Gratitude

This is my therapy cat, Rusty. He helps me often by snuggling with me and has the most beautiful purr. He also enjoys eating a lot, and sometimes hangs out with me as a way to show his appreciation.

With the return of Covid, my anxiety is making an unwanted comeback. I hope that we aren’t heading towards another shut down, because I don’t think this country would survive on both a financial and emotional level. I fear that the number of suicides would increase far more than they were in the spring and summer.

And on that note, it’s time for another snuggle with Rusty.

McConnell’s Mill

Old McConnell’s Mill

Yesterday Jim, Noah and I hiked at one of our favorite Pennsylvania state parks, which is only ten miles away from our house. McConnell’s Mill contains a deep gorge carved out by Slippery Rock Creek over thousands of years, maybe longer.

The deep gorge.

The fall colors this year in Western Pennsylvania have reminded me why I wanted to move back here.

Covered Bridge

The hike was a tender mercy that God is aware of me and my anxiety for the coming winter. He really is in involved behind the scenes of my life, ready to bless me in ways that ground me. I’m so grateful to know that my faith in my Heavenly Father will see me through anything that life throws at me.

After all, it’s still 2020!

Flying By

Time is flying by this fall, and I have no idea what happened to September and am wondering where October is going. This SUV was flying by and turned off the road and smashed into our church building! He was either drunk or high, I can’t remember which one. Jim and I are scheduled to give talks this Sunday at church, and we are wondering if it will be in person or via Zoom. I know that things have been a bit crazy the last two months, but I feel like it should still be summer! Jim has been busy setting up the changes that the doctors want for their scheduling app.

Noah has started the Reach Online Cyber school of Pennsylvania and we are BOTH overwhelmed with getting used to navigating their website and turning in schoolwork! I’m sure we will adjust. I certainly hope so.

Seth and Dimiya are working and taking the BYU- Pathway classes, so I don’t see much of them, but they seem to be adjusting well to the move and married life.

Family Friends

On Sunday afternoon we visited our family friends, Millie and Barry. My dad was friends with Millie’s husband, Gary, who died in 2009. Gary is also my cousin’s wife’s uncle on her mom’s side.

Barry is her neighbor who became our friend, and my dad found out that they share a relative! I think Barry would be like my dad’s second or third generation nephew due to the age difference, but I would have to do the math.

This is one of the many reasons that I LOVE family history. We are more connected to each other than we realize, and sometimes all it takes are family photos and questions…

Our New Life in Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, PA Incline

It has been hectic since we moved to the New Castle area. It’s been a difficult move; we even had to “live” in a motel for about 3 weeks!

The movers messed up a number of our belongings, although we found out that the people who were unloading the moving truck were hired from Craigslist. They carried boxes that were upside down and a lot of them were crushed. We’ve had to wait for electric, gas, and water. We don’t have an oven yet for either unit as we wait for Lowes to deliver them.

Jim and the kids live in half of the duplex, and Billy, Mirna and my parents live in the other half. We even have different addresses! I’m so grateful that our porch no longer looks like this. We still have many boxes to unpack, but at least the hardest part is over!

Moving to Pennsylvania

This is the week we are moving to New Castle, Pennsylvania where we bought a duplex. I’m looking out my bedroom window at the fountain and small lake as I write this post. Thoughts of losing this view are mixed with the new adventures coming my way.

This is gonna be a loooong drive from Texas to Pennsylvania, with Billy following me. Yikes! I will be praying from now until we pull up to our new home.

Miya’s Baptism

Elder DeCarlos, Miya, and Elder Fowler

Miya has been virtually meeting with missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for the past 6 weeks. On Saturday, June 27th, she was baptized by Jim.

Seth, Miya, Jim, and I

It brought back memories of my baptism when I was nine. Like Miya, I was completely immersed in water in my white jumpsuit, and then received the gift of the Holy Ghost. I have always known that if I am faithful, His influence will guide me daily. I did not know what that meant when I was nine, but I understand how acting on the promptings of the Holy Spirit can keep me close to my Savior.

Through Him, we are blessed with certain spiritual powers called gifts of the Spirit. “All these gifts come from God, for the benefit of the Children of God” (D&C 46:26). One of these gifts include the knowledge and truths of the gospel, so that we can bless others.

I am grateful for the gift of understanding people and how the principles of the gospel can apply to my life every day. When new trials come, I can pray and read the scriptures. I love to read: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering” (D&C 46:17).

One of my favorite teachings is when the Lord revealed, “If a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through is diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much more the advantage in the world to come” (D&C 130:19). The Lord has commanded me in my Patriarchal blessing to ‘learn of Him,’ as much as I can about His work. This is one of my goals this year through this blog; reflections of where I have been and where I need to go, so that I may receive knowledge from the Holy Ghost. I need His Spirit to speak to my mind and heart.
When Jim and I are out walking at night, I look up at the sky and see the moon, some stars and sometimes one or two of the planets. I know that there is a God. Alma, a Book of Mormon prophet, wrote, “All things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motions, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator” (Alma 30:44).

In the Gospel Principles book that is published by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints which teaches about God. Since He is the father of my spirit, I call him Heavenly Father. Before I came to earth, I lived with Him and all of you. When He gave me the choice to come down here in a mortal body to learn, grow, and be tested through many trials that make up my earthly life, even though I do not remember it, I gladly accepted the offer and was born to my earthly mother. And I have learned so much already, but still have a lot more to learn about life.

Miya, her mom and sister

Texas and Covid-19

Just when we were about to fully open up, the numbers of Covid-19 cases in Texas have increased well over 5,000 cases this week. Last Saturday we went to Galveston and it was crowded with people who weren’t wearing masks.

We were due to return to church on July 5th, but that has now been postponed indefinitely. The level of sadness and frustration due to this virus may be felt until we come up with a vaccine that works.

Seth and Miya’s Wedding

My son Seth married his sweet girlfriend on May fourth in Galveston, Texas. They were married in a beautiful wedding chapel in a short ceremony by a very nice minister who told them that the couples he often marries are leaving on a cruise ship soon after for their honeymoon and wasn’t sure they were taking the time to realize the commitment they were making. They are a great fit for each other and I pray that they will always remember to turn to God during the storms of life. Because every relationship, especially marriage, needs the Lord’s help when life gets in the way.

What day is it?

I want this virus to go away already; it seems like we’ve been in isolation for a year now. Depression has me in its firm grip, so I ask myself what day of the week it is at least once a day. I’ve been planning to create a schedule for myself (which I HATE) by the day of the week so I’d have a better time remembering where in the week I am. I refuse to watch the news for more than a few minutes. I’ve been watching a DJ named Derek Floren every night but even that entertainment has waned. He plays music from his house and dances while the music plays and even sings with the tract. Quite a few women want to date him and they are nice to each other yet are competing for his attention. Even I did that for a while, feeding off of their emotions as an empath.

Someday life will return to normal, though it will feel different. It will take time for us not to view others as the virus and avoid each other. But that day will come.

High Anxiety

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I was on my computer this morning when Jim told me about a huge meeting with work through their business meeting room scheduled in one hour. We took a long walk and went to our favorite spot to watch the Geese as we pondered the consequences of him losing his job due to Covid-19.

Fortunately for the moment, they feel that he’s an essential employee. Our hearts are hurting for the ones who will be either laid off or put on Furlough for one to two months. I alternate between feeling anxious for everyone who lost their job (or will), and depressed about the amount of people who are sick or dying from this horrible virus.

1.) I’ve noticed a few good changes, though.

2.) My neighbors are waaay friendlier now. In fact, so am I.

3.) My husband and I have taken so many walks, we probably burned through hundreds of calories in each one.

4.) Our sons talk to us more often. They can’t see their friends, attend school, or work many hours.

We are still praying for a successful treatment for Covid-19 and that life will at least be functional again. Jim and I are taking an herbal supplement for stress, and I’m grateful for having my Zoloft medication; life seems crazy at the moment. Stay healthy!

Because Of Him

This Easter is unlike any other as we worship the Lord in our home. Because we have worthy Priesthood holders, we will take the Sacrament.

I’m grateful to my Savior, Jesus Christ, for atoning for my sins and dying for me. Because of Him, my sins are forgiven, and I can love my family and live with them forever!

I love the words in this hymn, He Is Risen: “He is risen! Tell it out with joyful voice. Let the whole wide earth rejoice.Death is conquered; man is free. Christ has won the victory.”

I hope you have a blessed Easter Sunday, as you reflect on the gift of His Atonement.