Sunday, April 1, 2012

Impossible to Please

Have you ever felt faithless? That you are struggling to have faith with circumstances, wishing your faith was stronger because you know who God is? I am right there beside you.

Lately, I have read either in the Bible or in a book I’m studying for a discipleship group or even in a lesson in Sunday school about faith but not nearly faith but also the amazing love God has for us despite ourselves or struggles. Hebrews 11:6 clearly says it is impossible to please God without faith. Which you’re probably thinking, “Rhonda, how is that encouraging?” The encouraging part is that as you continue reading chapter 11, it tells about people from the Old Testament to the New Testament like you and me, who mess up, and yes, even struggle with their faith. Yet, God in His awesomeness used that little faith they did have in Him and did extraordinary things.

The one who struck me the most was Gideon. I read Hebrews 11 last Thursday, and then on Saturday, in my devos, I was reading in Judges and read about Gideon. Gideon struggled with fear, but despite his fear, he had faith, no matter how small it was, he had it, and God brought down Israel’s enemy through Gideon. When I was reading it, I was thinking about Hebrews 11, and how Gideon was used as an example of someone who had faith in God and how God used him. It reminded me of how in the Gospels, Jesus says that if we have faith like a mustard seed, you can move a mountain. God knows that we will struggle through this life. There will be times of doubt wondering what the Lord is doing or what His plan is or when He will reveal to us what the next step will look us, but He assures us that despite our fears and doubts, remember Christ’s love for us…cling to the faith in the One who gave up Himself for us-incomprehensible love…and no matter how small the faith, continue to press on, for through even the tiniest faith, the Lord can move the mountains…stay strong and keep on keeping on!

Because of Christ,

Sunday, January 8, 2012

In the Process

I know it has been an extremely long time since I’ve blogged. I wasn’t sure if I was going to continue to write on it after I came back from Mexico, but for my friends over there and the one’s here, I figured why not? Plus, I enjoy it because there are times when writing something out helps you get a better perspective then simply thinking about them over and over again. The other reason, which is the bigger of the two, is that coming back to the States has been rough…it has been quite a transition and growing period, that is still going on, but I figured, we all struggle, and God stretches us at different points, so why hide that when others can pray about it and know, yes, we all have our hurdles and times of confusion and pain, so what are we going to do? Keep following the Lord and truly trust Him completely or fall into self-pity and just go through the motions of living?

These past several months in the States, has really challenged my faith-how much do I really trust the Lord of my Salvation? It is easy to say, but do my actions really reflect that? Am I thanking Him through the periods of waiting? The periods where He seems to be completely silent? These are questions I have had to really reflect on. And yes, I do trust Him, but it has come to the point that I have to consciously beat the battle between my flesh and my spirit to carry out that trust in my actions. To have joy in the Lord and in who He is by doing my best with an attitude of gratitude bringing Him glory in whatever circumstances He leads me to.

The other main thing that I have been wrestling with, that God has gently but relentlessly been teaching me is true surrender. When God led me to Mexico, I had no problems; I was excited and even through the tough times, I immensely enjoyed it. Then when God called me back to the States, I was fine with it, but I was already imagining the “what” God wanted me to do. So when I came back, and my “whats” did not fall into place, I was discouraged, mad, confused…the list goes on. But as the months passed and nothing was panning out, I started to ask why is being back in the States so hard, why did God bring me back here? Especially as 2011 came to a close and a whole new year was beginning, I really was trying to see what could be different to have a better year and do better in all areas. That was when I really listened, the Holy Spirit showed me that the “whats” I never surrendered to Him. Sure I prayed about them, but I was holding them close to me, so for me to be completely surrendered, He had to pry them from me; however, if I held them with open hands then all He had to do was to pick them up, and I would not have experienced so much discouragement. So as you start out this new year, remember with your goals and plans, dream big, have goals, have plans, but hold them with open hands not clinched fists, keeping your eyes on the Lord, making His priority yours, so if He does decided to go in another direction, you will already be ready, truly surrendered.

And another piece of wisdom, even trials and lessons and periods of silence and desserts are blessings, for they bring us even closer to our Abba, as we learn that He is who and what we live for, in any and every circumstances, for this is not our home=)

Because of Christ,

Friday, July 8, 2011

Goodbyes and Hellos

Today, started with one of my students saying, “Maestra, I won’t see you any more after today.” As the year has ended, I have six days until I return to the States. My heart is full of emotions. The comforting thing is after I spend the week saying goodbyes, I get to end it with hellos.

I have such peace and joy in knowing that though I’m leaving precious friends and lovable students, God is leading me for right now to the States. There is no where I’d rather be than in the middle of where God wants me to do. Whatever the future holds, it will be an amazing, not always easy but worth it, journey because I have such a faithful Lord. I cannot begin to even tell you everything He has taught me in my time in Mexico. I have shared some on past blogs, but He has stretched, grown, and molded me, and He is continuing to do that as He draws me closer to Himself, for He knows that I still have a far way to go.

As I said, this week is going to be a time of goodbyes. The teachers and students through me a surprise pizza party to say thanks and goodbye, and the youth group last night threw me a surprise goodbye party as well. I am leaving behind people whom I have grown to love, like Melissa and Montse, who are twins that come over at least once a week, the Guzmans, who have treated me like family, Gloria and Lili, some of the most wonderful co-workers I’ve had the privilege to not only work with but also become friends with. The list goes on….I leave though not empty because even if I can never come to even visit again, the cool part is we are still part of the family of God, and it’s such a sweet reminder that no matter where I am, not only can I pray for them but one day will get to see each other not for a little bit but for eternity. Leaving this time, reminds me of my first mission trip ever to Honduras, and when we were at the airport, our friend we made there, Alex, was dropping us off, and as he said bye, he told us, “See you in Heaven.” We of course were like, that’s so sad we probably won’t see you until then, but it’s bittersweet because though it might be true it’s still the hope we have in God. So as I say goodbye to amazing people who have impacted my life, I leave confidently knowing that the Lord is leading me.

And in six days, I get to see my fantastic family who have supported me with each step I have taken even if it leads me to a different country or not=) Not to mention, I will be able to see friends who have also supported, encouraged, and prayed for me. So for some it’s goodbye and for some it’s hello.

Because of Christ,

Monday, July 4, 2011

Memorable Quotes and a Time for Celebration

I don't know if I was as excited for July 4th as I was today-my guess is because when you are in a different country, you are simply more patriotic. So how does one celebrate independence day when not in one's country-well, I decided to celebrate with my students. I made them hamburgers, potato salad, and ice cream sundaes (they liked the sundaes the best). It was so much fun=)

Since this is the last week of school-which is so hard to believe that a whole school year has past- I decided to share some of the things my students have said over the year. They have been such a joy to teach, and I'm going to miss them a lot! Enjoy the quotes=)
~Can we play one(uno) teacher?-all my kids
~Teacher, it's going to be sad in Heaven because you'll be speaking English.-Martha
~May I check water please?-Cristian (he wanted to say, May I drink water)
~Maestra, tu puedes hablar espanol perfectamente- Martha and Helly (Teacher, you can speak Spanish perfectly-they're exaggerating quite a
~Do you have a stick that you can hit people with like a pinata?-Helly asking my brother-in-law, David, who's a cop when they where interviewing him about his job
~Maestra, why do your eyes always change from green to brown to green again?-Helly
~Man, teacherman.-Danny, who used to think every profession ended with man like firemant
~Maestra, in the US, do you drink water from the sink? Yes. You drink dirty water!-Naomi and Cristian
~Maestra, it's difficult to teach you Spanish, and it's difficult to teach us English, right?-Danny
~Maestra, why do you have green eyes, and we just have brown eyes?-Helly
~Maestra, you're more Mexican than American now. Why? Because your skin is darker!-Helly
~Teach, teach, I need help!-Danny ("Teach" is short for teacher b/c here people can shorten most words-so Danny decided to apply that to English as well!)

God has blessed me and taught me so much-it has been such an adventure and privilege to teach my kids this year!

Because of Christ,

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

It's Not About Understanding

If a man is going to do anything worthwhile, there are times when he has to risk everything on his leap, and in the spiritual domain, Jesus Christ demands that you risk everything you hold by common sense and leap into what He says, and immediately you do, you find that what He says fits on as solidly as common sense…Trust entirely in God, and when He brings you to the venture, see that you take it. We act like pagans in a crisis, only one out of a crowd is daring enough to take it. ~Oswald Chambers

Today marks 10 months since I’ve moved to Mexico, and God has taught me so much. I am humbled and in awe that He takes the time to patiently teach me and refine me even after I struggle so much. The past two and half months, God has been teaching me about trust. It’s easy for me to tell the Lord how much I trust Him when I know what I’m doing, when I’m comfortable, when I see what His plan, when I understand what’s happening. It’s when He takes it all away and asks, “Rhonda, do you trust me? Do you really trust me? Will you follow me no matter if you can’t see the reason, when you don’t see the end? Can you act on your words?”

I’m in a time in my life, where I don’t understand God’s purpose for asking me what He is asking me to do. I only know vaguely the where-I don’t know the why, the what, the how. And I’m not going to lie; it’s been hard not to understand. There are times where I’ve been angry, I’ve been discouraged, and I’ve just been tired all around. Yet I have the most amazing Abba; He has not given up on me. In fact, He gently takes me and teaches me. When I thought I couldn’t handle not knowing anything, He lovingly pointed me to scripture and people to remind me that it’s not about understanding but about trusting in who He is and His promises to me and the simple fact that when I accepted Him as a Savior, I gave Him my life, surrendering to do His will. This past week, I really grasped what Philippians 1:6 and 2:13 talk about-it’s true, God is still working in me according to His good pleasure. My sister reminded me that the Bible talks about the unimportance of understanding; it’s Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” I have a God who loves me above measure, whom I gave my life too…it’s His to use, I simply need to follow. Like the quote above, most of the things worth doing, takes risks…the risk for me: trust without understanding, yet is it that much a risk when I serve the God of gods, who has shown me the ultimate love? Does He deserve any less?

Because of Christ,

Saturday, May 14, 2011


So, throughout my 9 months here, I have numerously said, "Wait, what?" Usually it pertains to them wanting me to do something that was totally outside my comfort zone, which yes, I know, that's So, one would think that I would have learned that by now and just go with the flow; however, these past weeks, I think I have used this phrase almost every other day...okay, not that bad.

The first time was on cinco de mayo (which, it is celebrated more in the US than Mexico-ironic is it not?) Anyway, Elizabeth, the Guzman's daughter, came over to play some "board games"; however, it was an excuse for some of my friends, headed by these two 15 yr old twins, Melissa and Montse, who are amazing, to throw me a surprise birthday party with an American, chocolate, chocolate cake (Mexican cake is quite different) with M&Ms-yes, they know me well;) I'm just so blessed that the Lord provided me with some fantastic friends here, and though at times there is a language barrier, we are sisters in Christ and true friends, whom I will miss when I return to the States.

Then the next day, was a "Wait...what?" experience because in Mexico, they celebrate Kid's Day, to celebrated kids, on April 30th, but we were on Spring break, so we celebrated it May 6th. It was a lot of fun. We went to Pizza Hut, and the kids played on their playground, learned how the pizza made, and made their own personal pizzas. It was a fun and unique experience, especially when my kids asked me what we did in America for Kid's Day and watching their shocked faces when I told them that we don't have a Kid's Day in the was priceless.

Another culture difference is Mother's Day here is always May 10th-so this year, I made sure my mom had two Mother's Day=) It was funny to be asked about it because on Sunday, I wrote on my mom's facebook to wish her a Happy Birthday, and they were like, Rhonda, Mother's Day isn't until Tuesday, and I said, "Not in the States", but we celebrated Mother's Day with a mini-program at the school. I taught my mothers a "Mexican Chip-Dip"-kind of ironic that I'm in Mexico teaching a "Mexican" recipe, and then my embarrassing, "Wait...what" moment, came when Mrs. Guzman made me speak Spanish in front of all the parents. Yes, I still get so embarrassed speaking Spanish in front of a lot of people-but I survived-God is so good=)

God is still teaching me so much about depending upon Him and waiting on Him. He is constant and is constantly pursuing His children. We simply need to sit at His feet and pursue Him, resting in Him and falling in love of Him-He truly is awesome-there are times I just stand in awe of His love and His desire He has to want a relationship with me-enjoy Him and your relationship with Him!

Because of Christ,

Friday, April 29, 2011


First, I must apologize-I just realized that I have not blogged in over two months. I have been busy, but I know that that is really not an excuse. My first college roomie, who is also a good friend, blogs and took a challenge to blog everyday for a month-so proud Amy=), though it makes me feel bad that I can't even blog once a week, but I will work on it-promise!!

Well, these past two weeks I have been on as they call it here "Semana Santa", which directly translated means, "Holy Week"-but we would consider it Spring Break. I'm not going to lie-April has probably been the hardest month so far-it was a busy month, and I just struggled a lot with various issues and spiritual warfare. But as I had these two weeks off, I thought back to when I was an RA, and the director, before our Christmas and Spring breaks, he would challenge us to think about it has "half-time" and "time-out" and reflect on the ministry we were doing on our halls. So thinking of that, I thought a lot about my New Year's Resolutions, how was I doing with those, as well as the goals I have as a teacher, and how I was with the most important aspect-my relationship with God. As I said, April has been an extremely challenging month, yet as I reflected back these four months and then to the almost 9 months I've been here, I can see how God is still at work, still at my side, even through the hard times. It doesn't matter if I struggle or if I grow discourage, what matters is that I remember to look to Him, my Refuge, my Strength, my Comforter. There is this amazing song called "Blessings" by Laura Story I heard today (the lyrics are below) that talked about how there are times God uses the low points in life at times, the pain, the confusion, the loneliness, the "whatever" to teach us, to bless us by molding us, to refining us-to be refined, we must go through fire-through pain to come out as a beautiful vessel to be used by the One who is worthy, the One who promises to be right there, by our side when we follow Him!!

Because of Christ,

Blessings-Laura Story
We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things

'Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
As long as we have faith to believe

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not our home

What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise