Broken Into Beautiful

I am snuggling in our RV listening to the rain, and thinking, and working, and perusing Facebook. Multi-tasking, but in a comfy way! LOL.

Look at what sand looks like close up! (see link below)

This is so beautiful! Look at what sand looks like close up. Makes me think about what we must look like to the Lord. We might be broken, and pounded, and pulverized so much so that we feel unrecognizable. That our true self is somehow too broken to be remotely beautiful or useful. Then you look closer, and see you have been broken into something so beautiful, only those who have eyes to see, can see all your magnificent pieces. This is what I got just by looking at this picture. Amazing huh?!!

I admit seeing the rain pour down, and it being an El Niño year (rainy year); this would have been so awesome for our palms. Sometimes, I’m still in shock that we don’t have any of it. This is why perspective is so important. We might see JUST SAND, but in reality it is so much more. Sometimes we only see what we choose to see when we suffer.

https://educateinspirechange.org/science-technology/sand-looks-magnified-300-times

Short, Spicy & Sweet Update #1

It’s been a while since I have written! I know some of you want to know how we are doing. This triple S (short, spicy, and sweet) will be my ‘short and sweet’ update.

HOW ARE WE DOING?
We are doing well! It’s about perspective right? But sometimes the pain oozes back up and bites us like a gnarly chile pepper. Needless to say, tears have been shed still.

We have had to say ‘sorry – forgive me’ many more times than we would like to admit.

We have had to learn MORE patience, MORE gentleness, MORE thoughtfulness than ever before. Yet, that is actually a GOOD thing. Just not easy.

All the changes and challenges are still working themselves out. I know in time we will adjust, find our rhythm, and what works. But not knowing that right now, screams failure to me. So, that is when I have to fill my soul and heart with truth. Pictures show adventures….but they don’t always give the full story.

We are still choosing ADVENTURE over DISASTER. Really whether in a big home, average home, expansive property or not; attitude is a choice. It really is taking me years to learn this, and I have to accept that learning is not overnight. We learn through life’s ups and downs, through loss, or through abundance. We can take the spicy, and add sweetness to it!

Which reminds me! Have you ever tried fried wantons with a sweet and spicy sauce? It’s soooo good. You get wonton wrappers fill it with cream cheese fry them until golden or you can bake them. Then you get asian chile sauce and mix equal parts with either cranberry sauce (holiday-style), or orange marmalade.

Your loving,
Sassy Serrano
a.k.a Spicy Mama
a.k.a. Wild Style
a.k.a. Ms. Adventure
a.k.a. I’ve been eating too much I better stop Mama, but I can’t because food is too good.
a.k.a. I better stop now

Maybe Christmas ….Perhaps …Means A Little Bit More

A few days ago I was listening to some octogenarians talk about life, and their worries this side of heaven. I was working on my laptop in the adult lounge of our RV park, and was blessed by their conversation, and I snickered about some things too. 

I listened with my heart as an elderly woman told me about how she use to own strip malls, and a large embroidery business. How she had millions, and suddenly lost her health, and consequently her life’s work. She shared about her childhood, and being left in the middle of nowhere accidentally, because her father was impatient to get gasoline while on a road trip. Her father taught her how to survive in the great outdoors because he was part Native American, and instilled an appreciation of nature. Now her and her husband of over 40 years travel on a home on wheels. They are happy, healthier, and still in love.

That little 30 minute conversation amplified the reasons why we were placed on this nomadic journey.

THINGS NEVER REPLACE PEOPLE, MEMORIES & MOMENTS

I couldn’t help to relate to her in some ways. I know how it feels to loose everything. Before we were faced with having to leave our palm nursery behind, we had lost everything 10 years prior. Our life’s work, our beautiful home, and even some friendships were washed away by the housing crash of 2008. And the lesson I learned was the same: things never replace people, memories, or moments. You can rebuild. You can reinvent yourself again. You can still dare to hope.

MAYBE CHRISTMAS…PERHAPS…MEANS A LITTLE BIT MORE

I remember there was a time when we had the big beautiful house that was much grander than we needed; the nice cars, the piles of shoes, and closets full of clothes never worn. I remember the Christmas’ full of gifts that were not needed, and lists that were not necessary, and the stress that was not healthy. And even though, I remembered, for a small moment I began to feel bad that I wasn’t giving my kids all of those things.

In the famous story The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, the main character, The Grinch, realized that Christmas is more than just fluff and stuff. I, like the Grinch, am realizing the fluff and stuff is not needed to create a meaningful Christmas for the kids. In a way, I am thankful for this journey because the simplicity of this life actually unshackles the soul from the stress and the expectations that holiday commercialism can place on a family.

Even though we have a lot less of what we use to have….we have a lot more of what we need…..and that makes for the best Christmas ever.

So, bring on the socks and underwear! That’s all we need.

Merry Christmas Loved Ones!
One Spicy Bunch

Laugh Until You Pee Your Pants

I have been wanting to share with you all our misadventures lol. With getting our tiny home in order, figuring out so many little details, having to troubleshoot some issues, and fixing huge mistakes, it has been difficult to share with you our 3rd week of RV’ing. 

Today was a day, you just gotta laugh. Why? Because if you don’t…..the bottled up pressures can cause a soul to combust! And I’m kind of tired of combusting. Where is the fun in that? We can make others miserable, and compound the already tough situations.

So let me just tell you.

DEPENDS WHERE ARE YOU? (And I mean the kind you buy at the store)

As some of you might know my love for kids and homeschool families morphed into a bonafide business.

Last week I had a Gloriously Grinchy field trip planned to The Grinch That Stole Christmas Musical at Balboa park. All of us (well some of us – because I can’t find my nice clothes) dressed to the nine’s, and were laughing and smiling and waiting to enter the theater when………families start to tell me they are being turned away! YES! You heard me! I got the wrong date!!!! I have never felt so mortified and ashamed in all my life. Children and moms, along with dads, dressed for a family date; and now they have to leave. (Seriously, even thinking about it now – I’m getting teary eyed.) Needless to say mid through my conversation with an obviously unhappy family, the dam broke. Yup! After being strong and moving forward with everything that has been happening, I could no longer control my tears. I wanted to crawl into a cave, and say goodbye to the world. But I couldn’t. I had to own up to my mistake, and make it right. Families – you know who you are and I am SOOOOOO SORRRRY! I honestly wish I had some Depends behind my tear ducts that could have soaked up all the tears. I am still recovering from the trauma.

Yet, I am so glad that my identity doesn’t depend on how perfect I am. I’m learning to apply grace to myself, and know that I will laugh about this one day; knowing that my Father loves me no matter what. 

STOP PEEING IN YOUR PANTS!

I don’t want to  embarrass any of my kiddos, if they happen to read this when they are older. So my dear child: I hope you got your fluids under control! lol

WHEN IT RAINS IT POURS

Today it rained for most of the day. We had 1 sick child and had to deal with the drama of that. It was quite hilarious my husband and I yelling at each other as if we were sailors in a storm trying to batten down the hatches! Ok! you take this box outside! I’ll clean up this mess here! Oh no! Let me shower them! Here take the towel! Don’t step there you’re going to get vomit on your socks! 

Then, we had a electrical outage and and having looked over every fuse, and then being perfectly ok, we realized all we needed to do was reset the GFI outlet. Duh.

LAUGH UNTIL YOU PEE YOUR PANTS

As in the wise words of Gene Kelly, “Gotta Laugh”.  There is a proverb that says, “Laughter does good like medicine.” Proverbs 17:22. Laughter is one way we triumph over our enemies. Laughter is a way we can tell our soul….”It is well”. Laughter is a form of joy. And again the lesson is…..JOY.IS.A.CHOICE. 

Maybe you are like me, and have endured a season of disappointments, discouragements, and disgruntles. Maybe the hopes were dashed for a time. Maybe the dreams got setback for a bit. But it doesn’t mean your time is not coming! Let’s keep the hope alive! We can do it one laughter at a time…..and work up to the point where you pee your pants. Alright, maybe not literally. But it can happen. lol. Especially after popping out a few youngins!

Grace, peace, love, and laughter!

One Spicy Bunch

Poop Pit or Positive Perspective?

Today marks a full week that we have been living our new nomadic life. I admit I have woken up in the morning questioning my sanity, and wondering what the heck did we do to have our lives so viciously uprooted. All the unknowns and variables sometimes leave me utterly perplexed. We did not have time to research, and plan this RV life! At the same time reading the prior – it makes me chuckle. Seriously? We can plan our life with every bit of detail we can, but there is only One who knows how our life will truly be directed in the end. We can plan until we are blue in the face, and then reality happens.

Enter our first week.

CLOSE THE POOP PIT

So, please remember this if you ever decide to own an RV/trailer…..CLOSE YOUR VALVES WHEN YOU FLUSH THE LINES! We did the mistake of flushing our gray water, and accidentally leaving the valve open for many hours. We came home to the smell of decomposing flesh and manure! We had no idea what that smell was! Man, it stunk up to high heaven! Thanks to a friend, a little Happy Camper Powder and some warm water took the smell away. I guess the stench matched my attitude. Can you say CRAPITUDE?!

DON’T FORGET THE PEE PEE PIT STOP

With all the hustle and bustle of reinventing our lives in our mobile domain, we forgot to remind our youngest to release all liquid from his system. In other words, pee before you go to bed. What happened next you ask? Why sure! Let me tell you! We got pee in the bed for every day of the week! Off to Walmart and a few stops to the laundromat and we are ready to go at it again. Then, it happens again! Geez kid….what are you an elephant?! Do you carry a river in your trunk? What’s up?!!!

BLESSED IS THE PERSON WHO HAS FRIENDS

The silver lining in all this is a beautiful thing called a friend. Who would have ever thought we would begin this unexpected adventure with friends?!! Our kids had a wonderful week of playing and cavorting and romping around with their buddies. We had a campfire, enjoyed the pool, and even took a crack at fishing! We had 5 families enjoying the week together. It was so special for our kids, and was a great experience in ushering us into this full-time RV stuff. (You know who you are – thank you my dear friends for making this shift less burdensome for us.)

PERSPECTIVE IS A CHOICE

I think this is pretty self explanatory. Perspective is truly a choice. Stress is a choice. Joy is a choice. Our life is what we make it. Yes, this was totally unexpected; but I don’t have to let my attitude continue to reek of rotten flesh and manure. I know that the choice is mine…..it’s either a disaster or an adventure. Which will I choose? If I’m brutally honest….it feels like a disaster….yet I will keep pressing forward in hopes of amazing adventures ahead. The kids are watching a Christmas movie and the old hymn called “His Eye Is On The Sparrow” is playing. This is truly perspective. Some of the lyrics say this: “Why should I feel discouraged, and why should the shadows come? Why should my heart feel lonely, and long for heaven and home? When Jesus is my portion, my constant friend is He. His Eye Is On The Sparrow, and I know He watches over me…..”

“Lord, this is not out of your control. We don’t know what the future holds, but we know you hold the future. Trusting you.”

Ok gotta run and tell the little guy he has to let the river flow! hahahah

Love to all!

Sassy Serrano & The Spicy Bunch

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When The Heat Gets Turned Up

You are probably reading this because you have followed us in our unexpected uprooting. If not, let me fill you in a little. Let’s take the short route.

Several weeks ago we were shockingly informed that we had to leave our home of 9 years. (We were given the impression that we would be there another 9 years or more). This place was our refuge, and also where all our children had been growing up together, and where we established our main business. We had to drastically uproot our lives, and leave our palm babies behind. In our lives the heat got turned up! And it has felt like, at times, we were scorching.

Without expecting it, or even daring to believe this would be an option for us; we were thrown into the life of a bonafide full-time RV’r. Yup! You heard us right. A full blown road traveling family. Saaaay whaaaat??!!! I know! I’m still in shock that I am writing you from our trailer. (I’ll give you a tour when we get settled.)

We don’t know where we will go or how. We don’t know where the provision will come from or how. We’ve had to minimize our possessions drastically, and then some. We’ve had to let go of so much in such a short amount of time. Yah! It stinks. Yah, I have totally failed the attitude test at times. Yet, I know that when God turns up the fires of refining in our lives, it is never without a purpose. And when the fire has finished up it’s purpose of removing all the impurities, it reveals a beautiful shining gemstone. So, one day soon we will shine so bright!

HOW OUR NAME CAME TO BE

I have been wondering how I would share our adventures or life experiences in this new life change, and a blog seemed to make the most sense. Our name comes from a joke I had made up about our family. A Jalapeño married a Serrano, and we had Habaneros…..we are one spicy bunch! Truth be told, we are all so fiery, who knows how this small enclosed space will turn out! But expect that we will make delicious things out of the heat and pressures of life. I think salsa is the perfect thing….don’t you?

Love you all, and of course BIG HUG!

Sassy Serrano

(Juan Jalapeño + Sassy Serrano + 3 Habaneros = One Spicy Bunch)

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton