Meet my bloggy friend – Darleen Mayorga

Ok. So. I’ve been at camp all weekend with my jr high kids. I haven’t been able to post as I normally would have this week because life is crazy.

Having said that, I would like you to meet my friend Darleen. She’s funny. Beautiful and has a heart of gold. She is married to her awesome husband Frank and they have two beautiful littles Luke and Anna and as a family they serve as missionaries in Spain.

Darleen is a blogger and I particularly love this last post she did about being comfortable. Since that’s kind of what my next post is about I thought it was kinda nice to share her thoughts.

Please click the link and check out her most recent post.

On Comfort – Darleen Mayorga

Love and blessings to you and happy Sunday!

20140112-160634.jpg

Sincerely, One of Many Girls Who Care

Well said.

#thlnewyearsrevolution2014

Be Malleable

Are you a boy?

I’m sorry.

Not sorry that you’re a boy… That’s awesome.

I’m sorry that you see hundreds of advertisements every week showing half-dressed women.

I’m sorry every time you go to the beach or your neighborhood pool you can’t look in any direction without seeing a girl basically in her underwear.

Or that you can’t scroll through Instagram on “women crush wednesdays” or any day for that matter without an airbrushed girl in a thong staring you down.

Or that your buddy showed you that one magazine when you were 9 and you’ve never forgotten that moment because that was the first time you first saw a completely naked woman.

When I think about the guys in my life who are striving to live with a pure and Godly mindset, it honestly breaks my heart that they’re surrounded with so much temptation.

I think about my 22…

View original post 1,241 more words

New Year’s Revolution

Welcome to 2014. We still don’t have flying cars and we can’t read each other minds but that’s ok. I think for the most part we’re happy with where we are. Or are we?

Are we happy with the promises we make ourselves and fail to keep? Are we afraid to hope it gets better?

A big topic right now and probably until the end of the month is “New Year’s Resolutions”. — by the way it’s “happy new year!” not “happy new years!”  – I don’t know about you but I can only take on one year at a time, and if I’m lucky it’ll only come one day at a time. 🙂

days attack

I will confess to you that I do not remember the last time I made a resolution for the new year. I didn’t see a point in promising myself I was going to do or not do something as long as I knew I am an imperfect person and am way more than likely to fail. Maybe it’s the cynic in me.

It’s like sin.

Sometimes as followers of Jesus we try so hard to stay away from the “bigger” sins that are harder for us to stay away from versus the ones that are “no big deal”. One man may struggle with sexual addiction and another is a chronic liar – both deep-rooted issues that take more than a yearly promise to break free of. They need grace. Mercy. A new day. A new try. Several times. Sometimes some people need it more times than others.

In addition to making these commitments there needs to be a call to action! We need to do something. Ask for help. Build walls against that which hinders you. Are you trying to quit being an alcoholic? Don’t go to bars. Politely decline invites. And if your buddies don’t care enough to help you, get some new ones who do.

Are you into porn? Don’t have your internet access in secret. Get a filter (a GOOD one) on your internet. Get one that’ll send a text to a trustworthy person who will keep you accountable when they see something suspicious. It’s not about looking bad when you do mess up it’s about pulling each other up and getting better. 🙂

Extreme? Maybe.

Necessary? Absolutely.

What about the times we do mess up? If you are human you will mess up. You’re not alone. Everyone has mess-ups. There is grace from Jesus. There is healing and forgiveness. Receive it. And try again. We cannot resolve to be perfect. Perfection cannot be reached in this life. But we can certainly do our best. 😉

Now obviously with such an amazing amount of grace being handed out to us – this doesn’t mean that we take advantage and run a muck just because we can.

“Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of His wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it?” – Romans 6:1-2

I heard this song a few years ago. I don’t remember it ever getting super popular but it’s stuck with me forever. It’s called “New Year’s Day”. At least I think that’s what it’s called. I’ll have to YouTube it. 🙂 Anyway – I LOVE this song and it’s message of “every day is New Year’s Day” it says:

“This will be my resolution: every day is new year’s day
This could start a revolution – every day is new year’s day…
One more chance to start all over
One more chance to change and grow and
One more chance to grab a hold of grace and never let it go…”

The cynic in me says “pie crust promise. easily made easily broken” (thank you Mary Poppins). God’s grace says “It’s forgiven. Let’s move on”. What a wonderful thing His grace is. So glad it’s so much bigger than my mistakes.

My friend Philip posted this as his status today on Facebook:

“Life makes you cynical. Christ makes you free to hope.”

Hope for a new chance. A new way to live.

Happy new year. Start your revolution. 🙂

20140103-135110.jpg

Oh hey look. I found the song on YouTube: New Year’s Day *insert party streamers*

**EDIT**
ok. Right after I hit the publish button I thought about the “call to action” I spoke about. So here’s a thought: What is your call to action? What do you want to change? Sin issue? Or maybe something else? Take better care of your body? More time with your husband or wife? More time with the kids? Less tv more being in the Word? Be a better friend? Better Organized? *raises hand* Chore schedule? *raises hand again* comment below! Check out The Honeymoonlife on Facebook and chat there. If you Instagram (follow @honeymoonlifer) or Twitter (follow @HoneymoonLifer) use the hashtag #thlnewyearsrevolution2014

Merry After Christmas

Well. There you have it. Another Christmas is over.

I had a million things I wanted to share with you in this post. But it’s just so, so very much. So I will say this:

Once upon a time. My world was dark. I had no hope. Doomed to an eternal death if left to my own devices. Jesus came. And everything changed. If Jesus, had decided to not come down to earth and intervene, I would be lost.

I realize what a difficult topic this is for so many people because there are so many different beliefs out there and I hate to rock the boat, but sometimes the truth isn’t comfortable. The story of Jesus is true.

The truth is we were created by God. He created the world without sin. Without bad things. When sin entered, so did death, as that is the payment for sin. This is uncomfortable because no one wants to suffer. No one wants to die. But no one wants to be accountable to God either.

Jesus being born altered history. Christmas, as I know it, is a life changer. His birth is celebrated before His death and resurrection, and that is why it’s so special to me. His birth alone gave us something to hope for.

I can sit here and type about how much Jesus loves you and how much you need Him and how much you are wanted by Him until my fingers bleed. But I know for some reading this it’ll do no good. My heart aches for you. You don’t know Life. And you won’t until you let Him in.

When the “magic” of Christmas is put away and the decorations are gone and the tree is towed away in the trash and the surprise gifts are gone – what is left? For me, I still have excitement. The story doesn’t end at the manger scene. That’s where it begins.

The Christmas season is just a season. Like any season it doesn’t last long, but the hope it carries is something so much more powerful. The hope of Jesus is bigger than anything you will ever face. My prayer for you is that this hope will come alive in you. Not an emotional imitation of the “magic of Christmas” but a real, living and breathing closeness to the One who made you. He gives strength to the weary and fills the empty soul and gives it life and purpose.

May your days be merry and bright. And may He fill your “after Christmasses” with Life.

20131230-231604.jpg

Story Telling

Well hi there!
Happy Saturday people! Merry almost Christmas!! Who’s excited about this time of year because I certainly am! But that’s not what today’s post is about. 🙂

I’ve been super crazy and by the time I realize I’m in a writing mood I turn on the laptop and log in and then I get distracted with cuddling the mister on the couch and watching tv. (I can hear all the pro bloggers saying I need to schedule my posts. I know. I’m working on it ;]) It is my personal conviction that cold weather was made for cuddles. TV and cuddles does not require brain power. So. I apologize for anyone who was missing my posts. Not that I think I’m a big deal cuz I’m not :). Speaking of tv — who’s watching The Blacklist? Did you die with me at that last episode? :p excited for January. AND I can’t wait for Jack Bauer to come back too 😉

Anyway…

As I continue on this blogging journey you will notice I post about things I love. Some more than others. One of these lovely things is photography. I have a thing for memories. Nostalgia. The good old days. Remember when. Not because I’m a bitter past-dweller, but rather because a lot of those memories are sweet moments that will never repeat. Can’t get them back. Ever. Can’t beat my wedding day. Can’t beat the times I’ve spent with my sisters. I will never get those random pho dates with my dad back. The conversations with my mom that whether or not I knew it then I was learning from her. Taco Bell with Abuelita cuz she thinks it’s the best Mexican place ever (she’s Costa Rican – I don’t get it!). Can’t outdo the day I met and surrendered to Jesus.

To me, photography has a beautiful way of freezing some of those oh so precious moments that are gone so quickly. Photographs tell stories. Take this photo, for example:

Photo Dec 20, 10 23 33 AM

Ok so it’s more humorous thatn “Beautiful” but that’s ok it’s still a great photo.  I know because it’s 3 years old and EVERY year gets a couple comments on facebook haha…(p.s. you may recognize his face from this post)

This is not just a photo of a young man with shaving cream (?) on his face. This story (for me) isn’t even really about just him. It’s also about the gal behind him. And all the other lovely faces in the room that aren’t even in this photo. This photo represents a vibrant group of late teen – 20something year olds who loved Jesus, loved eachother and welcomed me into their little family. We called it D101. I made the drive from Santa Fe Springs to Rowland Heights for these people (they always said it was a long drive but I didn’t mind). We had bible study and then would go eat. They introduced me to cards games called mafia and wonderful places called Yogurt Land and Banana Bay. They were the only friends I would be out passed midnight (we’re talkin like 3am here), the only group my parents had never met and yet never questioned them. Maybe they knew I came alive when I was with them. Don’t get me wrong I love all my friends but this group allowed me to experience friendship and the love of Jesus like I hadn’t before. 🙂 This group probably deserves their own blog post, they are amazing to me. ❤

20131220-191249.jpg(*^that is from pinterest. not mine)

The story (besides that one^) that I’ll share with you is about Ryan. And Julia. Ryan and Julia are adorable newlyweds. They met in November of 2005 in a store Julia used to work at. They started dating in January of 2006 and He proposed at one of her favorite places – his parents house in Wisconsin on March 12, 2012. They are similar in that they like the color blue and the Pittsburgh Steelers. But they are opposites in that he likes action movies and she loves Disney. (Maybe that’s why I like them so much. I’ll watch Disney any time!). Even though they don’t always like the same things they do try to meet in the middle and try something new, and while nights out are fun they’re more likely to have a date night in. The memory of Ryan’s proposal is cute and funny. Julia shared with me that they were going to dinner with his parents and he was nervous because he felt he wasn’t dressed right and she even teased him asking if he was trying to impress someone. :p She told me she had four treats in her hand when Ryan got on his knee and asked…
“Will you marry me?”
Shocked, Julia drops a treat and says “I lost a treat”
Ryan laughs “well..?”
“Well of course!”

She cracked me up when she told me about her treats. She said it wasn’t supposed to be funny but it was. That’s how life is. Lots of fun stuff happens. ❤

They were married on October 26th 2013. For various reasons their original plans didn’t include a photographer. I am the wedding hostess where I work (that’s how I met them) and the more I got to know them the more I really wanted to do their photos. So I offered to do it as a gift (and along with my gift gave them a disclaimer as I’m new to photography and sometimes not sure what time doing!). Julia loved the photos I had done on a pervious blog post and they let me have the honor of documenting their day. I had so much fun with them. And I’m happy they’ve allowed me to share a few of my favorite moments here.

Photo Oct 26, 4 16 36 PM

Photo Oct 26, 4 09 50 PM

Photo Oct 26, 4 09 31 PM

Photo Oct 26, 6 32 13 PM

Photo Oct 26, 4 49 50 PM

Photo Oct 26, 5 35 47 PM

Photo Oct 26, 6 48 27 PM

Photo Oct 26, 6 49 45 PM

Photo Oct 26, 6 51 03 PM

Photo Oct 26, 6 54 20 PM

Happy ever after. ❤

Just stopping in…

Well this is not really a supper bloggy blog post. Just stopped in cuz I’ve been super quiet on the social networking front. The photo you see at the end is why. I’ve been huddled at home editing photos. I met a bride at work (I’m a wedding hostess among other things) and during the course of working with them they found out I’m learning photography and allowed me to photograph their day (eeeeeeek!!!!!!). Anyway. Here’s one photo. I’ll be sharing a little more later.
HAPPY FRIDAY!!! HAPPY WEEKEND!!

20131122-121105.jpg

He Is Not Safe. However – He Is Good

Well. 3 weeks into blogging and I am already behind. That’s ok. Life happens. That’s where blog posts come from, so I’ve heard. From life happening. 😉

Last week while life was happening, the 30th marked 2 years since my mister asked me to marry him. The proposal was adorable.

While I didn’t know it at the time, as the day went on almost anything that could have gone wrong did. Parents almost gave it away. I almost discovered the ring box TWICE (maybe three times?). He was nervous. And (here comes my favorite part) the ring was the wrong size. ^_^

Just days before we had gone to dinner and I was wearing a ring with my birthstone on my left ring finger. He was playing with it and oh-so-casually (riiiiggghht?) asked my ring size “it’s 6 right?” “It’s 7”.

I saw the tiniest bit of hesitation in his face but he recovered and moved on and of course I didn’t question it. Who wants to open that can of worms right? I wish I could have seen what was going on in his brain…

7. Not 6. 7. The ring I bought is a 6. Too small. I’ll have to get it resized. When am I gonna have time to get it resized?…

Fast forward to proposal day: he has NOT had time to get it resized.

That’s ok. I still said yes. 😉

I will probably never forget what he said to me as he was slipping the sparkly halo on my finger and it only made it about half way.

He said he was sorry and we’d get it fixed but he wanted me to see it this way:

Not everything in our marriage is going to “fit” perfectly, all the time. But as long as we are trusting Jesus, He is going to take care of it (whatever it is) and He is going to take care of us.

My husband is right. If I were to talley up the things we’ve been through in our married life so far I would tell you that we’ve had plenty of fun times almost as many not so fun times and just 1 deeper hurting time. Right now we are in our first “fork in the road” as a married couple. Life is filled with forks – though I prefer the kind you eat with. 😉 My husband is the brave one, but for me sometimse it’s a little scary. And while we wish the decision making process was easier (and sometimes faster!) one thing remains: God is good. He can always be trusted. I know that as long as my husband and I follow His lead. We’ll be ok. Things don’t always feel “safe” and “comfortable” and “fluffy”. Sometimes even the things Jesus would ask of us. It reminds me of a line from one of the Chronicles of Narnia movies (C.S. Lewis wrote the books) when talking about Aslan:

“He is not safe. However – He is good. He is King.”

That’s my Jesus. There are plenty of times He says/does things that my finite little human brain CANNOT figure out. But Jesus is so much bigger than me.

“I am not afraid of being small enough to fit inside His hand.”

wedding ringsThis photo was taken by my wonderful friend and wedding photography Joanne Cox. You can find her on Facebook and her blog Always Love

One Mile

I am a reader. My last post regarding fairy tales may have already told you that, but just in case, you should know. I am a reader. I love reading. I don’t get to as much as I would like to. But I love it. Anyway….

Right now I am reading a book by Francine Rivers. The book is called Redeeming Love.

Before I continue I have to make this confession: This is probably my 5th or 6th time reading this book. 🙂 While it’s not a text book (who reads text books for fun?!) I can tell you I learn something different every time.

I’m not going to try to tell you what the book is about (you can just click the link) but I came across a line today that made me think.

“Because, for some of us, one mile can be farther to walk than thirty…”

Redeeming Love is the story of a man who loves and marries a woman who we wouldn’t exactly call “worthy of love”. In this scene she has attempted to run away from her husband and go back to the life he rescued her from. It’s 30 miles to where she’s been – beyond miserable, unwelcome, used and looked down on. And only 1 mile to where she’s running away from – home, safe, secure. Sounds like she’s got what she wants a little mixed up huh? Or maybe it’s just what she thought she wanted. Or maybe she felt she couldn’t earn what she really wanted. In her stubborn pride and shame, she felt she didn’t deserve this man. She knew she didn’t deserve this man. Yet, here he is, bandaging her wounds from the 1 mile journey and washing her feet from the dirty road. And she asks why and all he says is: “Because, for some of us, one mile can be farther to walk than thirty…”

How many times have you walked one mile, but whatever you were walking through was harder than the other thirty you’d seen? Are you tired? Have you had enough of what or where you were but feel the need to have to earn the goodness and mercy held out towards you?

It’s not about what you can do. It’s about what Jesus has already done for you. ❤

20131028-235445.jpg

The Honeymoon Life

Well. Here it is. My new little home in bloggy land. 🙂

Welcome.

I had a nice little post all edited and ready to hit “publish” and I was so excited and proud cuz I can never seem to get things done ahead of time…… but apparently my draft didn’t save. That’s ok. Hokie things are bound to happen when you try something new, right? Right.

Moving on….

Today is October 21, 2013.

Just another day to a lot of people, but it’s special to me. My honeymoon started three years ago today when my husband took me on our first date. Now we’ve been married for 1 year and 5 months. My life has not been the same since that first date in a chinese restaurant. 🙂

Now, some would say “ummm, no, annika, that started the day your got married” and there is a part of me that agrees with that. But I really think it started when we went on our first date. 🙂 But if I REALLY wanna go deep it started even before that – but that’s for another bloggy day. 🙂

There are a lot of things I want to say but today I will start with this: I don’t believe your “honeymoon” should end. Ever.

I grew up on a lot of princess and prince fairy tales (I’m SUCH a Disney fan!). And I’ve been critisized for watching those silly movies well into my twenties (I just watched Princess & the Frog for the upteenth time last night). While some think (and have openly told me) they think I’m a little too old and rediculous to be into that — I really think it did me some good.

Each of those people in those stories have something to overcome. There’s always a dragon to fight. There’s always an “impossible” in the way. And it always works out when they do the right thing.

I do not claim to be an expert, but in the short time I’ve been married I’ve discovered the fairy tales are right. It really is “happily ever after”.

I’m not saying it’s easy. There are hard times. Like when you don’t know where your next pay check is coming from. Or when the kids come and you’re tired from chasing them ALL. THE. TIME. Or when the kids don’t come and you’re not sure they will,  and there’s an ache from missing someone so much you’ve never had the chance to meet before.

But if you and your husband are grounded in Jesus. You have hope. You have joy. How could it not be “happy ever after?” when you have the Author of the greatest love story on your side?

When people (especially the cute lil old ladies) find out I’m a newlywed they say “oh you’re still on your honeymoon” and I’m like “oh it’s never going to end!” and I’m very serious. I believe at some point it has to be a choice you make. I choose to loves Jesus. I choose to love my husband. And I choose to make it a honeymoon of a life. Come rain come shine for better for worse until death do us part or until Jesus comes back for us.

So. When you read this. This is only my version of happily ever after. It’s not going to look like yours. No two stories are the same. But I hope I can encourage someone out there. To hope for more. To try for more. To trust Jesus more. He’s the Author of the best Happy Ever After.

20131021-225907.jpg