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.

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.

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:

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 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.

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.

Seth is 18!!

My son is 18 on the 18th! I can hardly believe that he has lived with Jim and I for over 13 years. He moved in with us when he was 41/2 years old with his little brother. We had the honor of adopting him in 2006.

Seth is funny, smart, sensitive and loyal. He has great potential to create his own path in life because he knows who he is: a son of God.

Happy Birthday, Seth, I love you!

Let Him In Your Heart

Photo: Lds.org

This picture of Jesus knocking at the door hangs on the wall by my back door. It is a reminder to my family and I to invite our Savior into both our hearts (and homes) by the way we think and behave.

Because Jesus never forces His love or will on us, it’s important for us to ask: would this invite Him in, or would it send Him away from us? I know that when I become angry and yell (I grew up in Queens, NY with loud parents), I can sometimes feel the sudden absence of the Holy Spirit. I’m slowly getting better at controlling my frustration now that my sons are growing up, but wow, it’s been a tough road!

My goal as the heart of my home and family has always been to invite Him in, as we can not afford to live in this dark world without His guidance, love and protection. I’ve found that the more I remember to pray and read my scriptures, the closer I feel to the Lord. Every night we say “family prayer,” where we take turns praying for our family and friends. For a while we read scriptures together every night as part of my Pathway class assignment, and then when we went to California and Las Vegas to see my brother-in-law for Christmas, it threw us out of the schedule we had.

I believe that this blog, which I bought the domain for tonight, will help me stay focused on having a lifetime of faith and be a light to the world.