A Birthday and a Temple Sealing

Billy decided to take his new bride to the Houston Temple on his birthday, September 10th. It was a beautiful but hot sunny day, and I insisted on taking their wedding photos.

I was so grateful that Jim was able to take yesterday off of work and come with us, as well as our mom. I was sad that Mirna’s family couldn’t be there to witness their beautiful sealing and hear the beautiful promises that the Lord will bless them with as they remain faithful and obedient. We believe that this sealing means involving the Lord in our marriage, meaning that we make a covenant (or promise) that we will pray together, read scriptures together, treat each other with kindness, etc. It had a very different feel than their wedding a month ago. The Spirit was in the temple.

Their happiness with just being together makes my heart so grateful for them. Being a newly-wed is a sweet, tender part of married life. One month down, an eternity to go!

Billy’s Wedding

Billy and Mirna were married on August 10th, two weeks ago today. The wedding was short and sweet, and I sang a solo after the ceremony without a piano player. But the music from the speakers worked out!

Our family friend’s children, Georgia, and Nick, were their flower girl and ring bearer. They are sooo cute and sweet! And Nick is an amazing dancer!

I was so excited to see my friend Paula! We grew up together in our church, and the man walling behind us is the person who helped heal my brother back in 1991 when Billy suffered a fractured skull and brain swelling. His name is David Duffy, a retired doctor. We love them both!

Now we are back home in Houston, and the newlyweds are adjusting to married life.

Love

Love is one of my favorite topics, and I want need to focus my time this week on feeling more love for my family and friends. I don’t want my chronic pain or Billy’s wedding to stress me out and cause me to have a panic attack. I have a wonderful set-up in my bedroom where I have an electric recliner to support my neck, along with a window with a view of our lake and fountain. This ensures that I can withdraw from everyone.

Though it pains me to write this, Sometimes with 8 other people living in my house (one of them is my son’s friend), I’ll often lock my door and sit down with my lap top, such as right now. Because a mom has to get a short break once in a while!

In Galatians 5:22–23: it states that, “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.”

I need to serve my family more, and pray more, especially to feel the kind of love that the Lord has for all of us. I have experienced the pure love that the Holy Spirit gives us from our Savior, and felt the priesthood power as I receive blessings for illness or pain. Maybe I can love them deeper by spending more time with them and searching for small things that may want or need. And I can also work on developing more patience through my challenges by visioning myself living in a world where my body is strong again.

The Refiner’s Fire

August, 2005

Some of you know that I adopted a sibling group of two precious boys 14 years ago. At the time, they 4 1/2 and almost 2 years old. And both had difficult challenges to overcome.

My husband and I woke up several times a night EVERY NIGHT for 1 1/2 years, which my brain/sleep schedule has never recovered from. At my church class for women, known as Relief Society, our topic was on prayer.

I raised my hand and told the class how once I married my best friend and soul mate, we prayed for the gift of a baby. My answer was always no, and I was devastated. My mom brought up adoption to me one day when she saw an ad on the back on the yellow pages (an actual book!) that promised us to receive a new born. Anyway, it turned out that while we waited for our baby, our older son, who was 2 at the time, walked out of his house and onto a busy road and weaved through the cars. We watched it on the news and prayed that he would be saved by someone nearby.

Two years later, we receive a phone call that we were chosen out of 2 other families to have the boys move in with us. They were about to change the goal from reunification with their birth parents to being adopted by us. The second I met them, my spirit recognized their spirits, and I knew that they were mine, and we were meant to adopt them.

Then I told my class how difficult these last 5 years have been, and how my husband Jim and I have gone through a refiner’s fire to be molded into the people that the Lord knows we can be. I believe it is like this for mostly everyone, because when we come out of the fire, we are far stronger, better people as a result. I’ve learned patience, long-suffering, kindness, love, and forgiveness. There was no other way for me to learn these difficult lessons and trials.

I pray that my shoulder rotator cuff allows me to sleep tonight, because even typing this hurts.

Wedding Stress

July has flown by so fast, and I still have so much to do to help with my brother’s wedding. Things like moving bed frames around and buying my mom a new full size mattress, and prepare a new living space for my brother and his new wife.

While I’m in New York, I have to prepare to sing two solos during their ceremony, with only my phone and blue-tooth speaker to accompany me. So, this ought to be interesting! I decided to do this because most of her family only speak Spanish, and our family only speaks English, so singing the same hymn in two different languages would be awkward, assuming that they are familiar with the music. I will pray that Heavenly Father will send me angels to help me, because at this point, I just want this wedding to be over with.

Living with anxiety and preparing for a large event like this is difficult. I’m grateful though for Billy and Mirna and their beautiful love story that I will just power through it and help them as much as I can.

I’m 47 today!

I was born 47 years ago today and have had an adventurous life so far. I am so grateful for all of my blessings, such as growing up in a loving and lively family, married a wonderful man who has become my better, calmer half. My two sons (along with the many who are like sons) have tested my patience and faith in my Father in Heaven, but have also helped me grow in ways that would have NEVER occurred if not for these two precious souls. I’m also so grateful for my older brother, Billy, who is such an amazingly good influence on me with his PURE heart.

Although I am 47, I still have some sass in me. Most days I ❤ my life and want to be an influence for good in my tiny corner of this beautiful earth. I hope to have a great year and someday be a window to His love, that my heart will become more pure as I live His gospel.

Car Crash

Thursday afternoon my husband, son and I were on our way to the local mall. As we were stopped at a red light, we felt the car jerk forward. Unfortunately it hit the car in front of us, though not nearly as hard.

The first thing that I remembered afterwards is my husband saying something like, “these people can’t drive!” His car was lightly hit at a u-turn stop about a month earlier. My neck hurt a lot, so I started crying. We all got out of the car and heard the woman who hit us say that her brakes wouldn’t work. I’ll leave that for the adjusters to figure out; I’m grateful that we are okay.

Noah and I let the ambulance take us to the local hospital to be looked at in case of any complications down the road. I’m hoping the pain doesn’t get any worse. I also felt God’s love for me and His tender mercies for us as my husband gave me a priesthood blessing that included healing oil. I’m grateful that the Lord knows me so well, because most of the time I walk by faith.

My Mental Health

This month has been stressful for me; more than it usually is. It didn’t help that I went a few days without my medication, Sertraline, something I take for my anxiety. I’ve spent much more time crying over various things that I would NEVER do under normal stressful times.

I don’t know if it stems from my brother getting married in two months, if summer is coming which brings way too much heat with it, or if it’s just my body releasing some of my deeply hidden pain. On Saturday my oldest son and I got into an argument (I won’t get into that) but it made me want him to move out. My feelings were deeply hurt, and I knew that I needed to pray for the gift of forgiving him and for strength to endure my difficult life.

Fortunately, he did give me what I needed as I drove out into the country without him so I could think and not feel annoyed at him just for being in the house. We talked about our issues and he promised to be more respectful and allowed me to help his mood swings with my doTerra oils which have helped us with various medical problems!

I’m so grateful to have my Sertraline again, and am grateful for the help it provides me to keep going and getting out of bed each day. I pray the day when I no longer need them to feel less anxious from the heavy load I carry everyday.

Change of Plans

Often I make plans that end up changing. Although I become frustrated, soon enough I see the Lord’s Hands creating something better than what I imagined. And while I don’t usually want the change in whatever it is I have pictured in my mind, accepting it is how I grow. It’s how I continue learning to trust Him, that He will do what He’s promised to if I exercise my faith in Him.

So when I drove to New Castle, Pennsylvania on May 1 to look at an investment house, I was bummed to learn that they just accepted an offer from someone. Seriously, I had an appointment to see it the next morning!

The highlight of the visit was when my brother met his girlfriend and they became engaged. I don’t know how they would have met if we hadn’t gone to Pennsylvania given that they live in NYC and the flights are NOT cheap. I will try to remember that the Lord is in control next time my life turns “off course” from the one I planned on and wait for His timing, because He will never abandon me.

Or you.

My brother is engaged!

Last Sunday my brother met his sweet girlfriend after they had been dating for almost a year. They are planning to marry in the Manhattan temple on May 10th, which is also on my son’s birthday. The Lord is very good to us!

Mirna is from Equator and has lived here for two years now. She’s one of the sweetest people I have ever met.