This is one of the most confusing paragraphs I've ever read. Too repetitive to make sense. Yet, at the same time, it made so much sense once I grasped the idea. Bear in mind I read it a long time ago when English wasn't really a part of my life just yet, since we had recently moved to Columbus.
Please take a moment to read...
What I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.
Does that sound familiar? I can completely relate. I keep on doing things I know I should not be doing! I'm talking about silly things, like, eating a huge slice of chocolate cake yesterday when I met Dana (just after running). Why did I do it?! Aghh...
There are deeper things than chocolate cake, though.
|At Levi's birthday party|
What about people who really struggle with food? When food is really a temptation in their lives, a constant battle... What about those who struggle with pornography, or other addictions. They want to quit, but at the same time they can't. I don't think you have to tell them pornography is wrong. They have heard that enough. They know it's wrong. I mean, if they didn't believe deep inside of them it is wrong, they would tell you they are into pornography the first time you meet them.
Like, say I met a mom at the playground, and we are chit chatting, and I say, "Oh, I love baking cakes, and watching The Office with my husband". And then the other mom would say, "Oh, I'm into scrap booking, and watching child pornography with my husband."
You could say she wouldn't tell me because she doesn't want me to judge her. Then, objectively, she wouldn't tell me she's into scrap booking, either. Because I can make a judgment call on whatever she tells me she likes (which is NOT the same as to judge her).
Or you may say sharing that kind of information is too personal if you are meeting someone for the first time. But baking cakes for my family is personal, too. OR... those of you who know me will know that I will start a spiritual conversation with you if you give me the chance. That's personal. Sharing the love of God is personal for me, and I talk about it.
|Daddy and his boy making a snowman|
But it's not the same, you say. You may say it's private. Well, okay. Why is it private? I'm not asking you how much money you make, or on what days you have sex with your spouse. That is private. But if you so much like pornography, and don't think it's wrong, why don't you chit chat with me about it? Maybe not at the park. Maybe it is something you only share with close friends. But in lots of cases, not even your closest friends know you like it so much...
And I think the reason why is morals.
Let's not talk about my faith right now. Any single person, whether Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, or whatever, would agree child pornography is just dead wrong. Sick. Disgusting. Right?
I am only asking why. Where do those standards come from? I understand people may agree or not with them, but nobody can deny they are there. And as long as they exist, issues like pedophilia or abortion, or sex before marriage will always be touchy subjects at dinner tables.
Why? I keep on asking...
|Not really into the snowman|
I think most people do not want to accept the fact that they are sinners. I think they believe sinner is a very big word. A word meant only for killers or rapists. Or for prostitutes. What do I know? But being a sinner only means you have made things or choices that are wrong. Wrong based on a golden standard. See, this is where it gets tricky. It is not your standard.
When I was in college I learned that there is always a golden standard to compare drugs. I hated my pharmacology classes, but I remember Aspirin (Bayer) was the drug to compare all other acetylsalicylic acid tablets you wanted to make. The needed to perform in all studies, like Aspirin. So I guess, if this is for a headache, why not have golden standards for more important things? Spiritual things.
And it gets trickier. There is a golden standard. There has always been. But everybody has ditched it - almost everybody- because everybody falls short from it. There is The Truth. But truth nowadays means whatever you want it to be. Hence, if it feels great and you like it, go for it. You know, stupid YOLO mentality.
Case in point. Child pornography is wrong. That is the truth. Please, prove to me that under certain circumstances child pornography is right, or even acceptable. What about cheating on your wife? What about lying to your husband? It might get really back and white... lying is wrong. Nope. No white lies. All kind of lying is wrong.
Jumping on the trampoline
So, I'm gonna take it up a notch. What about homosexuality?
I'm intolerant. I'm homophobic. No, I don't hate homosexuals. I just don't agree with their lifestyle. They believe they have a choice, and that they are who they are. Well, my conviction is yes, they do have a choice, and they are choosing wrong. I believe they were not born homosexuals. And so it is that my truth is not your truth. And you and I get to argue about what's the truth, but only because we want to find a truth that we can live with.
But The Truth has always been there. Right there.
We have made the truth relative. We usually accommodate it to fit what we like to believe, because we do not want to feel uncomfortable when we don't live up to it. Listen, I'm not here to argue that God's Word is The Truth I'm talking about, nor I'm here to defend God -trust me, He can take care of Himself.
I just want you to see that you indeed do wrong things. And yeah... they may not define you, but they affect you. Every single wrong choice you have made until now has had an impact in your life. But that's my whole point. The Bible itself says it is not your fault!!
God is not here to get you! He is here to rescue you!!
I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions.
Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.
It happens so regularly that it’s predictable...
Tell me, just tell me you have never felt this way. With any struggle. Tell me you have never willed a bad behavior away. Tell me you have never promised yourself you will never eat a doughnut, only to stuff your face the next day, not with a doughnut, but with fajitas.
Tell me you have never told yourself you are going to stop thinking about what you should have done to save your marriage? What did you do wrong?
Why do I suck at being a good friend? (This is one of my personal struggles). I try hard...
And with Lent all these weeks, and the fact that my family and I are about to celebrate that Jesus died, and rose from the dead... I mean, what's the point? Is the point to give up tobacco, or negative thoughts for 40 days? Is the point to prove you have will power? A rapist is able to do that, the scum of the earth can do that in a heart beat. Are you really telling me you are better than them because you have denied yourself a cup of coffee for the last six weeks??
I didn't drink alcohol for nine months when I was pregnant! Twice! Man, that is something...
At the very root there is evil in all of us. In our core. Just look at a child. You don't have to teach a toddler to lie, or to disrespect his mom, or disobey his dad, or hit a friend. They know how to do that. You have to teach them what is right. Everybody, all of us, know how to do wrong.
Under the right circumstances anybody is capable of doing anything .
Under the right circumstances anybody is capable of doing anything .
I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?
Romans 7. The Message.
You don't have to be perfect. Nobody is. Just trust Him. Trust that Jesus died for all those sins of yours. The bad choices you have made, the ones you are still living it, and the ones you will surely make. You are only a human being. You don't have to have it all together. You are living a lie if you think you can go through this life on your own, hearing yourself talk because you are amazing, and you are all you need.
Trust Him. Trust that He paid on the cross for your sins. Trust that He died, and He rose again. Ask Him to help you carry your load. God does not expect you to carry it on your own. He never did.
PLUS... if you feel that you don't need help from Him, God won't take it personal. Everybody makes their own choices. Own your choices, for good or for bad. But if you read everything I said up to this point, do not say later nobody told you about the Savior.
Oh, well... At least thank God for your free will :)
Oh, well... At least thank God for your free will :)
Houston Children's Festival
Lots of photos from the festival... I was wondering how they would make all this money at the festival if they gave away tons of tickets. Ours were free from Baker. But now I know...
Mommy, I want to ride a pony. I want to pet the sheep. Mommy can I ride the planes?
I felt terrible... but even though we had the money that day to let her ride whatever she asked for, we didn't let her. She had to choose. Enzo... well, he doesn't even speak, so we chose for him.
Both children are very, very persistent. Enzo rode with Daddy only one ride. It was actually his only one. But Libby asked me about one hundred times if she could ride with them. And one hundred times I had to say, "No, Sweetheart, because you chose to ride the real ponies."
We had a wonderful time :)
Breakfast tacos before the festival
|Libby and Daddy|
|Trying a little|
At the Festival
|Going up the slide|
|Going down FAIL!|
|"Tina, you fat lard...."|
|Getting my girl ready|
|She wants a pony :S|
|"When I grow up I can ride my own pony"|
|Daddy, Tiger, and Zebra|
The last week has been kinda rough. Enzo can't get over a cough he's had for the last two months. It might not be the same cough, but he's still coughing. He had his 18 month check up on Friday, and he is a very healthy boy :)
That same Friday Libby began with a runny nose... that developed into croup. She sounded horrible and so funny, literally like a seal. But it only lasted that night. The next morning she was still coughing, but a very wet cough. The nurse said she was recuperating very fast, but that we had to take it easy for the whole week. I needed to sleep very close to her just to check on the cough...
|First morning after croup :(|
Add to this combo that we decided to take Enzo out of his crib, making him a big boy now with his toddler bed. Emerson said it was going to be rough for a couple of nights, but that it was better that way because once we move we don't have to deal with that anymore. Of course... I'm happy we did it, because I am not going to have to deal with it anymore.
First Night on his Big Boy Bed
Go to sleep, Enzo!
Emerson passes out every single night, and I'm up taking care of them. The children love being together, but I cannot go to sleep hoping they will crash. I'm torn - not really- because I do not know what to do. Every single night they have been going to sleep after 10 pm. Anyway... all this has been happening at the same time that both of them are sick. They always end up sleeping on the same bed, but I carry Libby back to her own.
Last night, though, she was very upset because I did that, and she cried, and yelled... Whatever. She wants to sleep with him, let her do it. I told myself. And I did. You'll see the photos in a little bit.
They love each other so much... I'm happy they are good friends. I think they are. This is so new and exciting to them. I never had that so I have no idea how it feels. All I know is once we put them "down" at 7:30-8 pm, they play and play and play without fighting. They drink tea, they share, Enzo lets Libby stuff him with bunnies on his belly and back, they read books... They are always arguing during the day, but this is the only time when they actually play peacefully. Yes, I know they need to sleep. But I also know there are making wonderful memories.
Second Night for Super Man
Nice flash... Both are out
Libby actually climbed into the pack 'n play (which she is not supposed to do) to get a book to read it to her little brother. And he passed out while she read :) She is always taking care of him, she is so kind, and loving. He is a very sweet boy, for the most part. He is going through a phase where he gets really frustrated. But he loves Libby. The two nights she wasn't on the bedroom, he was so miserable. We actually had to come back and sleep on the floor, all of us. Not Emerson, he had to work.
I'm telling you, this morning I prayed at breakfast... We thanked God for the food, and we read our Bibles (just a little verse, don't think my children can listen for more than 3 minutes).
Anyway, I thanked God. I thanked Him for making the seeds of His Word grow in the hearts of my children.
What am I doing right? I don't feel I'm making a difference, yet I'm exhausted all the time, specially at nights. Thank you, God, for being with us. We are planting the seeds, and you are making them grow. It's amazing to witness something like that happen. There is no way Emerson and I, on our own, could make our children be the way they are.
|Taken at 11 pm|
|Taken at 5 am|
|Taken at 5:05 am.|
Why do I bother covering them?
Other than that... what have we been up to? I don't know... just watching The Wheels on the Bus on YouTube. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
We had breakfast tacos last weekend. We've made crafts and colored. Oh, I sent the Evites for Emerson and Libby's birthdays.
We might go to India sooner than expected... or not. I'm planning the party, but HR India is done with the paper work, and Baker here is almost done. I don't know a lot about it, because I just tell you what I'm told. That means Emerson doesn't know either. But when we have the tickets in hand, you'll know for sure :)
I don't know when I'll write again, probably after Easter. I'm planning on making some special treats with Libby and Enzo. Maybe some challah bread, or actually, some unleavened bread to celebrate Jesus' Resurrection, Jewish style.
You know, JC would like that :)
|Going for the bacon|