New Year's Eve

We are staying home tonight as usual and will snack for hours on shrimp cocktail, pigs in a blanket, chicken wings, and various chips and dips. We’ll watch the ball drop in New York City and toast with our grape sparkling cider for a wonderful new year.

Let the fun begin!

New Orleans

A Cajun wedding parade

We explored the city of New Orleans on Saturday. As we walked to a restaurant for lunch we noticed one of the streets was blocked off. A few minutes later we heard band music and turned around and watched a couple holding fancy umbrellas march down the street. The people playing the music were dressed in a typical band outfit with guests from their wedding with them. After a Google search, I discovered that this is called a Second Line, where the newlyweds lead the band and wedding guests from the wedding to the reception hall. It was so fun!

The French Quarter

We also strolled around the French Quarter admiring the beautiful buildings that reminded me of Europe. The food was so delicious at the Red Fish Grill that my sweet friend suggested for lunch.

Angels

I know from personal experience that angels are real and have helped me numerous times. I’ve been protected from harm once while driving across the country, and often when panic threatens to overcome me.

This year has been such a hard one for me with my health problems. My anxiety and stress have been much worse then last year, but I’ve had earthly angels help me unexpectedly, such as stopping over my house with a hot chocolate mug with delicious a mint hot chocolate packet.

Today I will attend church with a brace around my neck and a heavy boot on my right foot. But I will be there! Even as I write this post my nerves are overwhelming me, but I’m picturing heavenly angels sustaining and loving me as I do my best to move forward in faith that everything will be okay in the end because God loves me.

Shopping On A Scooter

I went shopping today with Jim and Noah at Costco. This was the first time I used a motorized scooter there, and it was busy! I had to repeat in my head, this is only temporary, it’s not forever as I drove myself all over the store.

I used to walk faster then the scooter at its highest speed, and in a few minutes I will be going out to Walmart with my brother for Christmas gifts and pray that they have a scooter available. My boot is so heavy even when I’m sitting. I suppose this has been a very good method of humbling me as I watch everyone walking faster then my scooter travels.

I have faith that my foot will heal and that I won’t need a permanent scooter for many years to come.

Broken Foot Anxiety

I went back to the doctor’s office yesterday to check on the broken bone in my foot. It’s better then it was two weeks ago, but my foot is still a little swollen and sometimes hurts. The arch in my foot has become way too flat, so she gave me an orthotic to wear when I put my feet in an athletic shoe. I remembered that I bought a special sandal with great arch support.

I’m worried about the future of my foot if the long bone can break at any given time. My anxiety about working out is high, because it seems like the more I try to fix the weaknesses in my body, new problems arise that complicate any progress that I gained with all the hard work I put in.

My faith that everything will work out in the end is still holding, but I can’t help but worry that someday I may just lose faith in my ability to take good care of my body.

I Will Not Flinch

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I read an old blog post from many years ago tonight. Author Sherri Dew taught me wonderful concepts in her book, “No One Can Take Your Place.” The first chapter discusses how we stood by our Father and His Son in the most difficult circumstance and did not flinch, and how we will stand by Him again throughout mortality.

Flinch is defined as “to shrink from” or “to tense involuntarily in fear.” There are so many things in this world that make me flinch – deceptions, snares, and even distractions which are inspired by Satan to trap and derail me from my safe return home to heaven. He does this by unleashing his fury against all who are determined to “stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places” (Mosiah 18:9). I have the challenge to stand loyally by God and not flinch now as I did in the pre-mortal life.

That’s not an easy task with all of life’s distractions, such as raising teenagers in today’s world, the internet, and my chronic pain. For guidance, I often study the lives of people who overcome similar challenges. The scriptures provide me with great examples of faithful, committed men and women who did not flinch. Moses’ encounter with Lucifer is a perfect example for me to follow. Lucifer tried to tempt and deceive Moses four times. He said: “Moses, son of man, worship me” (Moses 1:12). Because Moses already had a marvelous experience with God, he could easily distinguish between God and Satan, so he wasn’t fooled. He responded with: “Get thee hence, Satan; deceive me not. I will not cease to call upon God.” (Moses, 1:16, 18).

Now that I’m older I am better able to tell when the Lord is speaking and when Satan is. The Lord prompts me to do good, while Satan tempts me to avoid doing good or placing unkind thoughts into my mind. Having a less then perfect body no longer makes me angry. Frustrated, yes. But my levels of empathy for people’s pain and struggles have increased significantly because of my years of suffering. The Atonement of Jesus Christ provides the faith I need to keep trying, realizing that He knows me. He understands me.

That’s good enough for me. I will not flinch.

Broken Foot

My lovely cast.

It’s been way too long since my last blog post. It’s been a balance of progress and setbacks in my quest to strengthen my body. Although I’ve been working with a personal trainer and going on long walks with Jim, I somehow managed to break a bone in my right foot.

My foot doctor told me that it’s a heredity issue of the long bone in my foot being too long and breaking as a result of this, and will keep breaking unless I order a customized orthotic for my foot. Hopefully when I return to the doctor on Tuesday, my x-ray will show a healed bone. It’s been another trial of faith to rest my foot when I would rather be walking and serving my family and friends.