Always and Again: Two Way

I’ve spent the majority of the day browsing through my blog. It really came to my surprise how much I’ve changed. Not in a major way. Not in the way that I feel I’m a different person entirely. But in the way this blog has evolved. It’s been such a learning experience getting to see how much my style has changed. This blog has continued to be a place where I can express who I am through my clothes. Some of my posts have been so ridiculous and I’ve worn some questionable items, but it’s nothing I regret. A major thing that I’ve notice is that I feel more confident, secure, and even adventurous in how I dress and express myself. Even how I pose has improved. There are still so many things I want to do with this blog and I’m really excited to see where it goes and what I learn. I love to write. I love photography. I love clothes. So for now, I’ll enjoy everything this blog to offer me. An escape.

Now as I was looking around, I came to discover some pieces that I’ve worn on here multiple times and I thought I’d share how I repeat them. It’s been awhile since I’ve done this series. The main thing with my clothes is that I only buy items I know I’m going to wear more than three times. Check out these two items and how I’ve styled them. Which is your favorite?

4 Long Plaid

My long plaid shirt from Forever 21. I wore it in the winter time underneath my favorite leather jacket for a cool girl vibe. That’s how I ultimately feel about this shirt. Cool. Just recently I showed it off a bit more by wearing nothing but it around town. Again, I felt cool.

5 Green Jumpsuit

This is my favorite jumpsuit because the color is so neat. The first time I wore this green jumpsuit from Forever 21 was in the fall. I paired it with booties and my fuzzy jacket. Lately I layered it with a white t-shirt and sandals for an every-day-look. It’s just everything. I can’t wait to wear this thing again.

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I’ve got a weekend packed of cleaning and organizing before Micah and I head out to Mexico for our mission trip. We are both really excited about it. I can’t wait to share with you all how I’m packing. Stay tune. Have a good week. I’ll see you all on Monday again. As always.

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Life itself

It seems so selfish to go about my life as if I’m the only one who worries, is stressed out, is busy, or is conflicted. I feel as if every time I blog I have to boast about how busy I am or how complicated my life has been because of this or that.

Today upon opening my e-mails, our administrator informed the school about a recent death. He was a student. He was a son. He was a brother. He was a friend.

Suddenly everything that I’ve been dealing with lately seemed so small.

We were asked to talk to the students about anxiety, stress, and depression.

So here’s my chance to be uplifting, inspirational, caring, kind. And…. I blew it. I read talking points. The students just stared at me like deer caught in taillights.

The truth is, it’s hard to talk about suicide. It’s hard to know what the right thing to say is during a time of confusion. Pain like this is tough. I feel for my students because they are young and life is giving them difficult challenges. Some of them are having to grow up too fast. Some of them are oblivious to hardships. Some of them are independent. Some of them don’t feel they have a voice. What’s harder is that as a teacher, an adult, a mentor, I can’t always relate to them. This is where I’m conflicted because I’m at a loss as to what to say, how far can I invade their personal bubble, how long do I stay present?

It seems that during a death like this there are a million and one questions everyone asks, like why, just for starters. And me? I don’t have all the answers to the way the universe moves.

I sat back down after my award-winning speech on “I’ll be there for you,” and contemplated my struggles, my fears, my moment of depression. For one second, I realized that when depression kept turning off the lights in my life, I wanted to drown myself in sorrow. I wanted so desperately to feel. When that intoxicating desire to feel something took over I was a goner. Next thing I knew I was in the shower shaving my legs and the razor “accidentally” cut my ankle. I didn’t flinch. Instead, I watched as a tiny river of red ran down my leg and into the drain. After that I was addicted to that feeling. Why? Because I could feel something. I wasn’t numb anymore.

So it was back to the shower, time and time again. I never cut too deep, just enough to feel. I was playing with my life. It wasn’t until one evening my mom came home from work and hugged me. She said, let’s go get ice cream. Beyond my endless eye rolls, we went. We had a conversation about nothing. She talked while she savored her chocolate ice cream cone about how growing up she always wanted to explore the African jungle. I asked her why? And she said just because it’s something I know I’ll never get to see. I was puzzled. Why on Earth did my mother have a dream that wasn’t worth achieving. Intrigued, I asked her to explain?

She went on to say that sometimes we have a dream so big and unreachable that it gives us hope. It makes us get up every morning and work hard. It makes us cling to ourselves and to make peace with knowing that God’s will is what we should want.

God’s will. God? Oh yea? (smirk) Then the light switch got turned back on.

I suppose the point of all of this is that sometimes we feel like nothing will matter, like nothing makes sense, like nothing we do can help save a life. Who knew a hug, ice cream, and a unreachable dream would save my life. Give it meaning.

Maybe I should have talked to my students about my struggles to find hope. On the other hand maybe the talking points were enough. Everyone is different. Everyone loves, thinks, acts, feels, and moves differently. That makes us who we are. For me during a time of struggle, like this one, it’s not to necessarily try to understand, but to be there. To help by lending a listening ear. To be present. To be a smile. To be in this life.

On Sunday during church sermon it was said that we always hear the famous words of Mother Teresa, “God wouldn’t give you anything you can’t handle,” and it’s true in a sense. But in reality we should consider God not giving us anything He can’t handle. So we should give Him our troubles. He’s ready. He’s able. He’s for us. Give it to him. Or give it to me and I’ll pass it on to Him.

As always,

Theology Thursday: I am a woman who loves the Lord

Brr, we got some snow today. The entire day was filled with the falling cold, which made school just a little be deary, but just like the students I powered through. Being back in school today was so uplifting. It’s so surprising that motivation comes from being up and about– moving. All the same God dwells in all things good and for that I’m every grateful.

esther-4d-30

This morning, my devotion asked me to reflect, “what, in deep things of God, do you still have to discover and see?” For the longest time, the answer to such a question lied in myself and really it’s silly because it’s a question in itself.

The answer: I want to see where I, woman, Alejandra, person, self fit into the realm of God, Jesus and Holy Spirit. What’s my role? I’m discovering that aspect more and more as I grow in faith. It’s interesting. For now God has called me to love without question and fault. Secondly, God has called me to be a servant. This one I’m actively discovering. From the looks of it, it’s so fulfilling and rewarding.

Figuratively speaking one aspect I’d really like to further study is the way women not only served the Lord, but what their role was in the Bible is. It’s difficult for me because Catholicism brings forth the male priest. So on the outside, I don’t see women as the head of church, and that’s okay. However, where do we stand?

During confession, I explained to my priest that my faith was being rocked. It’s natural for society and some relationships to sometimes test our faith. I’ve been there, I’m guilty, and I take blame. The priest told me to read the book of Esther. “It’s short and to the point and once you’re done, you’ll know what God wants from you,” he said. Fair enough.

“Be mindful of us, Lord. Make yourself known in the time of our distress and give me courage, King of gods and Ruler of every power.”

Esther 4: Chapter C: 23

Goodness, was Esther full of courage and hope, but all that strength didn’t come from her own. No way, it came when she trusted the Lord, when she prayed. I’m always a sucker for a woman of prayer. She put all her hope and faith in the Lord and she stood up for what she believed in and guess what? God answered. He’s so amazing and He will always keep us in mind. Again, how beautiful.

As I read further into the book of Esther, I was filled with wonder. She truly did extraordinary things, but she was so successful because of her devotion to God. Her faith was never rocked, her faith was firm and never ending, and even more so she encouraged me to speak about what I believed in.

“Put in my mouth persuasive words in the presence of the lion, and turn his to hatred for our enemy, so that he and his counter-parts by perish. Save us by your power, and help me, who am alone and have no one but you, Lord.

Esther 4: Chapter C: 24-25

In the past, the hardest thing for me was to talk about my faith, not because I was ashamed or embarrassed. Simply, I felt it was an inappropriate subject, come to realize that I was foolish and down right naive. Ha! How can the Lord be poor timing? And that my friends is where discovering the word for me came about. It’s hard to tell people about your faith, but seeking God in these situations allows us to speak with confidence. Plus, God puts the words in our mouths.

I strive to be like Esther, courage and faithful. And if you’re wondering there are more woman like her in the Bible. Women like Mary Magdalene, who was not only the first person to discover Jesus’ tomb, but she was also chosen to go deliver the good news.

Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

John 20:17

Can we just take a moment to realize that Jesus choose a woman to declare that He was risen. This alone gives me shivers. Indeed, we “women” don’t fall behind. That in itself should challenge us to advance at work, to take control of personal struggles and life, to strive, to accomplish beyond measure, to seek the greater good, and to not give up.

Then there’s Ruth, Joann, Susanna, Martha, and of course our Blessed Mother Mary. The list goes on. So good women, I challenge you to discover not only your place in the spiritual world, but also to establish your ground in faith. And keep me updated, cause I’m here for you, cheering you on.

Theology Thursday: Holy Habits

hebrews-6-10

I’ve decided to begin a spiritual series that will be available every Thursday. I’m doing this because I have a great need and passion for my God. He’s been in my life, ever present, since as long as I can remember. My faith comes from my family, my church, my struggles, and my accomplishments.

At an early age, I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. While I didn’t know what that meant entirely; I knew I had to be obedient and I had to pray. In my youth, I understood the cross Jesus had to bear. I knew and understood the passion of Christ and I comprehended that Jesus died for the world and for my sins. Now that I’ve reached young adulthood, my thirst for Jesus, has matured in a sense.

Rightfully so, Jesus now demands more of me. And my faith has called me to act. I don’t want to just know about the word. I want to live the word. I don’t just want to know about Jesus, I want to be on of his disciples. I don’t just want to attend church. I want to serve.

In seeking to do so, I’ve surrounded myself more and more with the word, I formed part of an adult youth group at my church, and I do Bible study session with my boyfriend. Everyday, I’m learning more and more about God and his will for me.

This week, my study with Micah (my boyfriend), took me to examine my “holy habits.”

I have a lot of habits: I wash my face every morning, I clean my room every other day, and  I read the news, ect. but am I truly living a life of spirituality? Is my faith really built on action?

14 My brothers and sisters, if people say they  have faith, but do nothing, their faith is worth nothing. Can faith like that save them?” 15 A brother or sister in Christ might need clothes or food. 16 If you say to that person, “God be with you! I hope you stay warm and get plenty to eat,” but you do not give what that person needs, your words are worth nothing. 17 In the same way, faith that is alone– that does nothing– is dead.

In James 2:14-17, our faith has to have meaning, Jesus expects us (me) to act. But, how can I do this? For one, I have to hold myself accountable. I have to create “holy habits,” in order to hold myself responsible for my active faith. By doing this, our “self” changes attitude for the positive. Yes it draws us closer to God because that’s what we want, but it overall makes us, literally people of good faith. Practicing our faith, humbles us and prepares us for the future. Creating holy habits is just that, preparing us for Jesus’ return.

18 Someone might say, “you have faith, but I have deeds.” Show me your faith without doing anything, and I will show you my faith by what I do. 19 You believe there is one God. Good! But the demons believe that, too, and they tremble with fear.

James continues to prompt us to act more. Through this reading, I understand that Jesus is pleased with our faith, but he challenges us to apply our faith into action. Why then is having faith and believing not enough? I believe that because we are called to follow. The road to following Jesus isn’t easy, but God’s repayment is worth anything valuable on this Earth.

Here is a list of Holy Habits I plan to implement in my life. Create your own list and let the Holy Spirit move in you.

  1. Pray daily (often)
  2. Listen to Christian music
  3. Get further involved at church
  4. Help the poor, the homeless, the needy (especially during the holidays)
  5. Do more Bible Study sessions (fill myself with the word)