JOURNEY

Soundtrack to the post:

Journey 

1.
an act of traveling from one place to another.

[Free Dictionary]

By: Gabriela Yareliz
Perhaps, even when we think we are moving aimlessly, things have a purpose; even what seems small, insignificant and random. When we are on a journey, we are moving toward something.
Our journey has a lot to teach us.
This is for all who are walking their journey with eyes wide open. Don’t stop believing.

“We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls.”
Anaïs Nin, The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 7: 1966-1974    

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“Not I, nor anyone else can travel that road for you.
You must travel it by yourself.
It is not far. It is within reach.
Perhaps you have been on it since you were born, and did not know.
Perhaps it is everywhere – on water and land.”
Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass    

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“Would you like to know your future?

If your answer is yes, think again. Not knowing is the greatest life motivator.

So enjoy, endure, survive each moment as it comes to you in its proper sequence — a surprise.”
Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration

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“At every given moment we are absolutely perfect for what is required for our journey.”
Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

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“Wouldn’t take nothing for my journey now.”
Maya Angelou, Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now

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“The seeker embarks on a journey to find what he wants and discovers, along the way, what he needs.”
Wally Lamb, The Hour I First Believed    

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“Your journey has molded you for your greater good, and it was exactly what it needed to be. Don’t think you’ve lost time. There is no short-cutting to life. It took each and every situation you have encountered to bring you to the now. And now is right on time.”
Asha Tyson

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[Images from Tumblr]

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month 2014

Dolores Huerta, Cesar Chavez

Sonia Sotomayor, Cristina Saralegui

Antonio Villaraigosa, Gloria Estefan

Jennifer Lopez, Becky G

Sofia Vergara, Marc Anthony, Celia Cruz

Eva Longoria, Rita Moreno

Armando Christian Perez “Pitbull”, Nicole Richie

Jessica Alba, Ray Suarez

Jorge Ramos, Hector Elizondo

Naya Rivera, George Lopez

Alexis Bledel, Lauren Jauregui, Camila Cabello

Dania Ramirez, Judy Reyes, Roselyn Sanchez, Edy Ganem, Ana Ortiz


Ally Brooke, Ana De La Reguera

Ricky Martin, Demi Lovato

Shakira, Michelle Rodriguez

Gabriel Iglesias, John Leguizamo

Selena Gomez, Eugenio Derbez

Geraldo Rivera, Salma Hayek

Bruno Mars, Carlos Ponce

Alex Rodriguez, Luis Guzman

Gael Garcia Bernal, Genesis Rodriguez

Rene Perez, Sammy Sosa

Eiza Gonzalez, Eduardo Verastegui

Junot Diaz, Oscar De La Renta

Pipo Pere, Carolina Herrera

Rosario Dawson, Selena Quintanilla

Eva Mendes, Bella Thorne

Isabel Allende, Alexa Vega

America Ferrera, Cameron Diaz

Wilmer Valderrama, Juan Cartagena


Andy Garcia, William Levy

Joan Smalls Rodriguez, Maria Hinojosa

Christina Aguilera, Victoria Justice

To all who have paved the way, and to all who are making their own path–WE CELEBRATE YOU. WE CELEBRATE US. Happy Hispanic Heritage Month!

Autumn Inspiration

By: Gabriela Yareliz

It was a chilly night, but I was blessed to be warm and wrapped up in sweaters and blankets. Yes. We are already there. I woke up to a sunny, 55-degree morning. I feel autumn in my bones. It’s Monday. Garfield hates Mondays–That is why Monday calls for EXTRA inspiration. We are trying to turn Mondays into Garfield’s favorite day…

I wanted to share some inspiration, from an awesome Twitter feed. It’s Anil Kanda’s Twitter feed. He has awesome messages and talks on Audio Verse. Below are some of my favorite posts he has written or reposted. I hope you are just as inspired by them as I was.

 

“‘If it’s God’s will, it’s Gods bill’ -unknown source but good stuff still!”

“Those who take Christ at His word, & surrender their souls to His keeping, their lives to His ordering, will find peace & quietude. – DA 331″

 

“My worry isn’t society’s growing evil, it’s that the church won’t repel it. Right now, world shapes church but should be other way around.”

“The life of Jesus is a guarantee of who God really is…”

“‘If weak in prayer, we are weak everywhere.’ — Leonard Ravenhill

“‘At the cross of Calvary, the worst of man met the best of God.'” Andy Bannister retweet

“Caleb did not ask for himself a land already conquered, but the place which above all others the spies had thought it impossible to subdue”

“Looking good and feeling good have replaced doing good and being good. Many no longer know the difference.” Nabeel Qureshi retweet

“God speaks to His people in blessings bestowed & when these are not appreciated, He speaks to them in blessings removed” PP 470

“Moses after communing with God, had a divine light about his face. The more quality communion with God, the greater our light will shine.”

“‘The path where God leads may lie through the desert or the sea, but it is a safe path.’ {EP 199.1} …And really is the most beneficial!”

“God teaches us two things. Be fiercely intelligent and fiercely love…yup.”

“Honorable men cry out to God until curses are broken and a grander purpose is achieved” Mansfield

“Heavenly opportunities have another name on earth. We call it ‘inconvenience’…”

“Grace, like water, always flows downward, to the lowest place.” — Philip Yancey (Andy Bannister retweet)

“Because Jesus lives, the sinner has hope…always.”

“New definition of Sin. Sin is all that which takes you away from Life and robs you of an eternal relationship with God.”

“You can have good without evil..but you can’t have evil without good.” Frank Turek

“Jesus wants to destroy sin because sin destroys you. He hates it because it hurts His children. That’s the primary reason-plain and simple.”

“We have only one perfect photograph of God, and this is Jesus Christ” (M70, 1899)

“Truth is reality as God sees it…” RZ

For more inspiration, visit Kanda’s Audio Verse page and Twitter feed.

Have an awesome Monday. Enjoy the weather. Enjoy God’s mercies and blessings which are renewed toward us each day.

XoXo

GY.

[Images are from Tumblr]

What’s in a Church?

Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

By: Gabriela Yareliz

One of my favorite things to do in New York is visit churches. Many of them are old and filled with exquisite beauty and detail. This post is about how I recently found one of my favorite churches in the city.

I was walking the Highline Park some weeks ago, and I decided to get off in the Chelsea area. I figured I hadn’t walked through those quadrants by those avenues, and the architecture was intriguing. I was walking around 20th St., by Ninth and Tenth Avenue in Manhattan, when I ran into a gate enclosing a world from 1817. Its motto: “Thy Word is Truth”.

Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

The buildings reminded me of a castle or the old British colleges I spent hours looking at online in high school. It was like finding Narnia + another century + another country. These photos are from the exact day when I walked past the gate. I almost smushed my face into the gate bars, trying to get a better view. People were moving into the place. I then noticed the sign that said it was a seminary school. Of course, I thought. I knew there had to be a chapel in there somewhere.

Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

I stood at the gate for as long as I could without looking suspect. I kept walking to see if there was an entrance, and I found nothing. Still, I walked home with a gigantic smile plastered on my face.

Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

I walked home through the NYC I have come to know filled with taxis, tourists, students with strange haircuts–you name it. As I walked home, I knew I needed to see the seminary inside. It was going to happen.

Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

The seminary stayed on my mind. I wanted in. I was in the fluorescent law school building taking a break, and I Googled the seminary. I found it on Yelp. Weird, I thought. It said there were gardens inside and that it was open to visitors. I got heart palpitations. I would be able to see it inside and not look like a freak because I was honestly considering just calling the place and begging the administration for a tour. So I worked my butt off and drank Kale juice for energy through the torment of doing double assignments to free the following afternoon. I went the next day.

Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

The next day was glorious; sweater weather that felt like early spring. The sun was bright, but I was brighter. I was walking down another street this time because it turns out you can enter the seminary through a street that is north of where I had been before.

Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

When I arrived, a kind Latina greeted me at the reception. She took my ID and gave me a visitor pass. I assume they take ID to make sure you exit the place; so weirdlings like myself don’t stay and sleep on the green grass courtyard.

Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

I walked past the dormitories, a tiny playground and a BBQ grill surrounded by cute tables and chairs. I looked up and down and around; examining every building and open window. The place was lovely. It was old world, for sure.

I imagined the buildings when they were new in the 1800s and the people that must have lived in them. I wondered what struggles the people might’ve had, and whether they sat on the same steps reading their Bibles and wondering what God’s plan was for their lives.

Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

When I started walking toward the gardens, I started to see some of what I had seen through the gate. There was green grass everywhere. It was marvelous. Grass you could sleep on. Grass that was soft and without noticeable ant piles (can you tell I am from Florida?).

Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Then, I saw the church. I sat on a bench in front of it to enjoy the view. This was another world tucked into a corner of Manhattan. I then walked in through the grand front doors into the empty sanctuary.

Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

It was unique from the others I had seen. It was well lit and not dim and mysterious.

A verse I really love in the Bible, where God describes Himself, is Revelation 22:13: “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” When you walk into the church, the stain glass window shows Jesus in many stages of His ministry and life, if I remember correctly, and at the top, He sits on a throne as King. On both sides of the window are the symbols for Alpha and Omega. This moved me deeply. It was a profound, artistic detail I had never seen before.

Check out the photos below of the seminary campus:

Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

I have a great love for churches, and it’s not so much about the building, but it’s about what the beauty inside inspires. Having the opportunity to be at the seminary was lovely, and I wanted to share my photos with you all so you could see the old beauty and inspiring art. More than that, we live in a day and age when people are skeptical of religion. People think of religion as something shallow and delusional.

I think of religion as seeing God’s hand in my life every day. I see how He orchestrates the details of my life like the artist that must have organized and planned each incredible detail one can find in a church building. I think of peace and stillness. I have seen God’s hand in my life in a powerful way, dramatic and beautiful way.

This chapel, with its many symbols, reminded me that: God is the beginning and the end. He is merciful and mighty to save me from myself. And more than anything, He is not a distant God that watches me from a distance; He is not a God I need to pacify or try to please out of fear. Instead, He is a God that has blessed me so abundantly and has shown me His unfailing love, no matter what I have done. He is a God that is constantly drawing as near to me as I allow Him to be. He walks with me. He guides me. He is that strong hand that lifts me when I fall. He is king.

In an old church, I love to look at the windows. I love looking at stained glass. Each window tells a story. And as many of you know, I love a good story. Each window’s story reminds me of the miracles and the walk my God walks and lives. Each window reminds me that the powerful God I see has not changed. He is my God, and I am His child.

In the stillness, in the peace, in the conversation, in the beauty and in the light, I see His faithfulness through and through, and I know that with God, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE. (Mark 10:27)

Falling

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By: Gabriela Yareliz

I was walking through the village, and I saw a little brown leaf falling in front of me (I looked up and smiled). This year, I have promised myself that I will go to a park and enjoy the leaves when they are in all of their fall glory. My timing is always wrong. I go before the leaves turn or when the leaves are decomposing on the ground. This year, I plan to catch them before they fall. As someone who loves language, I have a weakness for idioms and random expressions. I love to learn about them. Idioms can be profound in many ways, and they can reveal a lot about history and human nature. This post is not a profound look at anything. Just a simple reflection.

I thought it would be fun to look at expressions that use “fall”. Some will be positive, some negative– some depend on how you look at them. Is falling always a bad thing? Not necessarily. In my opinion, some of our most powerful moments are when we fall to our knees to pray.

Stay with me here– I know this is random, but I have a proposition: Let’s fall into this together. Think about how each idiom relates to your life. And enjoy the splendor of the season.

Soundtrack for the post: Falling in Love

[Definitions from The Free Dictionary.com]

1] FALL HEAD OVER HEELS

 “to fall down, perhaps turning over or rolling.”

 In life, we can fall head over heels for a lot of things. The idiom can describe a scary crash into something (head first), or it can define a fast enamoring. It usually refers to some kind of whirlwind that we (may) come to regret later. I feel that in this day and age, we usually fall head over heels for things: dresses, shoes, makeup or something we want to attain.
This phrase is usually associated with the sentiment that we are completely lost and powerless, following our hearts, and not logic.

Throwing all caution to the wind is dangerous, yet even after many disappointments in life, we can’t make decisions based on fear. It is important to always remember that in life we have a choice, and we are responsible for our choices.

Sometimes, life’s magic happens fast, and we find ourselves on the ground head first with our heels over our heads. Falling head over heels is a risk, but a key characteristic about risk takers is they have HOPE.

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2] FALL INTO PLACE

“if something that happens makes everything fall into place, it makes you understand something that you did not understand before.”

Things may not end up being perfect in life, however, through the passage of time, even if we do not understand everything in the end, we learn to understand things a bit more than we did when they occurred. That is called personal reflection, right? I think this can only happen when we stop for a minute and examine our lives; the past, the present, the future. If we are constantly preoccupied and busy, it’s hard to see how things fall into place if we never stop to look.

Life can be bumpy like a road; but through the rattles, shakes and bumps, things do fall into place, and we can be confident as we look at the present and future that things will fall into place just as they did in the past.

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3] FALL INTO HANDS

“to be caught or controlled by someone.”

In life, we allow too many things to control us. People’s perceptions and opinions, technology, caffeine, drugs, the desire to belong, expectations…

Free yourself, if you wish.

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4] FALL APART (AT THE SEAMS)

“to stop working or fail completely.”

Some of us do this everyday (especially those of us who are students or those who work in high-pressure jobs). Keep the seams tight, and don’t unravel. A bag that falls apart at the seams cannot carry or hold the good things placed within it.

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5] FALL IN LOVE

“to become enamored of something or someone.”

Always be willing to love again. Four of the best elements of life (according to me) are: laughter, wonder, love and hope. Allow things to take your breath away.

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6] FALL UNDER SPELL

“to be fascinated by someone; to be enchanted by someone.”

I associate enchantment with the desire to know more. Being curious makes you seek out simple enchanting details in life, like solving a mystery. Some of the most memorable people in life are those who inspire our curiosity; those who have that je ne sais quoi.

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7] FALL ON KNEES

“to kneel down, usually in respect.”

As with idioms, things aren’t always what they seem. Often, we are most powerful when we are kneeing in prayer. Because when we are weak, He is strong.

When we fall on our knees, we must have faith and know that He is, and He rewards those who diligently seek Him. We must also have faith that He is owner of all and can do all things, even what for us is impossible. Without faith it is impossible to please God.

Faith will sometimes hold hands with patience. In that time of wait, we grow and demonstrate our belief in what is to come.

Faith is believing in what we do not see, and the reward of faith is seeing what we believed in. Faith is believing that God does not lie.

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8] FALL OFF THE RADAR

“to be forgotten or ignored, often because someone’s attention is on something more important.”

Falling off the radar can be good for us. Attention is taken off of ourselves and placed on something or someone else. We can forget appearances and see ourselves as we really are, without the many hats we wear that try to define us. Being alone is important. Knowing who you are and being comfortable with yourself teaches you to depend on God in a different way. Don’t be afraid to disconnect once in a while (but always answer the phone when you mom calls–don’t make people worry).

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9] FALL INTO LINE

“to do something similar.”

Each day, we seem to fall into line with all who surround us. Like the busy streets of a city show masses walking in the same direction. Falling into line can be good; falling into line can be bad. It can mean we have company as we walk, or it can sweep us away to some random place. Whatever we do, we must be mindful, and be very present wherever we are.

While each day may be entrenched with routine, we should still make every day count.

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10] FALL ON DEAF EARS

“to be ignored by the persons they were intended for.

When someone gives us advice or hope, let it not fall on deaf ears. Listen. Listening can change the world. Is there something or someone you’ve been ignoring lately?

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[Images from Tumblr]

[Sorry for the typos--my brain is fried. I blame school.]