Turtlenecks, Snow Globes, and Other Sources of Magic


By: Gabriela Yareliz

The bridge is glittering outside. The city is falling asleep. I closed my window and watered my plants. And here is some randomness for the night.


[Amal Clooney, Yahoo! News]

  1. Turtlenecks 

Turtlenecks. I grew up wearing them. My whole family wore them during my childhood in Michigan. Mine came in every color and in different little patterns. I hated them. Now, I love them. I just got an email telling me my little order of turtlenecks is on its way.

Nothing says autumn or winter like a good turtleneck. They are easy and go well on their own or underneath another piece.

Turtlenecks also remind us of great times. Like the 90s.


[Image from Tumblr]

2. Snow Globes


I was given a beautiful snow globe frame with me inside (a photo of me). It reminded me that the world outside of my little sphere is so big. It also reminded me that it’s when things are unsettled and shaken up, that we can dance in the glitter.

3. James Blunt

Autumn is romantic. His voice fills every season, but it’s particularly perfect when it’s romantically autumn…

You shine even on a rainy day /

And I can find your halo /

Guides me to wherever you fall

4. #SpiritAnimals

I saw a cute post by someone, where they had to list three characters from books, TV or movies that they felt they identified with. Who are your three?

Mine are:

a. Riley Matthews (Girl Meets World)


Riley Matthews is my spirit animal. #Always



[Via Tumblr]

b. Mia Thermopolis (The Princess Diaries)


c. Nora Dominguez  (“From Prada to Nada”; a spin off of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility)


5. autumn

This weather gives me life.

It’s always extraordinary to see how beauty can come out of even what seems like the end. And the best part is, we know it’s not the end.


[via Tumblr]

6. Love


tumblr_of1x1ddby81sqkw3to6_250         tumblr_odjobavkth1skocj6o8_r1_250


[via Tumblr]

Sunday Girl: October 23, 2016

By: Gabriela Yareliz

Friday came to a close as I sat down to eat a stale piece of leftover pizza after making my apartment look like Monica Geller had come to visit.


As I chewed on the pizza, I perused an article about the shelf life of pizza in a refrigerator, on BuzzFeed. Halfway through the article, I realized mine was three days past its date, and I stopped mid-slice and threw it away in frustration.

On Sabbath morning, I was in my bed. My alarm went off, and I looked out of the window and decided it was too early because it was so dark. The truth was it was not early, it was just pre-daylight savings autumn deception mixed with pouring rain.

I had to be on time to teach Bible class. My uterus felt like it was being carved out like a pumpkin, and I was frantic when I fully realized what the time was. I am slow in the mornings. Sometimes, I think I am not fully awake until something on the train platform scares the hell out of me.

I had let my hair air dry into an incomprehensible mess the night before. There is nothing worse than having to stand or sit up when your uterus feels like it weighs 100lbs, so I had not blow dried it. My hair was a mess, and my skin–? Let’s just say I slathered on some foundation and concealer, and for the eyes, I did the easy thing that I do when my hair is insane, dark rimmed, smokey eyes. This hides the exhaustion; it adds mystery; it’s fast; and it’s perfect for those of us who have big, strong dark features.


I slipped some volumizing serum onto my hands and fluffed my unbrushed hair into a beautiful pigeon nest, and approached my closet. The easiest thing to wear when you feel like you are dying is black. There was nothing black that I found appealing. Most of my black professional clothes is structured. The last thing you want to wear when you are bloated like a balloon is a dainty Zara pencil skirt that stops circulation in your lower back, on a normal day.

I opted for a loose, dark wine dress. I slipped on some boots. My legs bare, no tights. This was done out of pure stubbornness. I don’t want to start wearing my permanent second skin too early.

I made sure I had my Bible and ran out of the door with my coat. When I reached the lobby door, I paused to bring out my “lifetime warranty” umbrella, and I hit the pavement running. #bestumbrellaever

Forty-eight degrees suddenly felt colder than I remembered. I was freezing. My legs felt the crisp cold air; they took it numbly. ‘It’s fine,’ I told myself. ‘Just think of all those insane models at the New York Fashion Week that is held in frigid months. They walk around half naked. They make a statement. That is what you are doing. Channel your inner Yasmeen Ghauri. Don’t cry.’


Thankfully, no tears ran down my cheeks. I didn’t check to see if any had frozen onto my skin when I descended into the train platform.

I sat on the train scribbling my last Bible notes into my book. People looked at me like I was insane. I am still not sure if it was the Bible in my hand or my hair, which looked like something Gloria Trevi would write a song about. Or maybe, it was because I kept scanning the train car for an empty seat. I was standing, and felt close to fainting.


Manhattan was eerily deserted. The rain was coming down hard, and the city, for once, was asleep.

I made it on time. I was dry. I walked around the Upper East Side like a frozen, petite model. I never combed my hair.

I woke up this beautiful Sunday morning to blue skies, trees being blown about and leaves rustling. Not a cloud in the sky at 7am. October is ending. Soon, we will be in a deep Narnia-esque winter.

But for now, we have Gilmore Girls weather. It’s a perfect autumn.


The tights will be coming on, and the boots will be here to stay.

The last frantic week ended, and a new crisp week begins.

Here is some inspiration for the kickoff:

“Philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it.” Marx

“I am obsessed with becoming a woman comfortable in her skin.” Sandra Cisneros

“Remember, nobody liked Van Gogh’s work, and if nobody likes yours it’s probably a sign that you’re a genius.” Jack Handey

“You work so hard, just to end up at home crying yourself to sleep; remember you’re trying, you are moving mountains that have plagued you since you were young, and you’re trying so hard. Keep fighting, fight until you have won. Fight until you have found your way home, until the sun comes back and your heart learns to love the mornings again.”
T.B. LaBerge, Go Now

“God has not been trying an experiment on my faith or love in order to find out their quality. He knew it already. It was I who didn’t. In this trial He makes us occupy the dock, the witness box, and the bench all at once. He always knew that my temple was a house of cards. His only way of making me realize the fact was to knock it down.” C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

“This is one of the miracles of love: It gives a power of seeing through its own enchantments and yet not being disenchanted.” C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

[Images from Tumblr]

The Mystery of Suffering

By: Gabriela Yareliz

I have begun studying the book of Job, with the worldwide church. According to Jewish scholars, there are some things that we can take away from the book of Job:

1. The fact that a person suffers does not mean that he or she has done anything to deserve the suffering. Thinking in these terms can cause one to misjudge the character of the person who is suffering or the character of God.
2. The reason for suffering, if there is any, is not something that can be understood by a human, finite mind.
3. The one who causes the what-seems-like baseless suffering is the devil, himself. He shows up and wreaks havoc. But the book is not about the havoc done by the devil. The devil comes and destroys. That is only the first two chapters. The book is about a God who is present throughout. A God working to turn everything around. A God determined to restore Job’s soul.
4. I believe it’s the book of Romans that declares God’s majesty in a powerful way, stating that God owes nothing to anyone; who has been His counselor? And yet the God who owed us nothing, who hung the stars, gave Himself for us, as a gift.
5. The apostle Paul reminds us that our suffering is nothing; a drop in eternity, compared to the glory that will be revealed in us. The gift of eternal life. Everything we were created for.
The book of Job presents an incredible humility that I think comes to us in our most broken state. Once we are past the anger, pain, hurt, questions of justice– once we are past all of that, we are left kneeling before the Creator of the universe. We realize that He who holds the universe can certainly hold us through our moment of difficulty. That the God who may not move the mountains we ask Him to move, may be moving something much greater– our hearts.

I think it was Charles Spurgeon who said he kisses and blesses the Rock of Ages, the only Rock against which he wants to be broken.

Job, in the midst of his pain and loss, acknowledged God’s sovereignty and power over everything in his life. He knew who God was. Chapter 1 of the book of Job tells us he offered sacrifices to God, not only for himself, but for his children. He knew that this sacrifice was a symbol of God’s mercy and unconditional love. A love that doesn’t need to be shown through material manifestation. It’s a love that transforms us, once we become aware of it. Love that involves the shedding of blood.

While we may not be made physically whole on earth; while things may not be made just, life isn’t about things or circumstances, it’s about our souls. And our souls are made whole at the cross, where the Lamb of God completed the sacrifice all symbols pointed to in Israel, over the ages. Redemption and healing came, and that, no matter the circumstances, makes us whole again. By His wounds we are healed, the prophet Isaiah said.

We are the creation of His hands; the love of His heart. “As long as there is breath in me, […] the spirit of God is in my nostrils.” Job 27:3

Reflections Before Bedtime #90

By: Gabriela Yareliz

We walked from the West Side to the East. We walked through that Central Park tunnel; you held the umbrella and all the bags. You shielded me from the chilled showers.

A bus came, and we were almost bathed by the NYC puddle filth. When we saw the bus; the water; the headlights; we ran. When we ran and screamed, anticipating the puddle spray; when we bent over in laughter, I was so happy that the moment we had just lived was ours.

Your sincerity made my soul at ease, like a good Ingrid Michaelson song. Your eyes lit up the night. Our laughter and bond– it’s the reason why we need an afterlife. Throughout the ages, we will try to understand that which brings all of this joy.

It has been an honor to run, scream, and laugh with you. You make the dark night, light; and the cold rain, dry. May we run together for the ages, and laugh until we cry.

Sunday Girl: October 9, 2016


[From the Dillon-Panther Tumblr]

By: Gabriela Yareliz

It was one of those lazy Sundays. It was raining since early morning, and it rained throughout the day. Everything was grey, up until the sunset. Then, the sky turned blue and yellow.  I ate pumpkin pancakes and potatoes, and then crawled back into bed. I did all of my reading from under my cheetah blanket.

I know that a lot of us are preparing for different but important things, this week. Praying overtime. While anxiety assails, we know we trust in a loving God who never leaves us, whose love carries us through.

I was so inspired this morning as I thought about everything I am grateful for. My heart was overwhelmed. It still is. As I studied my Bible this morning, I was reassured that God is lovingly in control of my future and that everything will be fine.

“Faithful you have been; faithful you will be, God.”

As I opened scripture, God spoke to my heart through the words of King David: “The Lord has remembered us; He will bless us… He will bless those who fear the Lord, both the small and the great.” Psalm 115:12-13

As we start a new work/study week, may we be inspired by His love that surrounds us. May we see everything in the light of the fact that we are in the hands of a God who does not change. A God who is love. A God who is personal, who cares for you and for me.

Below are some inspiring words that brought peace to my heart. May they do the same for you.

“Ask God to prepare you for something new, something better. Remember God is able to do exceedingly and abundantly more than we could ask, or even imagine.”
Glen Fitzjerrell ( @unkaglen )

“I am saying that God is good, and even when things are not good, He works them for our good…God is Who He says He is. Even if we don’t know all the details along the way, we trust that He is good.”
Francis Frangipane (via kvtes)

“The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let the dead things go.”
Anonymous (via snowy-autumnal-kisses)

“We do not write in order to be understood; we write in order to understand.” – C.S. Lewis

“What you pray for reveals what you believe about God.” Craig Groeschel

“It’s funny: I always imagined when I was a kid that adults had some kind of inner toolbox, full of shiny tools: the saw of discernment, the hammer of wisdom, the sandpaper of patience. But then when I grew up I found that life handed you these rusty, bent old tools – friendships, prayer, conscience, honesty – and said, Do the best you can with these, they will have to do. And mostly, against all odds they’re enough.”
Anne Lamott, Traveling Mercies

“He who does not understand your silence will probably not understand your words.”
Elbert Hubbard

“There are people who are always in love with the sky, no matter the weather. One day you will find someone who’ll love you the same way.”
“God’s sort of love isn’t like that. It’s not like human love. It has no reason to exist except that it does. I love you because I love you. God’s love is eternally grounded in Himself and for you. It’s not a matter of maintenance, but awakening, that you’d simply believe His love to be there and true.”
J.S. Park

“People grow when they are loved well. If you want to help others heal, love them without an agenda.”
Mike McHargue

“I will stay gentle no matter what I endure, I am so much more.”
Tyler Knott Gregson

“I am afraid. Of what? Life without having lived, chiefly.”
Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals, 1950-1962

“Sometimes, it is the smallest thing that saves us: the weather growing cold, a child’s smile, and a cup of excellent coffee.”
Jonathan Carroll

“It is truly beautiful how pure and compassionate you realise some people are when they open up to you like a book begged to be read.
It is truly beautiful how they are so vulnerable to love when they stop holding it all back.”
Soumya Goswami

“Life is uncertain and yet, God is so certain.”
Charles Stanley 

“There is something beautiful about a billion stars held steady by a God who knows what He is doing.”
Donald Miller

“The most common form of despair is not being who you are.”
Søren Kierkegaard

“People who wade into discomfort and vulnerability and tell the truth about their stories are the real badasses.”
Brene Brown

Wednesday Glee: From Christine Caine

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” (Isaiah 43:18-19)

By: Christine Caine

“It’s amazing to me how many people can get stuck in a moment of their past.

Now, it could have been a good moment when you were the cheerleading champion of your school or the team MVP. Or it may have been a horrific moment when someone abused you. But whatever is in your past, know today that the best is yet to come.

If you spend all your time looking back, you’re going to miss what God has for you up ahead. So move forward in faith!

[From First Things First By Christine Caine]

Per Dimenticare

[Per Dimenticare= Italian for: [In Order] to Forget You]


Image from Tumblr

By: Gabriela Yareliz

It has been a happy set of months, where I have been watching friends’ wedding videos, attending weddings and finding out about new life chapters beginning. It has filled me with so much happiness for those friends; those I love so much.

In the midst of all these new beginnings, I couldn’t help but think about how things were at one point. I was thinking of conversations I would have with these friends; things we went through.

Many of my friends married people we all didn’t know existed two to three years ago. Some moved to cities they never would have thought they’d move to. Life is like that. Magical. Unexpected.

Our first kisses, our first jobs, our first loves– none of those quite made it up to this point. I know mine didn’t. Life spins like the planet we are on. It changes. And then, it stops.

It stops for a split minute for us to gather our bearings and hold hands with whomever we want to move forward with. It stops, giving us enough time to open a map to trace the new direction in which we are headed. Then, a new chapter begins, with a new setting or with a new person at our side. And commitment makes it everything. We continue to evolve and grow, but there is a person or place we call home.

If we were to stay nostalgic for what life was or “could have been,” we’d all live heartbroken and in some weird false world of illusions. Many of us who are starting new chapters, we had our fair share of heartbreak. Someone who we loved smashed our heart to pieces. That person made us cry– you know the type of crying, the crouching-down-on-the-floor-in-a-corner, hand-over-the-mouth crying. We felt the sting of betrayal and rejection. Years. Plans. Invested emotions and more– all gone.

But then, we got up.

We dusted ourselves off from the corner where we cried for long enough, we glued our hearts back together, and we stepped out courageously.

And then, we met that person who made us believe in a love that was deeper than what we had felt before. We believed in a life that we didn’t know was possible. We believed, again. And some of us realized we had never believed at all, before now.

This is an open letter to the “exes” who broke our hearts, but then, now they spend years reading our blogs and looking us up on LinkedIn. We know, but you see, while you left the place where we came together, we left, too. The only difference was we didn’t turn around to look back.

We are happy.

We are falling in love.

We are enjoying life.

We are growing wiser.

We are becoming more beautiful.

We are moving.

We are succeeding.

We are getting married.

We are living the life God knew we wanted that we wouldn’t have had with someone who only thinks of himself.

May you find happiness, despite always remembering what you could have had but don’t have.

At one point, we feared we would never heal from the hurt you caused, but we did. And now, we choose not to forget you, to remind ourselves of how good God was to spare us.

And you can’t forget us.

Keep watching. There is more amazing stuff coming.