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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

General Conference Weekend

President Uchdorf

In the church that I belong to (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), I was blessed to watch the April 2019 General Conference on Saturday and Sunday with my family. The Church authorities, such as the Twelve Apostles and the Lord’s prophet, President Russel M. Nelson, provide talks that teach, inspire, and help us learn more about coming unto the Lord.

A nice relaxing day!

Our weekend was spent on the couch with snacks, homemade ice cream, Pepsi, and Buffalo Wild Wings baskets of delicious chicken. It was HEAVENLY!!

I felt the Holy Spirit witness to me the truthfulness of the Plan of Salvation, which means Heavenly Father answered many of my prayers regarding my family and life. Jim and I prepared to be receive our personal revelation by attending the temple in the Houston area where we live. It really helped me open up and better communicate my thoughts and feelings that were on my mind.