Substance over Shadow

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

We're only 4 days away from the big day--Christmas! Mitch and I will leave on the 23rd for Pensacola. We're excited to spend time with friends and family while celebrating the birth of our Savior. 

I was listening to a sermon the other day and would like to share. 
It comes from The Village Church in Dallas, TX. The pastor, Matt Chandler, is one of Mitch and I's favorite to listen to. 
Colossians 2:16-17 says,
"Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to religious festival, a New Moon celebration, or a Sabbath day. They are a shadow of the things to come; the reality, however is found in Christ." 
Christmas comes around each year and we get so worked up about it. I mean, people start decorating and buying before Thanksgiving now. Ridiculous, if you ask me. Anyway, it comes for a moment and then it's gone and we're like, "Was that it?" The presents, the food, the glitz and glam of it all is not satisfying. 

That's because "the reality, however is found in Christ." Christmas, the celebration of Christ, is just a shadow of what's to come. Have fun in the shadow, but don't forget the substance (Christ)! 

One a different note…I have been obsessing over this song lately: 

So excited to worship with this band @ Passion 2012!

If you're not familiar with Passion then you need to be! Click here

Passion is a conference for 18-25 year old's to come together in Atlanta, GA and worship the one true God. We're super pumped! This year it's in the Georgia Dome! Can you imagine? 80,000+ packed in there all for His glory and His renown! Pray that the Lord awakens us young folk to change this world, challenge our older generation and carry His name wherever we go.
Can't wait to come back and share all about it :)

Merry Christmas to all!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

It's funny how your prayer from 3 months ago is still your prayer for today. 3 months ago I was saying "Lord release me from this to-do list and help me to seek you!" Today I'm praying a pretty similar prayer. I've come to realize that life doesn't get un-busy, it gets busier! Even after college…especially after college!

But I know that it's a process. Sanctification- a process. One of these days I will learn to be still. That is one reason I am looking forward to the upcoming break. I will have no excuse not to spend all day dwelling in God's presence.

So I pray for myself and every other busy wife out there.
Lord, slow us down.
"Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him." Psalm 34:8 

Abide in the Lord. Dwell. Pro-long. Wait.

If you were to ask what the Lord is teaching me right now, I wouldn't be able to put a finger on it. Maybe it's a lot of little things. I can definitely see him refining me as a wife. I long to be a Proverbs 31 woman/wife.

"A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life."
Prov. 31: 10-12

"She is clothed with strength and dignity; so she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over
the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call
her blessed; her husband also and he praises her: Many woman do noble things but you surpass them
all. Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." 
Prov. 31: 25-30 

We need to remember that alone time with the Lord is crucial. This is where refinement takes place. Do you want to be a better man or woman of God. Spend time with Him.

Tis the season for creativity

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Okay so lately I have been feeling extra creative. I don't know whether it's because it's the holiday's or because I've been introduced to the world of Pinterest. I'm pretty sure it's the latter.

Pinterest consists of all things creative. You name it, Pinterest has it. Food, fashion, photography, home decor, etc. Basically, Martha Stewart just went out of business.

Here are some things I will be making this Christmas season:

Burlap inside of a picture frame.                                     Lightbulbs, lace, spray paint                     
Use dry erase marker to change what it says!                   Instant home-made ornaments! 

This is using Mod Podge to put pictures onto canvas.  The flower picture is one I took that I'm going to blow up and put on canvas. 

How to: click here

This seems like the simplest idea, yet I would have never thought of it.
Strawberry's dipped in yogurt(or could be done in white chocolate, then frozen. Delicious and healthy!

First picture: Dip the rim of your glass into melted chocolate, then the sprinkles, pour some milk, drink up. Cute, and yummy! 
Second picture: Sticky bun breakfast ring recipe. Can you tell I have a sweet tooth? :)

I could go on and on, but you get the point. Baking, crafts, pictures…all can be found at Pinterest. Love all the ideas! 

Also, if you're in the Pensacola area, be sure to check out Alyssa's Antiques. My mom has a booth there and some of my art just might pop up there for sale :) But really, it's an very unique place with lots of good finds! 

Lastly, Amanda Munoz Photography has officially launched! Taking pictures was once a a hobby, but now it has become an art, a business, and a favorite thing of mine. I will be in Pensacola next week for a family photo shoot. Contact me for details if interested. AMP

Happy holiday baking, making, and creating!


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

When I sit to think of all the things I am grateful for, it seems like an impossible task. In the past year, more than any other, God's provision has exceeded any expectations (of course! Cause he's God and he's bigger than any of my thoughts or expectations!).

Jehova Jireh (The Lord will provide).
Last summer I met Mitch- God gave me a spouse.
Last December I graduated from college- God gave me a job.
This year Mitch and I gave up our jobs, left our homes, got married, and came to Nashville to be trained as missionaries- and He has faithfully provided the funds for it.

There's just so much to be thankful for. After Thanksgiving is gone next week, continue to count your blessings and see God's hand in the little things. It seems to make life much more simple and enjoyable :)

November has been a good month.

The Trek-Xers took a mini-retreat to Rome, GA for 2 days just to get away and refresh. We stayed on campus at Berry College at Winshape (owned by Chick-fil-A). Oh, it was so beautiful!
Mitch and I also had a surprise visit from some very special friends. It's always great to be around old friends. And next week we will head to Fayetteville, AR for Thanksgiving.

Mitch and I cannot say enough how thankful we are for our supporters. We know that it it God who has given you all a giving heart. Thank you for being a faithful steward of your money and investing it in God's kingdom. We are still not fully supported, but God has provided part time jobs for us until we can be. We're also thankful for our prayer warriors! The battle is certainly won through prayer! We know there are many who are praying for us and our ministry and we ask you to never cease in prayer. 

"Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers." Galatians 6: 10

"And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord's people." Ephesians 6: 18

The end of October.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

It's hard to believe how quickly time is flying for Mitch and I. November is just next week (& we will celebrate 3 months of marriage!) then pretty soon it will be Christmas. Tryin to enjoy the time we have.

And trying to enjoy the beautiful fall weather before the cold comes! 

Last Friday we had the opportunity to visit with some refugees from Myanmar (formerly known as Burma). Several of them are believers, but others were not. We spent time sitting on the floor and praying in 3 different languages. What a great, minuscule foreshadow of when "every knee shall bow and tongue confess that Jesus is Lord."

 Our new Burmese friends!

I recently finished the book, "The Heavenly Man." It is one of the most incredible books of faith I have ever read. It will inspire and convict. It is a biography about a Chinese Pastor, Brother Yun, who has been beaten, tortured, and thrown in prison for his faith. This book has challenged me greatly and I encourage all to read. 

Mitch and I are trying to embrace the reality that as we go overseas as foreign missionaries, we could be subject to persecution. Brother Yun said it this way, "The Lord wants us to embrace suffering as a friend. We need a deep realization that when we're persecuted for Jesus' sake it is an act of God's blessing to us." 

Just as Jesus states in Matthew 5:11-12, "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad because great it your reward in heaven." 

Happy fall, my friends. 

found in the aftermath

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Mitch and I have really been enjoying the fall season here in Nashville. You just can't see pretty color-changing leaves in Florida. Our screen door is almost always open with the ac turned off. Thank you Jesus for a cool breeze :)

I made a little video from some of the footage Mitch took while on our trip. Please watch and pray.

I have been reading through the Psalms a lot lately and have been meditating on Psalm 103-104.

"The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed."
   -Psalm 103:8

"As a father has compassion on his children, 
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; 
for he knows how we are formed, 
he remembers that we are dust. 
The life of mortals is like grass,
they flourish like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and it's place remembers it no more. "
  -Psalm 103:13-16


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

So proud of Mitch for completing the Chicago Marathon (and it was 2nd one)! What a champ! :)

It was a perfect day for the runners. Nice, crisp air and tons of people cheering them on. I loved watching people accomplish such a big goal. It was very inspiring, however not enough to want to run one. Maybe, I'll work up to a half marathon one day!

Mitch's brother Matt and his wife Darcy

Good job Mitch and Matt!

Christ is enough.

Friday, October 7, 2011

It's good to be back on American soil.
However, our trip was great. It was an eye-opening experience to be in the Dominican Republic and Haiti. We had veteran mission trip go-ers to first timers and everything in between. But we all had one thing in common that we took away. We are in need of Jesus.

Living without our comforts that we are so used to will begin to play tricks on your mind. Selfishness sets in and we lose focus. I found this happening to me a lot. It was constantly hot, we were always tired, and sometimes hungry.

But despite all of this, God is still faithful. His grace covers us and his love prevails! He doesn't need us to complete His mission.

In Dominican we visited several public schools and shared Jesus with them. Can you imagine? That would be illegal here! It was fun to spend time with the kids. In the afternoons we visited a local village and evangelized. Pray for the people there, who are very set in there Catholic ways and believe in a salvation that is works based.

Haiti was a bit more challenging…heartbreaking too. Our living conditions in Haiti was almost like luxury to what most Haitians live in. We stayed at the Bethel Missions Outreach compound. We slept on the floor and awoke each morning at 4am to the sound of our fellow brothers and sisters worshipping. They are so passionate about the Lord. Their expression of worship is shameless.

One of the evenings we walked to a village to talk to people about Jesus. One lady said she was a witch and a voodoo priest, but just down the road several young boys got saved. They called out. "I want Jesus." How precious it was to see God at work over a country full of darkness.

Thank you to everyone who has been praying for us. This time next year, Mitch and I will be living in another country, depending on the Lord to meet our need and be enough for us. Please pray that God would prepare us for wherever he sends us and that He would be all that we need.

Salvation is found in no one else. For there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved. Acts 4:12 

birthday travels

Monday, September 26, 2011

Tomorrow begins a grand adventure in Hispaniola.

Our wake up call is coming early, but it will be so worth it.

Our flight leaves tomorrow at 6:30 a.m. for the Dominican Republic and Haiti. We are very pumped. Our trip is 1 week, but we know that it will be a challenging, yet fun one. Mitch and I are almost done packing and then we're off to bed. Early to rise for us two.

Please be in prayer for:
-Safe travels to and fro the States and crossing the borders of DR and Haiti
-the Spirit to move in and through us
-the children and adults we will come in contact with
- God's will to be done

We look forward to coming home and sharing all that we experienced and all that God did.

Tomorrow is also my birthday. I will be 23! I couldn't be more excited to spend my birthday headed to serve. What a blessing. Thank you for your prayers :)

Sweet memories and one's to come

Monday, September 19, 2011

Wedding photos finally came in! Here are a few good one's from our favorite day :)

8 days from now will not only be my birthday, but also the day we fly out for the DR and Haiti! Here's a video from our partner in Haiti.

Bethel Mission Outreach At A Glance from Jonathan Hansen on Vimeo.

Prayer requests:

-Pray for our upcoming mission trip.
-The refugees that we are working with.
-Mitch as he continues to search for a part-time job.
-Unity amongst our team and diligence to study the Word of God.

Sweet Provision

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

 Answered prayer: I got a job!

God's timing is just right. I am so thankful to be working. Mitch is doing some work as well, helping out with the Mobilizing Students website. He's a guru with that kind of stuff.

 God is good and faithful.

 Last week we took a visit to the World Relief Center and they took us through an orientation. Mitch and I have decided to adopt a family from Cuba!

While we were there, they showed us a small clip from the documentary "God Grew Tired of Us." It follows the lives of several boys who were considered "The Lost Boys." They fled their own country of Sudan due to war and traveled through the dessert into Kenya. It shows what life was like in the refugee camps and how they adjusted once they moved to the United States. I encourage you to watch it. 

If you want to know more about World Relief, click here.

As for our studies, we are continuing through the book of Romans verse by verse each morning. We are also being equipped to share the Gospel with boldness!

Some things we have been praying for lately have been the persecuted church/restricted nations. Our prayer request for you would be to join with us as we pray for our brothers and sisters across the world who are tortured for the cause of Christ.

You can read about all the restricted and hostile nations at the Voice of the Martyrs website.

Praying for Afghanistan and Algeria 

The whole group!

Pray for us as we prepare for our first trip to the Dominican Republic and Haiti in 3 weeks!

Food for thought

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

We've had a lot to chew on lately. Figuratively and literally.

Each morning we've been diving deep into the word with all the other trek-xers. We're going verse by verse through Romans and spending much time in prayer. These moments have been precious, learning things we've never been taught and seeing God's hand at work. I thirst for more. However, I long to not just gain knowledge, but gain a love for the Lord that far outweighs anything the world has to offer. 

All of us will be memorizing 100 verses of scripture and an entire book of the Bible. Tomorrow we are taking a field trip (yay!). We're going to World Relief, an humanitarian organization that provides aid to those in need. Our role with this organization will be with the refugee families that come into our country. Some of the trek-x students will be adopting several refugee families, spending time with them over meals or bible studies and just simply showing Christ's love.
Mitch and I however, will be partnered up with one of the many hispanic churches in the area, possibly adopting a family from there. Finally! Some Spanish! =)

I love cooking. In college I never had time to make fancy meals, nor did I have a lot of money to spend on food. I always needed to make something quick and easy. 
Nowadays, I still don't have a lot of money, but I have much more time (due to no more studying or writing papers-hallelujah those days are over)! Sometimes when I'm in the kitchen I feel like I could give Giada or Paula a run for there money ;)

Over a year ago I stopped eating beef. That has turned into a cut back of other meats and eventually led to an official decision to become vegetarian. If you care to know why, I'd love to share, but I won't bore you with the facts here. Anyway, being vegetarian has meant using some creativity for meals. It's really not hard! 
Here are some delicious, easy meals for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike (and they're husband approved!)
Gourmet grilled cheese. 
Mozzarella, tomato, avocado, and pesto

I'm dying to make this avocado salsa.
Looks delish!

Asparagus, goat cheese and lemon pasta.
If you haven't tried goat cheese before, do so now. You won't settle for processed, sliced cheese any longer!

The other night I made roasted vegetables alongside rice and lentils. 
olive oil, salt and pepper. then stick 'em in the over. ta da! scrumptious veggies
(for more ideas visit: )

I can't wait to get a'cookin! My healthy eating habits have made for a healthier lifestyle that Mitch and I both love. So thankful for a supportive husband, who loves healthy meat-free eating. 

Food is pleasurable to our taste/smell and satisfying to our stomachs, but the Word of God has been all the more satisfying to our souls. 

"Man shall not live on bread alone, but from every word that comes from the mouth of God." Matthew 4:4 

"Home is wherever I'm with you"

Friday, August 26, 2011

It's been one week here in Music City and we've only been here for a full 7 days, but I think they should reconsider naming it "little Mexico." So many hispanics! Down the street from where we live are tons of mercados latinos (latin market), restaurantes, Iglesias, etc. Of course, this made Mitch and I pretty excited. We've only been downtown once which is probably where all the music happens, hence the name.

We unpacked everything within 2 days. I was too excited to leave everything in it's box. Our small 1 bedroom apartment is starting to feel and look like a home each day. We are throughly enjoying it and the community we live in. I've had some requests for pictures of the place. It's a work in progress, but here they are:

This is our living room(also serves as dining room).
And my thrift store photo frame finds(just needs pictures!)

I'm kind of obsessed with my dishes...
and I am having so much fun cooking for Mitch and I

Our cute bookshelf and bedroom

My Craigslist find!
Now I can keep up with Mitch on his runs(Nashville is very hilly though)!

We are pretty much settled in & are ready for visitors (hint, hint)!
Right now our biggest concern (prayer request rather) would be for jobs! We are daily checking Craigslist and sending in resumé's. We are praying the Lord will open up an opportunity and place us where He wants us. We are in need of God to come through.
We are gracious to those who are supporting us financially as we are in this ministry. To be frank, our financial support is not where we would like it to be. Know that money is not where our hearts are, but it is crucial to our ministry expenses while living here in Nashville and once we venture overseas.
Mitch and I are at peace though. Our hope is in the promises of our faithful, providing Lord.
"I know you can do all things. No purpose of yours can be thwarted." Job 42:2
As I heard someone once say, "If it's his will, it's his bill." True that.

Monday all the Trek-xers went white water rafting down the Ocoee River for some bonding time-life or death style. It was quite the adventure! I think I'm the only one who didn't voluntarily jump out of the raft!

We hit hard with training come Monday morning! And hopefully a job soon after :)

We're back!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Hola friends and family!
Mitch and I have returned from our beloved honeymoon. We had a great time cruisin' down to Mexico and back. We had a bit too much food…good food and bad. Unfortunately, I found out that sushi (the raw fish kind) doesn't quite settle well with my stomach. We didn't get to see Calica, Mexico like we wanted(due to illness) but that's alright. We at least got to spend some time in Cozumel. All in all we had a wonderful time together! 

We are down to 4 days and counting until the drive to Nashville, TN. Mitch is helping clean out my room as I type. We have lots to pack up and load in our cars (hopefully it all fits in our two hondas)! We are super excited to begin Trek-X, which officially begins August 22nd. We can't thank you enough for your prayer and financial support! Some people have been curious as to how they can donate. Below is a link that will direct you to the donations page. We will continue to give updates as much as we can. As far as we know, our first trip will be September 27 (my birthday=) ) to the Dominican Republic! 

Here are a few pictures of our honeymoon.

Stayed tuned for more exciting adventures with the Muñoz's! Wedding pictures to come soon =)

With love,
Mitch and Amanda Muñoz
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