The Childhood

By: Gabriela Yareliz

I walked into Claire’s to get a birthday gift for a beautiful, bright little girl who is special to me, and it took me on a ride down memory lane.

I remember how much I loved Claire’s, as a kid. I liked it more than the Icing because the Icing had mostly jewelry, while Claire’s had lotions, glitter, fun photo frames and hair accessories.

Those were my days when I would make mixed tapes by recording songs off of the radio on my purple boombox. I had a blue inflatable airchair, and my walls were wallpapered with inserts and cutouts from Teen Vogue, Teen People (now defunct) and dELiA*s catalogs.

I had my Smackers blueberry galaxy body glitter (glitter on everything!). Watermelon scented lip glosses (watermelon was my favorite) and plastic butterfly hair clips. I had diaries with the Eiffel Tower on them, with those little metal locks that came with two sets of keys.  I wanted to dance like Thalia and dress like Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. I wanted Atoosa Rubenstein’s job (editor-in-chief of Seventeen Magazine). I typed my own newspapers on a typewriter and devoured American Girl books. Ah, yes. The past. And while nostalgia was triggered– things have changed.

Claire’s has changed. It no longer sells the edible Jessica Simpson cosmetics (Dessert, anyone?), and it doesn’t have half of the merchandise it used to. Half of the store is made up of cell phone covers and headphones. Children are much more wrapped up in technology, these days. I hope they still wish on stars and cut out things from magazines. I hope they aren’t just Snapchatting and taking photos of themselves.

Childhood is special. While we are in it, we are trying to figure out how to be more grown up, and we are dreaming like crazy. Being an adult is beautiful because it’s when we become and live everything we dreamed about before.

As adults, I feel like part of our task is to assure children that the phase they are in is amazing and fleeting. Cherish those moments. Live wholesomely. Dream.

The adulthood we live reflects the pieces of glitter we sprinkle around in our childhood. We only get to keep the glitter we dare to spill in our creativity and wild child hearts; so, spill away, children. Spill away. Make magic and keep it.

[Images are linked to source]

Come Walk With Me: Humacao

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

By: Gabriela Yareliz

There was something about Humacao that reminded me of Florida. Maybe it was the bright colors, sunshine and this feeling that I was in a Calgon, Take Me Away! body spray commercial. A citrusy type scent. Yes.

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Love Right Now

“Be authentic in the way you live life, talk to those who hurt you. Engage in honesty and love, open up and ask those in your life why they are distant. Life is short, it gets muddied by lies and fear.

Be courageous enough to reach out to others, seek forgiveness and redemption in your community. We have been given an opportunity each day to love those around us, all it takes is one step.
Healing starts with communication, communication comes with humility, and humility only comes when we are willing to lay down our lives for others.

Love right now, not tomorrow or the next day, love in this moment and watch it become something beautiful.”
T.B. LaBerge // Go Now (via tblaberge)

Practically Speaking

By: Gabriela Yareliz

Today, our Bible study focused on the topic of holiness. Holiness is an important aspect and attribute of God, and it’s important for us to allow God to make us holy, if we really are to reflect who He is.

All of us sitting around the circle with our Bibles and lesson study books looked relieved at the fact that holiness is a gift from God. Our role is to come to Him and to allow Him to transform our hearts.

Still, many of us felt a bit burdened in knowing that in life we deal with very real issues and character flaws. Issues that may embarrass us or make us feel devalued. We struggle with our own pride, narcissism and our failures with others whom we love. Marriages face their potholes, relationships face their detours and sometimes our relationship with ourself is harsh, exacting and unforgiving.

A point in our Bible study was:
“Too often we are self-centered in our religion. We focus too much on our victories and on our defeats rather than [focusing] on God, who alone can give us victory.” Instead of looking to ourselves, we must look up to God. (Page 75; The Holy Spirit and Spirituality; Adult Sabbath School Bible Study)

Hebrews 12:14 tells us: “Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.” Sin separates us from God; therefore, it’s inevitable that if we are close to God, His holiness manifests itself in us.

We studied in the book of Job, in the prior quarter, that being blameless means to live righteously with the light we receive from God. To be blameless before God is not to be flawless but to be spiritually mature and where He wants us to be.

How is it that we can be blameless? We all want this holiness and know that it will require humility and surrender to God. God doesn’t ask us to become holy to approach Him. Instead, He asks us to approach Him and let Him transform us.

What does holiness look like in practical terms? For those of us who end up bickering with a loved one; for those of us who maybe let the flesh desires take hold and we are intemperate, perhaps even in the way we eat; for those of us who aren’t quite patient or kind and prefer pettiness or revenge– how do we, the real humans in this drama, show fruit of holiness?

We discussed today that holiness is based on our relationship with God. It starts with relationship and end with relationship. It’s a journey, a race, a process, an endurance. It’s trying again, over and over again. It’s opening God’s word and seeking His promise and what we have been called to.

I was encouraged by Galatians 5:22-23, which discussed the fruits and attributes that embody holiness. And we must have all of them because when one is missing, something is off.

When we reflect the whole character of God, we reflect:
Love;
Joy;
Peace;
Patience;
Kindness;
Goodness;
Faithfulness;
Gentleness;
Self-control.

I don’t know about you, but I really want to embody these traits and live them out genuinely.

I thought it would be neat to pray, asking God, for each trait, one by one. Really thinking about what each one means; striving to see how we can live this out practically in the day-to-day. Asking God for His gift and power to reflect Him.

Holiness allows us to behold God. It transforms us. It was what we were created for, therefore the restoration of it in us has got to be one of the most powerful experiences of all.

Come Walk With Me: Old San Juan, Part III

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

By: Gabriela Yareliz

If you are a cat lover, you’ll enjoy wandering the Old San Juan. You will find these little guys in the most unexpected places.

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

In the bed of a truck:

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Governor’s mansion, La Fortaleza:

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Come Walk With Me: Old San Juan, Part II

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

By: Gabriela Yareliz

These are some of my favorite views from our walks around San Juan. That cemetery left me in awe.

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

We climbed up on the wall, in efforts to get closer to this incredible view:

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

We started walking up the hill, toward the fort, and then we happened to look back. We all gasped in awe. This is what we saw:

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Come Walk With Me: Old San Juan

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

By: Gabriela Yareliz

Our first outing in the Old San Juan was lovely. The sun was bright, the sky was blue, and we got rained on a bit by an impromptu shower that lasted five minutes.

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

The cathedral where Marc Anthony got married:

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz

Photo belongs to Gabriela Yareliz