All posts in “Life”

Changing Seasons (an update and an announcement)

A long overdue update

It has been about 9 months since I last posted! I feel bad that I never officially stated that I was taking a break, so here is my long overdue update post and an announcement.

Where to begin! I moved back to the U.S a few weeks ago, after living in Mexico for several years. That in and of itself was a big change, and I’m happy to be back in California. I definitely feel like this is the beginning of a new season in my life. I would say a new “chapter” – but I think that it’s much more than that..it’s a new “part” (as in Parts in a book.) I’m officially in Part 3 of my life, which I believe is going to be the best part!

Part 1 was my many years as a worldly unbeliever. Part 2 began when I came to Christ (in 2000) and there was a long season of healing, restoration and, as Colossians 2:7 says, being firmly rooted and built up in Him. Picture a plant growing underground, that was Part 2 of my life. And Part 3 is going to be a season of fruit and abundance – the “above the ground” season, so to speak.

That is not to say that everything is wonderful or perfect right now. I have some challenges that I’m going through, but I know that God is faithful and I’m very happy for this new season and all the new things that are going on. I’m super excited about finding a good home church, joining a Christian community and making new friends. : )

I’m also doing more freelance and “personal assistant” work, through my little company, Great and Mighty Things. In addition to that, I’m still trying to finish up a couple creative projects I’ve been working on for a while, including a mini-documentary about the popular music industry, that I’ve mentioned before.

An Announcement

Now for the announcement. Since I have a lot on my plate right now, and my focus has been on other creative projects, I’m going to officially take an indefinite break from Ashes to Beauty.

Better to try to do a couple things well, than a number of things not so well.

However, I AM definitely continuing on with my other site, Faith + Testimony, and if you liked this site, I invite you to join me over there!

For the first year or so, Faith + Testimony was only for personal testimonies. However, I recently decided to expand it to include other encouraging, inspiring posts that are not testimonies, so now it’s not as limited. (Plus, now it fits more with the site name, since it’s Faith AND Testimony.)

If you are a blogger or a writer and you would like to contribute a post, please either register and submit it on the site, or you can your story.

So I’m not quitting blogging. Basically, the posts about faith that I would’ve posted here are going to be posted there, now. And as I said, it’s a place for others to contribute their testimonies, stories or encouraging and edifying posts.

Faith + Testimony

This break from Ashes to Beauty may not be permanent….as I said, it’s an indefinite break. But for now, thank you to all who read this blog, and I truly hope to see you over at Faith + Testimony!

Much love and blessings,

lily

Introducing Faith + Testimony!

I’m excited to announce a brand new website, Faith + Testimony, which officially launched today!

Faith + Testimony is a place for followers of Christ to share their testimony, in order to glorify God and impact others… and to read other people’s true stories that are powerful and inspiring.

Let the redeemed of the LORD tell their story…
Psalm 107:2

I’m really excited about this project, because I feel that this is one of the things God has been leading me to do, and I absolutely love reading the stories and sharing them!

So I invite you visit Faith + Testimony (You can click on the image below). If you feel led to share your story, please register, log in, and you will then be able to submit it.

Faith + Testimony

Thanks, friends!

I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth. (A Quick Update)

I just wanted to write a quick post to say I’m taking a short break.

I’ve been working on a video, and it’s turning out to be a much bigger project than I initially thought it would be. It’s a lot of work and very time-consuming… but of course I love making videos, so it’s fun for me!

I also need to finish setting up the Great and Mighty Things blog, which I had put on the back burner for weeks, due to the video and other work.

AND, in addition to that, my sister and her family are coming to visit soon, so for the next few days, I’m going to be busy spending time with them, and doing fun things…. It IS Summer, after all! And I have been spending way too much time indoors.

So I will be back soon. Just wanted to put this out there, because I didn’t want anyone to think I’d fallen off the face of the earth.

Blessings, Happy Friday, and have a wonderful weekend!!!

Some Exciting News!

As you’ve probably noticed, last year I started getting ‘intentional’ about blogging. That’s because God has really put it on my heart to use my blog as a sort of ministry.

However, I’ve had a dilemma. I really like writing posts that inspire, encourage and edify the body of Christ. But I also really have a heart for reaching those who are nonbelievers or skeptics. For years, I’ve had a burden for defending the Christian worldview and getting into controversial topics, which are usually geared more toward non-Christians.

According to all the experts, it is important to have a very clear and defined “target market”… in other words, to know who your readers are.

So, the dilemma was that I’ve had 2 different groups that my posts are written for, which means this blog was going through a sort of identity crisis.

Problem solved!

After praying about it, I finally got the idea that I can have 2 separate blogs. One for the inspiring posts for believers (this blog) and the other for the controversial or apologetics-type posts, aimed toward nonbelievers.

So I’m excited to announce that I’m starting a second blog. It’s going to be called Great And Mighty Things – greatandmightythings.com – and all those types of posts will go there.

The title is based on Jeremiah 33:3

Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.
Jeremiah 33:3

Ashes to Beauty will continue to be focused on spiritual growth, learning more about God and encouraging one another to be the person God has created us to be!

The new project is underway…

I’m building Great and Mighty things now, which for me is fun and exciting! I hope to have it up and running by this weekend or next week.

Also – I eventually would like Great and Mighty Things to be a group effort. So if there is anyone who has a heart for defending the biblical worldview (including topics related to politics and social issues), please let me know, because I really want to have contributors!

Thanks and blessings, you all!

image credit: Matt Jones

On Father’s Day, Expressing Love To Loved Ones

expressing love to our loved ones

My Dad, and my sisters and I as kids. (don’t ask how old this pic is!)

It’s Father’s Day, and I’m thinking about my Dad and also my Abuelito (Grandfather) who passed away a few years ago, at 99 1/2!

I’m truly blessed that I have a wonderful Dad, who has always been there, and loves me unconditionally. I have to be honest, we didn’t always get along. Especially when I was younger, we didn’t have a very good relationship. I have to give him a lot of credit for putting up with me, because my life was a mess, and I don’t think I was a good daughter.

We still disagree on just about everything under the sun, but I love him heaps, and I told him that today.

Expressing love to our loved ones

I have tears rolling down my face as I’m writing this, because I just read a blog post by someone whose grandfather just passed away… and it brought back memories of my Abuelito, and all the things I wish I could’ve said to him.

Unlike the person who wrote the blog post, I didn’t get a chance to say a proper goodbye and tell him that I loved him.

I visited him in the hospital not long before he died, and as I was walking out the door of his hospital room, I said a quick goodbye but it was more like an “I’ll see you tomorrow.” I didn’t want to say goodbye, because I didn’t want to accept that his last day might be right around the corner.

Abuelito, on his 99th Birthday

He was very healthy for his age, and he looked great for being almost 100 years old. But he got sick, because as someone was trying to get him to drink some juice, some of it went down the wrong pipe into his lungs. So he got pneumonia, and that’s why he was in the hospital.

I wish I would’ve hugged him and told him I loved him a lot. I wish I would’ve told him how thankful I was, that he was my grandfather. I wish I would’ve asked him, in my terrible Spanish, if he was ready to leave this earth and meet with God. Even if he didn’t remember me (he was starting to have a hard time remembering people, including even my Mom, his daughter) I still regret not saying those things that were on my heart.

He was a truly great man, a father of 8, grandfather of 14, and great-grandfather of 15. Everyone loved him, and he was happily married for more than 60 years, until my Abuelita passed away.

In 2011, I made this tribute video and shared it on the day my Grandfather would have turned 100, had he lived 6 more months.

What have I learned?

I have learned… always tell people you love them. Especially your parents and grandparents. Don’t keep it inside, because as I know from experience, you might not always have that opportunity.

I hope that I’ll see me Grandfather again someday.

And for the rest of my life, I want to let the people I love know how loved they are, and how appreciated they are. I’m glad that I told my Dad just that today.