Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Hello everybody!
It's been a little while. I am usually very apt about having at least one post a month for the past two and a half years. However, the past couple months I have had some big changes come up and haven't quite found the way to tell you all. That plus timing. 

The current biggest change in my life is that come July, after three years of service in Life Action Ministries, God is calling me off the road and I will be moving back home to Phoenix! 
I was surprised at how early God was informing me about this. Usually I don't know until around February. However, this was made clear to me in October. 

God has also called me to start college in the Fall of 2015! 
I am in the process of applying to Grand Canyon University and am so excited about this opportunity.

A few weeks ago I took a tour of the campus, fell in love with it, and have had immense peace about everything since then. I am so excited for the opportunity I get to go to college. I thought when God had called me to Life Action I might not ever get the chance to go. You really never know how long He is going to keep you there. Leaving the ministry that has molded me into who I am, is one of the most bittersweet things that's every happened to me. 
My team has been there for me through some of the happiest and saddest moments of my life. Pouring God's love and grace on my lap when I needed it the most. A group of people I will never forget. They're also some of my biggest supporters, who are also excited for me! 
I am greatly going to miss them. Gladly though I will be able to treasure a few more months with them as the year ends in the summer. 

Right now I am home enjoying the last few days I have at home for break before I head back. This has been the longest break I have ever had. It's been so nice to relax, not have to travel every couple of weeks, and be able to spend time with my family. 
Thank you for being here, reading my blog. Whether you've read my post from the beginning or this is the first time you've read The Not-So-Secret Life I appreciate the support!
No worries though I will continue to be here, informing you of the random or cool things happening around me.
Happy New Year!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

16 Days

Where has the time gone?!
In a short 16 days I will be back in Phoenix, the homeland.
However, the past few weeks have been incredibly memorable. 

My roommate and I certainly loved our host family in Crestview, Florida.
We had a lot of fun together just hanging out or going to different places. Which would include them taking us on their boat, so fun!
We saw several dolphins, and walked on the beautiful white sands.

I also grew quit attached to my host parents pets, Beau, and Zoe.

 To say these two have been a huge blessing in my life would not do them justice.
I was very sad to leave. 

Even the kids at the church were a fun group.

They most certainly kept us on our feet the whole time!
And while we weren't teaching we went around doing touristy things like going to the Aviation Naval Museum.

On the way back we got a flat tire. Us girls made the most of it by getting out of the bus and playing games while we waited for the tire to get fixed... three hours later. 

All in all Crestview was amazing. 

Tomorrow starts the summit here in Lyons, Georgia. 
I'm very excited to be here and the church seems to be ready. They have been having many prayer meetings in excitement for the revival to begin, and talk about it often. 
So please keep us in your prayers, and I'll be home soon!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

God Gave Me A Hat...

I've always admired the hat Zooey Deschanel wears in one of my favorite movies, Elf. Its a cream colored knit with a pom pom. However,  I've always been a little iffy about buying one and never decided to spend the money on it. The other day while in Target there was the most perfect hat. Almost exactly like the one worn in the movie. Running up to it I immediately put it on, and knew I wanted it.
Feeling tight on money, I knew it would be better for me to put it back and move on. Maybe ask for it for Christmas. Then I wondered if I had a gift card. Searching through my wallet, I found a Visa gift card for $25. The card had never worked the past few times I tried, those kind of gift cards can easily be a pain when it comes to having a pin number, or needing to know the exact balance on the card. So calling the number on the back I put in all the numbers and information it said the balance was $25! I had enough to pay for it (if the card worked this time). 

Still not sure if buying a hat was a proper use of the money (because it's a hat and almost all hats turn out to be a mistake), I called my mom. Mother knows best. 
Telling her of what had just happened and how I wasn't sure if I should buy it she replied by saying,
"I think that Jesus was saying He thinks the hat looks cute on you, and gave you some money to pay for it."
Sold, I happily got in line. God had given me a hat.
Remembering how He cares about the little things in my life made me feel so loved by Him. The little things do really matter and tend to go a long way.
Thanks God :)

Tomorrow we leave for Crestview, Florida. Not exactly ideal for hat weather, but hopefully since we are in the far northern part of Florida I'll get a chance to wear it.
I'm excited to get to our next church, we are expecting 50-60 kids in Happy Heart City. At least that's what they tell us. I've learned not to believe the numbers they tell me anymore because 9 times out of 10 they're wrong. Regardless I look forward to ministering to a new group and getting to know some more people. I love what I do, and I'm so often reminded of how my obedience to God brings blessing in my life.

"Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!"
Matthew 7:9-11

Friday, October 10, 2014

The Freedom in Surrendering

This has been a very different but good summit. First, some of my lovely family came to visit me for a few days! This is the first time they have been able to come see while I have been traveling in the ministry. So I was very excited when I heard they had made plans to visit. 

My cute family. 

I had so much fun hanging out with them for a few days.

As far as the Summit goes we've been having a lot of growing times here for us as children's ministers. The size of the church is much smaller than we are use too. One of the services we only had one kid come. That was a first for me, but we just did everything like normal and did it to the best of our abilities.

Here's some of us dressed up for a skit we did on honesty.

We decided to hangout on the roof of the church because... we had a key. So, why not?

We've been taking a lot of Starbucks runs this summit. We love our coffee and Pumpkin Spice Lattes. 

I am also greatly looking forward to winter break this year. Life Action has decided it is too difficult and expensive to have another summit after Thanksgiving. Therefore, I get to go home for two weeks longer than normal. I will be home for thanksgiving and my 21st birthday! Which I haven't been able to be home for, in two years and I thought I wouldn't be there for a third year in a row. Not only will I be home for that time but, my good friend Karis is coming home with me for a week.

I'm so glad to be serving here in Life Action teaching children. Whether there are one hundred kids or just one, I know God can do anything. 

Last week I went through a very growing moment in my relationship with Jesus.
I'd been having a few very hard days, and in the middle of one of them I read Psalm 32:3. It said, "When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long."
That so easily related to how I was feeling.
God was telling me I needed to surrender my desires at His feet and trust Him.
Once I obeyed him that "groaning all day" feeling was gone and it was like a flood of freedom had come over me.
My God truly loves me and wants what's best for me.

Thanks for reading and keeping up with the ministry!
Until next time,

Friday, September 19, 2014

A New Year a New Me...

Here are some pictures of the past several weeks...

Right before a huge storm rolled in at Life Action Camp.

All propped up for skits!

Happy Heart City is serious about Shark Week.

Blue Team 2014-2015

Canoeing with some friends at Life Action Camp.

My close friend Karis, or sometimes preferred as Mario, and I get to stay together for our first summit!

It’s the beginning of another travel year and I’m not exactly the same person. Now don’t freak out. I’ll always be Marina, but God continues to do a work in me, making me into a new person.

After five weeks at Life Action Camp training for the travel year we are on the road. On Wednesday it will be our last service with the church here and then we will travel to Augusta, GA arriving on Friday.

This year, if you remember, I am the Happy Heart City (4 year old – 1st grade) club leader. I have four new HHC Teachers under me and we are having a great time together! God greatly blessed me with a great group of people who love to be spontaneous and have fun.

I will say though that being in this new position has certainly made road life different.
And yes, it was harder than I anticipated. However, God has given me grace to lead and grace to give. It hasn’t been easy teaching four new people everything I’ve learned in the past two years in just five weeks. Although, I tried, I tragically failed. I easily forgot what it was like to be a first year, completely clueless to half of what they might be going through I expected much of them quickly. Excluding the grace that they needed. It wasn't before long that God put me in my place. An apology shortly followed and thankfully they all forgave me. This is just one of the many things God is teaching me. I'm looking forward to seeing where I'll be by the end of the travel year. For now, i'm leading in grace.
I look forward to posting again soon. 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Summer in a Nutshell...

I am excited as I write to you from Life Action yet again. This will be my third year serving in the ministry and I cannot wait for what God wants to do!

(Flower crown by my talented friend Elizabeth. Visit her store here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/GracefulGardensF)

This summer was filled with travel as usual. However, it felt like a lot more than in the past. God sent me to a lot of different places being able to share the love of christ to 500 cheerleaders and explore more of his beautiful creation. Including...

Cancun, Mexico

Hiked my first 14k mountain in Colorado

Went to the four corners of America

Visited Passion City Church while I was in Atlanta, Georgia

Dallas, Texas

Azuza, California

and Azuza, California

Out of all these beautiful places my favorite is home....

Phoenix, Arizona
With my family. 

It's always sad having to say goodbye but I'm grateful for God's goodness.

I have been at Life Action Camp for about 10 days now. The first week I worked family camp and had the most adorable camp sister!

On Sunday Staff training officially started and I am very much looking forward to getting to know my new team this month. We will be together for a whole year and it's just begun!

Please pray for me as I enter this year! I would also like to share that I am still in need of $1,500 for my training fee.

If you are able to help support me I cannot express my gratitude. 
Click on the link below to donate :)