Okay so it's been a really long time since I last posted. Facebook has become so simple and fast, it's just the easier and fastest thing for me to do! So I have been thinking lately about lot's of people's situations around us due to the economy. At first I was feeling a little sad and I started to get anxious about our own situation. But because we have a God that is so loving and faithful, he will not allow me to be anxious or think of negatives right now. Now maybe it's just where i'm at, and maybe it won't always be like this, maybe it will get way worse. I don't know what will happen in the future, not even tomorrow, and tomorrow is not promised to me! So I have decided to live in the JOY that I have today! I have an amazing husband who has worked hard all his life!! We got together in high school as most of you know, and we both started working as soon as we were able to get permits, and always worked more than we should have for being students in high school. No matter what happened with Richard's job situation, he always just jumped into another one. When Richard and I first got together, my family didn't really like him because they wanted me to stay with the "rich christian boy" that I was dating before him. But as they got to know him more, and even till today, the one thing they always say and know, is that Richard is a hard worker, and they all know he will always take care of us! That is not something that is common in my family, the men usually run or turn to drugs and alcohol instead! So my family has a lot of respect for him because of that! All of this to say that even though times are tough and there is just simply NO work out there right now, no one hiring him, jobs falling through, bills piling up, creditors calling us, things that have to be let go or given up, there is peace in just having each other! I have realized that we never needed all those "things" or all the places to go, and definately never needed so much fast food! I always wanted to move out of California to "slow down" and just be able to focus on my family and those little things that really matter, a huge factor for not moving is our family and church family! But I also have realized that the things we are losing are things that I have asked to be taken away, maybe not directly, and maybe not everything, but most them serve as distractions or they are really just not needed! I know that people tend to talk like this when times are tuff, but I am honestly blessed that God has given me eyes to see all of this before my kids are grown up. I was thinking of the last three summers, and how enjoyable they were, and yes we spent a lot of great family time together, and had experiences and moments that the kids will remember for ever and they were all things we had never done before and it was all because of God's blessings, and as I was looking ahead to this summer and trying to focus on the things we weren't going to be able to do, God started showing all the things we could do right here at home, like having sleep overs in the living room with the kids, having more bon fires in the backyard with friends and family, camping out in our backyard! How fun would that be, we already have a fort and a wolf..lol! Working on the playground with the kids, let them paint it or something that doesn't cost a lot of money! Letting the kids make a lemonade stand this summer and sell lemonade! More walks to park, more trips to the beach. Art projects in the back yard or at the park. I am blessed that we were able to get Disneyland passes this last year, so we can go for free this year!! Movie nights in the living room!! More opportunities to teach our kids about Jesus and being Thankful for what we have. I think of walks in our neighborhood and maybe actually really meeting our neighbors and building relationships. I walked through our car port this morning after pulling the van in for the street sweeper, appreciated the dogs we have that I asked for since I was a kid ( I wanted a german shepherd, black and tan, full breed, and a siberian husky, gray and white with blue eyes to be exact) and God has blessed me with that, and I don't take care of them or appreciate them like I should. I started realizing all the things that I had asked for and have. I also have thought about the realization and possibility of losing our home....and even in that I have a peace that if that is what has to happen, then it has to happen, I know that we have family that we can live with until we get back on our feet or go back to an apartment and God has blessed us with so many wonderful friends for support. I don't say this to get anything or make people feel sorry for us, I am simply sharing my feelings and things i've been processing in the last few weeks. I am so blessed and Thankful to have the husband that I have, and the amazing children that I have ( that I also don't appreciate enough) and such great friends and family. I also know that this is a season we are in, but I am always looking for what God is trying to say to me in these times, instead of focusing on complaints and pleas for more, I find myself so full grace and Thankfulness in everything I do have, that is important. I try to learn lessons from mistakes and be open to transformation and change. I know a lot of people don't like change, but I love it, because there is always opportunity for growth and transformation some how. If we always stood comfortable, we wouldn't rely on God as much as we Always should! So in this season, I stand Thankful and look forward to changes that need to be made that I believe will ultimately benefit my family, and help us all to truly be Thankful for just having each other!! I pray that God keeps me here or reminds me of this when things get better, because this is where I want to be no matter what my circumstance or season is!
Saturday night, well, I guess, it would have been Sunday morning at about 12:30am, I received 4 phone calls in a row, from my cousins cell phone, and then a number I didn't recognize, then finally my cousin Robert's cell phone. Phone calls at that time at night are never good!! I was afraid to answer the phone, but when I saw Roberts number, I knew something was wrong, I instantly got sick to my stomach. When I answered, all I heard was someone crying, saying, Selina....Selina...He's Gone, Selina, they killed him, my brother, selina, he's gone!! I didn't recognize the voice at first, and thought it was one of my cousins telling me Robert's brother was killed, then I realized it was Rosie, and was speechless!! I could feel the pain in her heart as she explained to me what happened.
It was like I didn't believe it, I was in denial, it just couldn't be, not him! She just kept telling me to pray...pray, pray for peace, pray for peace!! She and Robert were on their way to Long Beach Memorial where they had taken Marco's body! Richard woke up as I was talking to her and kept asking, who??who?? who's brother died?? in a very concerned voice, I hung up the phone with Rosie and we began to pray! I felt numb and in shock! Then it hit me and the tears just came rolling down. We made some phone calls and text messages. The first person Richie called was Christopher and Leanne, our pastor and his wife, and I called Kristi, her response was like mine when she answered, the first thing she said was what's wrong? Is everything ok?? She had that same paniced voice that I did when I answered. Christopher called Richie back and offered to come down to the hospital. We hurried down to the hospital. On the way a million things went through my mind, mostly, what am I going to say, Lord give me the right words to say to Rosie and her family, especially her mom. I have to say, I was a little disappointed and ticked off when I saw this little tiny room that fit 4 that they placed them in to grieve. Anyway, I was not prepared to face a mother who just lost her son at such a young age. I have dealt with my grandma losing her sons, but they were adults, and their death was due to drug use, so it was different, they made the choice, in this case here was a woman who's 22 year old son's life got taken away! It was the saddest thing I have ever experienced!
I noticed Rosie's sister Becky wasn't there, so I asked where she was at. The homicide detectives had her waiting in a room at the sheriff station so they could question her because she was the key witness. I couldn't help but feel for her as she HAD to sit in a room by herself, waiting alone, grieving alone, after just witnessing her brothers death, and holding him as he lay lifeless in her arms. I was finding myself very angry at the system. At that point the story was still very unclear as to what happened, later that night Rosie and Robert went back to the scene and talked to the detectives, they found out that it was all on camera from food 4 less. There was a confrontation of some sort and Marco's friend and this friend of Marco's sister, got in a fight, and Marco tried to go to pull the guy off his friend to brake up the fight, the brother of the other guy, came up behind him and stabbed him in his back, which killed him instantly!!! Without warning, cowardly, and ruthlessly just took his life! and all in front of Marco and Rosie's younger sister Becky!! I can't Imagine what it would be like to be in that situation! As we can all Imagine, it has been especially hard for Becky to deal with all of this, and because it was a friend of hers, she is starting to feel at fault! The enemy is already working on her, telling her lies, trying to break and destroy who she is.
After the service they had for Marco last night Richie and I had a very deep conversation, about everything, and what God is doing in us, and how GOd was prepping people for this. I am so blessed to have such an amazing husband who really listens when God is nudging him and speaking to him. Some things that I have been praying for him about. I am just in AWE of God and his greatness and love for us and our hearts! Richie had to make phone calls to all his employees yesterday, telling them what happened and that Marco would not be coming back to work! Richie hired Marco a few months back, and he has been such a great employee, after work started slowing down, and having to let people go, Marco was one of the few that Richard was going to keep and develop.
I had a conversation with Rosie 2 weeks ago, and she asked what is richard telling these guys at work? Does he preach to them? I told her I didn't know, but that I didn't think he had in the last couple weeks, and then asked her why? She said, that whatever he is saying is helping Marco, he use to not have a drive as far as a career, and really didn't know where he fit in or what was fit for him. But that weekend he had told Rosie, what an awesome guy Rich was (that's what he calls him) he went on to say that he was so inspired by Richards story, that he started from nothing, and taught himself everything he needed to know to pass the test and get his license, and continues to learn on his own, and how he gives people opportunity to get ahead, he was inspired he told rosie because richard told marco he could do it too!! Anyone could do it, if you put your mind to it, and Marco finally found something he really liked and wanted to do. Rosie also told me that the crazier thing was that her brother was reading his bible again, which was HUGE! So that's where the preaching question came in. I asked Richard later that day what he had been saying or sharing with his workers, and he really didn't feel like he had said anything to impact anyone, they were just having normal conversation, and someone asked the question of how he got started, and that was pretty much it! Rosie told me to tell richard whatever he is doing, tell him not to stop! Her brother has never been like this, and it was like he was motivated and excited, and she hadn't seen that in him for a while! Back to our conversation last night, one little part that Richard shared with me was that he was feeling guilty for not sharing more of his faith with Marco, but I told him, he did, and Marco saw something in him that he wanted for his own life, sometimes we don't have to say much, or push the gospel down someone's throat, but our mere action, and love and encouragement speaks volumes to people.
I don't say this to boast about my husband, though I am very proud of him! I say this as a lesson for all of us, including me, that even though we don't think people are listening or watching, you never know who's life God is going to use you to impact in one way or another. Marco's life was impacted by Richie without Richie even knowing that he was being an impact! I am so blessed as is Richie to have known Marco. He was a serious guy, very quiet, until you got to know him, but once you did, you saw his heart and he was such a respectful gentleman, a very loving son, brother, uncle and friend! When you got him to smile, his smile would brighten anyone's day! We will Miss you Marco!!
Here is Marco with Renee, his Goddaughter, fun, Loving uncle!!
This is just Marco(in the middle) when you catch his goofy, silly side!!
Rosie and her family, I have never met such a loving, supportive , bonded family!! Rosie's brothers, Marco and Victor, her son bobby, mom, Maria, rosie, daughter renee, sister Becky and daughter raquel
During the service, the pastor talked about how God will use the bad for his good, and I truly believe that God is going to do that in this situation. I already see unity taking place in families that weren't united before, I see so much love being expressed, and bonds being made, I see God really working in Robert's heart! We were getting ready to leave the hospital that night, and it was just me, richie, kristi, rosie, robert, his two brothers, his sister, a friend, and his mom (which are my cousins and aunt), and as we were getting ready to leave, Robert said, hey guys lets gather around and pray together real quick! WOW...I was floored, for those of you who don't know Robert, he has been struggling with his faith and surrendering fully to the lord, he is typically not the strong one in their marriage, and does not do well with deaths since his fathers passing! In our marriage group Robert has asked...no told richie to not ever put him on the spot and ask him to pray...because he wouldn't!! So back to the story, we gathered hands in a circle, and he began to pray out loud, totally from his heart, it was just beautiful and amazing, and the only people who were saved in that circle was me, richie, rosie and kristi. I know the same feelings were going through kristi and richie's mind. The volume that it spoke to Rosie, and the love that it showed. I am so proud of him and again in AWE of Gods Goodness! Since then Robert has been showing the love of God to Rosie and her family, and to his own family. He is being an obedient loving husband that God is calling and using him to be right now, and it's amazing to watch! I usually will not blog about my walk or faith, because it often times feels like boasting about myself, and I don't like that, But I LOVE sharing what God is doing in and through people as he changes hearts and saves souls.
I LOVE transformation, I know that this tragedy is going to pull people closer to Christ,and/ or bring people to know Christ! I am so blessed that God has allowed me and RIchie to be a part of all of this, even though it is hard to deal with. It is always in these times that we grow and are stretched and I LOVE it!! I see the passion that has been put back in my husbands life, for lost people, and it has been weighing heavy on my heart as well.
I am not going to share Richie's story and processing of what God's been speaking to him, I will let him do that if he chooses to, but I do know that OUR job is to reach the lost and introduce them to Christ, and to show HIS love through our actions and words! I am so blessed to be surrounded by an awesome church family, and the way that the Love of Christ is being expressed to Rosie and her family. THANK All of you who were at the service last night, even though it was all in spanish, your mere presence showed love and support! Kristi, you have been an awesome friend to Rosie, Thank You for going to the Hospital without hesitation!! Leanne, Thank You for all your support and Love! Christopher, Thank You so much for going to the hospital the night it happened too, and to the police station to try and talk to Becky, you have such a HUGE heart and Love for people even when you don't know them!!
Okay, so most of you know by know that Richie and I are remodeling our kitchen and restroom right now. I was given the "job" of picking out the paint colors, tile, and cabinets. There were too many options for my husband, so he left it up to me, well I was sent out to get paint today, and all I knew or thought was I wanted to go with a yellow, but "try" and do some kind of sponge paint thing! Ya....I know NOTHING about any of this! So anyway, I go to get the paint color, and oh..boy is it YELLOW! I tried to pick a not so bright yellow, but WOW...yellow is just yellow!! I walked into the dining room after the painter had about a quarter of it painted and thought....what was I thinking!!! We were planning on going with White cabinets, and some kind of tile in the there. BUT, now that I see this yellow, I dont think any earthtone tile is going to look good with white cabinets and yellow paint! When I was looking at paint color schemes I saw this "tuscan" color scheme that I really liked, so I picked that yellow, and was going to have accents of green, tan, and orange in there......K do you see the problem I have!! Richie was right! Yes, honey....YOU were right, there are too many options, and now I feel stuck! So I am asking anyone who has any ideas in this area for help!! I will put up pictures as soon as I figure out how to do that on this MAC!! :)-
It has been years since I have been at a bonfire at the beach, I think the last time was 2002, when I worked for Old Navy, and we had our annual company beach party! I didn't realize how much I enjoyed it! We had such a great time, catching up with friends, meeting a few new people, and just being in community with other people within our church! Even though, at one point, the tide came up so high so fast we almost got swept away! That was a little scary for me, but it struck a bunch of excitement in the kids! Thank You to the Bambricks for bringing their 5th wheel, so we had a clean place to potty, and most of all, had warm shower water to rinse off the kids! That made the whole experience less drama, at the end of the night, at least for us, with our little miss Destiny, who had sand in every crevis, and hates sand in every crevis!So Thank You again!! I can't wait till the next one!
Our day at the Bay! A few families from revolution have been going to the Bay every Wed for the last few weeks, and here are some of my favorite pictures from one of the days! It's so fun to get together with other families and just watch our kids play together, it is that sense of "community", and it's a great thing!The kids have so much fun together!
I knew i was going to be bad at keeping up with this blog thing! I think the most time consuming part for me is uploading the pictures. Anyway, I have skipped a few events, but really wanted to share about VBS this year! This was such an amazing year, not that the other years weren't! I remember seeing what group I got the first day and realized I had the youngest group and the majority of the group were boys, I wanted to hurt Jenny, and I thought at that point, maybe Jenny doesn't like me, and this is her way of punishing me! lol...j/k Jenny! But as the days went on I remembered why I love being with the little ones! They are so open to what you have for them, they have not lost that "childlike" faith yet, they are just starting it, and they just believe God and recieve what He has for them! When you tell them bible stories, you see the wonder in their face and wish you could get inside their head to see what they are thinking! Just little things like Jed asking if I was his "weada" (leader)is the best thing!Well here are some pics I took, this was my crew and Allie was such an awesome jr crew leader!
Here are some other reasons I love VBS.... Destiny got to invite and hang with her bff's from preschool, and share Jesus's love with them!! My sisters love coming to vbs, they look forward to it all year! They don't get to go to church at home, so they embrace it when they are here!
Our little ones also got to learn about Jesus's love and how they should share! Noah is sharing his snack!
It's so fun to see kids dance in excitement for Jesus!
It's awesome to see our jr crew leaders being such great examples and loving on all the kids, they don't realize the impact they are making on these childrens lives!
Jen, did such a great job encouraging the kids to let loose and go crazy for Jesus, and that's just what they did! It was so awesome to see this little boy Noah take up his daily challenge and invite, and bring a friend on the fourth day!
Oh..and you gotta love these moments, when Jed comes up to me and says " heaw(here) ms.Sewina, I have sometin foe you" and as I put out my hand, thinking it's a little flower or maybe even grass, I look down and it's abc gum...yeah...as he runs off to snack! That was great! This picture is just priceless and speaks for itself! It's so worth it, when you have a child that hardly ever smiles, and to see his face light up for goo! Then there was little ms Avery...every time we sang songs and jen said, get your guitars ready, Avery was already on her knees, faces and all, playing her air guitar! Priceless!!
Vbs is also when I get to spend time with my god daughter Cece, who lives up north, she gave up her girl scout camping trip to come to Vbs, this was her last year, she is so excited to be a jr crew leader next year! She does not go to church at home either, so she looks forward to this every year! God is Awesome, and it's such a priveledge to be able to be links for her and my sisters in this way! She is a very shy girl, and it's great she got to make some friends while she was here! I had another little dancer that I will always remember, Sarah, she is such a little girly girl, and she had this little dainty dance that was sooo cute, I will never forget that! As Isaiah says Thank You for another year of VBS, we wait patiently and think of who else we can invite next year! Until then....Lord Thank You for all the kids and all the volunteers that were at VBS, and Thank You for Jenny, Darren, and Christopher! Thank you for the opportunity to be an impact in childrens lives!
Destiny's Birthday was last month! I know....i'm a little behind on this blog thing! Anyway, she started her morning off with being crowned as the birthday girl, and all her classmates sung Happy Birthday to her, then right before recess, I brought some cupcakes and she got another Happy Birthday song. Jeanne brought her flowers and balloons, which totally made her day, she loves getting flowers! She also got to sit in the special Birthday chair all day! It was a really special day for her!
After school we headed off to dance, where there was yet, another Birthday Celebration and more cupcakes and juice! She had lot's of fun with her friends at the dance studio, the cupcakes were their motivation for getting through 3 hours of technical classes that day! I have never seen them so compliant and focused!
We didn't end the day untill 7:30pm, and needless to say, she was exhausted! The next morning went back to normal... Drama as usual! :)