Me & the Family

Me & the Family

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

To my friends...

As I sat in church this evening I couldn't help to think of each and every one of you.  The pastor wasn't talking about anything specific that would point into the direction of one's neighbors or one's friends...but rather our walk in life.

The journey.

The entire lesson was located and fixed on Psalms 1:1-3.  Thirty minutes on three verses seems a bit much, but it was entirely and amazingly interesting.

"Oh, the joys (peace) of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with scoffers.  But they delight in doing everything the Lord wants; day and night they think about his law.  They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season without fail.  Their leaves never wither, and in all they do, they prosper."

Oh to delight in the Lord!

The past few years have been a major adjustment for me: finding out I had a daughter and then the week she moved in with us we found out my sister had terminal cancer.  A positive blow and a negative blow.  I was grasping at straws to get out of bed every morning and show my children love and keep balance in a family that had been turned upside down...and keep my emotions in check as the roller coaster of my sisters health kept me always guessing.

Even though I never lost sight of God during the past two years - I held onto him like a buoy in the ocean and he kept me afloat.  I did not, however, have a relationship with him.

Falling away from God is a slow and gradual process that once you find yourself there - you don't really know how it happened?  Only that the fire within you seems quiet and dead.  A part of who you are no longer exists and the only way I can describe it was of being abandoned.  Even as I say that...and when I would think that...I would know that God had not abandoned me - I just stopped searching.

During my struggles I know that you women were the hands and feet of Christ and were praying for me and loving me even when my fortress was built hard and tall around me.  That fortress was impenetrable as I needed to be strong to get through all the changes.  No tears here...tears are for sissies.

For whatever reason my journey has brought me to a new church where I am beginning to feel renewed again in the spirit.  I do not believe that my previous church was anything less than my new church - but rather it was time for me to begin a new walk.  As I take this new walk, this journey, I am watching as several of you are now going to church that were not going to church.  I know that each of you love the Lord and loved the Lord even when you were not going to church...but in my heart I see God is moving.  He is moving within us and among each of us.

The three points from tonight sermon:
1) Attitude - delight and desire God's word.
            1 Peter 2:2-3 "Delight in the word..."
            Pslams 119:24-25  Delight!  Delight!  Delight!

2) Action - Meditation (reflecting on God's word)
            Meditation is a 24 hour awareness of God's principles, presence, and powers

3) Discipline - Keep on meditating and make it your lifestyle
            Col 3:16 "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly..."

We are all going through personal struggles in our families and personal lives.  Although we share many things with each other we all know that for everything one burden we share we have 10 burdens that we don't.  Over a year ago I came to Myrna with a desire to start a bible study.  I let it fall to the side.  A year later (October) Erica wanted to do the same thing.  Again...I set it aside.  How awesome would it be to meditate together?!!!  I do not think that all of us going on this journey of life together as sisters/friends/neighbors is a coincidence.  We are here to love, support, and encourage each other.  I have decided that the only way to start something is to actually START something.  To be able to have a weekly time of prayer and study with you guys would be an amazing thing to have!

Tuesday, February 1st at 1pm.
One hour.
I will have little snacks to munch on.
The little kids will be napping.

For those of you that work and cannot attend, which I COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND I would like you to be a part of this group.  In what way you might ask?  Well...tell us what you need us to pray about when we get together.  Share your burdens so that we can pray for you and your family.

So that's it.
Hope I'll see you here!
Love you ALL!

PS ~ RSVP me!  :)

Monday, January 24, 2011


Countdown to the baby shower and my son's birthday is TICK TICK ... TICKING AWAY.

Luckily my mother-in-law is getting my son's birthday pulled together for me.  The baby shower is being held at the condo's clubhouse where they live...and since I'm doing the baby shower hosting she's taking care of dinner and cake.

I made my FIRST ever diaper cake!  I was trying to find cool things online for the party and since I cannot afford to spend $75 for a diaper cake I decided surely I could do this myself!  I am proud of the outcome!  :)

 I love my sister-in-law soooo much.  It's funny because I prayed that I would love my brother-in-law's wife...because my husband and his brother are so close.  My brother-in-law prayed for the same thing.  God really blessed that prayer.  I felt a real closeness to Judy the moment I really got to know her and we've been good friends ever since.  I can honestly say that the friendship/sistership that we have would go on despite our marriage to our spouses.

Judy and I being silly ... that's what we do best!

Eddie & Judy @ a Valentine's Day party

This weekend we had a little getaway with my husband's cousin and family.  Roberto is like another brother instead of a cousin.  When he came to the states (legally) 11 years ago he knew no english and I barely spoke spanish.  While waiting for my husband to return to work those first couple of weeks we both sat in the basement with spanish/english dictionaries translating each other's words.  Tommy and I were 23 and Roberto was 20.  Now has his citizenship and runs a successful company up in DC and has a family of his own.  But I love Roberto deeply as my own brother so it was fantastic to visit with him!  

We took the kids to ride go-carts and such and here are some photos from the adventures...

The three on the right are mine...

Marie & Sarah cheesing it up!

We had a lot of fun!  I took lots of photos while DRIVING my go-cart, which is kinda scary but I still beat every body.  This is on the way down from the top of the track.  My husband said we should have been wearing safety goggles.  The speed at which you are flying down this thing, and the weight of being an "adult" causes your tires to fall apart and fly up at you!

We had a blast though!

Currently the little children I watch are napping - and I need to continue getting my lists together for the coming party.  I have a lot to do and not much time left!  

How are YOU today?!!!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The pilot light is OUT.

Six months have nearly come and gone since my sister passed away.  Mourning is such a weird thing to experience, especially due to my desire to not be depressed or sad.  Amy wouldn't have had it any other way.  I miss my sister deeply and be connected to her through her facebook page it is clear that others are having the increased of longing for her at this time.

Is mourning on a time line?
Or is it the season?

I guess it would be like this forever.
My sister is frozen in time.
Forever young.

During the summer last year I began to bake less due to the extreme hot Florida weather.  The house is hard enough to keep cool...running an oven makes it even hotter.  I assumed that when winter hit my house would become another baking zone.  When I would bake it did make me feel as though I was closer to her.  I would often worry that my baking would make her sad, but overall she would come away happy that I was doing it.

When you lose someone they tell you that you will feel closer to them when you do certain things.  I thought that I would bake this winter and that it would allow me to feel closer to my sister.  I feel quite contrary to that...for I do not want to cook.  I don't want to bake at all.  When I think about baking for just a moment I get excited and the gruesome task of baking takes over.

Even simple brownies...
or rice krispy treats

I recognize that my life changed shortly after Amy died in more ways then just losing my sister.  Two weeks after returning home from the funeral the kids started school and I began to watch one more child full time.  I know that those changes did impair my stamina and desire to bake...but after much thought I think I realize the full depth of it.

You see, I am a Christian.  I believe in Heaven and I believe in Hell.  Although I may not be certain if you get a direct ticket to heaven the moment you die or if you rest in peace until Jesus comes again...I do believe that EVENTUALLY if you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior and you live life according to that basic fundamental belief guiding your life that you will go to Heaven.  I believe that whole heartedly.

There was a time that I believe that if you died you had a one-way ticket to Heaven, which may or may not be the case.  At the time I had those thoughts I also believed that if someone was in Heaven that I could easily   talk to them and they could keep an eye over me in the here and now.  My view on those thoughts have changed significantly as my reading and studying of the Bible has increased.

If my sister had a direct ticket to heaven and is NOT just resting in peace until Jesus comes then I believe that she is not an angel.  I believe that God has angels and that we humans are different then angels.  Therefore when a Christian dies they do not become an angel, rather they are a child of God and go to Heaven where they will have a role/job in the presence and and continually worshiping of God.  Now that leads me to know that my sister is not watching me over like a guardian angel.  (Matthew 22:30)

If my sister had a direct ticket to heaven and is NOT just resting in peace until Jesus comes then I believe she can't hear my suffering.  Maybe she can hear my shouts and tears of joy but she cannot sense my pain or sorrow.  To even say that I could speak to her and ask her to pray for this painful thing or that painful thing (come on!  she's right there by God's ear...what sister WOULDN'T be praying for her family)...because pain is not a part of Heaven.  Heaven is bliss.  Heaven is no more suffering.  She cannot look at Earth because Earth and all it contains is a place of pain and suffering.  Yes, there are joyful things here, but there is pain.

We have all felt it.
You too.

These realizations have me sitting in what seems like a state of confusion.  I am thankful that my sister is no longer in pain.  I miss her dearly and feel an overwhelming statement to her that goes something like this..."Where the hell are you?  You are supposed to be here!"  She is not here, and that is my reality.  I think that based on my beliefs I am irritated by baking.  I'm irritated that it doesn't make me feel closer to her...rather it makes me feel farther from her.

She can't hear me.
She can't see that I'm baking.
She can't tell me that she's glad I'm doing that.

She was my baking enthusiast!
She was my encourager.

I built up my baking in an attempt to let her live her non-baking self through me for two years.  It made the 1000+ miles between us seem bearable.  It wasn't until recently that I truly understood that's what baking meant to me.  I wanted her to be proud of me!  I wanted to show her that I could pass that love that she had on to my children and onto my niece and nephew.  The reality is though...that it feels dead.

My desire to bake is dead.
And this makes me sad.

It makes me sad for it was an outlet that I was able to share with others.  I enjoyed baking for others and there are many more people and opportunity to share God's love and mercy with people...all through baking. It's a great introduction to a caring relationship with someone who needs that.  It's part of the hands and feet of Christ that I enjoyed doing.

Yet baking is not igniting within me.
Funny...but my blogging hasn't been either.

So I ask...WHAT AM I TO DO???