multiply is only about reproduction, then it can apply only to a short season in a women's life--her window of childbearing years." (I started to sit up a little bit when I was reading...) 

She goes on to say, "Whatever we lost in Eden we find again in Jesus. Whatever God meant by "fruitful and multiply" and "rule and subdue," Jesus fulfills. As God's perfect image bearer, Jesus recaptures God's original vision for us by embodying true image-bearer living. And Jesus didn't do this in the pristine, sin-free garden our first parents inhabited, but in the fallen ruins of the world we occupy..." (I was left speechless at this point. Could have been the HUGE cockroach that I saw in the bathroom of the coffee shop I was in but she was on to something.) Jesus was neither married, nor woman but he did it.

Lastly she talks about the multiplying of God's Image: "We are God's image bearers. And while physical reproduction may suffice for fish and birds, for image bearers multiplication involves far more than simply populating the earth with more people. God calls us to multiply image bearers--a new humanity that embraces the God who made us and whose purpose is for his will to be done on earth as it is in heaven."

There it is folks. The command is for all believers: young and old, single and married, men and women. If we are not multiplying image bearers, we are not following this commandment. No matter what. Lot to chew on huh? 
For me it always goes back to the Great Commission... go and make DISCIPLES. that action.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Process of Grief

I am typically a person that never remembers her dreams. I go to bed, sleep my 8 hours, forget to put my bite guard in and wake up refreshed in the morning. Lately, I've had some good, doozie dreams that I remember in the morning.

Last night I dreamed that I received a box in the mail from my grandpa. It had some cutouts from some newspapers (typical Grandpa fashion) and a letter from him and and some old photos. I could see his handwriting in the notes. It was very vivid and I remember feeling excited about hearing from him.

Then in the dream, I realized that he was gone...that he had died. I began sobbing really with my whole heart. It was like I was grieving his death all over again.

I woke up suddenly this morning after pushing snooze a couple of times to a phone call from a friend that was stopping by to drop of some things. I quickly jumped out of bed to brush my teeth and make myself look presentable. I was standing outside of my apt building waiting for him when my dream came rushing back. I felt like I was being hit by a city bus.

I was talking to Gabo this morning about this and I feel that because I am not in Indiana, it is easy for me to not grieve because right now in Mexico my grandpa is not really absent from my life. It has happened a couple of other times that I have been doing something and I remember that he is no longer on the earth. I think, "how can I be so stupid and forget that he's dead?" It just doesn't make any sense.

I think everyone grieves differently. There are a lot of contributing factors to grieve as well...emotional connection to the person, physical distance, the past relationship, etc all effects the way we deal with it. We weren't necessarily close he and I but he has been a fixture in my life forever.

I am grateful for my last memories with him alive. I am grateful that I did all I could do to show him that I loved him. And I am thankful that Jesus is real and He knows grief and loss and he can sympathize with me.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

So Long Youth

I am in a mourning period friends. I have come to the conclusion lately that I am not as young as I think I am. My friend Cornelia warned me about this. She says that those who work with college students one day come to the realization that the students stay the same age and we just keep getting older. 

This August marks 5 years in Mexico. Lots of things have changed--the team(s), the roommates, the safety of the city, etc. My first couple of years here I was all over the place. I have awesome memories of how we went salsa dancing, to soccer games with millions of people and for late night tacos. We went on spontaneous trips to other cities and had a great time. 

I'm not as young as I once was friends. I'm 30 now. And I am not saying I am old. I am just not an adolescent anymore. I have begun to consider the consequences of late nights and larger crowds. I think this has happened for a couple of reasons. 

1. I married the safety captain. Gabo is all about never taking a necessary risk in life (I can see a fist pump in the air from Cathie Horein now). He lives his life like that and he is even more concerned about his gringa wife and her blonde hair and blue eyes.

2. I get tired more easily and the people annoy me. Standing all day in a hot place makes me want to claw my eyes out. I have less of a "it's worth it attitude". It's not worth it if it means tired feet, sunburn or me being hungry or getting a parasite. I think my priorities have changed. 

3. I blame my stage of life. This could coincide a little bit with #1 but let me explain. You see I am not a college student anymore. I am not a mom either but I am an adult and logical reasoning and future planning does come into play for me. I want this NOT to be true but I know it is. I live in denial about #3.

This all came about because I was supposed to go to a see a certain teen pop star on Monday.

 Yes, Justin Bieber. The Mexican government paid for a FREE concert in the Zocalo. Crazy teen girls slept on the street to stand in line for 2 days before.

I had planned to go the day of and stand in the crowd of 200,000 + people and wait for him... in the heat with no umbrella, then rain and then the concert.

But I wussed out. I considered the bathroom situation, I wasn't feeling so good and would need to frequent it. I considered the water and then needing a bathroom more. I considered all the pushy teenage girls that thought Justin was their boyfriend. I considered coming home late and a sunburn and then getting wet. And I just lost my steam. I couldn't do it.

I feel like missing JB was an end of an era for me. I'm not saying that I am never going to a concert again but I feel like my standards and needs have changed. On June 11, 2012, Emily became more high maintenance. I was really disappointed in myself.

So long Youthful Emily. It was fun knowing you. I will be at home weighing my options and consequences. I think I have just become even more realistic.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The life of King David

I am a fan of the Bible. I love reading about how God moved in people's lives and they were drawn to Him through his love. I have been perplexed by David's life for quite some time now. He was undoubtedly called "A Man after God's Own Heart". And he made his errors. I am aware of those things and I don't want to go in the direction with this blog in the direction we often hear.... "David's life shows us that God can use broken people and that He loves us in spite of our weaknesses." Friends, I know that. And I don't think that David's biggest downfall was the situation with Bathsheba and Uriah. He did it wrong but there is something more that we also see in our families now. Bear with me as I share two things that I have learned.

David was not always a good father to his kids. You can read in depth in 2 Samuel 13 and 14. This story literally gives me the shakes. Amnon and Tamar were both David's children. Amnon loved his sister (incest) and wanted to be with her and was convinced that it would work out by a friend and he used trickery to bring Tamar to her and he raped her. Absalom, another brother, knew about it. He brought Tamar into his house afterwards and he never forgave Amnon.

In verse 2 Sam 13:21-22 says, "When King David heard all this, he was furious. And Absalom never said a word to Amnon, either good or bad; he hated Amnon because he had disgraced his sister Tamar." 

King David did nothing. He sat in his fury. He knew that not only had his daughter been raped but by her own brother and the other brother hated him for it. Being a father, he never stepped in to defend his violated daughter then he didn't help his sons work out the problem. He could have helped. Absalom went on to kill Amnon and went on to have a huge conspiracy against his dad. 

At the end of his life, David had to hire outside care for him. In 1 Kings 1:1-4, it shows that he was alone. After having multiple wives and concubines, this passage shares with us that there was no one available to care for him. Now we can think that all of them died. But do you think it is ironic that there was not one loving family member to warm him at his old age. Not one wife, not one concubine, not one sibling, not one child. That is so sad to me. 

This shows me that I want to be someone that not only loves the Lord but is a great wife to one man. And someday I want to be a great mother that is a hero to her kids. I want them to know that we are a family and that we stick together and with Jesus Christ, we will choose to resolve conflict and love each other well so that the outside world will know Jesus because of our family.

Friday, June 08, 2012

God's grace in the midst of the Imperial

Well friends, I wanted to update you on how God has shown up in Gabo's job with Sofi. I have other more profound things to write about (like the life of King David) but I am still gathering my thoughts.

Gabo did a great job last night. We arrived to the location about 11pm and Gabo went upstairs with the band. Sofi asked him if they could pray together and if Gabo would lead them and of course he said yes. Friends, let me stop her for a minute. This is what we pray for...that God would use Gabo to be a light in the darkness. Sofi's manager and her both see something different in the way that my man does business and plays music. The only thing that sets him apart is Christ. So before taking the stage, Gabo lead them in a prayer. BIG STEPS people. :)

 He was in charge of the band and he played great and even saved Sofi in the midst of her nerves and almost costly errors!
 I hung with my friend Gianina. She is a girl from the ministry but loves music. She was a great one to take along for me. I didn't want to sit by myself and we had a blast laughing together.

Gabo met the two producers of Sofi's disk. Lalo (left) and Mauricio (right) were both very excited and impressed of how the band sounded after 3 short rehearsals and only 10 days of learning the music. I had an awesome conversation with Lalo's wife. I felt like we were kindred spirits.  Today I posted these pictures on facebook. We have a friend named Andres and his wife Ale that used to live in our old apt building with us but we stay in touch cause they are Believers as well. Well, Andres has been telling Gabo for the last couple of months that he needs to meet his friend that is a music producer. Today Andres commented on the picture, "Hey Gabo, that is my friend Lalo I have been telling you about. I guess you did meet!"

Pray for us as we wait to hear the next steps with Sofi. We are so excited to be in the middle of God's will wherever he takes us. Last night it was a club at 2 am with producers, composers, arrangers and celebrities that desperately need a Savior.

We are honored to serve there. Good night!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

An Ode to the Amazing Husband

So we are a rare couple. We are from 2 different cultures. He loves music and does things based on feelings. I studied social work, I am very practical, love living in the reality and am very objective.

Gabo has a job that is very flexible and fun...well I should say many jobs. He teaches, composes, produces, arranges, plays in clubs and on top of all of that, spends time with college students that want to do the same thing.

I have mentioned before that this summer Gabo will most likely produce a disk for a new guy in Tampico. We are excited about that. We believe in the guy and his music. He is a man of faith too and Gabo and him are trusting God to reach new places.

Sometimes our finances are weird. I live on a flexible income (depending on people's generous hearts) and so does Gabo (depending if the jobs come in and if they actually pay him for his hard work). So we have never been in need but we watch God provide in some really random ways. It is one way to live out the faith journey. :)

On Sunday Gabo got an email from a guy who is the personal manager of a girl that Gabo helped do her showcase in 2009 when we were just "novios". He directed her band and everything and really didn't receive any payment for it.

Here's a video of them rehearsing...look for Gabo. (second #19, #37, #52...)

Well Sofi got signed by EMI music awhile ago and she is making her way up and is ready to tour a little bit. Juan (the personal manager) asked Gabo to play in the band and be the musical director.

We don't know how big Sofi will get or if it is God's will that he stays in the band but right now he is busy learning all the songs this week for the first rehearsal on Thursday. The first concert is next Thursday (CRAZY huh?). [sidenote: I have been making fun of Sofi's song "te odio" for months now. I really don't like her voice but she is bringing home the bacon for us so I am going to have to accept it. Ha!]

I am so proud of him. Gabo not Juan :) He works so hard and he trusts the Lord with his jobs and he looks for the best way to use his time, talents and treasures for the Great Commission.

Here is her first music video as well. We'll keep you posted on our adventures with Sofi!

and props to me...i learned how to post videos on the blog! oh the things I can share now!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Summer Lovin'

As students are taking their exams and finishing up the year, I am getting excited for summer. We have some visitors coming (and still waiting on some pending ones as well) and some other exciting plans. Gabo is most likely (please pray!!) will be working hard on producing a disk for a guy from the state of Tampico and will continue teaching private lessons here in the house.

I am going to take advantage of our summer. Here are some things I want to do/focus on from now until August-ish.

  • I want to work out. There are have been seasons of my life that I have worked out and eaten well. This is not one of them. I feel MUCH better when I cut back on the sugar and white flour and I do something active for 30 minutes a day...this is apart from walking all over the city. I like structure and a plan and I want to take this time to take care of myself. 
  • I am excited about having a little "extra" time with Jesus. I want to spend a little bit more time in the mornings in my times with Him. I am looking forward to this. 
  • Now that the students are (almost) out of classes, we as leadership want to take time to do fun, cheap activities here in the city. We want to use the time this summer to foster more community and see the things that we think we never have time to see. So we are implementing "The Summer of Fun--no more long faces!". We are going to go to museums (well they are. I am skipping those), movie marathons, going swimming, going bowling, etc. I am excited to enjoy the city and the students. 
What about you? Do you have any summer goals? 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

5 years of service

Gabo and I just got back from our national staff conference. We had a great time with friends and staff. We got to know some people well, had some good conversations, spent some time swimming and playing ultimate frisbee. We also were encouraged by talks and devotionals.

This year, I completed my fifth year on staff in Mexico. I was honored with a certificate. Gabo was able to work his schedule to be there the whole time. We had a great time working, praying and dreaming together.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Presidents, Elections and the burn of time.

Dear 3 blog friends that I have,

I am not a political woman. I try to be but I really don't know enough. And I have reached a crossroads. In 2007, I moved to Mexico and although technology is always improving, I have lived outside of the United States for ALL of Obama's time in office. His decisions for the most part have not filtered down to my life at all. I hear every once in awhile the things he has done and what he hasn't done but I am kind of out of sorts.

Approaching this election, I don't have a ton of opinions because well I haven't heard the debates, researched the republican candidates, and most likely will not live in the United States during their time in office.

It's a weird place to be in folks on the other side of the border. I have a passport, the right to vote but knowing that my vote for the most part will not impact my life.

On the other side, we in Mexico are also in an election year. In July, they will vote for a new President. I hear and see a lot about the candidates. I have some opinions but still feel uneducated. The downside that even if I knew for sure what I wanted, I can't vote. I am not naturalized yet.

Here is one of the turmoils of living abroad. I have the power to vote in my home country but my vote does not impact me because I don't live there. And where the decisions affect me, I don't have the right to vote.

Interesting huh? Never really thought about that.

Republican, Democrat, Independent Party, man, woman, abortion, taxes, etc....I got nothing friends.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Thinking outside of the box

When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’ “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ “He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”  Matthew 25:31-46

My husband is much cooler than I am. He is more generous, thoughtful, and sensitive. He honestly makes me a better person. 

Yesterday, we had a day off so we were leaving our house to go to walk in our favorite park and to celebrate Starbucks Frappucino Happy Hour. At the corner by our apartment, we saw a small boy about 10 years old with light spots on his face, ripped out shoes and was asking for money. Gabo gave him a few pesos and we crossed the street. My husband says to me that he wants to go back and give the kid some clothes. So we begin back across the street to ask him if he is with someone else. Gabo goes ahead and invites him and his grandma into our house for food and clothes and to give them a Bible and to pray for them. 

We thought and prayed about this verse above...whatever we do for the least of these, we do for Christ. 

To be honest, our own finances haven't been stellar lately. God has provided but I am not living in a place of comfort and maybe that is what God wants. We have pinched pesos and been very careful.  So naturally when I am in this state, I am not one to be willing to give to others. But God took this moment to say to me that I don't really know what it's like to not have all that I need. He will continue to provide for us so we can be Jesus with skin on. 

Gabo also invited them back anytime to eat. I better make some extra beans and rice this week!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

On Gallbladders

**please be warned. personal musing about things such as bowel movements will be talked about**

I am usually a pretty happening, healthy lady. However, I am a person that is plagued with constant stomach musings. I am a magnet for cramping, parasites, montezuma's revenge and hilarious hospital stories.

My journey with bugs in the intestinal tract started at the end 2004 with a trip out east. East meaning Asia. Something I ate in my 12 days there took up permanent residence in my gut for about 10 months. In that time, I went on a summer project to Mexico where in a hotel room in Durango, I saw some freaky things in the toilet. My dear friend Marta took me to a hospital...well let's call it a clinic from the 1960's. At that time, I didn't understand much Spanish but what entailed was a swob of sorts to the hind in region to see what was the matter. The ministry told me to come home. I said...what's another 5 days?

I came home to a very unnerved general physician and a colonoscopy waiting for me. I found relief from the constant pain after an amazing antibiotic and leaving milk in the past.

My first year of marriage I had a couple of little issues where doctors explained it as "gastritis" or that I was nervous or that I probably had some kind of bug in there. Last May was rough. I couldn't even stand I was in so much pain. We went to the doctor and they informed after ultrasounds and tests that it was just gastritis.

Friends let me take a pause here for a minute. I am a funny lady but I am not a hypochondriac. I don't make things up nor am I looking for drama. It feels like this battle I have going on with my gut is constantly getting me nowhere. I don't want to be deathly ill, I just want to understand the problem. I vowed to never go back to a dr again for stomach pain. I was through with wasting our money on diagnosis that led to the same conclusion.

Until Friday. Well I should say a week ago. I ate some questionable food at a family part that led to barfing and the d-train. Vomit is not a normal occurrence for me at all so I was wondering what is the deal. Then on Friday at Costco, I saw the beauty of all beauties in the bathroom that sent us to get some tests. Those colors should not come out of one's body. I was tested for gall stones, hepatitis, liver failure, etc. All coming back negative. Yea but no yea at the same time because my gallbladder was contracted.

After WebMD and talking to various people, I am pretty convinced that I have some sort of gallbladder disease. I haven't had an attack (hear they are horrible) or stones but it is low functioning. We are praying and trying to decide if taking out my vesicula (gallbladder in Spanish) and if that would solve all of my ridiculous problems.

Comments, suggestions, thoughts?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Chilaquiles and Jesus

I have a friend from a local ex-pat Bible Study and she says that she loves reading stories about missionaries and I should write more of my happenings on a blog. So that is exactly what I am going to do...share more stories from the "field".

When we moved apartments in September, Gabo felt led to try and share with the door man of our building and the other men that work on the street...the other doormen, the guys who park and wash cars, etc. So he passed out some Bibles and started from there. 

When we got back in January, we invited two doormen over for dinner. Modesto works in our building and Homero works at the one next door. They came over for dinner and they showed up shaven, in their best shirts and the four of us ate together. We found out after that dinner that Homero has a wife Tere and a new baby born in December. We felt so bad that we didn't invite Tere and Saul along. So we hosted another dinner inviting everyone and at that dinner we passed out another bible to Homero and Tere. It became clear that there was some interest (major interest) in knowing more about the Bible and Jesus. 

So every other Friday since, we've been eating dinner together and Gabo leads a Bible study. Last Friday, I made chilaquiles...this is a mexican plate that is very common. They loved them and this says a lot from Mexicans that grew up in pueblos. They have eaten some good ones before and asked for seconds of mine! I was really excited. 

After we ate, Gabo shared the story of John 3 and Nicodemus with Modesto, Homero and Tere. He shared how we must be born again to live in eternity with Christ. Modesto shared that he made a decision a couple of weeks ago to walk with Jesus and Homero and Tere accepted Christ with us on Friday! It was a very powerful moment. They prayed silently and confessed their sins and cried. 

We are so excited about how God is using us in our neighborhood! How is God using you to reach your neighbors? 

Friday, April 13, 2012

National Student Conference 2012

I had the pleasure of leading the conference this year. It was March 31-April 4. It was a lot of work but went really well. 

You can check out a video of photos from our time together below:
National Student Conference Video

Thursday, April 12, 2012

I will miss....

My grandpa, Jim Hendricks passed away on April 5, 2012. Gabo and I are grateful for a number of things. That we were able to go and be with the family during the funeral and that we got really good quality time with him over Christmas. 

I will miss...
  • his love for Notre Dame sports
  • his newspaper articles that he cut out
  • talking about Mexican presidents, drug cartels and everything else south of the border
  • the squalk of his police radio
  • the smell of his cologne and aftershave as a little girl when I crawled up into his lap
  • the scruff of his beard on my forehead when he was too lazy to shave
  • the smile on his face when I graduated college
  • the way he demanded attention at any family gathering
  • when he tried to pay us back for every little expense and his desire for us to save our money and not spend anything on him

at Gabo and I's reception dancing with my grandpa
 I am so grateful for my 30 years with this man. I am thankful that he knew Gabo and loved him. And I am so appreciative for great memories with this man.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

On public transportation in Mexico

Because this blog is titled "Life With Emily", I periodically would like to give you a glimpse into every day life here in Mexico. Today as I was on my way home, I thought that this is something that is pertinent yet sometimes hilarious in sharing. Put on your seatbelts folks, it will be a bumpy ride. 

A couple of weeks ago I was on my way to campus. Gabo and I were on a bus and the driver was talking to his friend behind him. The driver was doing his regular breaking quickly then accelerating then slamming on the brakes sending everyone flying. Then all of the sudden, he just gets up in the middle of the bus in motion and his friend jumps up and takes over. I have seen some crazy things here in Mexico friends but a driver abandoning ship was a new one. I am 98.5% sure he was higher than a kite. 

Often on buses and metros the people constantly switch seats to find a better one. It's like musical chairs without the music starting or stopping. 

Upon arriving in Mexico again 6 weeks ago, the Hubs and I went to visit his family and afterwards we jumped in a cab to come home. My husband being the observant one (ha this moment he was) realized that our taxi driver was out of sorts and sketchy and was communicating with another car. This happens often in Mexico where the taxis work with another car to assault the passengers. Gabo realized that we were being followed by this other car and we were heading into a very bad neighborhood and he says, "drop us off here". I still had no clue what was going on. We paid got out and I was sure my husband was crazy. He begins telling me about a red car following us and he didn't feel right about it and up pulls the red car realizing that the gig was up and we knew what he was up to. We ran across the street into a supermarket to wait for awhile before hopping into another taxi.

Sometimes the metros and metrobuses are so full that we are packed in there like sardines. It's very uncomfortable and yet now I am accustomed to it. I was on the MetroBus today and I was in the "ladies only" section and I looked around and it was loaded with dudes. Can they not read? I jumped off and tattled on them to a police officer and ran away before they knew who did it. :) 

Last story, I promise. :) Yesterday I get on a bus to come home. I had 40 minutes to spare before my discipleship appt was going to show up at my house. The trip normally takes 20 min. It was about 2 (lunch time) so traffic was slow but we were moving...until it stopped for 20 minutes. You see friends, there was a stoplight out and the streets looked like a parking lot. Some people were trying to go vertical and some horizontal and no one was going anywhere. At that moment, an old man sitting next to me started to give me an orientation to the city. (He clearly thought that this was my first bus ride) The intersection literally looked like a knot. It was very impressive. We slowly made our way through the mess and I arrived at my house at exactly the same moment my girl came. I also gave directions to a bunch of students on that bus on how to get somewhere. I am one impressive foreigner!

That's all for today friends. I hope you enjoyed your glimpse into transportation in Mexico.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

For the love of Bi-Cultural Marriages

Although marriages to another ethnicity are becoming quite the popular thing nowadays, in some circumstances it's not easy peasy. Being always honest and frank, I would love to share with you a little about the ins and outs of this whole sha-bang and the things you may not know.

Since coming to Mexico in 2007, there is always a requirement to have a visa in this country. Crusade helped me stay legal before. I had to get a birth certificate apostilled. (Can't explain it fully but it's like a super notary) Then arriving in Mexico, I had that paperwork translated with my immigration lawyer and then we proceeded with the documentation. The cost is huge...mostly because I use a lawyer so I don't mess up. It costs about $500 a year. When we got married, we had to translate my birth certificate again...appartantly the office needed an "approved translator" for that one. We had to do a bunch more paperwork, pay about $300 and we were set. My visa had to be switched over so that I would be a dependent on Gabo. We had to prove his income (almost impossible with him being a freelance musician), submit his birth certificate, official ID card, etc and pay $600.

This does not include the massive process of getting Gabo his resident visa in the states.

The bottom line is this. We love each other...a lot. Marriage has it's ups and downs. Bi-cultural marriage throws a whole different learning curve in the mix. Adding a little bit of stress as you wait for immigration offices to decide if you are legal plus thousands of dollars.

Our hope and prayer is that we both can naturalize in the opposite country in the next 2 years. Meaning both taking civics tests, Gabo mastering English and finding witnesses of Gabo's life here to prove he is a Mexican. We don't know what the Lord has for us. We always want to be above reproach in our paperwork and the way we handle these things.

We also are constantly confronted with immigration related topics in the US. Neither one of us are experts in that...we live in Mexico. We look for ways to constantly honor God with our responses and encourage others to do the same. We are learning a lot.

Hope you can learn something from us as well. Let me know if you have any questions.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Valentines Day Event

Often, I find myself not sharing all the cool things that happen in ministry in my prayer letter because I run out of room. One of the things that lately I have been trying is hosting women's events. I want to help give the girls an opportunity to invite their friends that may not believe in Jesus yet or friends that are just not connected to the body of Christ.

So we did an event on Love. One of my friends, Mariana, took the pics. They turned out great. I wanted to share them with you. 

The most important part...the desserts!

The spread of appetizers.

The little fondue pot.

Some of the girls.
I like these activities because it feels like girls are coming and bringing their friends. 

I think one of the hardest things in ministry is evaluating if what I am doing is successful. The most important thing is lives changed. And slowly God is doing that. I want to provide a place for that to happen. 

That is what I hope.