Were there days that Maria regretted her decision to go with Jose, first to Bethlehem and then later to Egypt? Were there times when she felt like she just couldn’t even get out of bed to face the day? Did she need to take on outside work to help in the lean times when Jose didn’t have any furniture orders? How did she manage?
Today’s modern day Maria, Maggie, “is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar. She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household and a portion to her maidens.” (Proverbs 31: 14-15) Read and be inspired!
You can call me Maggie. I am from Los Angeles, CA. My husband and I met at my prior job. He was granted a voluntary departure which allows a non-citizen to leave the US without an order of removal on record. He is not allowed to reapply for a visa for 10 years afterward. We have 4 more years to go until he can request readmission. We now live in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico.
Everything in my life has changed. My family and friends are distant. My husband and I argue more. Our entire lifestyle, our way of life, our everyday routines have changed. My belief system has changed. I’ve changed. I’m often depressed. I have no motivation. I’m angry.
We have adapted to the daily border crossing life. My kids had to get used to crossing every day at 4 am for school. For the first 2 years, we didn’t have a car. We had to use public transportation to cross from one country to the other. Border life means leaving before the sun comes out and always getting home after the sun sets.
There were so many things I just took for granted before moving to Mexico. The first year in Mexico we didn’t even have hot water. Winter was VERY cold. For 3 years we used a camping stove attached to a propane tank. The feeling when you get your first stove after so many years is like Christmas morning. Having a stove meant that we could bake cakes or a turkey. It meant a safer kitchen. It was a wonderful day for us.
I miss a warm home, a better way of living, not struggling to get to work or school. I don’t know what keeps me going some days. My husband has missed out on our kids’ middle and high school graduations among other milestones because he could not cross the border to be with us. My children struggle to accept this life. They are both now in college working on saving money to move at the end of the school year back to the states.
I work a regular part-time job across the border. I own two home based businesses. Margret Ruiz Photography (Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook) and Margret’s Fabulous Creations (Instagram and Facebook). I am also involved in several non-profit organizations including Baja Sand and the Lupus Foundation of America. I lost my favorite aunt to Lupus the first year our life was uprooted.
I co-founded a charity in Rosarito called Cumpliendo Sueños (Making Dreams Come True). I donate my photography services and gowns so that girls who otherwise couldn’t are able to have a Quinceñera party. Please consider donating your time or resources so that even more girls can have their dreams come true.
I love doing military homecoming photography shoots in San Diego. When I do shoots like this I do them with more passion than any other shoot. I get emotional. It’s that feeling of seeing someone after a long time. The adrenaline and happiness and excitement one gets are amazing. I was apart from my husband for 4 months when this all started and I always relive all those feelings when I do a homecoming.
My current goal is to reach a certain level of income as a photographer. I am reaching towards that goal by more networking and investing more in my business. I am in need of a new camera. Mine is over 6 years old. It’s a struggle every time I have a shoot. If you care to help me help others through photography, you can donate via Paypal at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
I’d just like to add that we value life and everything we have more now than ever. We don’t take for granted all of the little things we have. We reuse and find uses for old or broken things instead of throwing them out. We might fight more but we love each other more. No marriage or family is perfect. We are more humble, more thankful and blessed to be together. Mexico has been a learning experience for us all.