Obsessed with this song right now

Lay down your sweet and weary head. Night is falling, you have come to journey’s end

Sleep now and dream of the ones who came before. They are calling, from across the distant shore

Why do you weep? What are these tears upon your face. Soon you will see, all of your fears will pass away

Safe in my arms, you’re only sleeping

What can you see on the horizon? Why do the white gulls call?

Across the sea, a pale moon rises. The ships have come to carry you home

And all will turn to silver glass, a light on the water, all souls pass

Hope fades, into the world of night. Through shadows falling, out of memory and time

Don’t say we have come now to the end, white shores are calling, you and I will meet again

And you’ll be here in my arms, just sleeping.

What can you see, on the horizon? Why do the white gulls call?

Across the sea, a pale moon rises. The ships have come to carry you home

And all will turn to silver glass, a light on the water, grey ships pass into the West

God is always there

Sometimes life throws doubt and stress and questions into your life. It is amazing to me that we can just turn to God and be like *sigh of relief*, I’m home. All worries vanquished. I know there will be hard times and there will be fights to win and there will be fights to lose, but I always have God by my side. This life is not the end result. I have someone who overcomes ALL, and who helps me overcome ALL, which is extremely comforting. I haven’t had much tragedy or struggle in life and I am extremely blessed by God with that *knock on wood*, so I understand that people go through a lot worse than I do, and have a lot more to overcome. But God can handle it, and it is a choice that you yourself make on how you will handle it, with or without God’s help. Sometimes I wonder if I will get dealt a really strong blow that  I don’t feel I can handle, and while I don’t wish for that on me or anyone, I welcome that opportunity to let God show his power and strength and the hope he offers. Even in my little struggles of regular life, He is there, so how much more would he be there for me in big struggles. I am eternally blessed by God, no matter what happens.

 

Father, let the world just fade away

Let me feel your presence in this place
Lord, I’ve never been so weary
How I need to know you’re near me
Father, let the world just fade away

Till I’m on my knees
Till my heart can sing

He is
He was
He always will be

Even when it feels like there is no one holding me
Be still, my soul
He is

Father, let your Holy Spirit sing
Let it calm the storm inside of me
As I stand amazed
Lift my hands and say

He is
He was
He always will be

He lives
He loves
Hes always with me

Even when it feels like there is no one holding me
Be still, my soul
Through every fear
And every doubt
And every tear I shed
Down every road
Im not alone
No matter where I am

He is
He was
And He always will be

 

– “He Is”, Mark Schultz

Loving God and loving people

Yesterday I listened to a sermon about being a light. About letting God shine through you, and bringing yourself and other people out of darkness. Not just physical darkness, or spiritual darkness, but any darkness that doesn’t allow a person to be the absolute best they can be. It was a challenge pointed directly at me. I can’t remember the last time I thought of myself as a light, as someone who was worthy of piercing darkness in its fullness. I am in a great place right now, living in Dubai, having a man I love, being in contact with my family on a regular basis, traveling as much as I can. But it was a challenge to be even better in every single aspect of my life. I wrote about this a little bit two posts ago and I tried to improve myself on my own (just a note: not much was happening lol)…. but as I listened to this sermon I thought… man, it would be easier if I hand it over to God, and let Him work his magic. And it has been freeing, and it has been a high, because everything seems so much more simple. I’ve thought of a multitude of ways to implement this in my own life, from work, to working out, to eating healthy, to living each day with passion and love in my heart. This high is something that comes from giving myself over to God. And I can’t do it once, I have to do it day in and day out. Having this high has made me think though…. about how this could be one of the reasons non-Christian people think that Christians think they’re better than them (which some do), it could be one of the reasons Christian people come across so abrasive and sometimes even hateful and intolerant (which some do), it could be one of the reasons that separates Christian from non-believers. Everyone loves a light that pierces the darkness (except when they’re sleeping :p ), everyone loves someone else who is being the very best they can be especially when it improves their own life. Not everyone appreciates that light being shined directly in their face and blinding them… they’d prefer the dark in that instance. It’s so hard to find a balance though. When you have so much good energy and love flowing through you, you just want to share it and share why you have it. But sharing it without having that balance of being open and welcoming to challenges and new ideas, it’s going to push people away. I think it is so important for us, as Christ-followers, to cloak ourselves with the love of Christ and share it, but in a Christ-like way. And I think people forget that. And not always because they’re on a God-high and are being obnoxious, but also when they forget what the Light is like. It’s important to live in the Light, while gently and lovingly and humbly giving other people light…. and realizing it doesn’t always have to be “GOD GOD GOD!”, but just being good to humanity, and always remembering where your light comes from, and sharing it when the opportunity strikes. It’s even more important to never tell yourself that you are better than someone just because you have this Light. Remember you are not worthy of it, and they are just as worthy to have it. And even if they don’t have it, it doesn’t make you “better” necessarily (unless you are just amazing without sin and everything you do is for the good of everything), it just makes you a child of God, which really is amazing in itself to have this precious gift, so appreciate it and love it but remember it’s not you who produces this Light, but God.

ps. writing about this is just my moment of thinking about things, the subject has more depth than I have time to write about, and I’m sure I’ll forget some of it sometimes since I’m human…. but it’s where I am at today and I am loving the Light but I never want to close myself off to other people. Especially given my circumstances of where I am living, and the man I am in love with.

Colossians 3:11-13

11a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all. 12So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; 13bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you

Happy New Year! Welcome 2015

Bringing in the New Year was great! It was a very chill night with close Dubai friends. We had dinner and drinks at my place (Ollie cooked lasagna), I made everyone eat 12 grapes (one wish per grape) at midnight like I’ve done with my bestie since high school (Venezuelan tradition), and popped champagne while watching the fireworks from my 38th floor apartment.

Over the past year I have been incredibly blessed. I have met a man that I love with everything I have, I have kept in touch with my family even better than the year before, I could possibly be making a team jump at work (we’ll see if that actually happens), and the travel experiences have been beyond belief. I have posted about Kenya, but that is the one of many travel experiences I have had. I also went to Jordan, USA, Cyprus, Italy (again!), Vietnam, and England. 7 trips in one year…. talk about a whirlwind!

I want to take the time to thank God for his many blessings, and I pray that he blesses each and every one of you. May you see the joy, peace and (above all) love of the Lord for this next year.

This is the life we belong to, our gift Divine

Sometimes life gives you moments where you can really think and gain a clear head. The other night I was on a walk, after staying indoors all day working/ cleaning/ relaxing/ being lazy.  Finally at 9pm I was like I have to get out of this apartment so decided to walk. It was a crisp, cool evening, I was listening to Christmas music and thinking, thinking, thinking…. Thinking about life, thinking about death (based on a recent news story), praying for the family of the person who had died, thinking about how I don’t pray for nearly enough people and what I could do to change that, thinking about what I could do to be a better person. By the way, there’s a LOT.

This stark contrast to how I had just spent my day hit me hard. My brain had been disengaged all day, and now it was overcome with clarity. And I realized it wasn’t just today. It was every day. My brain would go through periods of fog, especially at work. It hasn’t been that I’m not enjoying or appreciating life, I am so very thankful for everything, and I am having the time of my life! But I realized I have been going through the motions…. Drag myself out of bed for work, get coffee, do some work, during breaks browse the internet just to get through the day. I don’t accept this fate. I don’t accept that the only times I am engaged is in the evenings and sometimes not even then.

So…. time to make a change. I have decided to have a goal to put one thing in my schedule that requires my full mental attention each day (and to be sharper at work). I would like to eventually make it a morning-time thing, but let’s face it I like my sleep. It doesn’t even matter what it is, as long as it is positive and enhances my relationship with myself and/or with God. Whether it’s a prayer walk, getting up early for breakfast at home in the morning, a bubble bath without distractions, etc. Something that allows me to focus and keeps my mind sharp. Life is such a wonderful gift and I want to live it to the fullest, with the rawest of emotions and the clearest of eyes.

This new change has inspired me to be better about my blog 🙂 But…. before I start that…. I have a LOT to catch up on. Over the next couple of days I am going to put a few posts with updates from the last…. 8 months. I’ll try to keep it short. I also might try to figure out a way to document my travels differently, to where it can be good for reference and not just stories. I don’t really have followers, but this is for me so I can look back and say “oh yea, that was AWESOME!”

Ready for some even better times over here in Dubai!!! ❤

It’s Time for Africa

Waka Waka (by Shakira), along with the opening song of The Lion King was in my head as I boarded the plan for about a 5 hour flight to Kenya. I”m going to keep this travel post short. Africa is SO cool. The clothes are colorful, the views breath-taking, and the animals fun to try to find. Side note: If you go to Nairobi, be sure to visit Carnivore, which is an all-you-can-eat meat place. Deliciousness!

We only were gone for 4 days, and most of it was spent on safaris, so I’ll just highlight the important parts 🙂 We stayed at the Masai Mara reservation, which is about 40 km from Tanzania and the Serengeti…. and about 6.5 hours outside of Nairobi, and definitely not on paved roads. After the long trek to the reservation, we had some down time and then our first safari. It was not what any of us expected. Seeing the African landscape was incredible, but the first day we probably got more pictures of the landscape and sunset than we did any animals. They were hiding from us. But not for long! The next day we saw a hyena, giraffes and baby giraffes, elephants and baby elephants, lions and baby lions, hippos and baby hippos, and by far my favorite, a cheetah. I had been talking about how I wanted to see a cheetah the entire time and we finally found one! I was on cloud 9 I was so happy. What a beautiful, beautiful animal! Our first safari was definitely a testament in case you ever find yourself on your first day of a safari and don’t see anything but zebras and antelope (which, let’s face it, is still pretty cool anyways). Don’t give up, there’s hope to see animals the next day!

I think this trip was a great introduction to Africa. Future plans are to do a long safari with real camping and less touristy feel, see the Great Migration in the fall, visit South Africa, and climb Kilimanjaro (which could be a possibility THIS YEAR!). Not ambitious at all 🙂

The World Never Sleeps

I just realized how MANY people I know and love in different time zones. The world never sleeps.

 

Hawaii                                 0221

PST                                       0521

MST                                      0621

CST                                       0721

EST                                       0821

Ghana                                  1221

England/ Angola            1321

Germany                            1421

Riyadh/Qatar                   1521

Dubai                                   1621

Seoul                                    2121

Queensland, Australia  2221

 

I think that’s all?