Tag Archives: grace


Include people in your conversations. People who you wouldn’t normally include.
Include people in your walk with Christ.
Include people in your dreams.
Include people in your life mission.
Expand your circle.

If it’s hard for you, pray for a compassionate heart. It will change your life as it has changed mine.

I know I have a compassionate heart because now, instead of judging the sinful condition of others, I feel sadness and a desire to encourage them to seek God and His ways. Before, my mind would go immediately into judging mode. Now, it goes into compassion mode.

Compassion: A feeling of sympathy for someone in a bad situation because you understand and care about them.

Through my Chaplain job, God is growing me at a fast pace. My heart is continuously being transformed into a kind of compassion I never felt before. It’s sometimes painful because He’s confronting my judgmental nature (that can hide behind righteous anger). I’m open to His correction and He’s teaching me.

One thing that makes me grumpy (among many other things 🤦🏻‍♀️) is when I feel people are excluding others. Especially those who are not in their circle. And worse when it’s those in the Christian family. But hey! Not everyone is like me. The only thing left for me to do is to pray for inclusion and to let God work in their heart and fill them with compassion for other people. And bring awareness, like what I’m doing now.

*Feeling and showing compassion for others is not condoning sin but being able to encourage someone to allow God to transform them into His likeness. Through our compassion, we are sharing God’s love with others. That’s one of our responsibilities, being the hands and feet of Jesus. What did He do with sinners? Show compassion.

Let’s follow His example!

Using “But” in Our Prayers

“God, _____ , BUT _____ .” Do you find yourself using the word “but” in your prayers? At least I do. And if you do as well, you’re in good company. 😉

This morning, while praying, I asked for grace, but for a specific type of grace. Immediately after, I felt a nudge in my heart, and I stood corrected. I changed it to, “Forgive me, God, instead of BUT I ask You for Your will to be done.”

My prayer was, “God, give me grace, BUT …”

Who am I to ask God to give me something, but in a way that would please or benefit me and not Him? Who am I? A servant of God who asks Him to do His will in my life and allow me to use the spiritual gifts He gave me to advance His Kingdom. But then I ask Him to do it my way instead of His’? Unbelievable, Dee. 😕

Nevertheless, in situations like those and in moments of poor prayers like the one I prayed for, the extraordinary Holy Spirit activates in us and reminds us what we should pray for. Are we listening so we can stand corrected immediately after? I was. I hope you are too.

I love what Jesus said in John 14:26, “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have told you.”

Let me go into nerd mode for a moment. 🤓 I love how some translations use the word advocate. Do you know what it means? I am glad you asked. The Greek word is paraklētos, and per the Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, it means, in the broadest sense, a helper, succourer, aider, or assistant. 

This is what the Holy Spirit did for me in that prayer and continuously does for us, the believers:

  • He brought to my attention the portion of the Lord’s prayer—the model prayer He taught to His disciples—that reads, “Your will be done.” I must always pray for His will to be done. Not mine. 
  • As our advocate, He leads us to a more profound knowledge of the gospel truth and gives us the divine strength to do the work He has called us to do on behalf of His Kingdom.

If He opened a door, He will provide the divine strength. The only thing I need to do is to deeper my relationship with Him and remain in communion with Him. Then, He will do as He pleases. For His glory and His glory only. I am His hands and feet on the earth.

The same applies to you. Let us remember, we have been DEPLOYED!

Remain steadfast in the faith my friends, brothers and sisters in Christ. The work may be frustrating, tiring, and sometimes disappointing, but OH, the rewards are ETERNAL! Good needs us! Let’s get our armor straight and keep moving! God goes before US!!!

Who says “yes”?

Why Did I Do That Again?

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Have you ever beaten yourself on the head for stuff you wish you had done differently or not at all? I bet you have if you’re a human. Whether it’s in your marriage, in parenting, as a son/daughter, you can rest in this Word: God is GOOD and FORGIVING, ABOUNDING in STEADFAST LOVE, to whom??????? TO ALL WHO CALL UPON HIM!

No, I’m not yelling at you. I’m just adding emphasis to the most critical parts of the verse, so your brain can grasp it more effectively.

God’s goodness is ABUNDANT, which He has STORED UP; for whom???????? For those who FEAR Him. His goodness He has worked, for whom????? For those who TAKE REFUGE in Him. (Psalm 31:19, ESV)

Do you love Him? Do you fear Him? Do you take refuge in Him? Is He the Lord of your life? Well, you’re 100% guaranteed that He will work everything for good. If you haven’t, bring the stuff you’ve done wrong BOLDLY upon His throne of grace so you may obtain mercy. And He, in His abundant, plentiful, enduring, and satisfying goodness, will restore everything you’ve lost. It doesn’t matter which type of relationship you have lost anything, but HE WILL RESTORE IT, for what????? For His glory!!! It’s not because of who we are, but because of WHO HE IS!! He’s GOOD!!! He’s KIND!!! And He wants us to live life, but to live it ABUNDANTLY!!!

No more beating yourself on the head. Go to Him; He’s GOT YOU!!! ❤️


¿Alguna vez te has golpeado en la cabeza por cosas que desearías haber hecho diferente, o peor aún, que no debiste hacer? Apuesto a que sí, si en realidad eres un humano. Ya sea en tu matrimonio, en la crianza de los hijos, como hijo / hija. Pero puedes descansar en esta Palabra: Dios es BUENO y PERDONADOR, ABUNDANTE en MISERICORDIA, ¿Para quién ??????? ¡PARA CON TODOS LOS QUE LE INVOCAN!

No, no te estoy gritando. Solo estoy agregando énfasis a las partes más importantes del verso bíblico, para que tu cerebro pueda comprenderlo de manera más efectiva.

La bondad de Dios es ABUNDANTE, que ha GUARDADO, ¿Para quién???????? Para los que le TEMEN. Su bondad ha OBRADO, ¿Para quién????? Para los que en Él SE REFUGIAN. (Salmo 31:19, NVI)

¿Lo amas? ¿Eres temeroso? ¿Te refugias en Él? ¿Es Él el Señor de tu vida? Si has contestado afirmativamente, entonces estás 100% garantizado de que Él trabajará todo para bien, a tu favor.

Mas si no lo has hecho, simplemente trae las cosas que has hecho mal, audazmente, ante Su trono de gracia para que puedas obtener misericordia. Y Él, en Su bondad abundante, grande, infinita, duradera y satisfactoria, restaurará todo lo que has perdido. No importa en qué tipo de relación hayas perdido algo, pero EL RESTAURARÁ, ¿Para qué????? Para su gloria !!! ¡No es por lo que somos, sino por QUIÉN ES ÉL! ¡¡¡Él es bueno!!! Él es amable! ¡Y Él quiere que vivamos la vida, pero que la vivamos ABUNDANTEMENTE!

No más golpes en la cabeza. El enemigo quiere que estés ocupado en tus pensamientos de derrota. Pues no, no le des el gusto. Acércate a Dios, ÉL ESTÁ AHÍ PARA TI! ❤️

Growing Up in Church

Have you ever heard the saying, “Everyone sees who you are but does not know the story?” Well, I have, especially in Spanish. “Todos ven quién eres, pero no conocen la historia.”

I take a lot of pride when someone asks me how long have I known Christ. Why? Because I grew up in church. My mom started taking my brother and me to church when I was around 4 years old. However, growing up in church was difficult, at least for me. Our walk in Christ was based on following rules; it was more about the things we couldn’t do than the things we could do. Things I could not do: Go to the movie theater, wear makeup or jewelry, wear pants, denim skirts, or sleeveless shirts; cut hair short, paint nails, and on, and on, and on. I remember one time, when I was like 15 years old, I wore bangs to my Bible Institute graduation and the pastor asked me to put my bangs back—I have the picture to prove it—. I begrudgingly submitted.

Psalm 1:1 was used to describe why Christians should not do those things, especially going to the movie theater. That Scripture reads, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers.” It was the lack of use of hermeneutics that allowed whoever was in charge to set up those rules. Now I know, “context determines meaning.” Thank you, Hermeneutics professor and Manna U. In only 10 months, you have become such a pivotal part of my spiritual (theological understanding) healing.

I stayed in that church until I was 20 years old. I loved God with all my heart, soul, and mind. That means that I wanted to follow every single rule. I did not want to go to Hell and burn for eternity—yes, that was what would happen had I not followed all the rules to a t—. I wanted to be perfect. God wanted perfection—or so I was taught—. That put an enormous pressure on me as I was growing up. I wanted to do everything right regardless of the cost. I was quick to judge my friends who did not follow the rules; there was no gray shades for me; everything was black and white. No grace, only judgment.

Sometimes I would think to myself and rant about it to other people, “why is it that we can’t do this or that but other Christians in other churches can? They look so blessed, joyful, and you can see the love of Jesus flow through them.” They were liberal Christians who would get different rewards when they got to Heaven. Whatever!

When Gabriel was born, Orlando and I decided that we did not want to raise him in that environment. We had enough! We started attending another church and God started teaching new things to us, about His grace and love for us. It has taken 20 years and I still learn new things about God’s grace every day. But I am not where I was—thank you, Lord!—. God has shown me His amazing grace and continues to do. Every. Single. Day.

I no longer live trying to do and be in my own strength. I now ask God to give me the grace to do what He called me to do. I need His grace. His grace is sufficient. Through His grace I am transformed, changed, renewed. Into His likeness. I am “being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18b

This is my story. This is the way I remember it. I do not hold resentment against anyone; my heart has no place for that. And this is the way I choose to share it. On my blog. Unapologetically.

This is the picture I was talking about where I had to put back my bangs

Introduction Book Grace by Max Lucado

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, grace is defined as follows:

  • Unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration or sanctification.
  • A virtue coming from God.
  • A state of sanctification enjoyed through divine assistance.
  • Approval, favor.
  • Mercy, pardon.
  • A special favor: privilege.
  • Disposition to or an act or instance of kindness, courtesy, or clemency.

According to the Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary, when used to refer of divine grace toward mankind, it refers to the undeserved favor of God in providing salvation to those deserving condemnation. In the more specific Christian sense, it speaks of the saving activity of God that is manifested in the gift of his Son to die in the place of sinners.

The New Testament (NT) word for grace is the Greek charis. It is used approximately 150 times in the NT. The vast majority appear in the Pauline letters with a wide range of meanings.

Paul’s most frequent and theologically significant use of charis is to refer to the grace of God. Twenty-five times he uses the expressions “grace of God” or “grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.” There is no intended difference in the expressions. On one occasion he combines the terms with the expression “the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thess. 1:12 HCSB). Commonly he refers to “His grace,” which has either God or Christ as its antecedent. For Paul, the grace of God is not so much a timeless attribute as an activity of God. It is the redeeming activity of God that manifests itself in the redemptive work of Christ by which sinners are forgiven and accepted by God. In Paul’s thought, the grace of God is necessary because of man’s total inability to do anything to save himself and because of man’s unworthiness to be saved. Paul’s use of grace to refer to the undeserved nature of God’s salvation was particularly illustrated by his own experience. His former life as a persecutor of Christians caused him to have a profound sense of his own unworthiness. It was only because of the grace of God that Christ appeared to him, changed him, and appointed him to be an apostle (1 Cor. 15:9-10; 1 Tim. 1:12-14).

Paul’s sense of grace was so pervasive that he refers to it at the beginning and end of every one of his letters. For him, the Christian life is summed up in the grace of God. Salvation from beginning to end is all of grace. There can be no mixture of grace and works, or else it would not be grace (Rom. 11:6-7). Grace is synonymous with the gospel of Christ, and to depart from it is to turn to a false gospel (Gal. 1:6). It was the grace of God that planned salvation for sinners in eternity past before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4; 2 Tim. 1:9). It was grace that provided salvation in the historical death of Christ (Rom. 3:24). It is grace that enables one to appropriate salvation, for it calls one to salvation, reveals Christ, and even gives faith which is the condition of salvation (Gal. 1:6, 15; Eph. 2:8 -9; Phil. 1:29). It is the grace of God that calls and equips one for service in the Christian life (Rom. 15:15-16; 1 Cor. 3:10). Very much like Luke in Acts, Paul speaks of God’s grace as a power, almost as a person. The grace of God was something that was with him, produced labor, humility, godliness, and sustained him in times of difficulty (1 Cor. 15:10; 2 Cor. 1:12; 12:7-10). Everything, therefore, from first to last is of grace.

In the General Epistles and Revelation, charis appears 24 times, most of them in Hebrews and 1 Peter. It has the full range of meanings found in the Pauline letters, the Gospels, and Acts. In Hebrews, grace is related to the atoning death of Christ (2:9). It is grace that allows us to come to God boldly for “help in time of need” (4:16). It is grace that strengthens the heart of the believer by which he is equipped with everything good to do the will of God (13:5). It is used in the secular sense of “thanksgiving” or “gratitude” in Hebrews 12:28. In James, grace is used to refer to a power given to the humble to resist the devil and avoid spiritual adultery (4:6-7). In the Petrine letters, grace has its source in God (1 Pet. 5:10) and has a manifold nature (1 Pet. 4:10). Peter equates grace with salvation and, like Paul, sees salvation as grace from beginning to end. It was prophesied by the prophets, fulfilled by the sufferings of Christ, applied to people by a sovereign calling (1 Pet. 1:10-11; 5:10), and equips believers to serve (1 Pet. 4:10-11 ). All believers stand in a grace relationship with God, both men and women (1 Pet. 5:12; 3:7). The way to avoid being led astray by Satan into unfaithfulness is to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 3:18). Charis is found only in the closing verses of Revelation. However, the NT closes very appropriately with a benediction of grace (Rev. 22:21).

In Max Lucado’s book Grace, he exhorts us to see the word grace as a verb, not a noun. Grace is not something that already exists, but something that has to be acted upon.

We receive grace through the sacrifice of the Son of God, Jesus Christ. Therefore, we can extend it to others through kindness, forgiveness, understanding, mercy, and favor.

My Family

“In the home where there is a brave father and a wise mother, there is an indestructible strength.” Anonymous

Hello! First of all, welcome to our blog! My name is Dee and I am the mother and the wife. I am very happy that you have visited us. Giving Freely began on September 12, 2020. Long before then, I had considered blogging. Well, I had one blog called Nuestra Familia, Nuestro Blog in 2014. Having a blog is a way to fulfill the desire I’ve always had to write. Thank you for taking from your valuable time to read us.

About Moi:

1. I was born in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, where I lived until I was 12 years old, and then from 18 to 20 years old. I have also lived in the following places:

  • Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico
  • Huntsville, Alabama
  • Kitzingen, Germany
  • Wichita Falls, Texas
  • Fort Rucker, Alabama
  • Phenix City, Alabama
  • And now in South Carolina

2. At the age of 4, I suffered from nephrotic syndrome. It is a medical condition in which the kidneys allow protein to leak into the urine. Because of that, I was admitted to the hospital for about a month.

3. I have a master’s degree in Information Technology (IT), Information Assurance and Security.

4. I have worked in the areas of customer service, real estate, IT, and lately as a teacher (bilingual and substitute).

5. Since May 2018, my husband and I have been on the ketogenic diet, also known as Keto.

6. I’m not perfect and my grammar isn’t perfect either.

The Three Men of my Life:

Enough about me. Now I have to talk about the men who have the key to my heart: a king and two princes, the three loves of my life. I am in love and will be for the rest of my life!

My husband, the papa bear, is an exceptional man, who above all things loves God. He is meek, humble, loving, patient; a gift from God for my life and for the lives of our children. We met when I was in middle school and have been inseparable ever since. He is without a doubt the man that God separated for me, my best friend, my confidant. But he is not the only man in my life …

… Because he has to share me with two others: my princes. With the big freckled one and the one with green eyes. Gabriel Andrés (18 years old) and Japheth (14 years old) are the fruit of our love, our treasures. Since they were both born, they have filled us with great happiness. Gabe is outgoing, comical, and sociable. He enjoys learning about various subjects, reading, watching movies, and playing World of Warcraft, among others. Japheth, on the other hand, is kind, curious, and detailed. He enjoys watching YouTube videos, taking electronics apart (as his father did when he was that age) and putting them back together, and playing video games. They are both different, but with charming qualities. We never get bored with them because they always have something interesting or funny to say.

Anyway, that’s us, although maybe it’s more than you wanted to know about our family.

Mi Familia

“En el hogar donde hay un padre valiente y una madre prudente, hay una fortaleza indestructible.” Anónimo

¡Hola! Primero que todo, ¡bienvenido(a) a nuestro blog! Mi nombre es Damaris y yo soy la mamá y la esposa. Estoy requetecontenta de que nos hayas visitado. Giving Freely comenzó el 12 de septiembre de 2020. Mucho antes de esa fecha, había considerado tener un blog. Es más, tuve uno que se llamaba Nuestra Familia, Nuestro Blog en el 2014. Tener un blog es una manera de cumplir el deseo que siempre he tenido de escribir. Gracias por sacar de tu valioso tiempo para leernos.

Acerca de Moi:

1. Nací en Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, donde viví hasta que tenía 12 años, y luego desde los 18 a los 20 años. También he vivido en los siguientes lugares:

  • Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico
  • Huntsville, Alabama
  • Kitzingen, Alemania
  • Wichita Falls, Texas
  • Fort Rucker, Alabama
  • Phenix City, Alabama
  • Y ahora en una ciudad de Carolina del Sur

2. A la edad de 4 años sufrí de síndrome nefrótico. Es una condición médica en la cual los riñones permiten la filtración de proteínas a la orina. Debido a eso, estuve ingresada alrededor de un mes en el hospital.

3. Poseo una maestría en Tecnología de la Información o Information Technology (IT, por sus siglas en inglés), específicamente Information Assurance and Security.

4. He trabajado en las áreas de servicio al cliente, bienes raíces, IT, y últimamente como maestra (bilingüe y sustituta).

5. Desde mayo de 2018, mi esposo y yo seguimos la dieta cetogénica, también conocida como Keto.

6. No soy perfecta y mi gramática tampoco lo es.

Los Tres Hombres de mi Vida:

Ya que sabes mucho de mí, ahora me toca hablar de los dueños de mi corazón: un rey y dos príncipes, los tres amores de mi vida. ¡Estoy enamorada y lo estaré por el resto de mi vida!

Mi esposo, el papá de los pollitos, es un hombre excepcional, que sobre todas las cosas, ama a Dios. Es manso, humilde, amoroso, paciente; un regalo de Dios para mi vida y para la vida de nuestros hijos. Nos conocimos cuando yo estaba en escuela intermedia y hemos sido inseparables desde entonces. Es sin duda alguna el hombre que Dios separó para mí, mi mejor amigo, mi confidente. Pero él no es el único hombre en mi vida…

…porque me tiene que compartir con otros dos: mis príncipes. Con el pecosito cachetón y con el de ojos verdes. Gabriel Andrés (18 años) y Japheth (14 años) son el fruto de nuestro amor, nuestros tesoros. Desde que ambos nacieron, nos han llenado de mucha felicidad. Gabe es extrovertido, cómico y sociable. Le gusta aprender sobre diversos temas, leer, ver películas y jugar World of Warcraft, entre otros. Japheth, por otro lado, es juicioso, curioso y detallista. Le gusta leer, ver vídeos en YouTube, desarmar electrónicos (como lo hacía su padre cuando tenía esa edad) y jugar videojuegos. Ambos son diferentes, pero con cualidades encantadoras. Nunca nos aburrimos con ellos porque siempre tienen algo interesante o cómico qué decir.
En fin, esos somos nosotros, aunque quizás es más de lo que querías saber sobre nuestra familia.

“En el hogar donde hay un padre valiente y una madre prudente, hay una fortaleza indestructible.” Anónimo

Get to Know Me / Conóceme

Who am I? Well, my name is Damaris, but since my name is hard to pronounce in English for most people, I ask them to just call me Dee. Especially when I tell my name to the Starbucks baristas. I was born in Puerto Rico, but left the island in 2002 when my husband joined the Army. We’ve lived in Hunstville, Alabama; Kitzingen, Germany; Wichita Falls, Texas; Fort Rucker, Alabama; Phenix City, Alabama; and now we are living in the Midlands, South Carolina since August 2016.

I am a daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, niece; but the titles I am most proud of are wife and mother. I married my middle school sweetheart in the year 2000 after dating for 7 years. My firstborn son, Gabriel Andres, was born in November 2001. My secondborn, Japheth, was born in July 2006. They have taught me grace. As a perfectionist (One on the Enneagram), I want everything to be done right, no faults, no mistakes. But they have taught me that there’s beauty in imperfection. Grace is the most beautiful gift I have received through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. So if I want to live a life that honors Him and His sacrifice, I must extend grace to others, especially to those closest to me.

Why this blog?

  • I love learning. But I do not like to keep things to myself. I like to tell others about everything I am learning or have learned. Actually, Jesus tells the disciples in Matthew 10:8, “Freely you have received; freely give.” God has given me gifts, talents, and abilities; not to keep them to myself, but to share them with everyone around me.
  • I love when other people learn.


¿Quién soy? Bueno, mi nombre es Damaris, pero como mi nombre es difícil de pronunciar en inglés para la mayoría de las personas, les pido que simplemente que me llamen Dee. Especialmente cuando les doy mi nombre a los baristas de Starbucks. Nací en Puerto Rico, pero dejé la isla en 2002 cuando mi esposo se unió al Ejército de Estados Unidos (US Army). Hemos vivido en Hunstville, Alabama; Kitzingen, Alemania; Wichita Falls, Texas; Fort Rucker, Alabama; Phenix City, Alabama; y ahora vivimos en Midlands, Carolina del Sur desde agosto de 2016.

Soy hija, hermana, tía, prima, sobrina; pero los títulos de los que estoy más orgullosa son el de esposa y madre. Me casé con mi novio de la escuela secundaria en el año 2000 después de un noviazgo de 7 años. Mi primogénito, Gabriel Andrés, nació en noviembre de 2001. Mi segundo hijo, Jafet, nació en julio de 2006. Me han enseñado la gracia. Como perfeccionista (Uno en el Eneagrama), quiero que todo se haga bien, sin fallas, sin errores. Pero ellos me han enseñado que hay belleza en la imperfección. La gracia es el regalo más hermoso que he recibido a través del sacrificio de Jesús en la cruz. Entonces, si quiero vivir una vida que lo honre a Él y a Su sacrificio, debo extender la gracia a los demás, especialmente a los más cercanos a mí.

¿Por qué este blog?

  • Porque me encanta aprender. Pero no me gusta guardarme las cosas para mí solamente. Me gusta contarles a los demás todo lo que estoy aprendiendo o he aprendido. En realidad, Jesús les dijo a los discípulos en Mateo 10:8, “De gracia recibisteis, dad de gracia.” Dios me ha dado dones, talentos y habilidades; no para guardarlos para mí, sino para compartirlos con todos los que me rodean.
  • Porque me encanta cuando otras personas aprenden.