Inspiring Latina | Liza

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What does being a Latina mean to you?:

Being unique and authentic, staying true to my roots and culture.

What do you identify as?

Mexican

Share your movement, business, non-profit, dream, with us::

Simply Destinee Youth Center is a not-for-profit youth dance team and center that promotes suicide awareness in memory of my daughter Destinee, who I lost in 2010. We focus on anti-bullying by teaching them to learn to express themselves through music and art. We focus on self-love, self-acceptance, and promoting positivity in the world. We serve minority children and at-risk youth. We offer services and resources for their parents and guardians as well, as we believe in the importance of providing suicide awareness to the entire family.

After losing my daughter, we realized that there was a need in the community and so many children are suffering in silence. We felt that we needed to find a way to offer a safe space for the children that allowed them to express themselves, as well as, learn how to accept themselves for who they are. We have been in operation now for over seven years and have had several hundred kids go through our program. We also offer services through the after-school program on the east side of Aurora which is primarily minority students as well. Since that time we have helped several families and children in crisis.

What are some preconceived notions/stereotypes that you've faced in your business, movement, non-profit, etc?:

I think for us the greatest stereotype that we face is that if you say that you have mental illness, you are crazy especially in the Latino community. A lot of people also look down on our organization because they feel that since we are talking about suicide, we're implementing ideas in the children's head. When in fact we're here to celebrate life. We love celebrating each child that goes through our program during their birthday month. We talk about things that are going on in today’s world that are greatly impacting our youth. We foster a safe space for them so that they can learn to express themselves in a more positive light. There's so many other things that we do that are quite the contrary but people assume that because of the fact that were talking about suicide prevention, which is such a taboo topic, that that means it's very negative and dark.

Are you a US citizen? If not, could you share what your experience has been being an immigrant, and the process of becoming a US citizen, resident, etc:

I'm fortunate enough to be a US citizen however my mom would often tell me stories about how my grandmother would have to cross over to give birth in the United States so that her children would be US citizens. As my mom was growing up she also faced a lot of discrimination because she had darker skin.

Who are some of your Latino inspirations?:

I think that any woman or man that is of Latin descent that has a social position is an inspiration for our younger generation. I feel the biggest setback for most of our children is that we don't have those people to look up to as inspirations. I am 46 years old and I feel like it’s just now where I’m meeting so many inspiring latinos that I wish I had met in my younger years.

Is there something else you'd like to say or add?:

I'm very proud of who I am and where I've come from and I know that a lot of those struggles have made my family who they are. There's nothing I would change about my life. I'm here to be a leader, a helper and most of all of friend. I would have never imagined my life to be the way it is right now and I know the selfish part of me says that I would give anything to have my daughter back. However, the other part of me says that we are put on this world for a purpose and this is my purpose.

THE AA PODCAST | EP 6: HOW TO BE A BETTER FRIEND...ERIN

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Friends, I’m super excited to share this new mini series that I’m doing with our podcast, called How to be a better friend to….

I’m interviewing my friends in my inner circle as we have a candid conversation about what it means to be a better friend…especially to someone who doesn’t live, look, or share the same season of life as you.

This idea was inspired by my friend, Melissa, when she shared with me that having cancer revealed to her who her real friends were. I wanted to interview her, and gather her thoughts around this, regretfully it didn’t happen. Melissa’s cancer came and she passed several months later. So I dedicate this series to her, as she taught me how to be a better friend, how to show up even when I didn’t have the words to say, and how to not always talk about cancer with her, but rather just life, and dream…..I admit it was the hardest thing ever. I didn’t feel right sharing what was going on in my life, but she wanted to feel normalcy. She wanted to partner with me in dreaming, and she did. Her legacy and fingerprint will forever be in me. And I just wish you had the opportunity to know her like I did.

So today if the official launch of this mini series, just 2 days after her birthday, and one day after Easter. I love all the symbolism, and how God shows up!

I hope this series blesses and encourages you!

Show notes:

Our photobooth business: 

adventurebooth.co

Instagram: @adventureboothco

Want to stay connected with Erin?

Follow her on Insta: @erin.channell

Until next time,

Jasmine

THE AA PODCAST | EP 5: SEX, MONEY...AND COMMUNICATION

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Today's episode was a spontaneous recording where I didn't know what the topic was going to be about, but I'm so glad we had this conversation. We are talking about sex, money....and communication in marriage, and all that we've learned over the last 12 years. We dive deeper into therapy, purity culture, identifying our triggers, and how taking all the personality tests has helped us to learn more about each other!

SHOW NOTES:

Here’s the book that I loved, and talk about called The Seven Money Types by Tommy Brown: https://amzn.to/2CWnPD2


*Please keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases. However, this does not impact our reviews.

THE AA PODCAST | EP 4: WHAT IS THE FIREHOUSE DREAM & HOW WE BOUGHT A FIREHOUSE?

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Friend!!! I’m so excited to share episode 4 with you!!! Today we are talking all things about The Firehouse Dream. The process in purchasing the firehouse was one of the most hardest seasons for me, along with the uncertainty of the final outcome…..which now we know everything turns out okay, but during the 3 month process we had no idea what was going to happen. Through this season of waiting though, the Lord did some major healing and helped me to see that no matter what the outcome was, that He is still good, and that He will always love me! I hope you enjoy this episode, and are deeply encouraged by it. I pray that you would dream with God, and take small steps to making them a reality!!!

Until next time, be blessed!

Jasmine

Show notes:

I mentioned some scripture that I clinged onto when I was in the process of purchasing the firehouse, and wanted to share them with you below.

Matthew 10:10 (MSG) Don’t think you have to put on a fund-raising campaign before you start. You don’t need a lot of equipment. You are the equipment, and all you need to keep that going is three meals a day. Travel light.

Matthew: 10:42 (MSG) Accepting  someone’s help is as good as giving someone help. This is a large work  I’ve called you into, but don’t be overwhelmed by it. It’s best to start  small. Give a cool cup of water to someone who is thirsty, for  instance. The smallest act of giving or receiving makes you a true  apprentice. You won’t lose out on a thing.”

THE AA PODCAST | EP 3: WHY WE AREN'T PRO-COLLEGE

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Yes, I said it….WE aren’t pro-college….well maybe….kind of?!?

We definitely aren’t anti-college, but do feel it’s not necessary for every field. Listen to this podcast episode to discover why we say we are pro-calling versus pro-college, and how our college experiences influenced our language around this as we raise our girls. Before we recorded this episode we also asked our IG friends to ask us any questions they may have. Here’s what was asked: do we have a college fund for our girls, and what happens if they don’t know what they want to do when they graduate from high school.

Episode 3

THE AUTHENTIC ADVENTURE PODCAST

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Friends we are so excited for our brand new podcast. We’ve been dreaming of doing one since we launched our brand, but the timing wasn’t right. You can check out our teaser episode below, where we share a little more about us, and why we wanted to start a podcast.

Our official launch date is next week, March 5th. We hope you will follow along!!!

CLICK FOR HOPE | YOUR NOW IS NOT YOUR FOREVER

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If there’s one thing I would want you to know about me, it’s that I am able.

But I have not always believed it.

Were you to read my social media bios, you’d get the Cliff-Notes version of me:

God’s love.

Wife of my marvelous bearded preacher-man for 16 years.

Homeschooling mom of two amazing kids: a near-teenaged daughter and an 8-year old son. My firstborn came from my own womb, and my second-born came from the womb of another mother.

I battle chronic neurological and autoimmune issues.

My personality is introverted deep-waters, while my word quota binges are extroverted, and I host a podcast by the same name (Word Quota).

Bios are useful for assessing similarities and solidarity within limited space, but there is so much unpacking to do. Once you open up the magic inside, it’s like pulling treasures from Mary Poppins’ bottomless carpet bag. Still, I’ve yet to find someone who is “practically perfect in every way.” Although Mary Poppins was my favorite childhood movie character, there is a particular relief in the awareness of the fiction within her character (besides the obvious fact that people can’t fly using talking umbrellas):

We are all practically imperfect, and despite what they may seem, our imperfections are practical.

It’s in our imperfections where we often find our most beloved comraderies and connections, and our inabilities hone our qualities.

Imperfect and able.

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The physical struggle inside my body has many times developed a struggling mind. Over the years, with the connectivity that modern technology affords, I have learned that I am less alone in my ailments than I initially realized. But before we could type in a hashtag to discover a common bond and prior to google transforming from a noun to a verb, I felt very isolated and misunderstood. Lacking names or diagnoses for so much of what ailed me left me feeling inadequate and impossible as a person. Although I don’t wish to be defined by the labels of illness, having no names as reference means two very disheartening things: elusive solutions & little support from others- even outright disbelief. Eventually, the uncertainty and judgment I perceived seeped into my pores so that I disbelieved the value of my own being. I loathed and shamed myself for the quality of my existence. Lack of foreseeable solutions rendered me hopeless on many occasions. To anyone who feels this way in this moment, I feel it’s important to interrupt myself here: your now is not your forever. There may be things that don’t change. There will be things that do. But no matter the details of how it all plays out, I am living proof that there will be goodness in the presence of the hard if not beyond it, and it’s a goodness well worth hanging around to experience. Don’t miss out.

One area in which I’ve struggled internally off and on is in regard to my motherhood.
I thought so often that my children deserved much better than I have been able to offer them. In a conversation with an online friend whose blog I frequented, I was imparted with this critical message:

“You are God’s perfect gift to your children.“


Although I believed that my circumstances could indeed be used for good in some yet-to-be-foreseen complicated way, I had never prior considered them to be a gift. And I had definitely not considered myself as a gift. I had not thought that the God of the universe would think of me as just the best thing ever to give to my favorite people and light up their faces. God uses me- ALL of me- to teach my children a tenderheartedness they don’t even know that they are learning.

In a compassionate twist of irony, my kids have been God’s perfect gift to me.

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Exuberant. Intelligent. Empathetic… I call my daughter my wonder-FULL child. She delights in being a big clash of color (her words), and she truly sees the wonder in the stuff of life: in sunrises and clouds, and people and words and a million little things. She is amazed by and appreciates every last little bit of it: the perfect contrast to my not easily impressed self. Through her eyes I now observe value in many facets, which has allowed me to truly appreciate the magnificence and AWEsome-ness of God that I had previously looked past, unbothered. New dimensions have come to life through this girl of mine, and God was gracious enough to gift me with her smile.

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Passionate. Clever. Savvy. My son has an amazing mind for dates, times, and details. He has an internal timeline that rivals an anatomic clock, reminds me to remember things my foggy brain has long forgotten, and knows which direction to travel. He’s a problem solver so I don’t have to be one as often. Through his adoption I came to a new awareness- a true heart-knowledge of the depth of God’s love, and that it actually applies to me- that there is no holding out on His part. Since I was small I have trusted Jesus and known that I am ultimately, eternally safe in His arms. But I did not always believe Him to have gotten things right with me, to delight in me, or that I was worthy of being adored. The definition of Love Himself, somehow, he must have been disappointed that I messed up what he made. With that boy of mine, I was washed over with a flood of love that rushed into my soul and flat swept me away. Suddenly all of the scriptures pertaining to adoption meant something to me: I am His own. I am His heir. All that He possesses He is pleased to pass on to me as blood-kin. His delight in me is incomprehensible, and it’s heard in the gift of my son’s infectious laughter.

My children are gifts to my heart as I am to theirs: both as practical tools and just-for-the-joy-of-its. Despite my body’s inability to work at times in ways I think it should, He empowers me to be able to be exactly who I was designed to be, and in fact I wouldn’t be those things without what I never would have desired or known to ask for

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Mom. Wife. Daughter. Fighter.

If there’s one thing I want you do know about me, it’s that I’m able,

only because of Jesus: the purveyor of impossible possibilities for the practically imperfect.

Love,
Bec

How has your story shaped who you are today?:

I'm able not just to exist, but to live.

What compelled you to want to share your story with us?:

Jasmine's inspiration and the love of Jesus :-)

What encouraging words would you give to someone who shares a similar story?:

Gifts are in the hard things.

IT'S A NEW YEAR!

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Friends, it’s a new year, and I’m 10 days late….that’s okay right?!? Let’s be honest getting back into the swing of work can be challenging sometimes, let alone getting back into blogging. Anyways, can we celebrate for minute?!?! Authentic Adventure Co. is officially one year old, and friends we have had so many great things happen in 2018 that I wanted to share a few of them with you!!!

  1. We sold our home and bought a Firehouse for our business and a Non-profit was are starting.

  2. DK won 1st place in a singing competition…how cool is that?!?

  3. We shared so many amazing #Clickforhope stories you guys. 32 to be exact!!!

  4. Jeremy traveled to St. Louis several times to lead worship at The Crossing.

  5. We took 2 family trips.

  6. Our photobooth business was a part of 28 weddings and events!

  7. I traveled alone for the first time ever!

  8. We started a non-profit and are still waiting for approval!

  9. Jeremy traveled to Atlanta for a Film client.

  10. Jeremy and Dakota’s first Youtube song went viral, now with over half a million views!!!

Friends, 2018 was such an exciting year for us, and it’s been nothing but a pure joy to share it with you, all the high’s and low’s of life, marriage, family, while going after our callings. We are excited for what 2019 will bring, and our hands are open for all that comes along.

My greatest lesson from 2018 was getting more rooted in my identity as a daughter of God, and truly believing that his love, grace and more are for me!!!

So friends, that’s it for now. I pray that you would know how real the father’s love is for you!!!

Until next time,

Jasmine

CLICK FOR HOPE | I AM REMINDED OF MY GOD

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Please share your story:

Every day is touched by the name Haven Song. In February 2018 my husband and I sat in the midwife’s office, newly pregnant and hoping for our first ultrasound glimpse of our baby. Instead of a huge smile and reassurance, the midwife scheduled a consult with an OB Dr explaining that my fibroids were a concern and that she may not be able to oversee my pregnancy. We went home like we’d been kicked in the stomach. I tried to be positive because the midwife had not said my baby would not survive—only that preterm delivery was possible and we needed to be aware of this fact. My husband Luis was just quiet. He didn’t know what to say. I sat in front of the TV at home thinking about our baby and being alone with my grief while Luis made supper. We hadn’t even picked a name yet. We didn’t even know our baby’s gender. Then the word “Haven” entered my consciousness. I began to think of Haven as a name choice. What would it be like to have a name that meant “refuge?” Refuge from the storm. Refuge from pain. Refuge from sickness and the curse of sin. Then I remembered Psalm 91 and all the ways God promises to protect his children. I knew our baby’s name was Haven Song and that in naming her God was choosing her. When I asked Luis what he thought of the name Haven he agreed! (Up till then we were unable to agree on a name.) In faith we named our baby Haven and if our baby was a girl we would name her Haven Song to remind us of God’s faithful protection. Each day we thanked God for another day Haven lived. Each week we counted towards a full term delivery. Each month we looked back in amazement that my pregnancy was protected and uneventful. At the same time I had to prepare for worst. I looked into baby funeral services and how to ensure my baby would be given to me by the hospital no matter how premature she may have been. Luis and I had to talk together about my wishes if the Dr’s worst case scenarios played out for me. If I began hemorrhaging or if I needed an emergency C-section or hysterectomy. If there were ever a decision that needed to be made who would live, I wanted Luis to make the Dr’s choose Haven. That was a tough conversation. In the end, I carried Haven Song to 39 weeks when the Dr suggested an induction. There were none of the expected complications! I did experience a third degree tear and postpartum depression, but none of the worst case scenarios took place. Haven is healthy and growing. She exceeds our expectations.

How has your story shaped who you are today?:

Every day when I say my daughter’s name I am reminded of my God. Our Father God who protects and loves his children. Who loves and forgives. Who sings over us Heaven’s song of redemption. Who is our refuge (our haven) in every trial —in the bad times and the good.

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What compelled you to want to share your story with us?:

My life experiences have not been easy. My own birth family is dysfunctional and my father is in prison waiting trial. I have prayed for deliverance and healing for my family for a decade now and am still waiting for God’s full restorative healing to occur. When the Dr. gave us the worst case scenarios I immediately thought the worst would happen to me like so many other times to my family. I am learning to choose belief in my heavenly father’s love no matter what is happening. If my daughter had not lived, the promise that God is my Haven would still be true. I hope to encourage others to keep hoping while walking through the darkness of needing to understand funeral preparations for a beloved baby.

What encouraging words would you give to someone who shares a similar story?:

Don’t give up. Our father God is big enough for your screaming tears. He is big enough to hold you through your upcoming deliverance or even if there are more tears ahead. He will send you every help that you need.