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.