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.

A Leap of Faith

Photo by Redfin.com

I own a real estate investment property business based out of Western Pennsylvania, though I live in Houston, Texas. We moved here from the Pittsburgh suburbs ten years ago for my husband’s job.

Next week I am taking a leap of faith and flying to Pittsburgh in hope of finding the right property. The above property may be for my parents and brother, though it will require a ton of work. My dad has been wanting to move back to Pennsylvania for a while now, and my brother, Billy, may marry his girlfriend whose family lives in Queens, New York. We grew up in Queens, so this is kind of nice for me. I can visit many of my old friends that I haven’t seen in years.

Two years ago, with both of my sons being teenagers, I was ready to start a new career (besides being their mother). I bought my first house over two years ago was sooo hard to find contractors work on its many issues, and I worried that I acted too soon without the Lord’s direction. Real estate runs in my blood. My grandmother was a real estate agent in New York City, and her husband was an architect who designed many of the homes that people still live in from the 1950’s. Jim’s brother has several investment properties that he manages as his only source of income, and I LOVED the idea of receiving passive income from the renters paying us each month. To me, it seemed similar to how Jim works and receives a paycheck every two weeks; though our “jobs” are of course different.

I have a few interests in real estate investing: a fix-and-flip, where you buy a house that needs a lot of work. My good friend in New Jersey wants to help me with that and he is super talented! I also want to buy multi-family homes where I buy one property that houses several families, depending on how many units the property holds.

So, yeah, I will be saying a lot of prayers for the Lord’s guidance, though I know He often allows me to work through the pros and cons of each choice (in this case, with homes I look at) and will provide me with His answer after I have given great thought on what may be best for my needs and desires. Sometimes, because He trusts me, He doesn’t give me a yes or no answer. I have learned to recognize it as a “choose what you think will work best, and if it goes sideways, I will help you through it.” Talk about a huge learning curve!

I love knowing that He will help me as long as I try to follow His commandments, as tiny as they may be. And even though this will make me a bit nervous to choose a property to buy, it’s also a great adventure in my life.

And who doesn’t love adventure?

He is Risen

I am one of the Sunday school teachers in my church for the 13 and 14 year old teens. Yesterday I taught about the importance of celebrating Easter.

ComeUntoChrist.org

I didn’t sleep well on Saturday night, so I asked my Jim to help me teach my class. I was so exhausted that I had trouble formulating my thoughts. I LOVE videos about Jesus and His apostles and disciples, and found a wonderful one on the LDS.org website that shows a powerful witness of one of my favorite apostles, John, the Beloved. The Apostle that Jesus loved so much that he trusted him to care for His beloved mother, Mary. I believe that they truly felt like brothers to each other, much like I feel about two of my closest friends.

I love watching John’s reactions to the Savior’s teachings, miracles, death, and His resurrection. I can’t imagine how confusing it must have been for these Apostles to witness the power that Jesus had performing numerous miracles and yet not one attempt to save himself from torture and a humiliating death.

We then explained to the class who the Elders were, along with the Pharisee and Sadducee leaders, to help them understand the politics and social norms of those ancient times. We read a small portion of the scriptures and then ran out of time. I was surprised when one of the teenage girls who asked if she could attend my class and then talked to a girl who is often chatty, thanked us for teaching the lesson. I welcome any teenager into my class because my goal is for them to feel the Spirit testify of the truthfulness of the Lord’s Resurrection. And to trust Him who suffered for us in Gethsemane and redeemed us if we will learn of Him, and give Him our hearts and our will. Because that’s really the only thing we can give Him. I’m grateful for this knowledge, to know that the Lord knows me, loves me, and trusts me enough to allow me to make mistakes. He allows me to fall and trusts me to pick myself up with His help. Because of Him I can repent of my sins, and come unto Him.

Always.

Here is the beautiful video:

I Need Music

I often wake up in pain and forget to listen and sing along to a few of my favorite songs that often help ease me feel better. Research has proven that music influences people’s thoughts and mood. A love song makes me want to be with my husband, and a church song helps ease my stress as I remember that my Heavenly Father is aware of me and what is going on in my life. My son ALWAYS listens to music when he takes a shower. The combination of the water and loud music helps to clear his sleepy brain as he begins his day.

Even my cat loves music!

The above picture shows one of our family’s cats, Princess, on the upright piano. She likes to walk on the keys from one end to the other. And like a princess, her “playing/walking” actually sounds okay!

I’m grateful that the Lord gave us the gift of music, and need to be consistent with my vocal warm-ups and studying my piano music books again. As much as I love to play by ear, where there is a song in my head and I somehow know what keys to play.

Does anyone have a story involving music that you’d like to share in the comments?

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.

Life with chronic pain…

churchofjesuschrist.org

I’ve been bad about writing on my blog between family stress and my chronic pain due to the storms. I am used to having good days where I believe my body is getting better and am dismayed when I wake up sometimes in pain like I did this morning.

I often thought about writing my next blog post, but am only getting around to it now. I spent the day today watching General Conference and feeling personal revelation that my Heavenly Father wanted me to know, especially how he is aware of my pain, stress in my family life, and my overall frustration in life.

Writing this post has reminded me why I started this blog: to remember that Jesus Christ is my Savior. He knows me. He’s already felt my pain in Gethsemane when He atoned for my sins, and signed up to succor me through my life. And He will do this for you, too!

The Twelve Apostles

Jesus Ordaining the Twelve Apostles

I have been reading about Jesus giving His twelve apostles the Priesthood power to act in His name and bless the people who had faith in Him in St. Matthew chapters 10-12. I love how the Lord commands His Apostles to preach the gospel to the “lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 10:6).

Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

In His restored Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we have a living prophet. President Russell M. Nelson has two counselors, President Dallin H. Oaks, and President Henry B. Eyring make up the First Presidency. The present day Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are witnesses of Christ just as the original Twelve. Last Sunday President Nelson dedicated the new Rome, Italy temple. The above picture brings a lot of peace and gratitude that I have the gift of the Restored Gospel in my life, that my Savior loves me enough to offer me the gift of eternal life with Him and Heavenly Father. I know that Jesus Christ is the head of His church and that He loves me. He knows me, and wants to bless me.

And bless you. All we need to do is ask.

The Sacrament

My mom and brother have been sick for several weeks now, and haven’t been able to attend church and take the weekly Sacrament. As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, two Aaronic Priesthood holders bless the bread as they say this prayer:

“O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it; that they may eat in remembrance of the body of thy Son, and witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him, and keep his commandments which he hath given them, that they may always have his Spirit to be with them. Amen.”

When we have all partaken of the bread, they bless the water (instead of wine) with this prayer:

“O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee, in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this wine to the souls of all those who drink of it, that they may do it in remembrance of the blood of thy Son, which was shed for them; that they may witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they do always remember him, that they may have his Spirit to be with them. Amen.”

Each Sunday in our church building, known as a Meetinghouse, where we take bread and water (instead of wine) and renew our covenants that we made when we were baptized. I try each week to repent of my sins and general mistakes and remember to take His name upon me. Because my mother and brother have been too sick to go, we asked the Bishop (similar to a local priest or pastor) of our ward (congregation) if someone could come to our house and bless the Sacrament for them. A short time later two teenage boys knocked on our door, and I was kind of excited to see them. Last year they were in my Sunday School class and are good kids. Although this may seem like a small act of kindness, it means a lot to people who aren’t able to attend church themselves.

Whenever we help someone, even in a small way, we become the Savior’s Hands. One of the best ways to feel better about yourself and your life to get on your knees and pray, and then stand up and get to work serving someone.

Anyone. Especially people online who may need a kind word, because we all have unseen trials. We can all use a friend.

Teenagers

It must be so difficult to be a teenager in the world that we live in. Navigating through a tougher curriculum than when I was in high school would definitely stress me out. It seems to me that the teachers cause our teenagers stress as they keep talking about what will be on the State exam. I’m all for testing the kids and identifying what my son needs to work on, but don’t agree with their method of intimidation.

And the bullying! Yes, we had bullies in school back in the 80’s, but fortunately we didn’t have social media to publicly humiliate people, and the teachers had authority to discipline the kids who were out of control. I remember when I returned to college about 2001 – 2002 to become a teacher and learning about how much had changed in the public schools, which caused me to change my major to business.

My son has a wonderful attitude and has a sweet spirit. I prayed that the Lord will give my son strength to resist Satan’s enticements as he prays with us and folds the clothes. Faith that will help all of us to overcome our challenges.

Challenging Week

Our younger son has autism but is considered high functioning. He has had problems controlling his anger, which both the doctors and therapists warned us would happen as our son navigates through his teenage years. He loves to play video games and hasn’t worked on his school projects, so I took away his game privileges, computer, and his phone.

He did NOT take it well and repeatedly hit my husband while I drove my son to work. My son has been at a local behavioral hospital where the doctor added some more meds to what he takes already. I have also set a goal to really research autism and how it effects the brain, new research findings, etc. and what essential oils I can add to help with any anxiety, frustration or anger that may seemingly strike him at random times.

The nurse called me today to tell me that my son and his room mate got into a physical fight, though they don’t know who started it since there were no witnesses. I’m worried about his future and will continue to pray that the Lord watches over my son and guides him, especially since deep down he has a sweet spirit.

Gosh, this is tough. So very tough.

But I refuse to give up on him. Heavenly Father gave me this sweet spirit to raise and He trusts me to do my best. And the Lord ALWAYS helps those who believe in Him. Tomorrow my husband, brother and I are going to the temple to work on our family names and pray about how we can help my son and focus more of our energy serving the Lord by praying more often and learning more about Him.