Wow so I was just noticing that I havent posted anything in over two weeks....that is incredible! Sorry to the few people who follow this blog to see how we are:) We are great! God is even greater:) we have been super busy with the holidays, church activities and enjoying time with our family. I will try to post some pics soon. we are still waiting on the baby:)
Monday, December 29, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
We went Saturday passing out tracts in Alcala, some people were very nice and receptive. There were about 8 people from the church who came! Please pray that the Lord will work in the hearts of the people who recieved the tracts containing the gospel.
Alberto and I pausing for a minute to take a picture.
Alcala is a beautiful city full of lots of history...Alberto and I are in this one too, just minis!
Posted by Ashley at 6:19 AM
These are pictures from the Saturday we spent decorating the church!!! It was a time of fun and fellowship for the ladies, and also work:) There were 7 or 8 ladies who participated and I only ended up with a couple of pics, either way you can get an idea. We will be having a ladies meeting this Saturday the 13th, please pray that the Lord will bless.
From left to right: Me, Hermana Isabel, and Sarai
Posted by Ashley at 6:13 AM
Well it has been a while since I posted anything, so I will try to briefly fill everyone in on what we have been doing... I went to the Dr. a little over a week ago, they said everything was fine, and that Sergio is BIG! His size corresponds to that of a 38 1/2 week baby instead of a 37 wk. baby...this either means the calculated due date is a little off (yyuuhhuu) or that the date is fine and I am one of those lucky people who just have bigger babies...time will tell. We are still hoping if it is God's will that he will be born a little early, so our family from the States can enjoy the little guy....hopefully they will remember we exist too :) hahaha. We also have been staying very busy working in the church, the month of Dec. people tend to be a little more open, friendly and willing to come. I will post some pictures separately...
Posted by Ashley at 6:06 AM
Posted by Ashley at 6:01 AM
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Last weekend we went to see the Chrsitmas lights in Madrid! It was so pretty! And we had a great time and walked alot! Even though it was cold. :) There are tons of Christmas lights up everywhere. We also went to Cortylandia which is basically a story of animated creatures, I will have to upload those pics later.
Posted by Ashley at 9:04 AM
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
A short update on Sergio and I...yes we are still growing:) I went today and had another ultrasound. They said everything was looking well...and supposedly he is big, about a week bigger than normal fot my supposed due date...maybe he will come early after all!!!! I go again tomorrow for routine labwork, but Praise the Lord all seems to be going well. Thank you for your prayers.
Posted by Ashley at 6:02 AM
Friday, November 28, 2008
And even though I have done like three posts in the past half hour I have to mention this one. Although I understand my size, would have been a hindrance anyway this yr. ; My mom and I have always gone shopping this Friday! So today I find myself missing my mom a little extra:) In the states Christmas season officially starts after Thanksgiving! Mom and I would go out somewhere between 4 and 5 am to get started. We would plan things, but somehow we still never ended up purchasing very much. It was always great just to be able to spend that time together and get in the Christmas spirit! Some people are rude and hurried others still take a minute to help those around them or be curteous. (last yr we had a nice young man volunteer to carry the tree to the car for us - not an employee:) either way usually our adventure would end by 10am or so as the Spanish Conference takes place that same weekend, we often ended our journeys at Chickfila for breakfast. Whatever you do to enjoy this day and the holiday season, be sure not to take it for granted. Now as things have changed I not only look back fondly on those memories, but look forward to new traditions and experiences, not only with MY mom, but soon also as a mom. Hope you all have a blessed and safe holiday season. (Special blessings to all the moms out there!) Leave a comment and let me know of your day after Thanksgiving traditions, even if you always stay in bed all day to recuperate:)
Posted by Ashley at 4:06 AM
We had our Thanksgiving dinner with family. Churi, Manolo, Belen, Carolina, Cristina, Paula, and Pilar. (Sorry, we did miss you Tobi:) I had never cooked a thanksgiving meal by myself so I have to say it went pretty well - Alberto was the BEST help! We had.......turkey (yes it was dry, why?), Stuffing, Mashed potatoes and gravy, Sweet potatoe casserole, and green bean casserole.
(My favorite was the sweet potatoes) Alberto's family definitely got to try a traditional American Thanksgiving dinner.
Churi cutting the turkey - whew!
Posted by Ashley at 3:56 AM
Posted by Ashley at 3:49 AM
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Well it is Thanksgiving Day, so of course we should be sure to be thankful! I could probably write a post forever long of the things for which Alberto and I are thankful for. . . but the turkey is cooking:) Of course I am super thankful for Alberto-we were talking the other day about how quickly time goes by, we have been married over a yr. already! WOW. God has blessed me with such a good godly man who is also my best friend. We are thankful for our son...who will hopefully be here soon, but the Lord has worked everything out perfectly even with our moves for medical care, and so far basically I have had a very enjoyable pregnancy. We are anticipating the day Sergio will arrive! God has been working so much in our lives in the months that we have been here in Spain, we have learned so much and hopefully will continue learning; of course learning is not always easy sometimes you learn from others, God's Word, your mistakes...many ways! Also personally I am super thankful for Alberto's family here, not that I do not miss my own I do (praise the Lord for Vonage which enables us to talk to them OFTEN!), but they have all been so kind generous and loving that I dont think we have ever felt lonely, they have all been such a blessing especially to me, Alberto's always been part of the family, but getting to know them all well and spend time with them has allowed us to enjoy many wonderful moments we will remember forever. We thank the Lord for the time He allowed us to spend in Granada, and see God work there, and continue to pray God blesses the ministry, and the Stark family who were so hospitable to let us stay in there home for months. Also we are thankful for where God has brought us now, as we are working in the church here in Alcala, the sweet people who we have already come to love, and yet again for a place to stay with Alberto's Aunt and Uncle and family for now; and later some space for the three of us. I would lie to say that everything has been easy, but everything has been blessed experiences and God's peace and molding of our lives has been the best of all. Every need we have seen the Lord supply in one form or another. So today, and hopefully everyday we give thanks to Him for these things and so many more.
Posted by Ashley at 7:35 AM
Monday, November 24, 2008
I have not posted in a long time so lets see how briefly I can share what has been going on in our lives. We are settled in and staying super busy here in Madrid. In the past week or so we have seen God doing great things. With a day or two of running here and there and a great help from Alberto´s aunt and uncle we had my medical paperwork basically taken care of. So Dr.´s visits are being scheduled and Sergio is well taken care of:) My residency card will be sent here in a couple of weeks. And Alberto has had job interviews, one with the temp agency and a second interview with the actual company, for an administrative job using his English, we are praying for God´s will and waiting to hear back. We are having a great time being involved in La Iglesia Bautista El Faro here in Alcala. Alberto has preached several times plays the piano and next Sunday I will have the privilege of teaching the children`s Sunday School. (please pray for me I havent taught children in Spanish in a while:).We are enjoying being involved and praying to be a blessing to the church. Wow all that so far sounds like a big run-on sentence with periods stuck in here and there! We have spent time with Alberto´s family which is awesome. I am counting down days for My momma, brother, in-laws etc.....any one else want to sign up????? we are sooo excited to see friends and family from the states over these holidays!!! What else oh yeah I got to go to Xanadu...a mall with an indoor ski slope...COOL , and also to my first Real Madrid game which I will plan to post pictures of both things in a later post. And to top it all off among other things keeping us busy I am sleepy. My darling little man Sergio was taking aerobics or swimming lessons (his dad says practicing futbol...soccer ) or something last night and I didnt get much sleep, so a nap sounds irresistible. Thank you for prayers, please keep us in them.
Posted by Ashley at 6:10 AM
Sunday, November 16, 2008
So hello! Here we are in Madrid. We have been here for three days and God has been blessing. Alberto went to a 24hr. prayer conference at the church here in Alcala, he had a great time and God spoke to his heart. Church services were a blessing, Alberto preached both the morning and evening services and he and I also sang. We are going to be staying here in Madrid for awhile. We spent much time in prayer while in Granada for the Lord to provide a job for Alberto. Now this may not seem like a such a big deal, but since the Lord called us here to live by faith, and trust God to provide a job to support our family; the fact that after four months he still hadnt heard from any decent job was a cause of concern for us. We prayed for the Lord´s will in our lives. That week Alberto recieved a phone call from a pastor here in Madrid needing someone to help in the church while they go temporarily to the States. We spent several days in prayer for this specific situation and also got counsel. God gave us peace that this is His perfect will for our lives right now. So we will be here in Madrid at least until they return in June. The sad news is of course that we are no longer participating in the exciting work there in Granada. We will miss the Stark family so much...they were a blessing to us and God used them to help us learn many things. (love you guys). The good news is Alberto has an interview tomorrow, please pray for a good job for him. We are praising the Lord for how He works in our lives, even when our plans are not His plans. Also we are planning to do thanksgiving for some of Alberto´s family this week..please leave me a comment of the most traditional american thanksgiving food that you think no thanksgiving celebration should be without.... (recipes are not a horrible idea either...as I have never actually cooked for Thanksgiving by myself)
Posted by Ashley at 3:26 PM
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Well I went today for the ultrasound and everything was fine. They said he was looking good and healthy! And at the last ultrasound they made a big deal because he was in breech position, but now he is upside down (which sounds horribly uncomfortable), and ready to go!:) So this afternoon has been busy trying to get everything packed and ready to go to Madrid tomorrow. Sadly we will have VERY limited internet access, but of course we will get used to it. And of course we had church which was a blessing, Olga came to the serivce again, she is a very sweet young lady. Praise God for His many blessings!
Posted by Ashley at 2:33 PM
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
In the past weeks God has been using the same verses several times, bringing them to my memory and planting them right in front of me:). It was probably a month ago when I first read them in my daily devotions. I wrote down my thoughts about it and later also shared it with Alberto. Anyway the verses are...
"O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. "
The rest of the chapter is awesome and very encouraging too, but of course instead of posting the whole chapter I am hoping anyone interested will go read it. The last two verses are actually probably my favorite from this chapter.
"Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."
God has shown me so much in the past couple of months, the great blessing of an open walk and heart with Him. Everything in His hands works out according to His will and perfectly:) Even when I dont understand what it is God is doing, I can rest in peace if my heart is right with Him and I am allowing Him to lead me in His way!
Praise the Lord!
Posted by Ashley at 11:17 AM
Friday, November 7, 2008
SNOW!!!! The clouds finally went away today and we could get some decent pictures of all the snow up on the mountain. It is beautiful, the pictures do not really do it justice, but oh well at least you get an idea. It is so amazing to see God's awesome creation. I would love to go up there, but I do not think that playing in the snow or skiing is possibe for me here within the near future :)
Posted by Ashley at 11:42 AM
Thursday, November 6, 2008
OOPS! we did a survey months ago on name ideas, and never officially said what we are planning to name our son. I say oops, but it wasnt necessarily accidental. Now, I have been a relaxed, chilled, non-moody pregnant woman (REALLY!), but one thing I did have some indecisiveness over was the name...probably cause for the longest time I had myself convinced it was a girl.:) Anyway after much thought and prayer we have decided to name him Sergio!!!! This was after the comparison and elimination of many different names on the his and hers list of names I like. But for at least a month now we have been calling him Sergio and I have to say it really does seem to fit, he is an energetic little guy:) Anyway so everyone who voted for Sergio on our survey (which was the name that won:) your opinion has been valued and respected:)!
(Hopefully when we see his little face I dont have a mood swing and chage my mind...J/K)
I have been thinking about that alot lately...what will he look like??? I cant wait to find out. Will he have light colored hair like me? - hopefully Not! my hair was so white-blonde and thin when I was little that in all the pictures I looked bald until age 2:) Hahaha! Will he at least get my green eyes? What about his nose??? will it be more pointy like his daddy's or more squished?like mine? I dont know...I am sure he will grow up to be a handsome prince like his dad...but the waiting gives time to entertain a lot of thoughts. and more importantly prayers... Lord give us wisdom to raise this child!!! We are coounting down the weeks to meet our little Sergio.
Posted by Ashley at 3:09 AM
We have had a busy week so far. It has been full of passing out the invitations for our big "inauguration" service the 7th of Dec. We have been trying to go out every morning and evening so we can hand out all 5,000 invitations. It has been a blessing to meet some interested people, and a burden to see how many people do not care.The Lord will have to work for hearts to be softened. The baby and I are doing well...walking alot:) I go for my last ultrsound next Thurs. so hopefully everything is wonderful!
Posted by Ashley at 2:55 AM
Monday, November 3, 2008
We had a wonderful second Sunday in the building! Lucio has been coming several weeks in a row and it was such a blessing to see him back. We are praying to be able to reach his family here soon. Also a young German lady who has been going to the college here in Granada joined us. She was very sweet, and although she has also been attending a different church she seemed to really enjoy the service. Neither Yany or Mayte who Alberto and I visited joined us, we are praying to see them also coming soon. This week will be busy as we are handing out invitations daily, please continue to pray for God's blessing and protection as we visit door-to-door.
Posted by Ashley at 7:22 AM
Saturday, November 1, 2008
It has been such an awesome couple of days!!! We have really seen God bless. The Andrews family came down from Madrid on Thursday night to help us get started passing out invitations to the first official service of the church which will be Dec. 7th. We began on Thurs. evening and it went pretty well, met some nice people....etc. Then Friday morning, everyone went out again and continued passing out invitations door-to-door. Although there some people werent home most people who were home seemed nice, even if they didnt want the invitation at all, no one was super rude. On Friday afternoon Alberto recieved a text message from someone who was looking for a church and asked him to get in contact with them. He called and it is a lady, who we are going to go have coffee with this afternoon. She seemed very nice and is planning to come to church tomorrow. we wanted to be able to meet her so she may feel a little more comfortable coming if she already "knows" someone. Pray for this time today that God will bless, and if she is not saved we will soon be able to share of her salvation. Awesome huh? but ...there is more. we went back out passing invitations on Friday night, even though it was cold and rainy. Praise God we did not allow the weather to stop us. The Lord had set up an appointment for us. In one of the buildings a very nice lady asked us in, and made us coffee. she then sat down with us and said ok, now tell me about your church. She is a traditional Catholic but is clearly not content and is searching for the truth. Alberto was able to share a clear presentation of the gospel with her several times during our almost two hour visit...(she had alot of questions) She did not recieve Christ at the moment, but the seed has been planted and she seemed very receptive, if she does not come to the church in the next week or two we will plan to visit her again. We are praying for her salvation, she was at the point where she was "almost persuaded". We are praising the Lord for His goodness and praying he will continue to work here in Granada...softening people's hearts and opening doors. Aside from all that is was a blessing that the Andrews were so willing to help out....praise the Lord for His servants.
Posted by Ashley at 5:08 AM
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Well we went today, for the third time to finish up the paperwork for my residency. Well, Alberto went as planned at 4am, that is when they told us we had to get there to get a number to be attended. So Matt took Alberto at 4, and I was supposed to go later at about 9 when they open. Now we had been praying and, called and sent emails for about a week to see if there was not a way to make an appointment to do the paperwork ...it didnt seem like the best idea for me to wait in line for 5hr. since I am almost 8 months pregnant. The answer was NO! Anyway, apparently they had decided to change the system as of yesterday, when Alberto went this morning they gave him an appointment for this afternoon at 1pm....answered prayer!!! Matt went back and picked Alberto up and they were back here by around 5am. What a blessing!!! So we went this afternoon to the appointment and everything went super smooth, the Lord had it all worked out ahead of time for us. Now all we have left to do is go back in a month and pick up the actual card. but basically all the paperwork is done and everything is approved! The awesome thing is that if we had gone even one day sooner, we would have had to wait in that super long line...for hours. God works things out so perfectly!!!
Posted by Ashley at 11:23 AM
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Posted by Ashley at 1:19 PM
Friday, October 24, 2008
Posted by Ashley at 1:36 PM
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
We have been here in Spain for several months, and God is blessing and providing for us. The Lord allowed us( mostly ME as Alberto is from here:) to adjust to everything with seemingly no culture shock. But I have been quite surprised by things spiritually. We have handed out tracks and talked to people who seem to have never thought about eternity, nor do they care to think about it. It is more pressing on our hearts everyday the great need for the Holy Spirit's working here in the hearts of people. We can do all we can, but God must open their eyes if they are to ever have any hope for eternity. The other thing I have noticed that appears to be a danger is that sometimes we become accustomed to being surrounded by lost souls (not just here this happens in the States and everywhere I am sure) that sometimes we dont think of them as the souls so greatly in need of the Lord that they truly are. How many people a day do we walk by that have never heard the gospel? how long do they have to hear? are we doing what we can? Please pray for us in the work here, that God would fill us and open doors, and increase our burden for the souls, that we would see the lost as God does, and value their souls as he does to have sent His Son not only for our sins, but also for theirs. Do you believe that hell is real? I do, we must do more to warn people and share God's salvation.
Posted by Ashley at 11:35 AM
Well we went early Monday morning (about 7:30) to finish up the paperwork for my Spanish residency. I had recieved a letter stating it was approved, but we had to bring in the remainder of the paperwork. When we arrived there were approximately 80-100 people there already waiting in a super long line. Alberto went to talk to one of the police officers (all of it is actually done at the police station), apparently a large majority of the people arrive around 4am. Alberto explained to him that it was my paperwork and being 7+months pregnant it is not a good idea for me to be waiting in a line for 5 and 1/2 hrs. The officer told him to come back that afternoon around 3 and they would let us in. We went back, but sadly the officer on duty wanted nothing to do with us or helping us, he said it was too bad they had told us that in the morning, cause we were not getting in. It looks like Alberto is going to have to go one day this week at 4am, and exhaust himself waiting in some crazy line, and I will go closer to 9 when they actually open. Please pray that God would possibly provide a different solution for us. We sent an email to see if there is no possible way to make an appointment or anything, but have not heard anything back yet. If not, pray for my wonderful sweet husband that God will bless Him. The good news is that once we accomplish this, it should all be taken care of:) Praise the Lord!!!
Posted by Ashley at 11:26 AM
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Well it has been a busy couple of days. The car is officially fixed, praise the Lord!!! We went the other day and made an appointment for my last ultrasound which will be the 13th of November. And the stomach virus has officially left the Stark house, we think!!! Praise the Lord we didn't all have it at the same time. We are planning to go on Monday to do the final things for my residency, pray all goes well there. More work has been done at the church, oh and it rained on my clean clothes:) Not much else going on.
Posted by Ashley at 8:08 AM
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
I also wanted to post up some of the blessings we have seen recently through answered prayer. I had my glucose test several weeks ago, and went yesterday to find out the results. This Dr. visit was slightly easier as my name was semi-correct (the paperwork was fine, the Dr. decide that out of Ashley Renee Shipley Puente...she would call me Rene, it's fine just pick one of the names and go with it:) Any way the good news is that the glucose test was negative, meaning all is fine and I dont have to go through the four hour version of the test.The rest of the blood and lab work was also fine. Also when we returned from Madrid I had recieved info on my residency, I have been approved and we just have to go back early in the morning and finish up paperwork, and I believe pay a small fee. So we will be rising with the birds tomorrow:) I have to make an appointment for the first week of November to get another ultrasound, please pray the Lord works in that it can be hard to get the apt. for when you need it. I can not praise God enough for His goodness; He is always faithful.
Posted by Ashley at 12:50 PM
So here is the story of our return trip from Madrid. We were planning to travel back to Granada on Saturday afternoon at about 3pm so we could arrive around 8pm. We picked up a stroller and some stuff for the baby from Alberto's Uncle, and got everything loaded and ready to go, it was already 5pm. Leaving at that time we would arrive about 10pm, which would put most of our trip in the dark, and it was supposed to rain and storm. We decided to leave early Sunday morning to make it to Granada for the church sevices, but...Alberto ended up sick and vomiting Saturday night. We went to church in Madrid, God blessed and Alberto got feeling better, so we decided to leave Monday.... and we did! We headed out from Madrid around 10am. The trip was going well, everything fine except we were both a little tired. We were about 80km from Granada, headed uphill and rapidly loosing speed...the car stopped. Now it would start up, but not go any where hardly at all. As we are trying to decide whether to try to make it to the next exit, we prayed God would help us make it to the next exit and help us. So we try...not working! And guess who pulls up behind us??? the police. They get out and ask what we are doing and why we don't have our triangle out, (orange safety traingle you put behind the car to warn other drivers) the police offered to call us a tow truck and told Alberto to get out and find the triangle and set it up, he apologized for not having it out, and told them he hadnt been here very long and had a US drivers license. Somehow from that they assumed he was a tourist and were very helpful, even though they could have written us a ticket. We got everything taken care of and waited about 30 min. for the tow truck. Now I know this is a long story but it continues....the tow truck driver got the car up, we got in the tow truck, and he called the insurance (as we have roadside assistance) he was driving his big truck, talking on the phone and rubbing his eyes, was a little nerve wracking:) He took us to his shop in the middle of nowhere, and told us the insurance was getting us a taxi and would call Alberto. We sat on a bench outside until the taxi arrived. I had never ridden in a taxi, I am a country Alabama girl:) But this was not a normal taxi...it was a nice black Mercedes with two young guys, yet it was our taxi. The young guy drove us what is usually a fourty-five minute distance in about 25 min. He was going approximately 100km over the speed limit:) Another nail-biting ride. God protected us in everything, praise His name. One of the first things I thought was Praise the Lord He did not allow for us to leave on Saturday night and break down in the middle of the cold dark rain! Also as we have roadside assistance with the insurance, they are supposed to pay for all the transportation, for the car and us. "Ducky" (I named the car shortly after Alberto's Gpa gave it to us) arrived the following day on the tow truck, we are looking into how much it will cost us to get it fixed. Another blessing from the Lord is that Alberto can at least drive it to the mechanic to get it fixed (as long as it's not uphill:) It seems like it is the clutch, I will post about it once we figure out what we're going to do. Thank you for those who keep us in your prayers, we felt God's working that day. Here is a picture of the garage in the middle of nowhere...(reminded me of good old AL:)
Posted by Ashley at 10:35 AM
Monday, October 13, 2008
We just arrived back from Alberto's cousin's wedding today. He got married in Madrid on Friday and I got to experience my first Spanish wedding. There was a ton of delicious food. (Jamon, Manchego chesee, Cabrales Cheese, Chorizo, Croquetas, Langostinos, Salmon, Steak, etc...) We got to spend sometime with Alberto's family and had a wonderful time. We were also able to attend the Missions Conference at the church in Azuqueca. We met missionaries from Greece, Spain, and Argentina. It was a blessing to hear bro. David Bell from Alicante, Spain. He had a really difficult trial last year. He had to have heart surgery due to degenerative heart disease and he is only in his 30s. It was a great encouragment to hear his testimony and his preaching. Also please pray for their son that may also have heart surgery because of the same problem. While in Madrid we attended a practice for the Spanish national soccer team (2008 European Champions) and were able to meet some of the players. Alberto was more excited than a little kid at a candy store. We took some a picture with Iker Casillas. He is indisputably the best goalkeeper in the world. It was awesome!
Posted by Ashley at 2:24 PM
Monday, October 6, 2008
We returned from an encouraging week in Madrid to find things busy and encouraging here in Granada. Everything is so close to being ready for us to have services in the building!!!! Alberto and Matt have been painting the ceiling tiles, since they were gray from smoke stains of the people who were renting there before us. Once they dry and go back up, it will be back to cleaning once again, as much dust has come from taking them down. Hopefully the chairs will be in, and once we get them set up, we will be good to go. Of course it would be nice if the pulpit and all the decorations were set up, but we will accomplish what time allows:) This weekend a man from Bolivia came to the morning service, which we are currently holding at the Starks house, he recieved Christ as his Saviour!!! God is so great. This gentleman lives very close to where the church is, and says he plans to continue coming and invite his son, and his sister with her family. We are praying for God to open doors for them to all come, or for us to be able to meet and visit with them. What a mighty God we serve. Also we would ask for continued prayers regarding Alberto's job situation... we were not thinking it would take this long for him to get a job, the best part of it is the way we have been able to see God provide for our needs, and strengthen our faith. It is a good reminder that we must not place our trust in man, but in God, who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.
Posted by Ashley at 7:59 AM
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Wow! Things have been exciting lately, the baby is constantly moving...and YES growing. What a blessing. I go in a week or so to get the results on my glucose test so hopefully there are no problems there. Also just to let everyone know, we are sending out a monthly prayer letter by email if you would like to recieve it, let us know:)
Posted by Ashley at 5:43 AM
-God didnt take time to bless us today, because we didnt take time to thank Him for His blessings yesterday?
-God decided not to lead and guide us tomorrow, because we decided not to follow Him today?
-We never saw another flower bloom, because we complain when God sends the rain?
-God took the Bible away from us tomorrow because we neglected to read it today?
-God left us without His message, because we didnt want to listen to His messenger?
A couple thoughts that were on the front of the Bulletin last weekend at church in Alcala. Worth thinking about....the decisions we make today affect tomorrow, in our lives and the lives of those around us. We have so much we ought to thank God for, one of the biggest being that He has mercy on us and doesnt give us what we truly deserve. And for His blessings and grace in giving us things we definitely DO NOT deserve.
Posted by Ashley at 5:30 AM
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
We are back here in Granada, after almost a week in Madrid. We had a wonderful and very busy time. It is always a challenge when we go to be able to spend as much time with friends and family as what we would like to. God had some wonderful blessings waiting for us there. Carol (Alberto's cousin) passed two boxes of newborn clothes to us-and they are soooo cute (she has good taste:);as well as a bag of my favorite ......BABY SHOES! A friend of Alberto's family also gave us a bag of cute baby clothes, they are actually for about 6-9month old. Alberto's Uncle had a stroller/car seat that is very nice which we are also going to be able to use; so we came back with a trunk full of things for the little one. Praise the Lord when our son geets here, he will already have a very full closet, for practically the first year:) We kept a busy schedule, spending time with Alberto's family -they are all very hospitable and we stay well fed! , also spending time with several Christian families there in Madrid:) We went to several services at El Faro, the church that Alberto's family was reached out of, God is blessing and the church continues strong in God's Word. Alberto played the piano for the services, which everyone really enjoyed as they have been without a pianist. Pastor Alejandro and his wife Fina invited us to Sunday lunch, and were a great blessing to us. We also spent several evenings in Marco and Veronica's house enjoying the fellowship (and food:). Please continue to pray for the church here in Granada, Matt and Pilar got alot of things done while we were gone, and we are all looking forward to being able to have our first official service in the building. Also please continue to keep Alberto's job situation in your prayers. Sadly we took almost no pictures, but I will see if there are one or two I can post from our time there in Madrid.
Posted by Ashley at 12:08 PM
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Well I went today to the dr. Actually we went yesterday too, because somehow we got confused and thought that Monday was the 23rd. (obviously we were wrong:) So we went today when my appointment REALLY was. They said everything was fine. measured the uterus and all that. Listened to the baby's heartbeat, everything is going well. I have to go tomorrow morning early for a glucose test and some other labs. We are praying that those tests will go just fine. After we spend the morning having a blast at the doctors, we are heading up to Madrid for a couple of days. Our plans are to be there until Saturday. Hopefully we may be able to be a blessing as we attend church there, and also maybe go to a Real Madrid practice or something cool:)
Posted by Ashley at 7:25 AM
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Well the vote is over, thank you for everyone who voted, we really appreciate your opinion. Sergio won, with David only a few votes behind, so we will be strongly considering those names. We will try to make a final decision soon. Prov. 22:1 says "A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches" Any opinions on the name Alejandro??? :) Well, hurray there has been much work going on at the church. Since the painting was done, we went today to do some cleaning and put up the paneling in the auditorium. I actually got to help, since no strong smells or chemicals were involved. The paneling is done and Alberto and Matt will just go in and touch up some of the paint around the paneling. We still have alot of cleaning to get done and are looking for chairs/pews and a pulpit. So work will continue. I go on Monday to the Dr. I am pretty positive that they will order me a glucose test, which sounds like fun:) Continue to keep us in your prayers please:)
Posted by Ashley at 1:46 PM
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Well Alberto had his job interview yesterday. It was basically a "trial" of the job, and then a second interview at the end of the day. In the first interview they told him it was an advertising job and what they would be wanting him to do is supervise about 8 people who would all be working together on the advertising for one company. Sadly, this was not the case at all, on the second day there were about 15 people there. What they actually do is go door-to-door, and sell internet; not at all the impression they had given at the first interview. The job was based on comissions only, and during your first four weeks, it is considered training, so you do not make any money at all. There were other things that just did not add up at all with what they had wanted him to believe the first day, the company seemed to be doing their hiring ina very decietful way. Alberto politely told the lady around noon, that he was going to be leaving the job was not what he was needing. So here we are still job searching. I think this interview was a little more disappointing because the hours seemed better, and the first interview left us with hope in the possibility of a promising job. We are still praying and trusting that God will provide a good job that allows Alberto to focus primarily on the ministry. Matthew 6:33 has become a precious verse to us in the past weeks, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you." We have been spending time together in prayer and in counting our blessings, God has done so much for us in bringing us here and providing for us and we know He will continue to care for our needs. Also Praise the Lord, Alberto and Matt have been spending many hours at the church painting, I believe the plan is that all the painting will be finished today:) I can hardly wait to go see all their hard work, Pilar has also been able to help with some of the painting, but of course I can not. Next will be replacing the ceiling tiles, and many more things, but as work progresses I know we are all getting more excited for our first service there in the building. Remember you have one day left to vote for a boy name, although we arent necessarily any closer to actually deciding on one. We have figured out that I like names that are more unique where as Alberto would not mind at all for our son to be the "8th Manuel" in his class:) Good thing we have time still.
Posted by Ashley at 10:32 AM
Monday, September 15, 2008
Wow it is going to be a busy week:) There have been alot of things going on. Work has been going on at the church, patching holes, painting, etc. Alberto had a job interview today, which went well, he goes tomorrow for like a trial of the job and then a second interview. We are praying for wisdom about whether or not this is the job God would have for him! Kayla and Nicole have also started school, I remember those days, seems like it was yesterday but it was actually so long ago:) We are doing well here, this little boy sure moves around alot, must be a little futbol player:) jaja we are still trying to figure out a name, good thing we still have some time!
Posted by Ashley at 2:22 PM
Friday, September 12, 2008
Posted by Ashley at 2:05 PM
A .... Never mind I am not going to post what we are having, even though we went today and we know:)...jajaja just kidding, it's a boy! We are having a baby boy! yuhu!!! I was hoping for a girl, but we are still super excited to be having a boy. Alberto was hoping for a boy, so there you go. Now we have to start looking for names...something spanish since his last name will be Puente, but something that will not be horribly mispronounced in English. Poor boy, I have been calling him Leti all along :) PLEASE vote for a name on the survey or make your own suggestion! We are stuck!!!!
Posted by Ashley at 2:32 AM
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Well I am officially 23! (Am I getting old????) Thank you so much, to everyone who called, left comments on the blog, sent emails, e-cards, and wished me a Happy Birthday! I did have a wonderful birthday, I recieved a curling iron (yes, I have used it:), a shirt, a necklace, earrings, bracelet, and money! We also had strawberry cake which was delicious, lets see if I go in a minute and eat one of the pieces that was left over! YUM! I did want party hats, but well I guess after a certain age, you arent supposed to do those things, unless its for your kids; so in a little bit when we have our baby, I will have a reason to occasionally act like a child:) Either way it was a good day, my sweet husband took me to lunch at a very nice Italian restaurant, and boy was our food delicious!!!! Also later that evening my love took me to get some candy:) which we shared (aaawww)! For those of you who remember my love for playing in the rain it actually did rain here on my birthday (the first big rain in our time here.) but the temp dropped and it was windy and chilly; needless to say I did not get to play in the rain, especially because I am now a responsible adult. But I did think about how much I would have enjoyed it had it not been cold, another thing that I will have to wait to do with my child:) Also on my birthday I got to get up early and go to Brico Depot (Home depot- Spanish style) what more could a girl want? The great news is Alberto and Matt have been able to begin work on the building for the church, what an answer to prayer! Of course as always, little problems come up, but we are truly praising God for what He has given us and the doors He has opened. Tommorrow, we go to the Doctor, please pray all goes well and we can find out if it is a boy or girl!!!!!:) Thank you again for everyone who helped make my birthday special!
Posted by Ashley at 11:53 AM
Monday, September 8, 2008
My first birthday present...sorta. Today my wonderful husband bought me a curling iron, it is pretty cool, has a couple of attachments:) I have been complaining about my ugly hair for a couple days now, talking about cutting it all off even though I am supposedly letting it grow out. Well finally it occurred to me that I might like my hair better if I was actually doing something with it. How nice can I expect it too look if i never blowdry it or just throw it in a pony tail? So instead of chopping and later regretting it I am now committed to doing my hair (assuming it doesnt get super hot again:). But it technically wasnt my first birthday present because my Brother-in-law and sister-in-law Fran and Rebekah, gave us both money for our birthdays last week! I would go shopping, but...I dunno just not overly into buying clothes with my changing shape:) Friday... is the big day and we are excited!!!! I probably wont sleep thursday night; we will both be so happy either way if we are having a boy or a girl, but we can hardly wait just to know. (Then we will start working on names)
Posted by Ashley at 12:10 PM
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Hurray! We got to watch the Auburn game! I know I am SO American right?:) I forgot how much I enjoy football season. I have to admit that (of course) other than family members and friends-who we miss ALOT. This was my first experience missing "something" from the states (other than larger cans of tuna jeje:). I truly enjoy watching college football, (and NFL.) But I got to thinking of how at work every Friday practically all the gals who cared at least a little bit would wear our college team T-shirts, and give each other a hard time about who would win or lose over the weekend (most of us were smart enought to be Auburn fans though) Either way I really enjoyed a little bit of football:) Also another bright spot to my day...It is not HOT here, for right now it has cooled of very nicely and I am loving it. think that was another reason fall has always been my favorite season in the States, because after the hot summer -especially in Alabama-it is always so nice when the weather first starts cooling off, and it is so perfect you could literally be outside all day! Also Alberto and Matt went this morning and we officially have keys to the church! YUHU time to get busy! God is so good, even the little things He chooses to bless us with!
Posted by Ashley at 2:37 PM
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Well I went to the Doctor yesterday, to get the results of my labwork. After waiting and a funny story regarding confusion over my name...they called me back as Sshley Rene Puente, and found my paperwork under Ashley Smipley:) Alberto continues to try to convince me to change my name to something spanish :)! Anyway the point is Praise the Lord all the bloodwork and urine tests were perfectly fine :) So it was a blessing. Next Friday...ultrasound! The baby has been moving alot which is awesome. Keep us in your prayers.
Posted by Ashley at 1:44 PM
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Hurray! Alberto is officially 22yrs old!!!! (We are temporarily the same age.) Today we celebrated by...going to buy Alberto's icecream cake...which was delicious! And we went and exchanged a present. The other day I bought him a pair of indoor soccer shoes, and a knee brace. The shoes were wonderful , but the knee brace was too small, so we had to get him a bigger one. He is hoping to be able to play soccer up in the park, where there are always a ton of young people, this will be a great oppurtunity and open door to get to know some of the young men. Please pray that everything goes well with his knee, he has not truly played soccer since his injury. Anyway back to the birthday festivities... Matt, Pilar and the girls got Alberto some wonderful smelling cologne from Zara. We took a wonderful walk for about an hour and then the birthday boy won a game of Monopoly:). I would post some pictures, etc. but I had the video camera and although I thought I taped us singing Happy Birthday and the blowing out of the candles I actually started taping after all that when I thought I was stopping it, oops! So I missed mostly everything, except the devouring of the cake:) I am very blessed to have a wonderful husband and pray that God blesses him with many more Birthdays!
Posted by Ashley at 2:53 PM
Monday, September 1, 2008
Tommorrow is my husband's 22nd birthday!!!! yyyuuuhhhuu. Gotta go look for a cake. :)
Posted by Ashley at 8:56 AM
Friday, August 29, 2008
Well Alberto had a job interview this morning, and it was clearly not the job that God has for him, the hours would not have worked for the ministry at all; also it was a comission only job. I have started reading John R. Rice's book "Prayer : Asking & Recieving" I have read this book before for a college class, but it is a great book that covers the basics of prayer. I started reading the 2nd chapter today and it led me right to Matthew 6, where scripture talks about, not worrying about what to wear or eat etc. Although at times it may seem difficult, I was thoroughly encouraged by this passage, God will provide for us and we do not need to worry or be anxious about it, we need to PRAY. What struggles are you facing? troubles? difficulties? God does not promise the Christian will have a perfect life, but He promises to take care of us. How many times do we have not, because we ask not? Please pray with us that God will provide a job for Alberto and that God will do great things here in Granada.
Posted by Ashley at 10:14 AM
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Yesterday evening Alberto and I went grocery shopping! yyyuuuuhhhhuuu!!! What more excitement could there be in this life?!?!? :) not that we hadnt been shopping before, we have ; but not for a weeks worth of groceries. For those of you who know me very very very well, (like my mom who probably wont read this anyway:) whatever, you know that I am a little obsessive compulsive... in the States whenever I got groceries at Walmart, my list began with the things that you find at the back part of the store and worked its way up to the front of the store...so all the dairy products were together, meat products together, etc... and since my list was in the same order that I walked through the store I didnt forget anything:) I also check out and put groceries away in a perfectly schemed plan. Although yesterday, My list was not perfectly ordered, and we had to LOOK for some things, we got it all done without forgetting anything on the list. We stood like weirdos in the Mexican food section adrmiring the good selection, while plotting all the wonderful Mexican dishes we could attempt to make. We miss all the fresh authentic Mexican food from the wonderful families of the Spanish Church in Madison:) Either way, we were successful and I learned to relax a little bit about my grocery shopping:) First experiences can be fun if you take the time to enjoy them!....
Posted by Ashley at 7:46 AM
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Ok so I have to admit to not being soooooo patient... I have been checking out all the old wives tales and little gender prediction quizzes on the internet. You know... they ask you all those little questions...are you carrying low??? do you crave sweets??? is your rear end bigger???(aaaahhh I hope not!) etc.... anyway after some time in this type of foolishness I have to say that surprisingly most of the questionares say it will be a boy... ofcourse they give this ridiculous percentage all of them say there is like a 50-55% chance it is a boy so how reliable is that???? but quess we will have to just keep waiting:) I am still hoping for a girl, especially since recently we have reached a slight dilemma with the boy names...I am still liking Raul, but Alberto is starting to prefer a couple other names (aren't I supposed to be the wishy-washy one???:) All the more reason for it to be a girl, she still has a name (hahahaha!) Please keep us and baby in your prayers!
Posted by Ashley at 9:36 AM
We are just back from Villacarillo. We went for just a couple of days with Matt and Pilar, while Alberto's Grandfather, Uncle, Aunt, and cousins from Madrid were there. It was very relaxing. I enjoyed getting to see more of Spain...even the small town life:)
Posted by Ashley at 6:36 AM
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Praise the Lord! God has opened doors for a wonderful location for the church here in Granada. It is in a busy street and already has a great set-up, needing minimal work. Check out the pictures at spainforchrist.com, there is a link there to see about 30 pictures of the 1044 sq. ft. building! Please continue to pray that God would provide us with the funds necessary to get this work going. We serve an awesome all-powerful God!
Posted by Ashley at 10:22 AM
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Please Pray!!! We have found a possible location for the church, please pray that God will give us wisdom. It is in a very good location, so that is a blessing , needs very little work; but we are praying and really trying to seek God's will. Please keep this in your prayers as a decision needs to be made within the next couple of days.
Posted by Ashley at 11:27 AM
Well I went to the Dr. and they ordered lab work so that was great! They also set me up an appoointment for an ultrasound so we can find out what we are having!!! Hooray!!! Only my apt. is not until the 12 of september, quess I am learning patience:)
Posted by Ashley at 11:24 AM
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Praise the Lord! I have a doctor's appointment this coming Monday. We went this morning to the distrito sanitaria, and they gave me temporary paperwork to go to the Dr. This paperwork is only temporary because in about two-three weeks when Alberto's paperwork is processed then I will be under his name. However, since I am pregnant I can recieve care until all that paperwork is taken care of. God is so good! Lord willing everything will be well with the baby and I can have an ultrasound VERY soon to find out what we are having:) Thank you for your prayers...please continue.
Posted by Ashley at 12:38 PM
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
God has given us so many blessings I can not even begin to share them all. I was reading in my devotions in Proverbs and Psalms. On more than one occasion the Bible speaks of how it is better to dwell in the corner of a rooftop than in a large house with a contentious wife. Now if you know me, you know that I am not a contentious person, but sometimes whether it is in our personality or not we all tend to nag a little bit. Every once in a while I catch myself nagging my wonderful husband or maybe treating him like a child (yrs. of daycare doesnt excuse this I know:) I am so thankful for the wonderful husband He gave me. It amazes me that God has given me such a wonderful man I do not deserve. Since being here in Spain we have been faced with new challenges.....paperwork, decisions, etc. Alberto has been so great through all the waiting, etc. have we gotten frustrated? sure...like when the gps tells you to turn down a one-way street the wrong way, and instead of rerouting you it repeatedly takes you back to the same place to try to get you to do the same thing you CAN NOT do!!! Or when we had to get up super early in the morning to wait in a line for two hours to apply for residency:) We are praising God for each experience and that with the right attitude each of these things draws us closer to God and closer to one another. It is one of the greatest blessings of my life to be here with my awesome husband. We have been together for six and a half yrs.; just that God has brought us here to Spain to serve Him is a answer to our prayers from all those years. We know that God will continue to provide and take care of us here, but while we are praising the Lord for His help and the circumstances and things around us He is working out for us ...I wanted to take a minute to thank Him for the sweet man beside me, everyday! (I LOVE you honey!)
Posted by Ashley at 2:25 PM
We have been in Granada for over a week now; it is unbelievable how quickly time goes by. We are super excited to be meeting new people here, and are earnestly praying for their souls. Alberto is still looking for a job. Pray that God opens doors. Everything is going well with the pregnancy and baby. We are praying to get in to see a Dr. tomorrow, after finishing up some paperwork. Lord willing I will be able to have an ultrasound and if our sweet little baby is not overly shy or modest, we should be able to find out if it is a boy or girl:)
Posted by Ashley at 12:06 PM