Saturday, December 12


Hello Everyone!

 Day #2 for voting for Voice of An Angel 2009 is coming to a close. 

 Please don't forget to vote! The deadline is midnight tomorrow. Then the finalist from the Diocese of  Venice, as well as the finalists from the other 6 dioceses in the state, will be announced on Monday at 12pm!!!

If you haven't voted yet, please click this link to go to the Voice of An Angel website. Thanks SO much for all the prayers and support!

 I'm super excited about the possibilities present in this competition, and am hopeful the Lord will continue to call me to this journey. May His will be done and His name be glorified.

Friday, December 11

IT'S FINALLY HERE! Voice of An Angel 2009 HAS BEGUN!!!

Hello all!

 It's been a very exciting couple of weeks here in the Frei family house. First Thanksgiving break and an excursion into the chilliness of Wisconsin, couple with baby Matthew in tow! He actually did very well with the plane rides (he slept during takeoffs and landings!), and even acclimated nicely to the well below normal temperatures he experienced. But I am SO glad to be home!


 Voice of An Angel has finally started!

 I am so excited to be in this stage of the competition, and I need your help. We taped the Semifinal competition this past Saturday for my diocese, the Diocese of Venice, and you can now view it here on the Voice of An Angel website. I had so much fun singing my heart out and glorifying God in the process.

 So the next step is up to you and your VOTES! It's fast, it's simple, and best of all, it's FREE. If you like what you hear in the video, all you have to do is click on the "Vote" tab at the top of the page, or on the "Who Is Your Favorite: VOTE" link. You will be directed to register with the website.

 Here's where it MIGHT get a little tricky: the website will send you a confirmation email after you register. That email MIGHT end up in your SPAM folder. So if you don't see the email in your inbox, check that SPAM folder.

 After you confirm, go back to the website, and click the "Vote Now" link after you sign in. THEN THE FUN PART: scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page, and VOTE FOR ME, Gabriela Frei.

 Everyone gets one free vote. If you would like to vote more than once (and I would very much love it if you did!), each additional vote is $1. HERE'S THE GREAT PART: 50% of that will go to my sponsored charity, the Collier Pregnancy Center. Check out their website here. This ministry does INCREDIBLE work helping out young women who find themselves pregnant and with no one else to turn to, saving hundreds and hundreds of unborn babies every year. Please prayerfully consider giving them support. God bless you abundantly for your generosity!

 I can't tell you how much I appreciate the support. If I get enough votes, as well as the judges stamp of approval, I will represent my diocese as one of the 7 finalists from the entire state. I would then go to Miami December 21-23 and compete to be the winner of Voice of An Angel 2009!!!

 So PLEASE go and vote for me right now. You have to vote by Sunday night, and then they will reveal the 7 finalists sometime on Monday on the Voice of An Angel website. I'm honored to be a part of this "singing competition with a higher purpose," and I'm hopeful that God's will is for me to move forward, and continue to glorify Him with a gift He so generously gave me.

 God bless you all!

Friday, November 20

Lift Up Your Hearts: Part Two

Part Two of the talk I gave for the "A Few Minutes With God" website. May you be blessed!

Finally, hope is so integral to our spiritual lives because it distinguishes us, sets us apart, allows us to embrace who we are – heirs to the Kingdom of God, His sons and daughters. Without hope, we could never fully embrace this rich inheritance or believe in its possibility, let alone its reality. While in the midst of difficulty, it is hard sometimes to remember and claim our dignity. We forget the price He paid so that we could be free. We doubt our inheritance, our worthiness. We say to ourselves, “I’m not good enough, I’m worthless, it’s too hard to keep believing otherwise.”

But hope empowers us to embrace fully this inheritance that we have in fact already received by virtue of our baptism. Although we cannot see the kingdom of Heaven that awaits us, we are hopeful because we believe in Christ's promise. We embrace the birthrights of princes or princesses, because we have hope in Christ who makes them a reality.

Thursday, November 19

Lift Up Your Hearts: Part One

My talk is finished and available for download here, at AFewMinutesWithGod. This is a great website, that encourages us all to spend a few minutes with our Lord every day. I've been participating for a week or so now, and it's been a great blessing to me, just to be reminded to spend that time with my Jesus. 

Even though my talk is available for download, I also wanted to provide you with a hard copy, if you wanted to read it in the customary three installments. 

My talk is called "Lift Up Your Hearts." I talk about the importance of hope in our Christian walk, why it is difficult at times to retain, and I share some of my own experiences. Hope truly is a central aspect of our spiritual journey. It is fundamental to our relationship with Jesus. It opens our eyes to deeper meaning and purpose. It fills us with peace and joy that supersede our circumstances. READ ON to discover more that the Lord has revealed to me about Hope. 

Saturday, November 7

What I've Learned from Prayer Group and LOST

My parents have a weekly prayer group that normally meets on Thursday nights. Imagine the craziness that breaks loose when they decide to change things up a bit and have it on Friday night this week!

I have blogged about this group before here (if you want the full experience, I wrote down another message that was spoken). If you live in the Fort Myers, Florida area perchance, contact me if you are interested in attending. Seriously, it's been a great blessing for many years.

Yesterday, I could sense the Lord speaking to my heart, and surprise, surprise, it was yet another continuation of the peace vs. anxiety theme that's been ongoing this week. This was the message:

Friday, November 6

Let There Be Light

I decided to continue that meditation on worry-free life.

I was asked to prepare a talk for an online conference. The conference will be held next week Thursday, November 22. You can log in at your convenience here and listen to all the talks. The theme, one that is very close to my heart, is HOPE. Especially now, in these days of uncertainty and fear, we need to cling to the hope that the Lord promises us.

I haven't quite decided what my talk will focus on, but I started thinking a bit on the theme of hope vs. the worry that plagues me.

Wednesday, November 4

Meditations on Music and Worry-Free Life

I have been pondering two topics today that I would like to blog about. They are not necessarily related, but they have been on my mind lately. Firstly, the tremendous gift we have in music. And secondly, the necessity for peace in our lives.

Tuesday, November 3

Look Who's Back :)

It's been a while since I wrote. Lots of excitement around these parts, what with friends I haven't seen in a long time coming to visit, new developments with Jonathan and work, taking on the music for the Teen Mass at my church, and other such happenings.

But I'm back, and ready to write again. Here are some updates with the goings-on in this mommy's life:

Thursday, October 22

Let The People Rejoice!

And God's providing for my musical creativity continues!

Wednesday of last week, I had a very unexpected and intriguing phone call. The music director of my church, who happens to be a very dear friend I've known for years, conference called me and asked if I'd consider taking over the music for the Teen Mass recently started at my church.

Oh, joy!

Tuesday, October 20

Something They Might Not Have Told You About Babies...

I mentioned in an earlier post that I would share some more about my early experience with nursing my Matthew. Ladies, let me be the first to say it, if someone has not already broken this news to you: Nursing is NOT always second nature. It is not always easy, and the baby, regardless of how soon after birth he lies on your stomach and you place him on the breast, sometimes does not quickly attach or begin to nurse automatically. It took Matthew and I quite a while to achieve this supposed instinctive and natural skill.

Monday, October 19

Wanted: Non-Perfectionist to be Mother to Baby Boy

I had an interesting conversation with a good friend recently about parenting and perfection. This person, who is a dear, dear friend, commented that she didn't ever think that she would feel ready to start a family. She said that the heavy responsibility of raising children was too awesome to contemplate, when she didn't even feel her own life was fully on track or under control.

Do I ever know that feeling. So often, I am overwhelmed at the thought of what I have committed myself to. One day, I will stand before Almighty God and say, "Lord, this is what you gave me and this is what I did with that gift." The greatest gift the Lord bestows is that of life, and He allows us, weak and inadequate as we are, to participate in that act of creation.

Wednesday, October 14

"God Is Her Songwriting Partner" Article

This article was written a few months before I graduated from Franciscan University. It was featured in the National Catholic Register. Joseph Pronechen is a wonderful man and a terrific interviewer. It was a pleasure working with him and communicating something that is such a part of who I am - my passion and love for uplifting and Christ-centered music.

Original article located here.

God Is Her Songwriting Partner
Not once during the 13 years she studied piano in Fort Myers, Fla., did she think of composing a song — but when a friend suggested she try, Gabriela Martinez wrote a whole CD’s worth. That led to the recording of “Light Unto the World,” a set of original religious songs available at

Today, as a 22-year-old senior at Franciscan University of Steubenville (Ohio), from where she will graduate this spring with a degree in Humanities and Catholic culture, Martinez is putting together her second album.
Martinez composes in a meditative, lyrical style and sings in a clear soprano. She has given concerts in Florida and on-campus coffeehouses, and acts as student group leader of the music ministry at Steubenville. She spoke about her songs, music ministry and goals with Register staff writer Joseph Pronechen.

When did your interest in music begin?
For as long as I can remember I always had a passion for music. My mom tells me I was singing before I was speaking. I studied piano for 13 years. That grew out of being homeschooled. My mother was very good about plugging us into a lot of different things that we all excelled in. For me this was not only classical piano but also singing.

Do you have any help in composing your songs?
If I think "I’m going to write a song today," I can’t do it. It’s a humbling thing because I have to be present to the Lord. It’s really his work. He sits down with me and we write the song together. It’s cooperation on my part. I share with the Lord in this active writing of a song and creating a piece of music.

How did your first songs come to you?
I had a car accident when I was 16, and one of the songs stemmed from that experience. It’s called “Why God?” I was asking, “Why did you let this happen? Why do I experience all this pain and sorrow?” — and then realizing in the midst of the pain He’s right there with me, carrying the burden and sharing the pain, showing nothing is too hard to handle. A lot of my music has grown from the experiences through which the Lord has taught me something. And a lot has stemmed from experiences I have had on my walk with the Lord and the words that he has spoken to my heart that have been a grace and blessing to me.

Your songs are quite personal in their details yet universal in their themes.
They spring from my heart and the encounter with the Lord in the depths there. It’s a vulnerable thing because I share the deepest parts of my heart with others. In a lot of ways, these are the words He has spoken to my heart, and I can’t keep them to myself. They’ve been a blessing to me, but I have to share them with the world, to keep speaking the good news of peace and joy. For example, I wrote “Transfigure Me” on the feast of the Transfiguration. Sometimes I wonder, “How could I have written this?” The Lord stepped in and wrote the song along with me, knowing exactly what I needed to hear and continue to need to hear. He’s doing the work of perfection and transfiguration with me every day.

What are your favorite subjects and themes?
Trust, surrender, abandonment to his love. “The Present Moment” grew out of my experiences studying in Austria. It was a semester in learning how to surrender, especially from my need to have a plan with all the ducks in a row. The Lord used that semester to teach me how to abandon myself entirely into his hands. We can make plans for five years down the road, but the gift the Lord has given us is this moment right now. We have to surrender the need to have it all figured out. We have to trust in the Lord and know whatever He has planned for the future is perfectly suited for us.

Your two Marian songs bring this out, too. What’s the story behind “Fiat”?
I wrote that song after my family had the blessing of going on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. While I was there I meditated mainly on the union between the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart — “Not my will but yours be done” in the Garden of Gethsemane, and “Let it be done to me according to your word” at the Annunciation.
In the last part of the song I’m asking both Our Lord and Our Lady to help me have the ability for that same Yes, embrace it and accept that mission or role, whatever it is, because nobody else can do the work only I can do. That applies to everyone.

Tell me about your pro-life song that has moved listeners.
I wrote “Let Me Live” specifically for my first pro-life concert two Christmases ago. It is a conversation between the unborn baby in its mother’s womb and the young mother herself. Both are crying out to the Lord in fear and desperation: “Is there anyone listening to me? Do you hear the cry of the brokenhearted? … Please, Lord, let me live.” The mother doesn’t want to give up her child, and the little one is crying out, too. We live in such a culture of death that more and more is ready to hear this message of hope and life.

Tell me about your music leadership at Franciscan University.
There’s no more beautiful use of music than in the liturgy of the Mass. I try to do a blend of the traditional hymns and the more contemporary praise-and-worship songs. I came from a more traditional church back home, but I also fit into the praise-and-worship [category] because my family has had a charismatic prayer group for as long as I remember.

What are your plans after graduation?
I would like to see what opportunities and doors the Lord has for me to walk through. I would love to sing full-time and keep writing and recording and develop a ministry to hurting hearts to let them know the Lord is waiting to shower his love on them.

There can be no greater blessing than doing what you love for who you love.

Staff writer Joseph Pronechen
writes from Trumbull, Connecticut.

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Tuesday, October 13

Faith and Family Magazine Article

I was featured in this article titled "Singing Their Hearts Out: Young Catholic singers mix faith and music," during my senior year at Franciscan University. It was an awesome experience, being interviewed and getting to share my love for music and the Lord. I hope it's not the last time. You can click on the link to see the rest of the article, as I have only presented the portion referring to me.

Faith & Family Magazine: Singing Their Hearts Out

The Beauty of Praise
Gabriela Martinez, age 22
At Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio, senior Gabriela Martinez has found a way to give back to God her talents as a student group leader in music ministry.

Monday, October 12

Crooked Lines Made Straight

Today was one of those not quite so fun days of mommyhood. One of those days that can, if you look just at particular instances rather than the entire whole, seem as an epic fail. You know you've had days like that. I actually accomplished quite a bit today, but it paled next to the things I failed to accomplish.

And all because I am now at the service of a little man who throws his weight around like you wouldn't believe. Yes, my son is adorable, but sometimes, he can be quite challenging too. And then he looks at me with those little eyes, the ones that say, "Yes, Mommy, you are the most important person in my universe," and I melt into a thousand little pieces of love.

Saturday, October 10

Aruba, Jamaica, Ooh I Wanna Take Ya

While Jonathan and I were on our honeymoon, we visited the resort's piano bar a few times. We very much enjoyed the fun atmosphere and the fantastic pianist. I had the pleasure of singing "L-O-V-E" to a very spirited accompaniment, and have been waiting over a year to be able to upload the video. So here it is: "L-O-V-E" live from the piano bar of Sandals Ocho Rios in Jamaica!

Friday, October 9

Recovering Perfectionist Learns to Surrender

For the last six years, I have had the pleasure and blessing of attending a charismatic prayer group, as well as leading the worship for it. I cannot tell you the incredible freedom, joy, and peace I have experienced as a result. It's so crucial to have that fellowship, to have others to share in life's blessings and burdens, and to call you on in your walk with the Lord.

Wednesday, October 7

Like Father, Like Son, Like Daughter?

I have several good friends who were pregnant around the same time as I was. Now that we have had our babies, the topic often comes up of who our babies most resemble. Is the wee one a mirror image of mommy? Or perhaps the spitting image of daddy? I find myself scrutinizing every inch of Matthew, trying to find the vestiges of myself in him amongst the mountains of DNA he inherited from his daddy. He has my eyes, my ears, and my mouth. All good things, I think.

I had the occasion to meditate further on this topic of family resemblance earlier today.

Tuesday, October 6

Voice of An Angel Update!

At long last, I have an update on my musical journey!

First of all, I have a new music website, Please check it out! I hope that you enjoy it. I'll be updating it as I record new music and have dates for the Voice of An Angel competition. I'm super excited about it. Tell your friends :)

Saturday, October 3

Friday, October 2

Coda of Love - the Finale to the Augustinian Meditation

This love song to a Savior is pure, total surrender. Although I do not know what I am saying to the Almighty, through grace I am completely content and at peace, trusting that my helpless and childlike offering still brings Him delight. “May God himself approve my intention and pardon my failure.”

If one day I am fit to worship Him as He is, it is not of my doing, but because of His grace and His Spirit, with which He inspires my heart to yearn for union with Him. “But let us return to ourselves and acknowledge him there; let us praise the maker in his works; for we are not fit to behold him in himself. One day perhaps we shall be fit to behold him, when our heart has been so cleansed by faith that at last it may rejoice in truth.” 

Thursday, October 1

Let My Love Song Sing To You - Part 2 of Augustine Meditation

But what is this jubilation, this language-less praise that sounds as mere gibberish and absurdity? We know that the angels in Heaven are praising God for eternity, unending “Holy, Holy, Holy.” Yet, these are words that man in his human nature has imparted to angelic praise. However, the praise with which the angels extol the greatness of the Lord must not be limited by human words. These words can never suffice to capture His magnificence, even in His condescension to the level of man. For “How do the angels enjoy him? As he is.” 

Wednesday, September 30

Love Song Without Words - A Meditation on Saint Augustine

I must confess, I've been hard at work on a NEW MUSIC WEBSITE for the past week, hence the trip down memory lane with old writings. But at the same time, I love revisiting old beloved favorites. Here is a beautiful little essay I wrote for an Early Christian Life and Thought class. The assignment? Pick any writing by St. Augustine and analyze. Being that I am a hard-core fan of the Holy Spirit, I chose a small piece that St. Augustine wrote regarding singing in prayer tongues. For any of you readers not familiar with speaking/praying/singing in tongues (one of the MOST AWESOME gifts the Holy Spirit has bestowed upon us), PLEASE feel free to contact me for more information. I'd love to share with you about my experiences and tell you more about His most wonderful gifts. 

This will also be published as a series. I hope by the end of this to have BIG NEWS regarding my music site. Enjoy and please keep me in your prayers!

This is no ordinary love song. Singing in tongues presents a beautiful, language-less love song to the Savior, one that is deeply personal, intimate, unique. It is fitting of Him to whom all praise is due.

Here in the deep recesses of the heart the love song without words is composed. St. Augustine refers to such a song as Jubilation -- Jubilatio. This song of pure, unadulterated praise is that worship most worthy of the King of the Universe, for it is a song for His ears alone. In his discourses on Psalms 32 and 134-135, Augustine reflects on the concept of praise, what it is, and how it ought to be in order to be worthy of God.

 “What reason am I to give you for praising him?” asks Augustine.  The answer is taken from Psalms 135:3: Because He is good. I am to praise God simply because He is Goodness itself. He is goodness self-contained in Himself, needing nothing to perfect Himself or to add to His happiness. He is goodness in His essence, in His being.

As such, He is worthy of all praise, all adoration, and all worship. In His goodness, He chose to create being, create man. What God is in His essence, He imparts a small portion to each person. By grace, He allows humanity to share in His divine goodness by participation. This of itself is a tremendous mercy.

Therefore, I ought to praise Him. I ought to and in fact must praise Him. But how can I, lowly creature that I am, dare approach the throne of the Ancient of Days, hoping to bring something of value to offer Him? I am so radically insufficient, and my praise so hopelessly inadequate of capturing the totality, the majesty, the awesomeness of God.

Yet I still praise, almost uncontrollably. I am so low that I cannot ever hope of myself to rise to His level of praise. But in His great mercy, He descends to those who cannot hope to elevate alone to Him. Far out of the reach of my praise, which is naturally limited by the barriers of my tongue, He loosens my tongue, gives me new tongues, that I may worship without fear of condemnation or inadequacy.   

In His great love and mercy, He does not abandon His child to a state of perpetual helplessness, longing to praise Him as I ought, yet utterly incapable of such supernatural adoration. He sends His Holy Spirit to reside in my heart, giving me the inspiration I need to praise. “He did not wish to remain at a level of praise which could not be reached by those who would praise him.”

How merciful is the Lord, who does not discredit my praise because it of itself is so beneath Him. Rather, He grants His Spirit. This Holy Spirit fills my heart and exults, and I open my mouth and inspired praise comes forth. This praise is born in the Spirit that resides in the temple of my body, wrought in the deep silence of my heart, bringing forth all that is in there that words cannot express. A song of jubilation pours thus forth.

Through Him (the Holy Spirit) I praise God. “But thanks be to him who...has so tempered his praises as to enable both strong and weak to praise him.”  Of myself, I am pitiful, inadequate, and helpless, and all I can do is let the Spirit stir and inspire within me a new song suitable for the ears of my Master. The Spirit of Love thus moves in my heart of hearts, eternally loving the Father and the Son, rejoicing, and I break into jubilation.

To Be Continued... 

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Tuesday, September 29

Full Circle of Love - Finale of the Philosophy of Engagement Rings

The Final Installment of my Philosophy of Engagement Rings. 
I hope you've enjoyed this little essay! 

Finally, the diamond itself is fashioned with many facets. The more facets a diamond has, the greater its capacity to shine. These facets have multiple deeper meanings. They represent how in love and marriage, two lives, filled with a diversity of interests, are intimately yoked together. One does not seek identity in the beloved, but complimentarity. In marriage, two become one, united while retaining their own personhood: the one diamond has many facets.

Additionally, the facets of the diamond, linked with its original lack of color, provide insight into the cooperation of the lover and the beloved with Love Himself. The diamond, colorless of itself, receives into itself the light, and a rainbow of colors emerges forth. Likewise, two hearts joined in loving sacrament, receive into themselves the pure and fecund love of God.

Monday, September 28

Part Two: Philosophy of the Engagement Ring

Part Two of my Philosophy on Engagement Rings. 


Just as the man and the woman are themselves unique, and the relationship through which they find their hearts intertwined is entirely their own, so too the diamond ring is one-of-a-kind. This ring unites something of the giver and something of the wearer. 

Many times, when one admires an engagement ring, the comment is made that the ring “suits” the woman. It becomes her, symbolizes a personal and special relationship in which only she and her lover partake. Sometimes the ring is so unique, the stone is not even a traditional diamond. This matters not. The ring is a symbol of a particular love, and as such, can be any stone. However, the focus of this philosophy rests on the diamond ring. 

Sunday, September 27

She Said Yes: A Three-Part Philosophy of Engagement Rings

This is a philosophy of engagement rings that I had published while in college in our university publication, Lumen Vincens. I came across this recently, while de-cluttering my life, and enjoyed revisiting it tremendously. It captured the excitement and delight of an engaged woman so perfectly. I will blog this essay in three installments. Enjoy!

She turned and discovered him, bent on one knee. His hand was shaking, as he nervously smiled and held out a white box. In this box shone a stunningly beautiful ring, the likes of which she had never seen. Overwhelmed by excitement, a tad nervous, yet still calm, she knew the moment she had been dreaming of had arrived. She waited expectantly to hear those four incomparable words: will you marry me?

Saturday, September 26

Great Is Thy Faithfulness

The Lord is so faithful to me. I pray for renewed ability to trust and surrender, and He provides grace and answers to difficult questions. I pray for companionship on this journey of faith, and He provides a beautiful friend to share life’s joys and challenges with. I do not deserve the attention to detail He always seems to achieve, but He doesn’t give it because I have earned it. He gives it because He is good. 

I’m grateful for the opportunity to share my heart with another. It’s amazing how a change of perspective can cause you to reevaluate, give you new courage and hope. It’s even more amazing how when it comes down to it, we are not as alone in our crosses as we think. More often than we realize, our challenges are not so different from those of people close to us. 

The roots of our experiences – stress, anxiety, discouragement, fear, etc – are universal, even if their particular evincing in our lives is unique. I draw so much comfort from the realization that what I experience, others have experienced and overcome and will continue to endure. We learn from each other, from our successes and failures, and together, we move forward towards a common goal of holiness, of unity with Christ.

My challenge for this week is to take the time to recognize the many blessings in my life and learn better to draw joy and happiness from them. Life is hard, but that truth makes it no less poignant, exquisite, or worthwhile. Learning to love ourselves and our lives in the midst of our individual circumstances is a lifelong commitment, but one that makes daily life worth living. 

Instead of focusing on the illusory “someday” – that day when all will be blissful, easy, perfect – we instead grow to love who we are today on the way to who we will become. We must live in the present moment, the only one we are assured we will have.

By focusing on being content in our day-to-day circumstances and drawing joy from the big and little blessings alike, the peace will come. Oh, the peace. I long for it with every fiber of my being. That wondrous state of existence when all else fades before the knowledge that all is well in the Hands of God. Nothing can shake you when you stand firm in His peace. All becomes manageable, meaningful, acceptable. Your will is united with His. 

My mother beautifully describes it as allowing the river’s current to sweep you along, instead of wasting all your energy trying to swim upstream. When I think of peace, I imagine Christ sleeping in the boat as the storm raged around Him. Just because you are at peace in the Lord does not at all mean the storm has ended or has no affect. Rather, it has no power to cause you fear or anxiety, because you are protected by a greater power, Whom all the winds and the seas obey.

Now, the peace, joy, and contentment I seek are not to be confused with complacency and laziness. I do not intend to remain stagnant in my own situation, not moving forward because I’m ok with where I am. I fully intend to challenge myself, to grow in my relationship with the Lord, to seek deeper meaning in my life and my crosses, and to discover new joy in my daily activities. My goal above all is to honor and glorify Him in every moment of every day, no matter what I am doing. Whether I am changing a dirty diaper, singing on stage, running errands, ministering to a broken heart, or simply sitting and relaxing, I intend to glorify Him in all things. 

That’s what we were created to do – our purpose is to glorify Him through our accomplishments, through our humility, through our journey towards holiness, towards Him.

Wish me luck!

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Thursday, September 24

Peace Surpassing Understanding

I love a good thunderstorm. It helps put things in perspective. No matter how crazy or stressful things may seem in my life, watching a thunderstorm reminds me of the awesome power of God. No matter how out of my control things are, they are never out of His, and He has the power to protect and provide.

Thank goodness, because sometimes I feel so... small. So like a little girl. What? I'm 24? I have to do grown-up things and deal with grown-up problems? Can't someone else just take care of me?

Wednesday, September 23

Thank You for the Music - Voice of An Angel Audition!

I wanted to share a bit about my experience at the Voice of An Angel Callbacks at Rock the Universe. I have to be honest and say, for the three weeks preceding, I wasn't nervous at all. I felt that the opportunity that I had been praying the Lord send me for years was finally here. I felt this was the door being flung open, as God proclaimed from on high, "Here, at last, is your chance, my Beloved little one!"

Tuesday, September 22

The Bigger Picture

You wouldn't think that a baby screaming in the backseat could provide a profound life lesson to ponder. Yet, somehow, he does.

Monday, September 21

Become As A Little Child

Incredible, how frequently each day I must sacrifice myself. A few weeks ago, I asked the Lord how I could be a better mother, what I could do to love better, and He said to me, "Little one, every single act you do as a mother is one of selfless love." It overwhelms me, and I fall to my knees and beg for the grace and strength I could never have on my own. My heart simply isn't big enough. But His grace is sufficient and He supplies all we lack.

Today, I endured one of the heartbreaking moments of motherhood. Not my baby bumping his head or falling off the couch (Thank God), but still another source of mommy anxiety (at least for me): baby vaccinations. Matthew is such a champ, and only cries for a little bit, but with every sob my heart aches a little more. 

Now, I did my research for myself, and will not use this blog as a soapbox to iterate the pros/cons of vaccinations. Every mom needs to decide that for herself and for the best good of her little one. I chose to give Matthew his vaccines, and as such have to steel myself every two months for my little one's chubby thighs (oh-so-delicious and squeeze-worthy) to be pricked with needles. I know the benefits are undeniable, but let me tell you, the mama bear in me wants to rip the needles out of that nasty nurse's hands and chase her out of the run for wounding my baby. And while I'm hyperventilating and racing through Hail Mary's ten at a time, Matthew is crying, and then sniffling, and then hiccuping, and then... a smile. All better, Mommy. And I smile back at him through my own tears and aching heart, and say, "My brave boy."

I know now the truth in what my mother always told me, "Gaby, this will hurt me much more than it hurts you..."

And then it struck me: I will bear a heavier cross for having had my little boy, because I will not only bear my own suffering, but that of my beautiful son. He may not be destined to save the world (as was another Son born in Bethlehem). But my Matthew will have his own share of sorrows, and as his mother, I will look on and share all. Sometimes, I'll be able to make it better with a kiss and a Band-Aid. Sometimes, all I will be able to do is cry with him, pray with him, look for meaning with him, suffer with him, and let him

It is the lot of the mother to share burdens beyond her own, and to bear these things in her heart. Am I ready for that, Lord? Only with Your grace, which surpasses understanding. Only then, will my selfish heart be able not only to endure my own suffering, but willing shoulder the sorrow of my children, however small or excruciating. With my own mother as an example, I have witnessed -more so in the past few years, as my mother has become less a authority figure and more a friend- how often a mother must set aside her own trials, to be a source of comfort and wisdom for her little ones. It is a cross added to her cross, but a joyful burden.

My heart aches when my son suffers. My sorrow is inextricably joined to his, and his joy increases mine. I am reminded of how this is an image of what our relationship with God the Father ought in fact be. As His children, His glorification ought be our primary goal and joy, and His suffering ought cause us sorrow. I am learning, little by little, so very much from my new role as mother. I am learning what it means to love unconditionally, what it means to surrender, to trust. I am learning to place all in the hands of my own Father in Heaven, begging for the grace to be what Matthew needs me to be, while growing in my own personhood.

I need to be more like my son. Even as I love him, play with him, teach him, I must never forget that I am called to be more like him - childlike. Trusting that the Lord will never allow me to experience agony without purpose, for my own best good. Resting in His peace, knowing that here alone can I never be harmed. Knowing with absolute certainty that my needs will always be met. For He is my Abba, my Daddy in Heaven. And He will never allow me to suffer without bearing the brunt of it Himself. Maybe someday I'll endure through some suffering without kicking and screaming the whole time. Maybe it'll be me who cries a little, but then clings to the One who is my strength, saying, All better Daddy! And He'll smile lovingly, knowing that it is His grace that carries me through each trial, and say "My brave girl."

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Thursday, September 17

Joy of My Heart

I've mentioned my music and my desire for ministry. Now on to the third "M" of the series, that has recently shot up to the number one occupancy of my time and energy for the past (can't believe it's already been) 4 months: my pride and joy, Mr. Matthew Elliot Frei.

I must admit, I had a challenging pregnancy. I didn't have the roses and ecstasy, blissful choir of angels experience that some women (may they realize just how blessed they are) have. I had wretched morning sickness, crippling migraines, sheer exhaustion, a mental battle against hating myself for putting on all that weight (after a lifetime of dieting), a loss of control over my own body, all in the midst of a full-time job (which, granted, was also a joy). There were some bleak moments when I simply couldn't see the end of the tunnel, and thought I would be pregnant and miserable forever.

Wednesday, September 16

C'est La Vie

A little background:
My mother claims that I emerged from the womb singing. My first words, in fact, were to the tune of Old MacDonald--that's right, E-I-E-I-O and all. So I knew from the first that music HAD to be in my future, somehow, someway. And then the Lord gave me a tremendous gift.

I was 14, and vividly remember a friend of my mom's proclaiming, "Gaby, you MUST write a song. You simply MUST start writing songs!" And I nodded my head with a grin plastered on my face, all the while laughing to myself, thinking, "Right, like I could ever write a song..."

That was ten years ago.

Tuesday, September 15

New Beginnings

My name is Gabriela Frei, and I am a mother.

Incredible to think that this simple sentence sums up my entire daily existence. Those of you who are mothers out there will understand entirely, and perhaps offer up an "Amen, sister." I just recently joined the ranks of mothers across the globe in May of 2009, and already my life is completely transformed. I have dreamed of being a mother since I was ten years old, and I love my son more than myself. He is everything to me. And yet, I was a person before I had my son, and am now on a quest to discover how to bring to fulfillment both entities that I now am. I am Gabriela Frei, and I am a mother.

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